UHTCO Corporation is expanding its impressive portfolio and presence in the international market. The Canadian firm of Peruvian origins has been supplying discerning customers amazing superfoods from Peru since 2004.
Its product range includes a top-quality cacao ingredients and chocolate that meet the new European Union (EU) regulation for minimum cadmium content in foods; a camu camu fruit-based supplement with the highest concentration of vitamin C and top ORAC values; a unique yacon-based line of sweeteners; a sacha inchi line with high protein content, fiber and Omega fatty acids; and a liquid high potency maca not found elsewhere, to name a few.
This year its European office, UHTCO Corporation EU, based in Austria, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a larger space, booth 6-341 at the German Hall, during BIOFACH staged in Nuremberg, February 13-16. And UHTCO’s affiliate firm Peru Naturals Corporation will take a stand at the Peruvian pavilion in Hall 2 30-215 for the first time.
At BIOFACH visitors do not have enough time to visit all the halls and exhibitors. With two stands UHTCO expects to enjoy higher exposure. As for the list of products, UHTCO works with almost the same superfoods, but it keeps expanding its list with other innovative ingredients and new formulas.
Looking back, what has been the highlights of this journey for UHTCO? Which were the main challenges the team has overcome and what has been the recipe for success of a company recognized as a top supplier of Peruvian ingredients?
Speaking to OWN, UHTCO founder and president Jorge Urena said: “It is quite an achievement to be where we are right now, being a solid company with outstanding products and a philosophy that hasn’t changed over the years - to provide the best of Peru to the world.”
He said the recipe for success is simple - always excel in what you do; and do things right not just for the sake of money, which will still flow to companies who get things right. Use that revenue wisely, said Mr. Urena – reinvest, develop more products and improve existing lines.”
Markus Pandur, the company’s European office chief shares his enthusiasm: “I agree it has been a wonderful ride. We love where we are right now and still feel like we are just about to start!”
Mr. Pandur said the most significant challenges had been regulatory compliance and the growing “improvised competition,” especially in recent years. In that respect, as big corporations are absorbing small but rapidly growing organic brands, changes in the quality standards of their products are changing as well, in some cases, cutting corners leading to poor performance and significant low-quality products, which while it can undermine the reputation of the whole organic segment, shines a light on top performers such as UHTCO.
Mr. Pandur said that UHTCO’s approach to excellence had come naturally, "what inspires us, is delivering high-quality products for better nutrition and health!"
An excellent example of such quality output is UHTCO’s MacaPro® Raw Gelatinized Maca Powder 6:1, made with a high concentration of select dark maca roots utilizing an exclusive proprietary cold drying process that preserves nutrients and increases its benefits. Our company has sold this maca with success since 2003 because it works!" said Mr. Urena.
Maca, used widely in Peruvian cooking, has a strong reputation internationally as a functional food supplement for hormonal balance to improve energy, endurance, agility, speed up memory and concentration, and for sex drive.
To offset the effects of unfair competition and protect the reputation of this precious root, UHTCO Corporation started with its partners an ambitious project to form the first and only maca research center in Peru. A reality today, a privately own state-of-the-art facility opened in Junín, Peru at the end of 2018 to focus on research of maca, its environment, and potential for the future. The Center will provide the tools, equipment, and infrastructure for free to students and researches engaging in further investigation and innovation of current agricultural practices, preservation of the environment and defining the uniqueness of the maca root from Peru.
Mr. Pandur said that UHTCO is cementing Peru’s reputation for excellent maca and other superfoods: “The industry appreciates our products due to the quality and incredible grade of innovation and knowledge behind them.”
UHTCO has also launched a new cacao powder certified complying with the new EU rules regarding cadmium content. “The new Raw and Organic Cacao XP Powder will offer the criollo cacao flavor and aroma you love per EU compliance,” said Mr. Pandur.
Indeed, this is potentially a critical line to promote at BIOFACH given the publicity surrounding this new regulation: From January 1st cacao powder sold in the EU to consumers or as an ingredient must have a maximum cadmium content of 0.6 parts per million (ppm). It is no simple matter for processors and traders because cadmium occurs naturally in rich volcanic soils, such as those farmed widely in the Peruvian Andean highlands.
These new products will help UHTCO make a splash at BIOFACH. Mr. Urena thinks BIOFACH is usually the best trade show at which the company exhibits: “Very well organized, great ambiance, with the biggest audience and excellent quality leads.” UHTCO’s booths will display its whole line, including the well-known MacaPro®, CacaoXP®, Camu Camu C++®, YaconPro®, and the new line of Sacha Inchi products.
Another focus at BIOFACH will be a new Guilt Free Cravings® line, which includes healthy treats, chocolate, and snacks. “The line is based on one concept – ‘healthy living with great nutrition and plenty of benefits’ - enjoy life without the guilt!” declared Mr. Urena.
Sacha Inchi is generating a buzz in global organic food markets, being rich in omega fatty acids, minerals and having a long shelf life. The protein powder said Mr. Urena, is a blast - with an impressive 52 percent of protein content, with all essential amino acids, and servings providing 49 percent of daily dietary fiber needs and 12 percent of the recommended total omega oil intake; moreover, it tastes great!