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
Today, by far the largest use of resveratrol is in dietary supplements. Based on multiple sources, Evolva believes resveratrol sales in dietary supplements have a retail value of around USD 40 – 60 million today but that there is considerable room for expansion as the market is still in its infancy. Over time Evolva believes resveratrol could also be used in food and beverage products, personal care and animal nutrition categories leading to a total addressable market (i.e. the size of the total market in which Evolva’s resveratrol will compete) of USD 400 million.
As compared to other resveratrol sources, Evolva’s product has the benefits of being the only high-purity natural resveratrol, from a traceable and easily scalable supply chain, free of any pesticides, with (over time) the lowest production costs. In addition, Evolva’s product is kosher and halal-certifiable, and has a neutral colour, odour, and taste. This enables the easy formulation and use of this ingredient in a variety of common food and beverage applications. In contrast to synthetic resveratrol, Evolva believes that its resveratrol addresses an increasing consumer demand for high-quality, trustworthy and affordable products that are considered “natural”.
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 ruling in 2013 by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is expected to facilitate the approval process for the product in Japan.
Since acquiring the programme Evolva has made excellent progress in reducing production costs and preparing the product for a commercial re-launch in the second half of 2014. Work on further reducing production costs will continue post-launch. We are in discussion with both distributors and specialty ingredient companies on how to accelerate sales post-launch.