“The synergy between Nutexa and the clients is very enriching”.
Learn about the history of Nutexa and its current role in the natural ingredients market through Gonzalo Bas, owner and technical director of the company.
At Nutexa we work closely with clients to help them to obtain the best result. Select the most appropriate extract for the product, determine the pertinent doses and be with the client during the process is part of our work. A job performed many times from physical distance, given that our market is global. To save this stretch it is important to approach the clients as much as possible. With this interview we invite you to get to know and to trust Nutexa.
With a degree in Chemistry and a master’s degree in Industrial Environmental Engineering, Gonzalo Bas has been working with the olive tree since the beginning of his career. The application of his chemical knowledge led him to the development of olive extracts, an activity that in 2015 took the form of Nutexa Ingredients.
Intuitive, decisive and direct, Gonzalo Bas is the alma mater of a small company in the province of Valencia dedicated to design and develop bioactive ingredients – from different plants – for their application in cosmetic, nutraceutical and food products; being pioneers in the use and transformation of the olive seed. And always under a common goal: to provide solutions and to offer added value.
The start of Nutexa.
_ Why did you decide to bet on olive byproducts instead of keeping on working in the oil industry?
Today, the manufacture and commercialization of olive oil leaves little margin for the development of new products since they have reached very high levels of quality in many extra virgin olive oils. It is true that production systems or marketing messages can still be improved,… but it is a minimum margin compared to that offered by the minor olive compounds.
In my case, I discovered the potential that certain components offered when I started in the world of olive, almost twenty years ago. Those days they were kind of ignored, as – contrary of these days – there was not so much information of the benefits they bring to our health and in the protection of certain foods, cosmetic formulas, etc.
_ In addition to the olive tree, Nutexa works with other plants. Why?
In our case, the Mediterranean area gives us a very large wealth of natural products such as olives, rosemary, citrus, grapes, etc. with very strongs components such as hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein, hesperidin or rosmarinic acid with very healthy effects.
In addition, there is a greater social awareness that demands natural products to the detriment of synthetic derivatives. In this sense, we have reached marketing agreements to make available to our customers certain oils and flours such as jojoba, rosehip or quinoa. Along with the extracts that we elaborate, they make up a catalog that, in some way, sells health.
_ How is the day-to-day of a technical director in a company dedicated to formulate ingredients?
Intense. We always have several projects underway, all of them different, that await specific solutions to particular problems. The day to day is a mix that includes controlling the status of the projects, meeting the needs of new clients, adjusting our extracts to the formulas of the projects under test… In addition, we are aware of the demands of the market and the news that arise. It is a job in which there are not two equal days…
_ Why is each project different?
Because we have to fit our ingredients to the needs of the client and each project has its characteristics: the product itself, certain rules of the country where it is intended, etc.
In this sense, it is very important to know the objective and details of the project to adapt our products to the specific needs of the client.
_ What are the strengths of a small-sized ingredients company?
Greater proximity and communication with the client, which allows us to offer a high level of flexibility, which is impossible in large companies. This is something that all kinds of clients, big and small, appreciate.
In addition, we have detected that there are many companies that do not want to have large multinationals as suppliers, preferring the closeness, quality and know-how of smaller companies like ours.
However, to be competitive, we can not develop the same products that most manufacturers do. We try to focus on creating different, compelling products not widespread in the market.
The power of the olive.
_ Which are the most representative products of Nutexa?
Our most emblematic products are those derived from the olive tree, because of tradition and because of the effort we have put into them.
We obtain products from practically all the olive parts: the fruit (the pulp of the olive), the leaves and the seeds.
_ What is the potential of the olive?
The olive tree and its fruit in particular are products that offer enormous possibilities in the field of human and animal health, and also in the field of the conservation of fatty foods.
We can obtain extracts for their application in cosmetics, nutricosmetics and nutraceuticals. And we can also get oil for cosmetic use such as Olive Seed Oil.
The seed stands out for being able to transform it into flour and to use both in the manufacture of breads, pasta, biscuits, etc. It provides a high amount of fiber, vegetable proteins, polyphenols, etc. and, in addition, it provides technical contributions for gluten-free products. In particular, the elasticity that these products lack due to the cereals used. This is a problem for manufacturers, so this flour becomes a natural solution.
_Is the industry and society in general aware of the real extent of the olive tree in terms of health?
No. It is rarely attributed to Hydroxytyrosol and Oleuropein much of the beneficial effects of the consumption of virgin olive oil on our cardiovascular system. There is a great misinformation by consumers and even by companies on these effects and on their application in food preparations and cosmetics.
In addition, there is a widespread belief that vitamin E along with oleic acid are the most important components of virgin olive oil, when it is not. It is scientifically proven that Hydroxytyrosol is tremendously bioactive.
Quality as first.
_ Food safety is a relevant issue in the natural products industry. What is the position of Nutexa about that?
Food safety and traceability are essential in natural products and are two of the basic pillars of Nutexa Ingredients. In fact, we are currently working with the quality systems and certificates that dictate the ISO 22000 standards, relating to the management of food safety.
_ What does it mean to obtain the ISO 22000 certificate?
It means working in an organized, formed way with a high level of food safety. In addition, it allows us to transmit those values to our suppliers and clients, which generates trust between all parties.
From minute one we bet on quality, not only of our products, but also of our processes. Many customers prefer to buy cheap products at the expense of lower quality, but we prefer not to abandon our commitment to high quality. And, honestly, our clients appreciate it.
_In addition to obtaining this certificate, what have been the most important milestones in Nutexa’s history?
Nutexa is a very young company, it is just over 3 years old, and it moves in a sector dominated by large multinationals. In that short space of time we have developed a range of high quality products, we have made a small gap in markets such as China, India, United States or the United Arab Emirates, and we have very interesting projects underway.
On the other hand, we are very proud of our Hydroxytyrosol olive extracts and the wide applications it offers. And also for developing exclusive products such as those derived from the seed: oil and flour.
_ Which are Nutexa’s long-term plans for the future?
Right now we are developing projects together with large companies that include our extracts. We also plan to expand our facilities in the short-medium term. And logically, to settle the current products, find new applications and explore new markets.
We also hope to continue corroborating how our products satisfy clients and we want to continue learning from the experiences that these collaborations provide us. The synergy created between Nutexa and the clients is very enriching.