Resveratrol, the antioxidant found in peanuts, mulberries, and red wine, isn’t going anywhere soon, according to one company specializing in the ingredient. Since resveratrol enjoyed an astronomical rise to stardom in the 1990s when research began to mount about its purported antioxidant and antiaging benefits, its popularity has waxed and waned and waxed again. Angela Tsetsis, senior vice president, health and wellness, Evolva (Reinach, Switzerland), told Nutritional Outlook at this year’s SupplySide West show that while any trendy ingredient “ebbs and flows in popularity,” resveratrol is backed by over 10,000 published research papers and 200 human clinical trials—not to mention headline-grabbing associations with red wine—that will continue to attract attention long-term. With its newly branded Veri-te ingredient, fermentation specialist Evolva is taking advantage of existing consumer awareness and shining the spotlight on why Veri-te is unlike other resveratrol ingredients on the market.
“As soon as you say, ‘It’s the healthy stuff in red wine,’ people remember [what resveratrol is],” said Tstesis. “But you only get a few milligrams [of resveratrol] per glass in even the heartiest wines, so you may need to supplement with something.” And, while consumers are aware that resveratrol is good for them, they may not know exactly why. To that end, Evolva is focusing on raising both customer and consumer awareness about the myriad benefits of resveratrol—and particularly Veri-te—through social media and a forthcoming series of white papers, the first of which will focus on cognition.
But Veri-te isn’t just any resveratrol ingredient. “We have a different way of making it, coming from yeast in a fermentation process,” Tsetsis explained. “This leads to a very pure product, not influenced by the environment. So, no pollutants…or other toxins you might find from plant extracts.” Another benefit of the fermentation process, Tsetsis said, is that it’s consistent from batch to batch. “From a supply-chain issue there’s no question about what you’re getting,” she said. “And it is pure. We have Novel Food approval in Europe and [are self-affirmed Generally Recognized as Safe] here in the U.S. It’s a good, clean product.”
While resveratrol has traditionally been promoted for its antiaging benefits, Tsetsis told Nutritional Outlook that recent research has indicated potential benefits for joint- and cognitive-health as well. In addition, she said, two studies, completed in the past couple of years found that Veri-te resveratrol may have a positive effect on bone density in men with metabolic syndrome. “And there’s been more work on cognition,” she added. “We believe [resveratrol’s cognitive-health benefits are] attributed to improvement in blood flow to the brain. As we age, that can decline for a variety of reasons. I think that’s a really interesting area of research.”
Another promising market for resveratrol, she said, is beauty—both from within and in topical applications. She said that Evolva is currently developing a resveratrol beauty supplement with a company in Europe, where the beauty-from-within concept is more established. Evolva’s partnership with Swedish wellness firm Nutrinovate recently resulted in a unique, film strip resveratrol delivery system. The film strip is placed on the inside of the cheek, through which the resveratrol enters the bloodstream. The beauty category is just one of many in which resveratrol can shine, Tsetsis said, but it’s an area “that could use some more product development,” especially in the U.S where consumers may be less aware of the ingredient and its many benefits.