Ajinomoto paves way for capsinoids in the US

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dietary supplement

Ajinomoto has launched a website to educate health professionals
and consumers about the potential benefits of capsinoids,
after laboring to get New Dietary Ingredients
notification from FDA.

The Capsinoids Information Center contains information on how capsiate and other capsinoids are derived and the research behind their use for weight loss. In 2006, Ajinomoto received a letter from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) rejecting its request for capsinoid New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) status, only to then receive an approval letter from FDA dated May 17, 2007. As such, the current website can be seen as a means to drum up further support for the compound as a future weight loss ingredient in the US market. "Capsinoids are well-studied candidates for dietary supplements and ingredients that elicit some of the favourable effects experienced as a result of eating hot chilli peppers,"​ states Ajinomoto in a fact sheet geared towards health professionals. Capsinoids are a family of compounds, including capsiates, derived from the CH-19 strain of sweet chili peppers. This variety has very low levels of capsaicin, which are responsible for the 'spiciness' of chilli peppers. The Japanese company launched Capsiate Natura, a dietary supplement containing capsiates, in Japan in 2006. According to Ajinomoto, animal studies involving capsinoids have shown fat mass reduction and an increase in oxygen consumption. The company also assures the compounds have passed numerous consumption safety tests. However, the company had some convincing to do with FDA. In its 2006 letter, the federal agency stated: "Based on the safety data and information submitted in your notification, there is insufficient information for the assessment of reasonable safety of 'Capsiate Natura' as a dietary supplement,"​ said FDA senior toxicologist Linda Pellicore. Under DSHEA (the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act) any dietary ingredient not marketed in the US before October 15 1994 must be notified as an NDI 75 days before entering the market - a process that involves submission of scientific data to the FDA. Based on the FDA letters, Ajinomoto was initally unable to prove in its filing that capsinoids have a history as food components. However, FDA's May 17 notification letter to the company acknowledges, without any complaint or reservation, the use of capsicum annuum L.​ as a new dietary ingredient in the form of soft gel capsules containing 1mg of "CH-19 Sweet Extract". Researchers at Kyoto University found CH-19 peppers may offer the benefits associated with chili peppers and capsaicin without the pungency. Healthy adults involved in a study administering oral doses of capsinoids did not experience higher blood pressure or heart rate. They did however, experience fat burning similar to experiments involving capsaicin. "And research supports the notion that adding chili peppers to the diet will make people burn more fat than they otherwise would,"​ states Ajinomoto in a consumer handout provided for health professional use on the new website. The so-called obesity epidemic in the US makes it an appealing market within which to launch a weight loss ingredient. An estimated 66 percent of adults in the US are either overweight or obese, based on results from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). "Ajinomoto has invested heavily in research and development on capsinoids, and we believe the product holds considerable potential in the marketplace,"​ Ajinomoto released to NutraIngredients-USA in a statement.

Related topics: Suppliers, Polyphenols, Weight management

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