Natac Solutions to usher in new wave of functional ingredients: ‘We know where the white space is’

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

©GettyImages / Zvonimir Luketina / EyeEm
©GettyImages / Zvonimir Luketina / EyeEm

Related tags: Functional food market

Natac Solutions, a recent 50-50 joint venture between Radient Technologies Inc. (RTI) and Grupo Natac S.L., will help CPG companies rethink and enhance their functional products with its range of plant-based extracts claimed to preserve the holistic plant nutritional profile.

Natac’s approach to ingredient development, which preserves all the phytochemical compounds in what it refers to as the ‘full plant profile’, will be combined with Radient Technologies’ patented microwave-assisted processing (MAP) technology that reduces the extraction time and energy while producing high-yield, nutrient-dense plant extracts.

“By combining our technology, we’ll be able to create even more of these full plant profiles,”​ Natac Solutions managing director David LaFond, PhD, MBA, told FoodNavigator-USA.

“The benefit of RTI’s technology is it enables a more efficient extraction and we can do it much faster than traditional techniques. We reduce it down to minutes.”

What is a full plant profile?

What makes Natac Solutions extracts different than conventional extracts? The company explained that it is able to mirror the exact nutritional proportions of the plant as they are found in nature but in a highly concentrated powder format rather than extracting just one component of the plant.

“This [conventional extraction] is something that industry has been doing for a while, but it’s been just focusing on just one active ingredient,”​ Noela Gonzalez, Natac Solutions Americas sales director, told FoodNavigator-USA.   

NatacSolutions_1

“But if you think about it, all those components together in certain proportion, offer more value than when it’s just isolated.”

Gonzalez explained that for its olive extracts, Natac extracts the full nutraceutical plant profile, including both the lipophilic compounds and hydrophilic compounds in nutrient-dense and low-dose format. 

NatacSolutions_fullplantprofile

Gonzalez added that extracting the full plant nutritional profile can result in increased bioavailability and efficacy of that ingredient comparing it to taking vitamin D and calcium together to get the nutrient's full health benefit. 

 “Essentially it means we’re able to take all the benefits out of the plant. We’re taking all the components that that plant can give us,”​ added LaFond, PhD, MBA.

Working with the CPG industry

Demand for functional food and beverage products has been sky high with the functional food ingredients market forecasted to reach $2.5bn in sales by 2020, according Markets&Markets.

“Everything we’ll be doing as a joint venture, will be consumer designed focused. We know where the white space is and will start driving new ingredients,”​ LaFond said.

Natac Solution's most popular 38 extract ingredients include olive, fennel, artichoke, soy, milk thistle, grape, saffron, valerian, and green coffee, among others.

According to LaFond, the company has spotted key growth opportunities in the energy and performance category where it believes it can help CPG brands develop next-level functional products in the categories of snacks, bars, and beverages.

Energy... beyond drinks

“We know energy is a key category for many CPG companies because it is an interest area for many consumers. Our next generation of ingredients will be for things like weight management, performance energy, and sleep and relaxation,”​ LaFond shared.

“I think we’re going to open the category for energy. Energy drinks are what most people think about, but we can see this going in lots of different directions.”

Natac Solutions is looking to work with CPG companies to add value to the functional ingredients already being used while also helping other food and beverage brands enter the functional food and beverage space.

“By implementing our disruptive, groundbreaking technology with Natac’s products, we believe that Natac Solutions will be able to provide the market place with innovative ingredients backed by strong science,”​ said Denis Taschuk, RTI CEO. “That’s a win-win for us and for brands looking to incorporate botanical ingredients in their products.”

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