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Not just the berries: Amway takes goji plant to next level

For thousands of years, goji berries have been a key ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). However, today the small, oval fruit is taking a secondary role in how the plants are grown and harvested on Amway’s certified organic farms.

The company’s research in TCM practices has shown goji root contains important phytonutrients that may have a positive effect on bone health,” says Jia Chen, vice president of research and development for Amway China. “That’s why we set out to include goji in our next-generation bone health product.”

Chen and her team developed, tested and patented a formula for this upcoming product, using extracts from goji berry roots.

“Our goal was to take what we already know about goji plants, and focus on the root bark,” said Darwin Hintz, Technology Manager for Nutrilite’s Trout Lake Farm in the United States. “Using new seeding and growing methods, we are now developing plants not for the berries—but for healthy roots instead.”

Hintz and others at the Trout Lake Farm had to work feverishly this fall to bring in the new crop before winter took hold and the ground froze.

Yet the harvest was only the beginning of the unique effort, followed by a first-of-its-kind processing approach.

“After we harvest the root, we put it through a specialized washing system that includes equipment that we have developed, and or adapted to our use, that is extremely detailed and specialized for roots,” said Hintz.

The system helped to identify new seeding and growing methods specifically intended for growing healthy roots.

It’s an unprecedented effort tapping the global resources of Amway and Nutrilite. Next, Amway will seek to find the best places to grow larger quantities of the goji root and use compounds from the bark in a variety of health and wellness products. The goal is to put an exclusive, patented formula into future products for Amway Business Owners to sell.”