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Scoular to market fish collagen ingredient in U.S.

By Hank Schultz , 24-Oct-2012
Last updated on 24-Oct-2012 at 06:42 GMT

The Scoular Company has announced a partnership with French company Weishardt to market in the United States a propriety marine collagen ingredient called Naticol.

The ingredient has a variety of properties that make it a big player in the beauty from within market, according to Anne Brown, senior market manager of Minnesota-based Scoular’s Food Ingredients Group.

“It’s very clean tasting,” Brown told NutraIngredients-USA. “They have actually had this product on market for a number of years in Japan.  They use it in teas and things like that.”

Has beauty-from-within's time come?

That beauty-from-within message plays well some places in the world, but seems perpetually poised on the cusp in the U.S.  That could be about to change, Brown told NutraIngredients-USA.

“All over Asia (beauty from within) is a very big story.  I think we’re starting to see it in Europe. I’ve definitely seen more launches of products with collagen there.

“I think the U.S. market is much more receptive the whole idea of managing the aging process with these kinds of products.  People are looking to maintain quality of life in every way. We have definitely seen a massive interest in the industry for this product.

“While it has not been so successful, some of these launches in the past, this might be the time. It often is about timing with products and ingredients; it's about when the market and consumer is ready,” she said.

Sustainability story

The Naticol ingredient is derived from the skins and scales of a fish species that is harvested for human consumption.  That’s an important part of the story, Brown said, because it is making use of a waste stream from an existing fishery, making it easier to craft a convincing sustainability story.

“I think it is a very sustainable scenario,” Brown said.

The precise species of fish is part of the ingredient’s IP, Brown said, because the species yields an ingredient that also has some anti-inflammatory properties.

Skin health data

The ingredient was the subject of a 12-week placebo-controlled clinical trial focusing on skin benefits conducted on 40 older Japanese women. The study gathered empirical data in the form of skin hydration and elasticity measurements, and also collected data from a survey of subjects.  The results showed that the Naticol ingredient significantly improved hydration and elasticity, whereas the placebo had no effect. And in the survey, significantly more participants reported believing that Naticol had improved their skin condition.

“One of the things that sets it apart is that it’s Type 1 collagen.  Type 1 is found in all parts of the body, whereas type II is only found in the cartilage,” said Danielle Black of Scoular.

Beyond skin health

But in addition to the skin benefits, Naticol’s amino acid profile and acceptable organoleptic properties could widen the opportunities for the ingredient beyond skin health, including, perhaps, protein shots in a sports nutrition application, Black said.

“(Weishardt) has worked hard to use just the right enzymes so it has the right taste and odor qualities,” she said.

Naticol is a high quality protein, supplying glycine, proline and hydroxyproline in addition to glutamine and arginine, Black said. And based on how much protein it actually delivers, it can compete with the plant proteins on price, too.

“Naticol is 98 percent protein on a dry basis. If you compare that to rice protein, which is often only 50 percent, it’s cost competitive,” she said.

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