Reducol nears European approval

Related tags European union Europe

Canadian company Forbes Medi-Tech said yesterday that it had
received a positive opinion from European authorities for the
approval of its wood-derived cholesterol-lowering ingredient

Following publication of the decision by the EU Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, the plant sterol ingredient will be permitted for use in milk-based drinks.

The news follows the recent approval as novel foods of a series of new plant sterol ingredients and applications from US-based Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), food giant Unilever and the smaller Finnish firms Teriaka and Pharmaconsult.

However the market for heart health foods is forecast for rapid growth and therefore has room for new ingredients, especially given the slow process for approval of phytosterols until recently.

A Frost & Sullivan report on plant sterols forecasts growth between now and 2010 at 15 per cent annually over this period, partly boosted by faster regulatory approval. (New applications can be cleared faster based on their similarity to previous approvals).

Forbes is however pinning much of its hopes on the European market, where consumers prefer non-GM foods. Most other plant sterols are made from soy.Its manufacturing facility, jointly owned with Phyto-Source LP, is currently the world's largest manufacturer of non-GMO sourced sterols.

"Clearance of this regulatory hurdle secures a significant milestone for the Company, leaving only the completion of administrative steps before pursuing Reducol sales in Europe,"​ said Charles Butt, president and CEO of Forbes Medi-Tech. "Europe represents a bourgeoning market for our cholesterol-lowering food ingredients. With the inclusion of ten new member states into the European Union, there is a substantial opportunity to further build our revenue base."

Last year it began work to increase the capacity of its manufacturing joint venture by 50 per cent, in anticipation of increased demand following a positive opinion from Europe.

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