Dr Shiva Prasad, head of the new R&D division and manager for research and technical affairs at Olive Lifesciences, said that the centre will develop ingredients for India’s domestic market but will have a stronger focus on addressing international market requirements.
The centre is fully-equipped with several laboratories and equipment necessary for herbal nutraceutical research, he said, and will enable the team to identify active constituents in herbal extracts to develop innovative ingredients, with a focus on ensuring high bioavailability.
The team at the R&D centre has commenced a project in developing water soluble grades of curcumin extract for use in food and beverage formulations, Prasad told FoodNavigator-Asia.
A herbal twist
He said the company is targeting major health segments, including weight management, women’s health, metabolic syndrome, blood sugar management, rejuvenation, smokers’ health and sports nutrition.
Work will involve bioassay-based screening and safety and efficacy testing in-vivo and clinical trials, Prasad added.
Olive Lifesciences is engaged in the entire manufacturing process for botanical extracts used for nutraceutical formulations, dietary supplements and food products from plant cultivation to processing and extraction.
The new R&D centre will work closely with Universities and private institutions on biological assessment of safety and efficacy of its products and conducting clinical trials.
Its international reach is strongest in Japan where the company is represented by a global sourcing company, Bio Actives Japan Corporation, and up until now most of its products are tested by independent laboratories in Japan.
The company’s lead product is coleus, a native Southeast Asian plant, marketed for use in pain management. However, the extract is currently under a weight management clinical trial.
Coleus is one of the plants cultivated under Olive Lifesciences contract farming program, to ensure high-quality raw materials and secure work for local farmers in the South of India.