KEY INTERVIEW: Polyphenolics Grape Pioneer Honored for Contributions to Nutrition Industry

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26 Sep 2016 --- Retired president of Polyphenolics Dr. Anil Shrikhande has been awarded for his significant contributions to the nutraceutical industry and recognized for his outstanding grape innovations. General Nutrition Corporation (GNC), a leading global specialty health, wellness and performance retailer, recently honored the pioneer who caught up with NutritionInsight to look back on his career.

Dr. Shrikhande’s breakthroughs are evidenced by the eight patents he holds on wine, grape juice concentrate and , and his 25 research publications. But he is best known for developing Polyphenolics’ best-in-class, field-to-finish ingredients. 

His concept of developing a premium grape seed extract product called Polyphenolics’ MegaNatural-BP, which helps maintain normal blood pressure, is one of the most notable innovations of his career. It is used to support blood pressure maintenance, but also in several sports nutrition supplements and a male performance product as well. 

MegaNatural-BP premium grape seed extract has shown in three clinical studies to support healthy blood pressure within the normal range with no adverse side effects. It has four US patents and numerous patents issued worldwide, and has been heavily researched both in the lab and in double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical trials. With each trial, results confirmed its ability to manage prehypertension in at-risk subjects susceptible to cardiovascular disorders. 

“The key highlights of my life have been as a leader of research and development at Constellation Brands, blessed with very high caliber executives who have consistently provided encouragement and an environment for innovation. It was a major attraction for me to understand the "French Paradox," which associated red wine consumption with cardiovascular health,” he says.

“I was fascinated by polyphenols in grapes and particularly in seeds, which have an abundance of polyphenols which are major part of tannins besides color from skins. The key innovation here was how to separate effective polyphenols which were able to provide maintenance of normal blood pressure.”

“This turned into a major innovation of MegaNatural-BP. The uniqueness of this seed extract has been to maintain blood pressure in prehypertensive people whose blood pressure ascends later and creates a major upset in heart health. GNC was the first to recognize and introduce in their heart formula. We kept investigating our MegaNatural-BP and found that in addition to increased nitric oxide in blood, it gives you an expansion of brachial arteries by 50 percent and therefore increases the blood flow, which not only provides effects on pressure but increases the stamina and endurance, which GNC smartly used in their sports nutrition products.”

MegaNatural®-BP is made in California from a special seed blend from unfermented varietal wine and juice grapes. The seeds are extracted with hot water, the extract is purified, concentrated and spray dried, loading natural grape phenolics into the extract, and that extract powder is used as an ingredient for dietary supplements, functional foods, and healthy beverages.

Dr. Anil Shrikhande says that besides GNC there are several other multi-level companies who are using our MegaNatural-BP in all the categories mentioned in blood pressure maintenance, sports nutrition, and male performance products.

“There are at least 50 different products in the US market and slowly proliferating in the Asian markets. Under the category of plant extracts, it has definitely created an innovation. Perhaps a major beverage product may appear in Indian market once regulatory standards are defined there.”

As a pision of one of the largest wine companies in the world, Constellation Brands, Polyphenolics has access to an abundant supply of fresh wine grapes grown in California’s Central Valley, and retains complete control over the entire manufacturing process; from the initial wine grape selection to the final extraction of finished material. 

The company goes beyond federally mandated traceability requirements, documenting all aspects of growing, treating and handling of the varietal grapes.

Speaking about his recent retirement, Dr Shrikhande added: “It is a mixed feeling of leisure and an exhilarating successful career. I have a great family with whom we enjoy our life, but something is missing, which is science and innovation.”

by Gaynor Selby

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