Kemin and Valensa partner on algae-sourced beta-glucans for immunity

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29 Sep 2017 --- Kemin Industries and Valensa International have partnered up to jointly supply and market BetaVia ingredients, immune-supporting beta-glucans sourced from a proprietary strain of algae (Euglena gracilis), in the US dietary supplement and functional food and beverage markets. 

Launched on Wednesday at the SupplySide West tradeshow in Las Vegas, the new microalgae ingredients will be marketed under the brand names, BetaVia Complete (whole cell Euglena gracilis) and BetaVia Pure (Paramylon/Linear beta-1,3-glucan). The pro-immunity ingredients are to be offered as stand-alone ingredients and as part of Valensa's proprietary synergistic combinations.

“We are enthusiastic about the launch of our BetaVia ingredients. Kemin's expansion into immune health highlights our continued initiative to become the supplier of choice for science-backed, high-quality dietary ingredients across platforms,” says Anita Norian, President of Kemin Human Nutrition and Health. “Partnering with Valensa, a leader in the microalgae space, will help propel this ingredient forward in the US market.”

The BetaVia product line offers a new, patented standard in immune support using Euglena gracilis microalgae. BetaVia ingredients are naturally-sourced, GMO- and gluten-free for functional applications. 

According to Kemin, both in vitro and animal studies show that algae-sourced BetaVia ingredients can prime key immune cells to strengthen the body's immune defenses.

“Valensa and its affiliate Parry Nutraceuticals are market leaders in microalgae-based supplements with well-established ingredient brands in over 30 countries,” says Umasudhan C.P., CEO of Valensa. “The relationship with Kemin allows us to introduce novel immunity supplement formulations made stronger by BetaVia, to our omnichannel customer base in the US and internationally.”

This partnership creates a two-armed sales approach to the US dietary supplement and functional foods and beverages markets. The Kemin sales team will service the functional food and beverage customers, while Valensa’s sales team will service customers producing dietary supplements.

“We believe in a ‘partner and grow’ model that helps both companies leverage our mutual strengths to quickly penetrate the market and achieve sustainable growth. We take pride in partnering with Kemin, a company which has a strong reputation and credibility in the marketplace, and has shared values to help our customers create differentiated and effective dietary supplements that enhance health,” Umasudhan adds.

Speaking to NutritionInsight about the company’s next R&D goals, Dana Yonker, Project Manager at Kemin, says, “Kemin Human Nutrition and Health is committed to providing science-backed dietary ingredients, and BetaVia is no exception. We have research underway for our two ingredients, BetaVia Complete and BetaVia Pure.”

“Our research and development teams are exploring different product forms and delivery systems for various applications. In addition to beta-glucan, BetaVia Complete is full of other nutritional immune supporting molecules, and we are exploring the added benefits to bring cutting-edge science and claims to our customers,” Yonker adds.

“Kemin Human Nutrition and Health will sell BetaVia globally with our first focus being on the US and China. In the US, Kemin will serve the functional foods and beverage market and Valensa International will serve the dietary supplements market. Outside of the US, Kemin will serve both markets,” Yonker says.

Yonker points out that algae-sourced beta-glucans are “new, exciting and full of benefits” for anyone looking for additional immune health support. Additionally, BetaVia is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) for food and beverage applications. 

“China is a key region internationally because this demographic is familiar with algae-derived ingredients for functional foods and beverages as well as dietary supplements. In the months ahead, we will be evaluating markets in the Canada, EU, APAC, Latin and South Americas,” Yonker concludes.

BetaVia ingredients will enhance Valensa's patent-protected and clinically-supported Immunum dietary supplements, which are available in bulk powder blends. Valensa's patented BetaVia formulations for consumers include: Immunum Pro, containing BetaVia and proprietary spirulina extract for dual-action adaptive and innate immunity; Travel Armor, containing BetaVia with fast-acting antioxidant protection for the frequent traveler; and Immunum Active, which delivers BetaVia with Zanthin Natural Astaxanthin for recovery, stress support and year-round, balanced immune support.

By Lucy Gunn

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