Resveratrol is a natural compound produced in grapes and other plants as a response against environmental stress factors. It occurs in red wine, but at low concentrations. Scientific research has shown it to have many protective benefits against several health conditions related to aging. It is often mentioned as an explanation of the “French Paradox”. The “French Paradox” refers to the observation that mortality from coronary heart disease is relatively low in France despite relatively high levels of dietary saturated fat and cigarette smoking, leading to the idea that regular consumption of red wine might provide additional protection from cardiovascular disease.
Evolva’s resveratrol is produced by fermentation in yeast. Compared to plant extracts, this production route has the advantage that there is no risk of contamination with pesticides or heavy metals. It is also possible to create a high purity product.
- Website of Oregon State University
- David Sinclair, Harvard Medical School’s interview published by Science Friday
According to a 2012 Frost & Sullivan report, sales of resveratrol at an ingredient level (for all applications) were c. USD 50 million in 2011, with double digit growth rates expected. Some 90% of sales are generated in the USA. The fastest-growing region is Asia-Pacific. Low purity Japanese Knotweed extracts, primarily from China, dominate the market. One company markets a synthetic product.
Status and Plans
Evolva acquired its resveratrol product from Fluxome Sciences A/S (Denmark) (‘‘Fluxome’’) in November 2012. The Fluxome product has been on the US market since 2010, but primarily due to Fluxome’s high production costs has not generated significant sales. It has Self-Affirmed GRAS (“Generally Recognised As Safe”) status in the United States and obtained Novel Foods authorisation from the European Commission in January 2012 through the notification procedure. A recent ruling by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, classifying Evolva’s resveratrol in the non-drug material group, significantly facilitates the approval process for the product in Japan.
Evolva is working on the optimisation of the existing resveratrol production process. Evolva is also investigating longer-term solutions to significantly reduce the cost of goods. We are currently engaging various specialty ingredient companies to identify a suitable commercial partner to work with us in growing a significant resveratrol business.