The new beverage, called Appeel, has been spearheaded by Dr Wai Mun Loke, who previously established the Centre for Functional Food & Human Nutrition at Singapore’s Nanyang Polytechnic.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, he said the beverage was targeting the premium end of the market, where its science-backed approach would best resonate.
“It is very important for us to show that our product is grounded in science and to be able to communicate that to the consumer,” he said.
“We have also ensured the product is free from additives and allergens. We are looking to appeal to Gen X as they have spending capacity and are of an age where health concerns are more manifest in their experience.”
In terms of the science, Dr Loke has drawn upon some of his own published research to support the product, which claims to have anti-inflammatory benefits and blood pressure lowering potential.
For the former, he points to studies showing that supplementation with the antioxidant quercetin reduced systemic inflammation (measured as c-reactive protein) in patients (Mohammadi-Sartang et al 2017), and that quercetin, at physiological concentrations, reduced the production of pro-inflammatory leukotriene B4 and myeloperoxidase (Loke et al 2008a & Loke et al 2008b).
In addition, according to the results of a meta-analysis of randomised controlled human trials involving 587 hypertensive patients, quercetin showed a statistically significant reduction of blood pressures after supplementation (Serban et al 2016), possibly via augmented nitric oxide production (Loke et al 2008c).
The company also draws attention to quercetin’s benefits for blood triglyceride modulation, and the possible cancer prevention benefits of apple consumption, in addition to its overall antioxidant boosting properties.
“Appeel contains up to 10 apples worth of peel and has a polyphenol content of 212mg per 100g,” added Dr Loke.
“This is five-folds higher than fresh apple juice, while the quercetin level is 100 times higher than a fresh apple.”
Dr Loke said the firm was confidently able to make such claims, due the production process it uses and the results of DPPH and FRAP assays.
“We have been able to standardise the total polyphenol content, regardless of what apples we use or where they come from.
“We essentially deconstruct and then reconstruct the entire apple, by concentrating, dehydrating and then standardising. That is why we are confident about make the claims around polyphenol content, and also including them on the product’s nutritional panel.”
The company has applied for the Singapore Healthier Choice on-pack label, and is already halal-certified as well as 100% vegan.
“For us, it is also very important that the product was designed and made in Singapore,” he added.
“While we are initially only launching in Singapore, via our own e-commerce site, eventually we will look to export. Singapore has a very strong international reputation for quality and safety, so we think that will help our case.”