Kemin introduces vegetarian-friendly lutein

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Lutein, Macular degeneration, Nutrition

Kemin foods, the US manufacturer and marketer of nutritional
ingredients for the food and dietary supplement market is to launch
the first vegetarian lutein ingredient onto the market. The firm is
looking to drive this preservative and gelatine-free, kosher
product into the growing natural and whole foods segment.

The dry form product is derived from non-GMO material and has been recommended for use in nutritional supplements. The original product FloraGLO Lutein can already be found in many leading nutritional supplements, as well as fortified foods and skin care products.

The product, called FloraGLO Lutein 5% VG Granules, has been met with GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) approval as well as meeting a variety of food and beverage categories in accordance with Section 201 of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Rodney Ausich, president of Kemin Foods​ said:"We are pleased to now offer our purified, patented FloraGLO Lutein to supplement brands that require vegetarian ingredients."

"The added benefits of natural, GMO-free granule ingredients make this an appealing product within this growing health food segment."

Lutein is a naturally occurring carotenoid-a pigment compound- found in green leafy vegetables, like spinach, kale and broccoli. Its protective qualities as an antioxidant reduce harmful free radicals that can occur in cells and may contribute to cell damage.

These protective qualities enable lutein to protect plant cells from sunlight and oxidative stress. The same qualities may protect human cells in the eye's retina, the skin and other organs and tissues from these same damaging factors.

Market data shows growth in the US vegetarian foods market of 113 per cent from 1998-2003, with annual growth rates between 8 and 16 per cent. US sales of lutein supplements alone increased to $100 million in 2002 from $30 million in 1999 according to the Nutrition Business Journal.

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. A study published in Invest Ophthalmology Vis Sci 2002;43: indicated that age-related macular degeneration (AMD) was, in part, a nutrition responsive disorder. Subjects who were given regular doses of lutien antioxidant supplements appeared to show improvement in some measures of visual function.

Studies have also indicated that daily intake of 6 mg to 10 mg may be beneficial. Lutein may help protect the outer and inner layers of skin through use of oral and topical skin-care products.

Non-vegetarian FloraGLO is already available and present in a number of supplements and multivitamins. Last year, health foods manufacturer Hain Celestial Group introduced two new juices fortified with Kemin Foods' FloraGLO Lutein. The new carrot and vegetable juices each contain 1mg of purified lutein per 8 ounce serving and were made available nationwide through natural foods retailers.

Related topics: Research, Antioxidants/carotenoids

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