Kiwifruit Extract Background and Benefits
The kiwifruit, known scientifically as Actinidia deliciosa, is a woody vine that is also known by other common names such as kiwi, fuzzy kiwifruit, and Chinese gooseberry. The kiwifruit originates from southern China, and it is also commercially cultivated in many other temperate regions that provide adequate warmth in the summer. It prefers altitudes between 600 and 2,000 meters, and may reach a height of 30 feet when it grows as a shrub.
The edible fruits of the kiwifruit are botanically classified as berries. They are oblong and may reach a length of 2.5 inches. The skin is brown and covered with short, stiff hairs. The flesh of the fruit is generally bright green with a white center when fully ripe, although it may also be yellow or off-white. The flavor is similar to that of strawberries or gooseberries, and may be strongly acidic.
The chlorocarpa and deliciosa varieties are the most common botanical varieties of kiwifruit. The primary commercial varieties in China include zhong hua, jing li, ruan zao and mao hua. The most significant commercial cultivars in New Zealand are Abbott, Allison, Bruno, Greensill, Hayward and Monty. Hayward is the most widely grown variety of kiwifruit in the world. It’s named after Hayward Wright, who developed it in Avondale, New Zealand by 1924.
Kiwifruit contains a variety of essential nutrients, especially vitamins C, and K. It also contains significant levels of vitamin E and dietary fiber. Additional nutrients in the fruit include carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. The seed oil is about 62 percent alpha-linolenic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid. The fruit and skin of the fruit contain Actinidin and flavonoids.
Digesten-K® Kiwifruit Extract
New Zealand Extracts Ltd produces Digesten-K® Kiwifruit Extract in New Zealand from the Hayward variety of the kiwifruit. This unique extract comes from the flesh and skin of green kiwifruit. It has a high level of active Actinidin, with no residues of harsh chemicals. Digesten-K® Kiwifruit Extract is manufactured with a proprietary “100% AquaPure” process that uses only water to extract the bioactive components from the kiwifruit. This process uses three stages to obtain an extract that contains high concentrations of enzymes, phenols and soluble fiber.
The extraction process allows the enzymes in Digesten-K® Kiwifruit Extract to retain their full activity, allowing them to effectively digest the proteins in meat, dairy products and soy. The soluble fiber in this kiwifruit extract is useful for maintaining healthy digestion. The phenols in Digesten-K® Kiwifruit Extract may inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestines without affecting the growth of beneficial bacteria. The enzymes in this extract exhibit optimum activity at a pH of about 2.0, which is the typical acidity level in the human stomach. This property provides the enzymes in Digesten-K® Kiwifruit with a major advantage over other proteolytic enzymes that typically work best at a neutral pH of 7.0.
Uses of Kiwifruit Extract
The primary benefits of kiwifruit extract include support for the digestive function. This extract also helps to maintains healthy blood sugar levels, eye health and the immune system.
Eye health support
Kiwifruit extract contains lutein, which is highly concentrated in the macular portion of the retina. Lutein may help to maintain eye function in older people.
Healthy blood sugar management support
Kiwifruit extract contains inositol which may help to manage blood sugar levels. Inositol may also support a healthy velocity for nerve impulses.
Immune system support
The high level of vitamin C and other antioxidants in kiwifruit extract may support the immune system. These antioxidants may also protect cells from other forms of oxidative stress.
Digestive health support
The Actinidin in kiwifruit breaks down protein into polypeptides. This benefit aids digestion and helps to relive mild constipation.
Signs You May Need Kiwifruit Extract
The most significant signs that you may need kiwifruit extract deal with the poor digestion of protein, especially intestinal gas and constipation. The Actinidin and dietary fiber in this extract both help to reduce digestive transit time. An unhealthy blood sugar level may also mean that kiwifruit extract could benefit you, especially when it’s accompanied by nerve pain, known medically as neuropathy. This extract may help you if you have macular degeneration, which is typically an age-related condition.
Other Ingredients That May Be Of Interest
Kiwifruit powder - Kiwifruit is most useful in powder form when used as a health supplement. The removal of water and other liquids greatly concentrates the bioactive components in kiwifruit. Kiwifruit powder has significantly more Actinidin than the powdered extract of other fruits, including bananas, mango, papaya and pineapple. Actinidin’s ability to break down protein makes it useful as a meat tenderizer in addition to being a digestive aid.