Press Release: December 21, 2009
The European Commission (EC) has confirmed that Fruitflow, a breakthrough natural ingredient really does contribute to healthy blood flow around the body. It has authorised the new health claim, the first to be approved under Article 13(5), that Fruitflow, the water-soluble tomato concentrate, helps maintain normal platelet aggregation, which contributes to healthy blood flow. The Company understands that flexibility will be allowed in the use of the claim wording in consumer communication and as such will enable contributes to healthy blood flow to be highlighted as the key consumer message.
The announcement follows a review of clinical trials submitted to the EC by Provexis, market leaders in the discovery, development and licensing of functional food, medical food and dietary supplements, and the owners of the world-wide marketing rights to Fruitflow.
The landmark decision from the EC follows the approval of Fruitflow by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in May 2009, following a review by its scientific panel. The EC has determined that all claims about the benefits of food should be backed up by hard science.
Stephen Moon, CEO of Provexis commented on the ECs landmark decision:
We are delighted with the Commissions decision which affirms Fruitflow as a scientifically and commercially credible product. The conclusion of this process marks the first adoption of a nutrition and health claim under Article 13(5) in Europe. This is a significant landmark, not only for our own company and the development of Fruitflow, but for British food technology and the industry as a whole.
Consumers who are worried about their cardiovascular health can now take Fruitflow, confident that its benefits are scientifically proven and that its claims have been rigorously tested and approved by the EC.
Fruitflow was discovered in 1999 by Professor Asim Dutta-Roy at the Rowett Institute in Aberdeen during research into the healthy nature of the Mediterranean diet. Fruitflow is a totally natural ingredient derived from the gel around tomato seeds. It has been scientifically proven in several clinical trials to help maintain a healthy blood circulation by preventing the clumping of blood platelets which can lead to blood clots.
Commenting on the potential of Fruitflow Professor Dutta-Roy said:
Growing numbers of people take a daily dose of aspirin to help reduce their risk of cardiovascular problems. Like aspirin, Fruitflow is designed to inhibit the clumping of blood platelets. However, Fruitflow targets several pathways of platelet aggregation whereas aspirin targets just one specific platelet aggregation pathway.
Aspirin is also not currently recommended for use by the population at large, partly because of its well known side effects including gastric bleeding. In addition, a significant percentage of users show some resistance to its effects. To date, no side effects have been demonstrated during the development of Fruitflow.
Research shows that a smoother blood flow can be seen within 3 hours of taking Fruitflow and the results can last up to 18 hours, making it ideal for daily consumption. Fruitflow is already contained in Sirco, a range of 100% pure fruit juices available from Waitrose, Ocado and selected health food shops, but due to its versatility, it can be consumed in a variety of consumer products. Fruitflow is particularly aimed at healthy adults between the ages of 35 and 70 who commonly display some markers for an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, but who can still improve their health by improving their diet.
The ECs decision means we can ensure Fruitflow is understood by consumers as a product that can help maintain a healthy blood flow around the body and therefore a healthier cardiovascular system. We are already seeing huge interest from food manufacturers across the world and hope to bring the benefits of Fruitflow to millions of people through a variety of consumer products.
For more information about Sirco please contact Justin Clark or Carolanne Bamford on 020 7434 4100
For more information on Fruitflow, please contact the press office at McGrory Communications 0207 359 1269
Notes to editors:
*About the European Commission approval
The European Commissions decision, which was made under Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims, is the final stage of the process to substantiate the claim that Fruitflow, the water-soluble tomato concentrate, helps maintain normal platelet aggregation, which contributes to healthy blood flow. The European Commissions decision was made following the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approval of the claim in May 2009 of Fruitflow. Fruitflow was the first technology to have a health claim approved by the EFSA under Article 13(5) of the Regulation for proprietary and emerging science. Under Article 13(5), Provexis has proprietary rights over the majority of the scientific studies substantiating this claim for a period of five years. This is in addition to the extensive patent coverage in place.
Provexis development of Fruitflow, a water-soluble tomato concentrate, is a breakthrough in anti-thrombotic food technology. In human trials, consumption of the Fruitflow extract has been proven to reduce platelet aggregation in 97% of subjects. The effect takes place within three hours of consumption and lasts for up to eighteen hours, making it ideal for daily dosage in functional foods or dietary supplements. Provexis has developed a syrup format for use in food and beverages, and a concentrated powder format for tablets and capsules.
Fruitflow syrup is GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) by the US FDA and is not regarded as a Novel Food in the EU, clearing it for wide use in foods, beverages and supplements. In May 2009 the Fruitflow technology was the first to be substantiated by the EFSA under the new Article 13(5) for proprietary and emerging science.
The technology has been granted patents in the EU, US, Australia, Canada and Mexico, with Japan pending. Further patents have been filed for the bioactive components of Fruitflow and for other developmental areas such as deep vein thrombosis and triglyceride lowering.
About Provexis plc
AIM-listed Provexis is focused on the discovery, development and licensing of technologies for the functional food, dietary supplement and medical food sectors.
The company was originally spun out of the Rowett Institute (now part of the University of Aberdeen) in 1999 to commercialise their tomato extract discovery using venture capital funding. Provexis Limited was reversed into Nutrinnovator in 2005 and its major investors are DSM Venturing (28.2%) and Rising Stars Growth Fund (part of Enterprise Ventures) (14%).
The company has additional biotechnology developments, including a joint venture with the University of Liverpool to develop an extract of the plantain banana which aids the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, and an early stage technology under option from University of Manchester for the prevention and treatment of peptic ulcers.