Slovenian rosemary extract firm Vitiva has formed an alliance with UK firm Food Ingredient Technology (FIT) in order to penetrate the growing functional ingredients markets in the UK and Ireland.
Food Ingredient Technology, a supplier of speciality ingredients in the UK, will start marketing Vitivas exclusive rosemary extracts line to the food and dietary supplements markets.
"Our new partner FIT is an expert in the British and Irish food markets and in particular in the processed meat and poultry industries," said Vitiva CEO Ohad Cohen.
"We decided to choose FIT thanks to its complementary product line and its extensive infrastructure of technical support."
The market for rosemary extracts is already healthy. Suspicion over chemical-derived synthetic preservatives has pushed food makers to source natural preservatives such as rosemary extract instead, and market analysts Global Information pitch the global food preservative market at 422.7 billion, reaching 522 billion by 2008.
Food Ingredient Technology says that it has a wide distribution network through the UK and Ireland.
"The new alliance is very beneficial for us," said FIT CEO David Gray. "Vitiva recently developed an odourless rosemary extracts line called Inolens, which is soluble in oil and possessing excellent properties that can be adjusted to meet customers' specific needs.
"The UK market has greater awareness of the importance of developing healthier foods and this innovative product line can improve the quality of their products and sets new standards in extending shelf life for a wide range of applications."
Although the rosemary extract market is growing, one problem is that the ingredient is still considered to be a flavour and not an antioxidant, even though it is often used as such. Many producers believe that this should be changed to reflect current market practices. Some authorities such as the French have recognised this fact, though European legislation has been slow to catch up.
Nonetheless, the alliance could help strengthen Vitivas position in the European natural rosemary antioxidant sector. The firm recently launched Aquarox, an extract highly soluble in water with antioxidative properties.