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Leslie Gallo, President, Artemis International

K2VITAL®
 
Albion Minerals®

Artemis International, Inc.
3711 Vanguard Dr.
Fort Wayne IN 46809
(260) 436-5899
www.artemis-international.com

At inception, Artemis supplied top food and beverage brands with dark berry ingredients for their benefit as natural colorants. Delving into the science of berries’ anthocyanin compounds, it was soon apparent that there were many more benefits beyond color. In 2005, Artemis shifted focus to pursuing research on berries, working with some of the top scientists in the field of fruit and vegetable research. The company began developing the best dark berry powders and extracts available for the nutraceutical market and marketing these ingredients under its Berryceuticals brand.

Leslie Gallo became president of Artemis International by rising through the ranks. Prior to her appointment in 2018, she served in multiple cross-functional roles, including vice president of operations and director of marketing and sales. Committing to the nutraceuticals industry was an ideal opportunity to merge her technology expertise (previously heading technology and operations for a preeminent Apple computer specialist in New York, NY) with a lifelong fascination with science. Beyond business development and strategy, Gallo’s current objectives include researching extraction technologies and working toward developing a next-level process to produce extracts that perform better than those currently on the market.

NIE: In 2020, Artemis International celebrated its 25th anniversary. What are some of the company’s achievements since its creation?

Gallo: Artemis launched as one of the first companies to market natural colors, right around the time when artificial colors were being closely scrutinized and falling out of favor due to potential negative outcomes. Working closely with food and beverage brands, we were able to match their red-purple color spectrums to allow for reduction in artificial colorants. At that time, we began focusing on the science behind the colors, in an effort to understand and ensure their stability for our customers. That led to Artemis’ business model of mastering our understanding of the science of berries’ phytonutrients. We have supported many scientific studies related to the health benefits of elderberry, aronia berry and black currant, all revered in Europe for their extraordinary health benefits but relatively unknown in the U.S. We have worked to develop the market and raise both brand and consumer awareness of these berries. Few, if any, companies have the deep, unique understanding of the anthocyanin phytonutrients of berries that we do, and our customers appreciate this.

Back in the day, Artemis founder Jan Mills brought aronia berries from Poland to American universities for further study. Oregon State University still works with varieties brought here by us more than 20 years ago. We support the Aronia Grower Associations in raising consumer awareness of aronia berry as a native U.S. berry, and we sponsor various symposiums and speakers, including the semi-annual Berry Health Benefits Symposium.

Artemis has been deeply involved in anti-adulteration initiatives including the American Botanical Council’s Botanical Adulteration Prevention Program (BAPP). We perform regular testing of extracts and powders that are sold in our market to find the sources of adulterated material coming into the U.S. and enhance our understanding of adulterants being used.

Currently Artemis is involved in the ongoing development of the updated USP Elderberry monograph as well as supporting the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia Elderberry monograph. We regularly peer review articles as experts in berry polyphenols and we contribute to many industry publications.

In 2020 we started a not-for-profit organization, the Artemis Mills Foundation, with a mission to support and inspire scientific research, education and actions that guide communities to seek healthier food and lifestyles. This year, Artemis’ founder helped launch Women in Nutraceuticals (WIN), a nonprofit with sights set on inspiring and supporting women to determinedly pursue careers as founders, C-suite leaders and high-level researchers. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished and have lots of ideas for a successful future of continued purpose.

NIE: The company recently expanded its portfolio. Why did Artemis decide to enter an agreement to distribute Bonollo’s Ecovitis standardized grape seed extract?

Gallo: It made great sense. Talk about outstanding partners—the Bonollo family is completely dedicated to producing the highest quality, pesticide-free, guaranteed pure and free of adulterants grape seed extract. They use an environmentally friendly extraction method and are so committed to scientific research that the plan is for Ecovitis to be the most clinically studied grape seed extract on the market. The deal was a huge win all around.

NIE: Artemis International’s CurrantCraft was featured in a study supporting the eye health benefits of black currant extract. How are studies like this one beneficial for the company?

Gallo: We view ongoing clinical validation of our extracts as paramount to the success of our ingredients so we can provide our customers with the information they need to effectively make and produce formulations, and then authentically market their finished product to consumers. We rely on science to do this. With our CurrantCraft, there were a couple of directions we could have gone in, given its vascular benefits, but we decided to focus on vision because we saw the greatest benefit and opportunity. A newly published ElderCraft gut health study takes elderberry beyond the immune response and antiviral properties, to gut health, thanks to research demonstrating its prebiotic activity and ability to modulate the microflora in the gut. Anyone at all into gut health formulations understand the importance. Bottom line, our main responsibility as a company selling ingredients to brands is to help them develop products better than those of their competitors. Studies are essential.

NIE: What steps does the company take to ensure quality and sustainability?

Gallo: When we vet any potential partners–manufacturers, suppliers or other vendors–we lean heavily on first-hand research. We verify where and how they procure raw material and speak with employees in detail about production processes and their environmental impact. We visit the manufacturing plants we work with, the fields we grow in, the farmers that grow and harvest. In short, we leave no stone unturned in making sure that all parties are aligned in terms of quality standards and concern for the environment.

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