CreAgri and Sunsweet Growers Announce Venture to Develop HIDROX(R) Based Beverages

HAYWARD, Calif., Sept. 19, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CreAgri Inc. announced today that Sunsweet Growers Inc has joined a venture to develop beverages that contain HIDROX®, CreAgri’s hydroxytyrosol-rich ingredient from organic olives. The alliance will leverage Sunsweet’s strengths as a global leader in growing, packing and marketing pure foods and beverages from the earth.

“I’m delighted to be working with Sunsweet,” said Roberto Crea, Ph.D., President and CEO of CreAgri, Inc. “They have excellent capabilities in formulating and bottling beverages, as well as the expertise needed to distribute, sell and market with excellence. Additionally, as a grower owned co-op, they are well connected to the vital olive growing and processing partners who benefit immensely by turning a manufacturing byproduct into a new, high value-added source of revenue.”

Dane Lance, COO of Sunsweet Growers Inc stated, “We’re excited to be part of this new venture. For nearly one hundred years, Sunsweet has been proud to bring to market natural foods that truly can make a difference in people’s health and wellness. We think being part of the effort to unleash the power of the olive complements wonderfully what we’ve been doing for so long with the power of the prune.”

CreAgri, Inc., the world leader in the production of olive polyphenols, first introduced the concept of pitted olives to the olive oil industry to improve the quality of table oil and at the same time to obtain fresh, pure olive juice. Olive juice, rich in hydroxytyrosol and healthy polyphenols, is the raw product CreAgri uses to produce its award winning HIDROX®.

A healthy and safe food ingredient with a broad spectrum of anti-inflammatory activity, HIDROX® leverages the power of hydroxytyrosol to provide benefits to people who suffer inflammation-based conditions, and to bring the healthy benefits of the Mediterranean Diet to consumers worldwide in convenient beverage formulations. “Inflammation is the fundamental cause of today’s most debilitating conditions(1). Researchers are just now starting to understand how it affects life functions, such cardiovascular, brain and mental function, and physical wellness, which have a profound impact on the quality of everybody’s life, not only on those who suffer from acute disease, (2)” explained Dr. Crea. “Caused by numerous factors—as varied as lifestyle, unhealthy exposure to the sun, smoke and genetics—chronic inflammation is at the basis of a broad range diseases that, while debilitating in everyday life, have a greater impact on morbidity and mortality(3) as we age,” added Dr. Crea.

Chronic inflammation is often treated with expensive pharmaceuticals with a long list of potential side effects. Thus, a powerful botanical solution—without any known adverse effects—is highly desirable. A fruit or plant extract that is able to control the course of chronic inflammation, which blocks damage at the cellular level and interferes with the cascade of biochemical events that is at the root of its cause, is a valuable and desirable alternative. HIDROX® has been shown clinically and biochemically to possess a unique anti-inflammatory activity that can act at the cellular and tissue level. “The beverages developed by Sunsweet will be the first to offer the added power of natural inflammation-quenching to the traditional benefits provided by today’s functional drinks rich in antioxidants and nutritional ingredients,” added Dr. Crea.

About Sunsweet Growers Inc.

Sunsweet Growers Inc, established in 1917, has more than 80 years of experience and heritage in producing the highest quality dried fruits. The California-based cooperative of 350 grower/members is the worldwide leader in prunes and related products. Most recently, the product portfolio has been expanded to include a full line of dried fruit snacks and juices: all designed to fit today’s need for healthy and convenient food choices.

About HIDROX®

HIDROX® is CreAgri’s patented hydroxytyrosol-rich formulation of olive polyphenols produced from the juice of organic olives, and scientifically recognized for its anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties. HIDROX® is the only hydroxytyrosol formula with GRAS status. HIDROX® is also certified organic, Kosher and Halal, and is protected by the largest number of US and international patents and applications.

About CreAgri

CreAgri Inc., a California company, is the inventor and developer of HIDROX®. Its goal is to promote health and wellness by creating superior natural products that strike a Creative Balance Between Nature and Technology®. The company develops science-based processes that are environmentally friendly and compatible with sustainable agricultural methods. For further information about CreAgri and HIDROX®, please visit www.creagri.com or contact Paolo Pontoniere, VP of Corporate Communications at 510-732-6478 or at ppontoniere@creagri.com.

1. Jack Challem, The Inflammation Syndrome: The Complete Nutritional Program to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Arthritis, Diabetes, Allergies, and Asthma – John Wiley & Sons, Apr 29, 2003

2. David B. Augus, MD, The End of Illness, Free Press, January 17, 2012

3. Dr. Isaac Eliaz, The Effects of Chronic Inflammation on Your Health, examiner.com, April, 14, 2011