Grape extract process taps the health drinks sector

Related tags Solubility

A patented grape seed extraction process shows how mainstream
beverage makers can increasingly take advantage of the growing
niche market for health drinks, writes Anthony Fletcher.

The company behind the process, Canandaigua Wine, claims that the new process gives the company's MegaNatural Gold Grape Seed Extract a much lower average molecular weight than any other grape seed extract on the market, a product that is claimed to offer consumers heart-healthy benefits.

The lower molecular weight makes MegaNatural easier for the body to absorb, improving its bioactivity and its ability to prevent LDL oxidation. It also makes MegaNatural Gold extremely water soluble, an ideal quality for the beverage industry.

Such ingredients are increasingly used to differentiate products within an increasingly competitive environment. And while other beverage sectors have reached saturation point, the global consumption of health and energy drinks continues to increase.

Indeed, the trend in health awareness has contributed to a recent slowdown in carbonates sales and focused consumer attention on emerging new sectors. This means that growth opportunities are most likely to be found in alternatives to carbonates that are perceived as healthy.

This assertion is borne out in the growth in consumption of health and energy drinks in North America, which stood at 2.6 billion liters in 2000 and topped 3.3 billion liters in 2003, according to market reseracher Canadean. Over 82 per cent of health and energy drinks are currently consumed in Asia and North America.

Canandaigua Wine's patented process taps into this trend. It isolates and concentrates the bioactive phenolic and flavonoid substances in the rubired and white varietal grape seeds used in the process. This powdered extract contains phenols at a concentration several times that found in commercial concord grape juice.

"We are extremely pleased with this innovation since this process allows us to use an aqueous extraction of procyanidins from grape materials without the use of organic solvents used by other processors,"​ said Anil Shrikhande president of Canandaigua Wine's Polyphenolics​ division.

Canandaigua's Polyphenolics division already markets a flavored water that contains grape seed extract and a 30 percent juice pink grapefruit juice cocktail that also contains grape seed extract. The flavored water is colored with the firm's new NutraRed color and the 30% juice beverage is colored with natural Carmine Substitute.

"We are very excited about this new patented process,"​ said Ron Martin, Vice President of Sales. "This puts us in the unique position of being able to provide our customers with a consistent, high quality product that yields better cardiovascular protection per gram than other similar products on the market."

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