Israeli firm LycoRed Natural Products Industries says it has received GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status for its Lyc-O-Mato tomato lycopene product. GRAS status will open doors for the ingredient to be used to fortify foods with lycopene.
Lyc-O-Mato tomato oleoresin contains lycopene and other beneficial phytonutrients including carotenoids and tocopherols. These phytonutrients act in synergy with lycopene to produce a powerful antioxidant benefit, explained LycoRed.
Dr Zohar Nir, vice president of marketing at LycoRed, said: "LycoRed is very excited to bring the only all natural tomato lycopene complex to the food and beverage industry. Food and beverage manufacturers will now at last be able to fortify their products with all the phytonutrients of the tomato, without the water and the sugar."
Lycopene, responsible for the red colour of fruits such as the tomato and the watermelon, is also an excellent natural food colour so the firm has also submitted a Color Additive Petition (CAP) for Lyc-O-Mato to the FDA. It is expecting to receive approval for use of Lyc-O-Mato as a food colorant before the end of the year, expanding the marketing opportunities for the ingredient even further.
Lyc-O-Mato could be added to numerous categories including breads, cereals, beverages and processed meats, said LycoRed. Such opportunities will be discussed further with food technologists at the upcoming Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo, said Dr Nir.
"We're looking forward to meeting with food technologists to explore Lyc-O-Mato applications of interest to them. Only the imagination limits the possibilities. We anticipate a success in the food industry comparable to the success that Lyc-O-Mato has already seen in the dietary supplement industry in the US and in the food industry in Europe and Japan," added Dr Nir.
Lyc-O-Mato has been found to support prostate, heart and skin health. The role of tomato lycopene in preventing DNA damage is also an up and coming area of research. Studies have shown that Lyc-O-Mato can intervene in the DNA damage cycle, helping to protect DNA from damages that have been identified as causative factors in degenerative disease.