Best of 2012 Ingredient Supplier: Decas Botanical Synergies

December 7, 2012

The cranberry expert is unlocking a new ingredient market category: metabolic syndrome.

As a market leader in cranberry ingredients, Decas Botanical Synergies (DBS) is again driving research and development. This time, the firm is staking a claim to a new market for cranberry-based products. Early this year, the company announced it was granted its tenth cranberry-based U.S. patent (#8,173,178), called “Compositions and methods for controlled metabolic syndrome using whole fruit–derived cranberry ingredient profile enriched in stress adopted bioactives (SABs).” The patent allows the company to investigate the role of cranberries in managing metabolic syndrome.

As obesity rates skyrocket in Western cultures, metabolic syndrome has quick become a growing global health concern, indicating a person’s higher risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes due to overweight. 

The long road to the DBS patent began years ago, when the R&D team at DBS first partnered with Dr. Ronald Prior of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service to develop a cranberry-based ingredient with potential metabolic syndrome applications. “Our team identified the active compounds in cranberry, which had to be done specifically for the metabolic syndrome market,” explains Dan Souza, senior director of sales and marketing. “We concentrated, analyzed, and finally standardized a formulation specifically for the metabolic syndrome market, while also developing a production process. This helped us to define the actives, along with the recommended dose.”

Next, the team at DBS designed and conducted a wide range of studies, which included in vitromodels, to show that the ingredient has a positive effect on metabolic syndrome parameters. “Studies showed cranberry’s insulin-potentiating capabilities, as well as enzyme inhibition, which could help regulate blood sugar absorption,” explains Souza.

As the science was established, the team quickly moved to patent the intellectual property, he says. This DBS patent states that its “cranberry ingredient is useful in reducing the blood glucose level of diabetic, prediabetic, or other hyperglycemic individuals, and individuals having one or more metabolic syndrome–related factors.” Specifically, the whole fruit–derived cranberry ingredient is described as “polyphenolic-containing SABs (stress adapted bioactive) within the whole cranberry ingredient profile.”

“We look forward to partnering with leading nutritional supplement and healthcare providers to market new cranberry-based solutions,” Souza says. “Our patent assures our customers and marketing partners that they are working with the leader in cranberry research and technology, and that they can freely market and sell products with our cranberry ingredients in metabolic syndrome–based applications.”

Metabolic syndrome aside, this year DBS also made strides in cranberries’ most popular health area-urinary tract health. Souza says DBS was the first company to receive a product-specific health claim for this benefit. And, in May of this year, DBS partner Medical Brands successfully registered a cranberry-based product as a Class IIa Medical Device. “This registration allows them to make ‘treats and prevents’ claims on their proprietary product, Cranberry Active, in the European Economic Area and 17 harmonized countries,” Souza says.

Looking ahead, the team at DBS plans to target condition-specific markets for cranberry applications. DBS was recently acquired by Naturex, which the company views as a strategic advantage. “We will now have the opportunity to leverage Naturex’s comprehensive sales and marketing network, allowing us to educate the market more quickly on the numerous health benefits of cranberry,” says Souza.

“We are confident that our new patent will help broaden the market for cranberry-based ingredients, and lead to new product launches worldwide,” he concludes.