28 Aug 2012

Melon extract sold to US company

7:04 am on 28 August 2012

A Hamilton company has done a deal to supply a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson in the United States with a monk fruit extract to use in a new table-top sweetener.

BioVittoria says McNeil Nutritionals is launching the sweetener using the extract from the small green melon that grows in Asia.

BioVitorria produces more than 90% of the world's supply of monk fruit extract and juice products.

Chief executive David Thorrold wouldn't disclose the size of the deal but says it is a breakthrough for BioVittoria.

The extract is processed by a joint venture company in China, while BioVittoria handles the research and development at its base at the Waikato Innovation Centre.

BioVittoria's largest shareholder is EIP Nominees, a private equity firm in Wellington. Other investors include Tate & Lyle, global ingredients company; ACC; the Venture Investment Fund and Stephen Tindall's K1W1.