Alleviating China’s pollution anxiety: Anagenix’s lung-boosting ingredient set for beverage launch

The product is based on Plant & Food Research science

New Zealand supplier Anagenix has said the first finished product featuring its lung-enhancing BerriQi ingredient will be launched in China in the next few months.

The boysenberry-based ingredient blend will feature in a beverage aimed at Chinese consumers concerned about the effects of pollution.

Anagenix CEO Chris Johnson said the packaging would carry a clear "containing BerriQi" message.

The product is based on Plant & Food Research science that suggests boysenberry consumption can manage lung inflammation. 

Last year we reported how a study from the organisation — the New Zealand Crown Research Institute — detailed that regular boysenberry consumption may improve lung function by reducing symptoms associated with inflammation of the airways.

The research on mice examined two key agents associated with regulating lung inflammation: arginase, which is closely linked with decreased inflammation in asthma, and matrix metalloproteinase-9, which is associated with improved tissue remodelling. 

Protect airways

“We’ve seen some really exciting results from this recent study,” said Plant & Food Research Science group leader, Roger Hurst. “Our results suggest that boysenberry consumption may help protect the lungs and associated airways from the chronic build-up of damaged and scar tissue.”

Speaking to us at the Hi China show in Shanghai, Johnson said China was the first target market for the ingredient, but added it was equally applicable to other nations in Asia that experience pollution problems.

“We take a market-centric view with all of our products,” he said. “First of all, we identify the problem or the need, then we find the solution. And it is very clear to us that a lot of people in China are concerned about the effects of pollution.”

Johnson said it also aligned with the Wellington-based company's core objectives, which are to base ingredients on "New Zealand raw materials, that are grounded in rigorous science and provide differentiation from the rest of the market".

“We don’t want to follow everyone else,” he said. “We see ourselves more as an innovation company that tries to bring sharp commercial insight to sound science.”

To that end, the firm recently announced a formal venture with Plant & Food Research, which will see products based on New Zealand science fast-tracked to the international market.

Diabetes focus

Acording to the institution’s group commercial manager David Hughes, this will see Plant & Food Research provide "Anagenix with a product concept, based on fundamental science, that can be introduced to the market and adapted based on consumer feedback and additional research findings. Over time, the company is able to co-fund further research and build a portfolio of scientific evidence that supports health marketing of the product".

Johnson said in addition to pollution, the company has identified digestive health and diabetes / weight management as the bedrock of its Asia growth strategy.

“We are already doing very well in the US and we have some good business in Europe, but now, Asia needs to be our focus,” he said.

In the digestive health space, Anagenix has a prebiotic product, Livaux, and is preparing to launch a new product targeted at the diabetes and weight management category.

Johnson refused to be drawn into the details at this stage, but revealed "a clinical trial has showed it lowered blood glucose in type 2 diabetics significantly, and benefited weight management”.

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