Californian firm InterHealth Nutraceuticals has gained GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status for use of its Super CitriMax brand of hydroxycitric acid (HCA) in functional beverages.
The patent-pending ingredient is said to help promote weight loss. InterHealth claims that its product is the only HCA on the market to gain GRAS status. It is also said to be well suited for beverages because it is tasteless, odorless, colorless, fully soluble and contains 20 per cent more HCA than other available HCA products.
Recent double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on the ingredient, conducted through Georgetown University Medical Center, found it to produce significant weight loss, increase fat burning and improve cholesterol levels. It also decreased Body Mass Index (BMI), an indicator of obesity health risk.
The company is marketing the ingredient as a safe alternative to the controversial weight-loss herb ephedra.
"Two elements were key in the decision to certify Super CitriMax for GRAS status," said Dr George Burdock, president of the Burdock Group, which evaluated the safety of the ingredient for GRAS affirmation.
"First was the historical foundation; HCA has a 2000-year-old history of safe use. Further support came from extensive toxicology studies on Super CitriMax that provided safety confirmation according to modern scientific standards."
InterHealth president and CEO William Seroy added: "Given the plethora of ineffective and sometimes dangerous products on the market today, the proven safety and efficacy of Super CitriMax, as exemplified by its clinical research and GRAS status, is especially important."
Super CitriMax can also be included in dietary supplements. Other InterHealth products include OptiBerry, Aller-7, ChromeMate and L-OptiZinc.