Seafood is particularly sensitive to oxidative degeneration, and unless it is kept refrigerated it developed an unpleasant taste, smell and colour. It also undergoes microbiological changes, which can have implications for food safety.
Processors have sought to overcome these issues using a variety of techniques as well as refrigeration. These include freezing, and preprepared thermal processing (deep frying then freezing).
But Vitiva CEO Ohad Cohen said consumer demand for fresh seafood that does not contain synthetic preservatives means there is a place in the market for a natural solution like Aquarox 10.
"We have tested Aquarox on prawns sold in vacuum packs and in brine solutions," said Cohen.
"The results show that utilising the new rosemary formulation in concentration of 0.2 per cent on prawns in storage helps in maintaining their original great taste and colour for up to five days, while sustaining excellent microbiological stability."
The ingredient is described as an easy-to-apply water-based solution that is rich in rosmarinic acid.
The Aquarox line was launched in 2005, and Vitiva said at that time it could vary concentrations of rosmarinic acid from five to 70 per cent
Other variants in the Aquarox line have been aimed at supplements and nutraceuticals uses. The antioxidant activity of rosemarinic is said to be stronger than that of vitamin E. This means that it helps to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, which is thought to cause chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Vitiva's other rosemary extract lines are Vivox formulations, which are made up mostly of carnosic acid combined with other polyphenols and have uses including acting as a natural microbial agent for processed chicken and other poultry products; the carnosic acid and antioxidant-based Inolens 4 range; and Ursole, primarily for cosmetic uses.
In September Vitiva announced the addition of new production lines to its natural extracts facility, giving it 70 per cent more capacity to help meet demand.
It also said it is considering acquiring another company so it can support demand with a second facility.
Whilst Aqurox, Vivix, Inolens and Ursole are its main growth promoters, it is also eyeing opportunities in other extracts, such as high-purity lutein.
Vitiva entered the lutein market this year with the launch of encapsulated VitaLutS, which is said to allow for smaller, more manageable, forms than previous industry standards.