A basic pack of antioxidants on the market today targets beverage and dairy companies looking to meet the rising demand for healthy products derived from natural ingredients.
Germany-based Wild said the basic pack of ingredients is derived from various tea extracts and can be used in light beverages and dairy products promoted as having health benefits.
Beverages with natural antioxidants currently on the market are primarily based on ingredients dervied from red fruit, ones that could not be used to enrich yellow or orange coloured drinks.
With a tea-based extract, processors can now expand their natural antioxidant offerings to products based on orange juice or exotic fruit blends.
"The substances subtracted from the tea are secondary plant ingredients belonging to the big group of polyphenols," Matthias Sass, director of research and development, told DairyReporter.com.
The ingredients pack can be added to liquid dairy products such as yoghurts, as well as smoothies, cloudy fruit drinks coloured from yellow to red, or teas, Sass added.
Polyphenols occur naturally in plants as bioactive substances as colours, flavours or tannins, the company said.
They have various health benefits because they act as antioxidants, protecting cells and body chemicals against damage from free oxygen radials in the body.
"The additional dietary intake of antioxidative plant ingredients have for a long time been discussed as a contributer to positive effects on human health," Sass said.
According to Wild, manufacturers who buy the pack can make statements on their labels such as "The polyphenols contained in this product have an antioxidative effect", or "The polyphenols contained in their product have a protective effect on the body".
Antioxidants are currently big business in the global food business, as manufacturers look to add them to a variety of food products ranging from chocolate bars to cured meat.
According to market researchers Frost and Sullivan, antioxidant revenues are predicted to grow from €46m ($55m) in 2004 to €58m ($70m) in 2008.
Companies are also increasingly anxious to ensure that additives are natural, with consumers increasing tending to shun artifical ones. A UK Southampton University report, published in September, suggested that food colourings commonly used in confectionery and beverages, along with sodium benzoate, can aggravate hyperactivity in children.
Wild is a privately owned supplier of natural flavour ingredients for the food and beverage industry, and its product range includes flavour systems, flavours and extracts and fruit and vegetable preparations.
The company also produces colours, concentrates, sweetening systems and speciality ingredients such as functional flavours and flavour keys.