Applied Food Sciences, Inc. (AFS), along with other industry experts, are setting the record straight about the safety and efficacy of Kava during SupplySide West. The company will debut its newest offering, KAVOA kava extract, which the company said is a safe and effective ingredient for sleep support, relaxation and stress relief.
To learn more about KAVOA kava extract attend "The Return of Safe Kava,” on Friday, Oct. 7 at 2 pm in Booth WW111.
"Kava [kava-kava or piper methysticum] is an herb with a long ethnobotanical history in Polynesia, and it produces clinically-documented anti-anxiety benefits," said Mark Blumenthal, American Botanical Council's (ABC) founder and executive director. AFS is the newest contributor to ABC's Adopt-an-Herb Program with its adoption of kava. "ABC is deeply grateful to Applied Food Sciences for its adoption of kava on the HerbMedPro database, which will allow ABC to stay current with emerging research on kava's benefits and new information that helps to clarify prior concerns about its relative safety."
Over the last two years AFS has been evaluating methods for growing, harvesting, and processing and has identified five main reasons for safety concerns within kava production:
- Use of Non-Noble or incorrect chemotype cultivars(s).
- Unstandardized harvesting practices (yielding byproduct contamination to the kava before processing).
- Use of the incorrect parts of the plant, namely the peelings and stems (instead of the root and rhizome).
- Inadequate methods of manufacturing for producing standardized extracts (low quality, unstandardized extracts).
- Lack of scientifically validated methods for measurement of actives (kavalactones and chalcones).
"Working together with farmers, researchers, and agronomists we wanted to promptly address these concerns creating best practices to develop a better standard in kava," said Chris Fields, VP Scientific Affairs, AFS. "From the farm level, to processing and extraction, we have implemented a six-point plan for the commercialization and sustainability of our kava supply to the nutrition market."
By optimizing the beneficial lactones and reducing or eliminating the negative ones, AFS has created a new safer extract, KAVOA kava extract, that formulation experts can use in products moving forward. Details can be read in the recently published white paper on kava.
"We also acknowledge AFS' commitment to a robust supply chain program that helps to ensure the sustainable harvest of the appropriate variety of kava for use in consumer products," Mr. Blumenthal added.
A Place for Kava in the U.S. Market?
"Individuals spend their day searching for ways to increase energy trying to get more done during the day," said Brian Zapp, Director of Marketing, AFS. "Combine that with the ongoing stimulation from technology at night and we are left hardwired, unable to unwind."
The nation's Center for Economic and Policy Research states that Americans get the least amount of vacation days in the world. While other countries require as much as 40 paid days off, the U.S. has zero prerequisites in this area (CEPR, 2016).
The FDA reported that Americans consume on average 300 mg of caffeine per person per day (FDA - Caffeine Intake by the U.S. Population, 2012). That is equivalent to 3 cups of coffee or two 16-oz energy drinks.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research states that around 70 million Americans are reporting to have sleep problems (NCSDR, 2016).
AFS targets certain kavalactones, particularly kavain and the dihydrokavain, that contribute most significantly to relaxation and sleep benefits yielding a specific chemotype or fingerprint for their KAVOA kava extract.