Europeans and Chinese unite over liquorice extracts

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Related tags: Cancer

Europeans and Chinese unite over liquorice extracts
Beijing Gingko Group (BGG) has signed an agreement that will see the European branch of Premium Ingredients International (PII) become the exclusive distributor of BGG’s liquorice extracts.

The offerings in the deal include liquorice powders and block; monoammonium glycyrrhizinate, glycyrrhizic acid and 18-beta-glycyrrhetinic acid.

"We are delighted to be able to work with PII who have such a strong reputation in the supply of ingredients into the food and beverage market,”​ said Joseph Chiang, vice president of business development at BGG.

“When you form such a strategic partnership it is vital that you trust the reputation of the company and the sales team to represent your products in a first class fashion, and in PII we have found such a partner. We look forward to growing our business and increasing our market penetration with this co-operation."

Nic Dam, general manager at PII added: "As a trusted distributor it is vital we represent companies who place a strong emphasis on the quality of both finished product and production. With BGG we were delighted to find that their quality, performance, technical development skill and product know-how matches their commercial expertise. We are very excited about extending our product portfolio with their liquorice range.”

Liquorice and bowel cancer

In 2009, scientists at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, sought to use glycyrrhizic acid, the main sweet-tasting component of liquorice, to inhibit the enzyme 11-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11-beta-HSD2) that is thought to play a crucial role in bowel cancer growth.

The potential benefits of liquorice may be related to another enzyme, called cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), which is reported to promote colorectal cancer progression “via the action of the enzyme's inflammatory products, the prostaglandins,"​ wrote Raymond Harris and Ming-Zhi Zhang in the Journal of Clinical Investigation​.

Liquorice has traditionally been used to treat ailments ranging from coughs to constipation.

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