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Partnerships, Expansions Help Companies Meet Growing Demands

by Kate Lloyd -

Business expansions and partnerships have allowed companies such as Brandhive and Organic & Natural to meet growing consumer demands, conduct new research and roll out innovative products on the market.  

The marketing team at BrandHive hired Andy Yorkin, a local marketing professional, to expand its team and accommodate the needs of its growing clientele. The new hire followed the promotion of 14-year BrandHive veteran, Gail Frankoski, to account director. With the new addition, the BrandHive agency team now boasts 19 team members.

New partnerships have also allowed businesses to extend their reach and make a difference in the industry. In an effort to ensure consumers can access safe, quality ingredients for health, Organic & Natural Health Association (Organic & Natural) partnered with GrassrootsHealth to sponsor the development of nutrient research conducted by GrassrootsHealth and its scientific community. According to Todd Harrison, partner at Venable, LLP, and president of Organic & Natural, GrassrootsHealth’s expertise “embodies the paradigm shift" required to ensure ingredient safety.

"Randomized clinical trials do not accomplish what's needed for companies when it comes to the legal definition of 'competent and reliable scientific evidence,' and the emphasis regulators place on statistical and randomized clinical trials jeopardizes the importance and relevance of measurable evidence-based clinical outcomes," he said. “(GrassrootsHealth) will provide information to individuals as to how a nutrient may be affecting them personally."

Adulteration is another major issue within the realm of product safety. As part of its drive to clean up the market, Skyherb, a China-based manufacturer of grape seed extract, initiated a project with Alkemist Labs to develop a High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) method for rapid and simultaneous identification of peanut skin adulteration in grape seed. Concerns were recently raised regarding the composition of commercial grape seed supplements after a joint study revealed the rampant adulteration in grape seed extracts (Food Chemistry. 2015 March; 170: 217-280). The study used a TLC method to analyze 21 commercially available grape seed extract supplements (purchased from a variety of suppliers) through fingerprint comparison to standard extract of grape seed and peanut skin. Few samples contained the active ingredients at an amount level comparable to the authentic grape seed extract standard—nine out of 21 samples were considered to be adulterated by peanut skin extract.

Apart from the HPTLC method, the companies joined Zhejiang University to develop a HPLC method for detection of grape seed extract adulteration. The peak of A-type PACs from peanut skin, which are barely found in grape seed, can act as a feature peak for the adulteration identification. If the standard of A-type PACs could be available, that will be the easiest way for the industry to conduct the adulteration identification work. Skyherb expects to introduce the rapid identification method to the industry within the first quarter of 2015.

Another partnership between Food Funktions and Kyowa Hakko has allowed the companies to introduce the new Intox-Detox™ dietary supplement, which combines Japanese raisin extract with Kyowa Hakko’s Setria® Glutathione to help reduce the damaging effects of alcohol consumption. Taken before drinking alcohol, Intox-Detox is designed to offset damage to the liver, brain and other organs. Setria Glutathione, a branded form of glutathione, replenished the body’s supply and protects against toxins, such as alcohol.

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