Fuji Chemical Industry, the parent company of US-based Fuji Health Science, claims to be the world's largest producer of astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that is produced by microalgae grown in the company's enclosed biosystems in Hawaii and Sweden.
Although the astaxanthin itself is of vegetarian origin, company spokesperson Joseph Catalfamo told NutraIngredients.com that there were two components in the old formula that were of animal origin, but he was not able to say precisely what these were.
He said that the old formula has now been supplanted by AstaREAL P2 AF, a powder containing a 2 percent astaxanthin complex that is directly compressible, water dispersible, stable, flowable, and free of FDA-identified allergens. Thus, the company said, it "has been designed to fill multiple roles to better serve the dietary supplements industry".
It can be used in two piece hard shells, tablets, powdered drinks and bars.
Charles DePrince, president of Fuji Health Science, said: "Fuji is vertically integrated with a 40+ year history in powder technology allowing us to continually provide product improvement to keep pace with demands of the market".
A number of other ingredient suppliers have taken steps to make their products suitable for vegetarians, including DSM Nutritional Products and Israel's Algatechnologies, which announced the introduction of vegetarian astaxanthin beadlets for tablets and hard shell capsules in March of this year.