One of the best-selling herbal products, cranberry is popular primarily for its claimed benefit of helping maintain urinary tract health.
Recognizing the value of clean and green extraction methods, Naturex, a supplier of plant-based natural ingredients, and Mazza Innovation, provider of solvent-free botanical extracts, recently signed an exclusive agreement for use of Mazza's patented, pressurized low-polarity water (PLPW) technology to extract phytochemicals from cranberries.
As part of the agreement, Mazza will use its PhytoClean extraction process to produce cranberry extracts exclusively for Naturex in a newly opened facility in British Columbia. The PhytoClean Method is an earth-friendly way to extract bioactives from plants using only water and produces clean, non-solvent-derived ingredients. The green technology efficiently extracts bioactive compounds, including polyphenols, alkaloids, glycosides and specialty carbohydrates that can be used as ingredients for functional foods, dietary supplements and beauty products. The company has initially focused on developing cranberry, blueberry and green tea extracts.
“This open innovation partnership with Mazza Ltd is a great opportunity to bring the global market new natural clean-label ingredients using environmental friendly technologies,” said Olivier Rigaud, CEO of Naturex. “As one of the foremost companies in the field of natural healthcare solutions, Naturex is fully aware of the importance of supporting innovative ideas and processes from various sources. The collaboration with Mazza Ltd is one of the first steps in our recently-launched global Open Innovation program.”
For Mazza, its new commercial production facility is 38,000 square feet and includes a full research and development lab plus quality assurance and quality control departments, in addition to the extraction production area.
“This is more than enough space to handle our projected needs,” said Benjamin Lightburn, president of Mazza Innovation. “Our current single commercial-scale extractor can process up to 1 million kg of biomass per year and can switch from cranberry to blueberry to green tea and other raw ingredients quite rapidly. Each extractor sits on a very small footprint in the facility and we can easily fit six separate extractors inside the 38,000 square foot facility when the business is fully expanded.”
The exclusive, long-term supply agreement with Naturex is an “excellent confirmation of the attractive premium quality of our clean-label, standardized products,” Mr. Lightburn added.
Mazza’s business plan has always anticipated significant, rapid expansion, and the deal with Naturex provides justification for its aggressive plans. According to Mr. Lightburn, the deal offers further incentive “to go to the market even more intensively with a variety of cost-effective, premium-quality botanical extracts beyond our first three products of cranberry, blueberry and green tea extracts. Mazza is now open for business and looking to discuss collaborations with customer partners in nutraceuticals, functional foods, supplements and personal care.”
The Clean Appeal
In terms of growth opportunities, Mr. Lightburn said there’s “concern” in the global ingredients marketplace “in terms of clean label, cost-effectiveness and quality assurance with traditional solvent-based extraction methods.”
“As our PhytoClean extraction technology continues to displace these antiquated extraction technologies, we expect significant sales opportunities and growth in Asia and continued growth in Europe. We are confident the cost-benefit analysis of quality, environmental friendliness and price makes switching to our advanced extraction process a compelling business case for many companies which currently use extracted ingredients.”
Beyond its first three products of cranberry, green tea and blueberry, Mazza has tested more than 30 different potential botanical extraction ingredients and confirmed that its process is effective and commercially scalable in a wide variety of botanicals.
“We’ll be looking to talk to potential customers in all these markets,” said Mr. Lightburn. “We also expect to see new opportunities in the personal care and beauty markets.”
To that end the company will be attending and meeting potential customers and partners at the in-cosmetics trade show in Paris in April and the Vitafoods Europe nutraceuticals event in Geneva in May.
“We are also inviting inbound inquiries and proposals from potential customers in all these markets.”