IFF’s olive leaf extract now non-GMO Project Verified

2 Feb 2021

IFF has received Non-GMO Project Verified certification for its Benolea® (EFLA® 943), an olive leaf extract, clinically shown to support cardiovascular health. In addition, the company recently received recognition by the Council of Ecological Agriculture of the Region of Murcia (CAIRM) for an organic grade of Benolea available to its customers.

These new certifications endorse the ingredient as a trusted and transparently sourced all-natural product. The olive leaves used for IFF’s unique formulation are nurtured and harvested in Spain as a side stream of the olive oil industry. The extract is processed locally, at the company’s Murcia facility, to reduce the environmental footprint.

IFF’s olive leaf extract now non-GMO Project Verified

IFF’s team of experts work closely with the olive growers, ensuring pure, clean, high quality olive leaf extract, with a healthy amount of powerful polyphenol antioxidants. They test it through every step of production, from raw materials, over intermediates, to the final products giving them full control of the supply chain from farm to fork.

“We have focused significant R&D activities on researching the cardioprotective mechanisms of the botanical ingredient and optimizing the formula to promote cardiovascular support at the highest purity, quality, and sustainability standards,” says Laetitia Petrussa, PhD, Product Manager for IFF Health unit.

The traditional use of olive extracts, including bark and fruits, goes back to the biblical era. In ancient Greece, it was valued as a remedy with multifunctional properties, including purported abilities to alleviate high blood pressure, prevent cardiovascular disease, relieve gout and fever, and to promote the body’s natural elimination functions. Recent empirical evidence has substantiated some of these traditionally ascribed benefits. Today, olives and olive oil play a central role in the Mediterranean Diet which has been universally recognized as a leading nutritional heart protector.

Benolea olive extract is standardized to a potent concentration of polyphenols (30%), with 16-24% oleuropein — the most prevalent phenolic component of olives and extolled as a strong antioxidant that actively contributes to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative stress. The ingredient undergoes IFF Health’s proprietary EFLA HyperPure technology to guarantee the absence of contaminants as well ensure a consistently concentrated and stable source of polyphenols.

Benolea’s heart-protective potential has been confirmed by a range of studies in animal models and three human clinical studies. In one trial involving 20 monozygotic adult twin volunteers, Benolea intake was associated with dose-dependent decreases in blood pressure. This study also showed a significant reduction of LDL-cholesterol and demonstrated positive effects on blood lipid profiles.

A secondary metabolite of oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, is responsible for the potent antioxidant potential of olive leaves, and carries an impressive Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) value that surpasses other acclaimed natural antioxidants on the market, such as coenzyme Q10 and green tea. One daily 500mg dose of Benolea contains the equivalent of 20 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil-sourced polyphenols.

“Our dedicated team of expert formulators worked intensively to achieve an ideal combination of olive leaf bioactives and maximize their full potential,” enthuses Petrussa. “Our studies have demonstrated Benolea’s ability to exert coronary and vascular protection.”

The Non-GMO Project Verified seal gives consumers the assurance that a product has completed a comprehensive third-party verification for compliance, ensuring the claim is unbiased, rigorous, and transparent. Benolea is fully water-soluble and can be integrated into multiple applications, such as softgels, powders, and capsules. It also is certified kosher and halal.

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