The Florida-based firm behind Emulin - the star ingredient in GNC’s glucose control supplement GC7X - is seeking a big gun in the ingredients supply market to help it engage with the biggest food and beverage brands in the US and Europe.
Developed by ATM Metabolics co-founders Dr Daryl Thompson and Dr Joseph Ahrens, Emulin is a patented blend of plant-sourced chlorogenic acid, myricetin and quercetin they claim could turn the tables in the fight against metabolic syndrome.
An ingredient with the ability to "buffer" or "quelch" the effects of glucose, Emulin does not react directly with carbohydrates in foods. Instead, it reacts with the enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, Thompson told FoodNavigator-USA.
“When added to a carbohydrate-containing foodstuff in an effective amount, the composition enables a diabetic (or non-diabetic) person to consume the foodstuff without experiencing the same glycemic response as that of the foodstuff without the composition added thereto.”
Overwhelmed by interest
While bosses have been able to cope with demand from the nutraceuticals market by working with a health ingredients distributor in California, they have been “overwhelmed” by interest from multinational food and beverage firms in recent weeks, and need to find a larger company able to handle supply, said Thompson.
In addition to food and beverage companies, ATM is also talking to sugar manufacturers about dissolving Emulin in a sucrose solution that can be re-crystalized and sold as ‘diabetic’ sugar.
ATM, which describes itself as an “early stage technology development and commercialization company” had “always envisaged we would build up gradually”, added Thompson.
“But ever since the 60 Minutes show on ‘toxic sugar’ aired in early April, our office has been on fire. We have been overwhelmed by the interest from some huge companies, and we need to work with a partner that is used to dealing with these kinds of firms.”
Everything is on the table
Currently, ATM works with firms in India to secure the components of Emulin (green coffee bean extract as the chlorogenic acid source, bayberry bark extract as the source of myricetin, and sophora japonica flower as the source of quercetin), which are standardized to a specific concentration of the active molecules.
These are then blended in California.
However, discussions with a major ingredients company could explore alternative options for manufacturing as well as distributing, selling and marketing Emulin, he said. “Everything is on the table.
“We are looking for a group that could handle all of the requests that we are getting. They could of course manufacture, package, and represent Emulin to the fullest extent. Our goal is to make sure that it is available and affordable.”
As for regulatory approvals, chlorogenic acid and quercetin are both GRAS, said Thompson, adding: “We are in the process of self-affirming myricetin We should have the GRAS issues worked out within six months.”
Meanwhile, results from a human study on Emulin supplementation for adults with type 2 diabetes and a high BMI will be published in a peer-reviewed journal shortly, he said.
Prediabetes - a ticking time bomb?
According to the American Diabetes Association, prediabetes (elevated fasting blood glucose levels), is estimated to affect 79m Americans, and if unchecked, can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Several industry watchers believe prediabetes could be the next big opportunity in the functional foods and beverages market, although things have moved on since the low-carb, low-GI craze of a few years back.
Speaking to us last summer , Jeff Hilton, co-founder of marketing consultancy IMG, said: “Low-GI was a hot trend for a while, but consumers just didn’t get it. And as for talking about metabolic syndrome [in which insulin resistance is a key component] forget it.
"'Healthy blood sugar’ is a better way to communicate with consumers, although it will still take a lot of education. But I do think there is a huge potential in this market as so many people are pre-diabetic.”
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