Dr. Giuseppe (Joe) Mazza of Summerland won the award for Most Innovative Ingredient at Engredea 2015. Mazza Innovation extracts ingredients from fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Giuseppe (Joe) Mazza of Summerland won the award for Most Innovative Ingredient at Engredea 2015. Mazza Innovation extracts ingredients from fruits and vegetables.

Mazza receives award for innovative work

Whether it’s at home in Summerland, throughout the province or on the international stage, Mazza Innovation is getting a lot of attention.

Whether it’s at home in Summerland, throughout the province or on the international stage, Mazza Innovation is getting a lot of attention.

The Summerland startup, founded three years ago by Dr. Giuseppe (Joe) Mazza, just won the award for  Most Innovative Ingredient at Engredea 2015.

Mazza said there was as many as 1,000 other companies at the show, yet they were singled out as the most innovative.

A premier annual event for the global nutrition industry, Engredea showcases new ingredients, technologies, applications and services for healthy foods and beverages, dietary supplement/bioactive and nutricosmetic markets.

It’s also where Mazza Innovation chose to introduce their line of PhytoClean ingredients: cranberry, blueberry and green tea dietary supplements extracted using Mazza’s technology, which relies on water instead of alcohol or other organic solvents.

By pressurizing water at elevated temperatures, the polarity of the water is lowered to the levels of ethanol and methanol. This increases the water’s ability to bioactive compounds more soluble, behaving like an organic solvent.

The resulting compounds are much more healthy, he said, as compared to dietary supplements extracted using standard methods. These ingredients are 100 per cent pure plant extracts, free from carriers or trace solvents.

“We have a novel technology and we produce novel products as a result,” said Mazza.

The Engredea award is just one of the honours Mazza Innovation has received recently.

At the Summerland Chamber of Commerce awards, the company was recognized with the Technology and Innovation Award.

The company was also named to the 2015 Ready to Rocket list as a top technology company.

Ready to Rocket profiles B.C. technology companies that are best positioned to capitalize on the technology sector trends that will lead them to faster growth than their peers.

“We are excited to be named to this year’s Ready to Rocket list of leading technology companies,” said Len Zapalowski, CEO, of Mazza Innovation. “At Mazza, we are answering consumers’ growing concern for increased transparency into how their food is made, and the demand for clean labeling.”

Mazza said the company’s primary target now is dietary supplements, where there is an established, global multi-million dollar industry.

“We are in the mode now to replace what exists out there with our green, clean and effective products,” said Mazza.

Mazza, who retired from his research position at the Pacific Agri-food Research Centre four years ago, founded Mazza Innovation in 2012 to commercialize the extraction process he developed.

“It’s growing a lot faster than I expected,” said Mazza. “But it’s fun.”

Mazza said the company now employs 20 people, ranging from the CEO, to chemists and marketing staff.

But at the core of it, Mazza said his goal is to produce products that are healthier for people.

“That’s what drives me,  that we can produce high-quality products, better than what exists in the market,” said Mazza. “I am delighted to perhaps make a difference for people.”

Making a difference in people’s health is one aspect, but Mazza said he is also happy to be contributing by creating jobs and wealth.

“This country has been good to me and I am trying to give something back,” said Mazza.

 

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