The Fountain of Youth, in convenient powder form: Evolva
February 16 2017 Jim Lane
In Switzerland, news arrived that Evolva has at long last launched Veri-te — which is the brand for its high-purity,
sustainably produced resveratrol.
I know, Resveratrol sounds like an app for dining and travel reservations, something that American Express or Visa
might have dreamed up.
But if you’ve read somewhere that red wine was found not long ago to have properties that contribute to healthy
aging, that’s resveratrol at work – and there’s plenty of it in red wine, as fate would have it. As a matter of record,
Resveratrol is a polyphenol, and if you’ve ever felt that suddenly dry sensation after sipping strong tea — that’s
tannin, which is an important polyphenol class.
In the case of resveratrol, it’s found in several types of plants, and it serves the evolutionary purpose of protecting
plants from a harsh growing environment.
The weight of scientific evidence suggests that resveratrol can do for you and me what it does for plants. If you
ingest the right amount, it will work at a cellular level to assist healthy aging and mimic the age decelerating results
of a calorie-restricted diet.
What do you get? Bone health, cardiovascular health, blood glucose control, healthy cognitive function, skin
youthfulness and oral health. Basically, it’s the Fountain of Youth in a convenient powder form.
The quest for the Fountain of Youth
Now, here at the Digest, we know a thing or two about the quest for the Fountain of Youth, because Ponce de Leon
arrived on Key Biscayne, our global HQ, in 1513 in search of it. The struggle for eternal youth is one of those epic
journeys that the writer Evan Connell described in his book “A Long Desire”.
You see, the secret of making a fortune in the advanced bioeconomy’s health track is less about the prolongation of
life, and more about the prolongation of youth. From skin creams to nutraceutical supplements, they can prolong
youth and that’s a quest that more fermenters are being whipped up along than there are countable stars in the
heavens. It would be nearly impossible to add up all the infomercial hours that promise eternal youth, promote it,
and steer money towards this or that product in search of it.
But resveratrol is the real deal. The challenge has been less in promoting it as in obtaining it. 1/3
You see, the world’s resveratrol supply has basically passed to us via Chinese extracts of what Evolva kindly refers
to as “a highly invasive and environmentally destructive weed.” That’s Japanese knotwood, and it is listed as one of
the world’s worst invasive species anywhere you look. There was controversy in the UK a few years back when
lenders began refusing mortgages for homes that had been invaded by it. In one story, a municipality just north of
Vancouver, BC dug down three meters into the plant’s root structure to eradicate it, only to have it grow back twice
as large the very next year.
Bottom line, there won’t be any commercially-grown knotwood anywhere close to your local GNC nutritional store
any time soon. And the Fountain of Youth, in powder form, being controlled by a group of growers in the Far East —
well, it’s the kind of situation you find yourself wondering why President Trump isn’t tweeting about it.
So, here comes the alternative, which is making it through advanced fermentation, from everyday plant sugars.
That’s what Evolva has been up to.
You’ll not be dying of shock to learn that Evolva believes it has not only a viable resveratrol, but a special one.
“Not all resveratrol is created equal,” said Evolva SVP of Health and Wellness Angela Tsetsis,” using the
Jeffersonian construction for touting a breakthrough. “Customers are now looking for the highest quality resveratrol
and a transparent and trustworthy supplier to meet growing demand for a whole range of resveratrol-formulated
health and wellness products. Veri-te and Evolva are uniquely well positioned to capitalize on this rapidly expanding
consumer demand for resveratrol.”
As a sensory experience, it won’t take the market by storm, being off-white in color, odorless and tasteless. The
magic lies underneath the hood. It can be readily used in a wide range of consumer health applications from food
supplements (capsules, tablets, chews) and cosmetics to energy and wellness drinks and personal care products.
Veri-te resveratrol is certified Pharma Grade, and authorized for consumer use under EU Novel Foods and US SelfAffirmed
The Bottom Line
Too early to say if the big claims for resveratrol will translate into big sales for Evolva— what we have for now is the
understandable commercial hyperbole that comes along with product launches just as surely as big ribbons,
oversized scissors, and the pained yet hopeful expressions of investors who frequently look like they’ve been
instructed to suck on lemons while smiling.
But, you never know, this one might just live up to the hype.
For sure, the launch of Veri-te opens up new opportunities for Evolva for jointly branded finished products within the
supplement market. They say that “co-branding will help create a pull from the market by raising consumer
awareness of the many benefits, not just of resveratrol, but of Evolva’s high-purity, sustainably produced
resveratrol,” and when it comes to slowing down the onset of old age, they’ll find a lot of partners available to help
and customers ready to back a winner.
One thing is for sure. The Fountain of Youth is big business. Not a mile from the plaque commemorating Ponce de
Leon’s arrival on Key Biscayne is a very spiffy Ritz-Carlton which offers some eye-popping prices for treatments that
enhance beauty and turn back the ravages of time. It took Key Biscayne 500 years to realize the financial benefits,
but you can see that Ponce de Leon was no dummy when it came to setting smart targets for application
Evolva’s technology goes in many directions — you can make high-density missile fuel or commercially-relevant
2/3 supplies of stevia sweeteners from the same underlying patent estate. But we may well find that resveratrol offers a
near-term high-margin breakout product for the company. That rapid inflationary expansion stage, we are told,
powered the early minutes of the universe and is generally advisable also for young companies. Evolva, like all
companies in its class and at its stage, could use a Big Bang, and resveratrol could be the molecule behind the