Novasep Process and Nutritis Announce the Scale-Up of the Production Process for Nutritis' Fructose Purification from Substandard Fruit

Toulouse and Pompey, France, November 9, 2010 – Nutritis, a company specialized in the development of functional ingredients from fruit, and Novasep Process, a division of Novasep, a leading innovator in purification technologies for the life science industries, announce today that, thanks to Novasep Process, Nutritis will scale up its production process for fructose from apple juice.

Nutritis brought in Novasep to use the latter’s purification expertise to scale up its innovative process. Nutritis and Novasep have been working together since 2007 on the development of natural sugars extracted from fruit. They have focused on the separation and purification process for fructose from apple juice originally developed by CRITT bioindustries, part of INSA, France’s national institute for applied sciences.

Today fructose, a sugar present in most foodstuffs, is mainly produced by the hydrolysis of sucrose from sugar beet, sugar cane or maize starch. Nutritis has developed a patented process which enables the production of fructose that can be labeled as 100 per cent fruit. This fructose is obtained from fruit that fails to meet certain food industry standards (size, appearance etc). Novasep Process carried out the optimization of the scaling up of this bioprocess, allowing Nutritis to access a market with high demand for natural sugars extracted from fruit.

The importance of being 100 per cent fruit means the fructose qualifies for the “clean label”, a much sought-after seal of approval for all fruit-based preparations, from dairy products to jams. With its sweetening power some 50 per cent greater than that of traditional sugars, use of fructose means manufacturers can also reduce the calorie count of their products.

The attractive business opportunity offered by this product and the robustness of the technology coupled with the production scale-up capability were significant in Nutritis’ raising EUR 13.5 million. The financing means that the Grap’Sud cooperative group now holds 52 per cent of Nutritis. The new funding will enable Nutritis to start investment in and marketing of the industrial process on Grap’Sud sites in Rieux and Cruviers Lascours in southern France.

“Nutritis’ patented process for the separation and purification of fructose solves the problem of using fruit that cannot otherwise be sold by extracting a fructose that can be described as 100 per cent fruit,” said Pierre Lapoujade, President at Nutritis. “Novasep has been a valuable partner for scaling up the process and convincing Grap’Sud to invest in Nutritis. We plan to continue working on new developments with Novasep.”

“Novasep is delighted to have been able to bring its expertise and know-how to bear for Nutritis,” said Antoine Baule, President at Novasep Process. “The project has been totally successful and demonstrated Novasep’s ability to turn pilot operations into production-line processes in partnership with our customers.”

About Nutritis

Nutritis creates sugars for the agri-food industry which are extracted from fruit and combine naturalness and unique nutritional properties. The company has received the French government's recognition as a Young Innovative Enterprise, a status which brings special financial advantages. Nutritis aims to offer innovation in three fields: concepts, markets and technology. It has a portfolio of proprietary technologies embracing a patented process developed in collaboration with INSA, France's national institute for applied sciences in Toulouse. Nutritis has been supported from the beginning by local and national government bodies such as the regional Midi-Pyrénées incubator, the ministry of research and the innovation agency OSEO. It is an active member of two "poles of competitivity" (Agrimip Innovation and Cancer-Bio-Santé). Its unique positioning is based upon a combination of health, innovation and sustainable territorial development and the taking into account of social and environmental concerns.

About Novasep

Novasep develops, markets and operates innovative technologies providing life science industries with safe and cost-effective production of active molecules. The global manufacturing solutions offered by Novasep include process development services; purification equipment and systems; contract manufacturing services; and complex active molecules. The applications of Novasep's offering cover the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, food, functional ingredients and bio-industries markets.

About Grap'Sud

Grap'Sud Union has specialized for 40 years in building value from products derived from grapes. It is one the leading European companies in this field. Target markets are agriculture, agro-industry, oenology, agri-food and nutraceuticals. Serving the wine-growing industry, Grap'Sud has developed a range of sub-products for wine-making, and also sugars from grape must. It is a member of various regional bodies such as Transferts LR, the Association Régionale des Industries Agroalimentaires, the Fédération Régionale de la Coopération Agricole and the Q@LI-MED "competitivity pole". Nutritis takes full advantage of the research and development carried out by the various regional research laboratories.


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