A technology that allows the health ingredient lutein to be delivered to clear beverages has been given GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status from the US Food and Drug Administration.
The new delivery method, developed by Kemin Foods, involves the use of a sucrose monolaurate emulsifier, called ClearTec, that coats Kemin's FloraGLO brand purified lutein. The lutein is successfully dispersed in clear, water-based beverages while maintaining optical clarity, according to the firm.
"This new delivery method for purified lutein allows clear beverage manufacturers to provide the health benefits of the antioxidant lutein without worrying about clouding, clumping, settling or ringing," said Zoraida DeFreitas, director of research and development for Kemin Foods .
"We believe this marks a nutritional ingredient milestone for the beverage industry. Several beverage brands that have been awaiting this specific water-dispersible lutein are now equipped to bring to market new formulations fortified with lutein," added DeFreitas.
Numerous peer-reviewed studies link the important eye-health benefits of the natural antioxidant lutein with reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Newer science also has suggested lutein may promote healthy skin.
The approved applications for these combined ingredients cover 13 product categories including bottled water, carbonated beverages, ready-to-drink tea and energy, sport and isotonic drinks. Inclusion levels range from 0.5 mg to 3 mg of lutein per reference amount customarily consumed (RACC) and 2.8 mg to 17 mg of sucrose monolaurate per RACC.
With a payload of 15 per cent active lutein, FloraGLO Lutein with ClearTec coating is available in a free-flowing dry powder for multiple applications.