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Kiwifruit Extract Provides Natural Relief

From the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology

NATURAL RELIEF

A natural relief for constipation - with an estimated world market of more than $100 million - has been developed by Auckland company Vital Foods Ltd.

The product is based on an enzyme found in kiwifruit, and is marketed under the brand name Zylax. The company believes the market for the product could exceed $100 million annually, with the potential for 500 new jobs.

"Assuming five jobs for every additional $1 million of turnover, international success for Zylax could create 500 new jobs, as well as improve returns for kiwifruit growers," company director Bruce Donaldson says. Mr Donaldson says dieticians and nutritionists have long seen kiwifruit as having constipation-relieving properties. In a research project supported by Technology New Zealand - which helps businesses develop new products, processes or services - Vital Foods has found a way to isolate and extract the enzyme, and manufacture it in a capsule. The product recently went on sale in New Zealand, and Mr Donaldson says export sales could follow "once it's been proven in New Zealand". He says that initially his company developed a kiwifruit juice that hospitals used to aid digestion and prevent constipation. It was found to be particularly effective for patients being treated for cancer, also for spinal, burns and geriatric patients, and for pregnant women. The juice, called Kiwi Crush, won the National Heart Foundation Award in 1992. However, he says demand for a more convenient product has led to research into how the enzyme - actinidin - could be extracted from fresh kiwifruit and put into a more marketable form. "The result is Zylax," Mr Donaldson says. "We have isolated the essential ingredients common to both fresh kiwifruit and Kiwi Crush, that relieve some, if not all, of the symptoms of digestive dysfunction, including indigestion, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. "Zylax is the vital essence of the kiwifruit - undamaged, unadulterated and completely natural." Mr Donaldson says normal digestion can be disrupted by many events, including trauma, illness, lack of exercise, pregnancy, smoking, drugs and chemotherapy. These factors can block the production or release of enzymes essential for normal digestion. "Zylax introduces the actinidin enzyme into the digestive system, where it helps to prepare, activate and accelerate natural digestive reactions," he says. "In doing this, it helps re-establish the body's own biological balance, which ensures proper functioning digestion and eliminates the symptoms of indigestion." -ends- Caption -

Contact: * Bruce Donaldson, Vital Foods Ltd, Auckland. Ph: (09) 275-5073. Email: vital@iconz.co.nz Web: www.vitalfoods.co.nz * Nigel Metge, Technology New Zealand at the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (Auckland Office), (09) 912-6730, or 021 454-095. Website: www.technz.co.nz

Prepared on behalf of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology by ID Communications. Contact: Ian Carson (04) 477-2525, ian@idcomm.co.nz


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