PLT Health Solutions has begun offering its Rhodiolife Rhodiola rosea ingredient in a water-soluble form in North America. This has the potential to dramatically expand the types of consumer products into which it can be formulated, tapping the consumer trend for new and more convenient delivery systems.
The work on developing this new product form was recently completed by PLT innovation partner Nektium Pharma (Las Palmas, Spain). It included a full suite of applications and shelf-life testing in beverages that confirm that water-soluble Rhodiolife will not impact the colour or flavour of formulations and that the active components of the adaptogen remain stable through processing and ultimate consumer use.
According to Devin Stagg, Chief Operating Officer for PLT Health Solutions, the availability of a water-soluble form of Rhodiolife points to the continuing innovation Nektium is putting behind this ingredient.
“Beverage formulation is challenging. Nektium Pharma’s studies with Rhodiolife and beverage formulations show that it meets industry standards for performance in processing and that colour, flavour and the bioactives content are shelf-stable. This means we can now deliver the benefits of Rhodiolife in beverages and other delivery systems,” said Stagg.
“The real innovation of this new water-soluble Rhodiolife is that it allows a premium Rhodiola rosea – containing the rosavins and salidroside found in the actual plant root - to be formulated into challenging beverage systems easily and consistently. This will allow faster and more cost-effective product development and ultimately a better consumer experience,” Stag added.
Studies demonstrate stability and quality retention
Studies conducted by Nektium Pharma used a low pH orange flavored formulation. Over the study period, it was confirmed that the introduction of Rhodiolife did not affect the Brix or pH of the orange beverage. There was no change in either the flavour or colour profile. It was also observed that there was no change in total rosavins content. Previous studies with Rhodiolife have shown that its main bioactives – rosavins and salidroside – are very resistant to thermal degradation both as a powder and in aqueous solutions. In this study, pasteurisation did not have any effect on the physical and sensory properties of the orange beverage.
Setting the standard for Rhodiola quality
The availability of a water-soluble form of Rhodiolife broadens the product types that can take advantage of this premium ingredient. To ensure consistent quality, Nektium’s Quality Assurance team conducts multiple identity tests on every batch of Rhodiolife, including macroscopic and sensorial analysis, the development of chromatographic profiles and independent DNA barcode analysis to ensure the authenticity of the raw material. A gentle extraction process is used to unlock the active ingredients while preserving the natural phytochemical profile of the root. The material is then standardised to provide precise levels of bioactive compounds. The resulting HPLC ‘fingerprint’ of the Rhodiolife extract is consistent from batch to batch and matches with that of the native root.
According to Stagg, it is this fingerprint that signals to the consumer that they are getting a quality product. “Only Rhodiolife’s unique fingerprint composition consistently provides the spectrum of compounds found in the root of the plant that are responsible for its biological activity – including rosavin, rosarin, rosin and salidroside. With Rhodiolife, not only is the percentage of the primary actives the same as the root, but so is the ratio of actives. This is not the case with many other Rhodiola rosea ingredients on the market,” Stagg added.
Deborah Thoma, Marketing Manager of Nektium Pharma discussed the motivation behind and impact of this new Rhodiolife product form. “Successful beverage formulations require very special performance parameters from their ingredients. Our testing has shown we have accomplished this task. We feel that this new form of Rhodiolife can deliver adaptogen benefits into virtually any beverage product – and also into foods that feature the use of aqueous phase production,” Thoma said.
This water-soluble version of Rhodiolife is part of a continuing program of innovation surrounding this ingredient. In September of this year, PLT and Nektium announced that they have begun offering Rhodiolife made from a cultivated source of root materials. The cultivation program was the result of more than a decade of effort focused on achieving a physical and phytochemical profile identical to previously supplied wildcrafted material. Today’s Rhodiolife has been called by industry observers “the most sustainable Rhodiola rosea on the market today.”