Marinova wins fucoidan extract organic certification

By Simon Pitman and Alex McNally

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Organic farming

Marinova has been handed an organic certificate for its fucoidan
seaweed extract, which the company says makes it the only certified
extract of its kind on the market.

The certificate was possible due to the unique extraction process Marinova has used. The Australian firm said it is the only company to have developed a coldwater, ethanol-free process to extract fucoidans, which unlike ethanol based extraction does not degrade the product. The process, which was trademarked in summer, will come as a big boost to the firm, as it can use the certificate to increase the extract's international appeal. All fucoidan extracts manufactured by Marinova will now be accompanied by an Australian Organic Produce Certificate (OPC). Fucoidans are naturally occurring components of certain edible seaweeds and echinoderms and can be classified as sulphated polysaccharides. They are large sugar polymers made up primarily of the sugar fucose. They are also a macroalgal species, which has been studied over the past 20 years for it role in protecting and promoting healthy skin in cosmetic applications, as well as use as selection-inhibitors, antivirals, growth factor inhibitors and receptor blockers. "While ethanol extraction degrades fucoidan, the Maritech process ensures the resultant extracts are nature equivalent and suitable for all avenues of research and product development,"​ said business development director Nick Falk. n August 2006, the company opened a new production $7.3m facility that can process more than 10 different types of harvested fucoidan. The advantage of the Maritech process is the ability to control the chemical properties of fucoidan, and ensure the extracted molecules retain their natural bioactivity. In September 2004 the company partnered with Novost (a chemical company in which it currently has a major shareholding and which it plans to incorporate as a fully-owned subsidiary) on the fractionation of the fucoidan molecules. This means that it can deliver different fractions for specific nutritional, nutraceutical and cosmetic applications, giving clients the scope to select the specific fucoidan subtype to meet their needs. The molecular weight can be carefully controlled, resulting in fucoidan extracts with specific suitability for different functional and health applications, the company said. Based in Hobart, Tasmania, the Maritech specialises in the medical applications of marine plants before broadening its scope recently into supplying nutraceutical ingredients.

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