Naturex and Milne partner on Concord grape extract research and commercialization

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16 Oct 2017 --- Naturex’s Open Innovation Program Ingenium has led to the signing of a collaboration agreement with Milne Fruit Products, Inc. to jointly fund human clinical research utilizing Milne’s Concord grape aqueous extract. Concord grape (Vitis labrusca) is a North American fruit, whose unique grapes are rich in health-promoting polyphenols. The natural specialty ingredients supplier launched the open innovation program in March 2016 with the aim of advancing technological breakthroughs and accelerating the introduction of new products through external collaborations. 

Traditionally used in food and beverage applications, the Concord grape has lacked a corporate champion focused on the nutritional supplement market with the ability to significantly drive its global health message, Naturex reports.

Naturex and Milne report they intend to lead this initiative and are currently seeking proposals from interested researchers targeting healthy aging and quality of life with an emphasis on cognitive performance, digestive, metabolic, cardiovascular, or immune health.

“There has been some promising research on Concord grape to date, but most of the research is focused on the juice which may vary in its phytochemical composition and is not always convenient for consumers to take on a daily basis. Together with Milne, we intend to advance the clinical research on Concord grape by utilizing an extract which is standardized to high levels of polyphenols and can be taken in a low convenient dose,” says Dr. Emilie Fromentin, Naturex-DBS Director of Research and Development. 

“Milne has spent many years developing Concord grape extracts, and we’re excited to work with Naturex to unlock its untapped potential,” says Michael Sorenson, President and General Manager of Milne.

In April, Naturex announced the acquisition of certain assets from a French company, Dialpha SAS, including patents, trademarks and clinical research on three nutraceutical ingredients targeting human health. These specialized cashew, cinnamon and chicory ingredients are purpose built to assist in controlling blood glucose levels and healthy weight management.

“The program’s biggest success so far has been Naturex’s ability to tap into external resources and technologies. The impact and response were immediate when we announced the program. It is difficult to say which collaboration, in particular, has been most successful since Ingenium is seeking a mix of opportunities that have an impact within three years or greater than three years. The key here is the balance of these,” Doug Klaiber, who leads the implementation of the Ingenium Program worldwide, told NutritionInsight at the time.

“We have been very pleased with the number of quality opportunities that have been presented to us in our first year. At the moment, we have dozens of projects in the pipeline, and we are being presented with new opportunities almost daily. Our current challenge is narrowing in and focusing on the projects that most closely reflect our business and values,” Klaiber said.

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