After more than a decade of some negative attention, Applied Food Sciences, Inc. (AFS), along with other industry experts, have set out to set the record straight about the safety and efficacy of Kava, an ingredient well known for it’s anti-anxiety benefits.
The KAVOA kava extract is AFS’s newest offering, and comes after the company took part in the American Botanical Council’s (ABC) ‘Adopt-an-herb’ program. The company now aims to tackle safety concerns that have surrounded the herb in the past.
Despite the previous criticism of the herb, the use of kava in mental health and anxiety products is certainly on the rise.
According to Innova Market Insights data, launches of kava mental health supplements are already 17% higher in the first 9 months of 2016, compared to the whole of 2015. For insomnia related launches, it is up an impressive 28% over that period.
AFS believes that the use of the kava herb will appeal to Americans who are overworked, over-stimulated, and under rested, adding that consumers are seeking effective and natural remedies.
With its adoption of kava, AFS is the newest contributor to the ABC’s Adopt-an-Herb Program.
An Aba spokesperson said, “ABC is deeply grateful to Applied Food Sciences for its adoption of kava on the HerbMedPro database, which will allow ABC to stay current with emerging research on kava’s benefits and new information that helps to clarify prior concerns about its relative safety.”
“Kava [kava-kava or piper methysticum] is an herb with a long ethnobotanical history in Polynesia, and it produces clinically-documented anti-anxiety benefits,” said Mark Blumenthal, American Botanical Council’s (ABC) founder and executive director.
Over the last two years Applied Food Sciences has taken a deeper dive into kava by analyzing prior published criticisms about the use of this herb.
By creating relationships with local South Pacific Island kava growers and evaluating methods for growing, harvesting, processing and analyzing kava, AFS has identified the main reasons for safety concerns with kava as:
- Use of Non-Noble or incorrect chemotype cultivars(s).
- Unstandardized harvesting practices (yielding byproduct contamination to the kava before processing).
- Use of the incorrect parts of the plant, namely the peelings and stems (instead of the root and rhizome).
- Inadequate methods of manufacturing for producing standardized extracts (low quality, unstandardized extracts).
- Lack of scientifically validated methods for measurement of actives (kavalactones and chalcones).
“Working together with farmers, researchers, and agronomists we wanted to promptly address these concerns in collaboratively creating best practices to develop a better standard in kava,” says Chris Fields, VP Scientific Affairs for AFS.
“From the farm level, to processing and extraction, we have implemented a six-point plan for the commercialization and sustainability of our kava supply to the nutrition market. “
“The plan encompasses aspects from all five elements outlined as potential areas of concern over the safety and use of kava.”
In collaboration with the University of South Pacific, Douglas Labs (Fiji), Alkemist Labs (USA) and Chromadex (USA), AFS also developed a validated method for formulators to use in the determination of the major kavalactones while also determining the negative chalcones associated with use of plant stems, peeling and arterial parts of the plant.
The company hopes that by optimizing the beneficial lactones and reducing or eliminating the negative ones, AFS has created a new safer extract, KAVOA kava extract, that formulation experts can confidently use in products moving forward.
“We also acknowledge AFS’ commitment to a robust supply chain program that helps to ensure the sustainable harvest of the appropriate variety of kava for use in consumer products,” ABC’s Founder Mark Blumenthal added.
ASF will debut it’s KAVOA kava extract during the SupplySide West Expo this week, October 4-8.
Original Article can be found at: http://www.nutritioninsight.com/news/Applied-Food-Sciences-Reveal-New-Kava-Product.html?type=article