Behind the Scenes of Plandaí’s Green Tea Extract Phytofare®

Fri 26 May 2017

Behind the Scenes of Plandaí’s Green Tea Extract Phytofare®

Plandaí Biotechnology has over 15 years of research experience in the field of live plant extracts. Its findings are supported by human clinical research, USDA manuscripts and academic findings.

Plandaí Biotechnology produces the highly bioavailable, phytonutrient rich green tea extract Phytofare® from leaves grown on its tea estate in South Africa.

In February, Cambridge Commodities was appointed as the exclusive distributor of Phytofare® throughout Europe.

Senteeko Tea Estate

The Senteeko Tea Estate is situated in the caldera of an extinct volcano in South Africa. It covers a huge 8,000 acres, and a large dam in the centre provides a constant source of water for the green tea plants to grow and prosper.

The estate is owned by the local Shamile community and has provided stable employment, housing and job training for over 200 locals. The housing on Senteeko is powered by solar energy and Plandaí has plans to introduce a biodiesel plant and hydro-electric generator to produce all of its own clean energy at the on-site factory.

All aspects of production are handled on site from growing and harvesting the green tea leaves, to producing Phytofare® at Plandaí’s state of the art extraction facility, moving Plandaí one step closer to becoming completely green with a zero carbon footprint.

Growing and Harvesting the Leaves

Production of Phytofare® begins on the Senteeko farm where the green tea plants are sustainably grown and harvested. Between October and June, the top three leaves and bud are picked from the plant and within an hour, the leaves will be taken to the production facility for extraction.

The green tea plants grow back every 30 days, providing a constant, sustainable source.


The green tea leaves are still alive when they arrive at the extraction facility. This means that all eight catechins are present compared to just two or three found in generic extracts where dried leaves are used. Plandaí only processes live leaves to ensure the highest quality extract is produced.

The complicated science behind Phytofare® involves hydrodynamic shearing which separates the phytonutrients from plant solids without damaging the actives. This patented process rearranges the phytonutrients into an amorphous crystalline structure, enabling greater bioavailability. Plandaí also ensure that temperatures remain below 95 degrees so as to not damage the delicate actives.

The highly concentrated bright green powder is remarkably different to the standard brown extracts available.

Benefits of Phytofare

Backed by the only double blind human clinical trial of its kind, Phytofare® is the only clinically proven green tea extract shown to deliver ten times more active ingredients to the blood stream compared to generic extracts. Plandaí's Chief Operating Officer, Callum Cottrell-Duffield explains “We are able to deliver the full spectrum of the plant’s nutrients to the system at levels at least ten-times higher than anyone else where they remain active throughout the day due to clinically proven increased blood residence time. What this means to the consumer is that Phytofare® can finally deliver on the multiple health benefits promised by green tea.

Phytofare® has also shown promising results for anti-ageing applications. A human clinical trial assessed the benefits for skin hydration, roughness, scaliness and elasticity. Thirty-five Caucasian women used a Phytofare® moisturiser and the results showed:

  • Skin hydration – 15.2% increase as compared to the baseline
  • Skin roughness – 14.6% decrease as compared to the baseline
  • Skin scaliness – 20.4% reduction as compared to the baseline

The highly concentrated powder means that less product is needed compared to standard green tea powders, providing a cost effective solution. Not only is this cost effective, it also frees up capsule space providing more room for additional actives.

A versatile ingredient, Phytofare® is suitable for the sports nutrition, beauty, health and wellness and healthy ageing categories in the following formats:

  • Capsules
  • Tablets
  • Powder blends
  • Gels
  • Foods
  • Topical

Cambridge Commodities’ CEO James Stevens is excited about what Phytofare® brings to the industry and explains: “Our knowledge of the health & wellness and sports nutrition sectors will allow us to present Phytofare® catechins to the most relevant brands throughout Europe.

Our product development team, working closely with Plandaí Biotech, have been creating unique formulas, blends and other interesting delivery formats for this powerful South African green tea extract which will re-ignite one of the most interesting ingredients in the industry.”

For further information and to request a sample of Phytofare®, please contact a member of our sales team.