Dietary supplements support a well-balanced diet and lifestyle. Anoxymer GmbH develops health-enhancing plant extracts that contribute to healthy nutrition. With its expertise in using raw materials from South America for the development of botanical extracts and the distribution of its products in Asia, the company is a competent partner in the “Bioactive Plant Foods” network.
Esslingen-based Anoxymer GmbH develops and markets bioactive products from plants. The company is particularly focused on botanical extracts for use in dietary supplements, functional food/drinks and cosmetics. “Our business concept has changed considerably over the last few years,” said Wolfgang Neldner, Managing Director of Anoxymer GmbH. This is because the company has increased its presence on the Asian market, largely as a result of the EU regulations related to the nutrition and health claims made on foods, which are still unclear. The EU Nutrition & Health Claims Regulation came into force in 2007 with the aim of protecting customers by prohibiting any information that is false or misleading. “However, it is still not entirely clear what kind of nutrition and health claims can be made and how this information is to be displayed on food labels. This is why we have concentrated instead on the optimization of nutrients in food and dietary supplements,” said Neldner.
Anoxymer GmbH now makes a considerable percentage of its revenues on the Asian market. “Although some Asian countries have set higher requirements than the EU, we have been able to comply with them,” said Neldner. Anoxymer continues to be active on the European market and licenses some of its products to other companies for application in the food sector. The licensees sell the products in compliance with European regulations.
The company’s plant extracts are very popular ingredients for drinks. Planox® L, for example, is a plant extract made from lemon verbena. It has an antioxidative effect and promotes the regeneration capacities and performance of athletes and the elderly (Best Agers). The product is mainly sold in Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan. Another example is Planox® Resveratrol epsilon, a grapevine shoot extract that can be used as a cosmetic as well as a food ingredient, e.g. in the field of anti-ageing and endurance. In addition to selling proprietary developments in Asia, Anoxymer also sells products of European partners, for example sun flower lecithin and collagen hydrolysates. “By adapting the extracts to Asian tastes, we are making our extracts fit for the Asian market,” said Neldner. Anoxymer’s scientists are also investigating whether the extracts of its partner companies meet the various legal requirements in Asia and which health claims can be made.
Another of Anoxymer GmbH’s major priorities is three pseudo-grains – quinoa, chia and amaranth. “We are specialists in raw materials from South America,” said Wolfgang Neldner. In addition to cultivating lemon verbena, the company has in the meantime also succeeded in implementing the cultivation of chia and physalis. ”This is very important for our customers. We need to be able to provide accurate information on the entire process including where and how the plants are grown, as well as where and how the final product is produced. We also have to ensure the traceability of our products,” said Neldner. Anoxymer GmbH carries out analyses to establish that raw materials are not polluted with pesticides. Raw materials are only produced in bio-quality. “Our scientists have the important task of demonstrating that all our products conform with these high standards,” said Neldner.
Chia, an old crop variety from Mexico, was once an important food plant used by the Aztecs. In Germany, Anoxymer works with many different industrial sectors, including the bakery industry which uses chia seeds for the production of bakery goods. Chia seeds are healthy. AcanChia®, the black organically grown chia seeds marketed by Anoxymer, contain particularly high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia also contains optimal ratios of omega-3 and omega-6 for human use and is rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Given Anoxymer GmbH’s extensive expertise in plant extracts, it comes as no surprise that the company is now a partner in the Bioactive Plant Foods network, a cluster that brings together companies and universities from Baden-Württemberg and Switzerland. The network was established in 2010 on the initiative of Hartmut Welck from Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum. The network is currently specifically focused on the production and promotion of amaranth. As a specialist in the production and sale of standardised plant extracts, Anoxymer envisages the possibility of being able to place interesting high-quality amaranth extracts with defined nutrition profiles on the Asian market as well as on the European market in cooperation with other partners from the “Bioactive Plant Foods” network. As part of the network, Anoxymer GmbH is tasked with the international marketing of products produced by the network partners. “In cooperation with other competent partners we can achieve our objectives much more quickly than any one company on its own,” said Neldner going on to explain that his company is already in contact with amaranth farmers in Peru. The cultivation of amaranth has already received organic certification and will also be carried out under Fairtrade conditions in the future. The Fairtrade programme is a strategy aimed at poverty alleviation and sustainable development; it supports local farmers who have been economically disadvantaged and is also an incentive for the farmers to produce high-quality foods that meet the network’s requirements on the value-determining ingredients. With the amaranth cultivation areas it currently has in Peru, the network would be able to provide Baden-Württemberg SMEs with sufficient quantities of high-quality material for the production of extracts and finished products as well as providing an impetus for future innovation and development.