Sunday, March 27, 2011
National Business Review, 3/24/2011
A Te Awamutu company, Manuka Health NZ Ltd, says it has found a way to boost tenfold the potential earnings from each kilogram of biologically active manuka honey, which is already a $100 million export industry.
The company said today that its next generation of manuka honey products would use patented technology to deliver the active ingredient in forms such as powders in capsules, more like pharmaceutical products than jars of honey.
The products will use cyclodextrins -- compounds made up of sugar molecules bound together in a ring -- to enhance solubility, stabilise, control release rate, and increase bio-availability and absorption, said Manuka Health chief executive Kerry Paul.
The initial product range will include throat lozenges with an active ingredient from the honey, methylglyoxal, and would be encapsulated within cyclodextrins as a powder, Mr Paul told the annual NZBIO biotechnology conference.
A wide range of applications such as eye drops, nasal sprays, topical creams and oral capsules would become practical without the disadvantages of delivering the active ingredient in honey - such as acidity, taste and odour,
"CycloPower moves us a long way from a pot of honey," he said, "improving bioactivity, easy of use and convenience, and with a presentation consistent with medical applications"…
Manuka Health research manager Dr Lynne Chepulis told the conference that antibacterial studies being carried out by Auckland University using reference strains of common bacteria had found significant differences in growth, with the honey-cyclodextrin powder showed significantly higher rates of bacterial inhibition than raw manuka honey…
Oral delivery of manuka honey's active ingredient methyglyoxal made it possible to standardise the product delivery methods that meant lozenges with small amounts of methylglyoxal could replace the big doses of honey necessary to counter dilution in the gut.
The honey compounds could also be stabilised to provide a slower rate of methylglyoxal release in the lower gut, allowing it to work for longer.