Increasingly, people are aware that nutrition can support a healthy lifestyle and the demand and interest has become so much bigger than in the early 90s when the business began. PM-International’s vision is to be a worldwide market leader in the development and distribution of high quality products for health, fitness and beauty under the FitLine® brand. Luxembourg is the centre of RD&I activities and since 2016 the company has a partnership with the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). They share laboratories with the Environmental Research Innovation Department and have several research projects together that centre around the topic of bioavailability.
The ACTIVITIS project aims at developing a dietary supplement from the by-products of Luxembourg's wine industry. “Around 2,600 tonnes of grape pomace are produced annually in Luxembourg. We are looking to extract the valuable materials (polyphenols) from the pomace with a green extraction process and to develop a market ready product,” says Kühne. “We are already looking manufacturing partners and are excited to use an existing product in Luxembourg and ultimately contribute to a circular economy.”
PM-International’s products include the exclusive Nutrient Transport Concept (NTC®), which delivers the nutrients exactly where and when they are needed to the cellular level, from inside and out. “For example, take DHA Omega-3 fatty acids, that support the normal brain function. We use Omega-3 fatty acids sustainably sourced from a special microalgae strain, combined with a worldwide exclusive MicroSolve® technology to increase the solubility of product so it can be better absorbed by the body,” outlines Kühne. This product is patent-pending and will add to the 70 national and international patents that PM-International has on its ingredients, technologies and products. Their premium products all bear the “Made in Germany” label, are produced according to GMP, a standard of the pharmaceutical industry, and product quality is tested regularly and independently by TÜV SÜD ELAB.
PM-International is a sponsor of the LIST International Award in Bioinnovation (LIAB) which looks for promising research projects from around the globe. “We really see Luxembourg becoming a science hub and we are honoured to be a part of the research scene through our partnership with LIST and our work with Luxinnovation.”
From basic research to market ready
FitLine C-Balance is the biggest R&D project in PM-International’s history. They took the lead on the project and tested several hundred plant extracts together with their research partners at University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria to find the one with the right function. “We used a special in vitro cell system, and found the most effective to be a high-quality natural guava extract together with apple extract combined with several other micro nutrients,” explains Kühne. It took nine years and €3 million to go from testing to a market ready product. The supplement balances blood sugar levels and supports carbohydrate metabolism. “We are delighted to have the product and two patents pending, but also the knowledge gained from our extensive research.”
Innovation is not only product development: the challenges presented by the covid pandemic significantly accelerated PM-International’s digital transformation. Their model of industry direct sales transferred online swiftly and seamlessly, thanks to the adaptability of their distributors.
PM-International is always looking for creative and passionate talents who want to grow, find a purpose in their work and contribute to the company’s vision. To find out more, go here.