Ethical Naturals has said its new GreenGrown glucosamine helps address the need for vegetarian product in the growing market for the ingredient, which is said to require an overall 5,000 tons supply per year. Glucosamine has been shown to help rebuild and repair human cartilage. It is therefore a base ingredient used in supplements for joint health, and is often used in conjunction with chondroitin, which gives cartilage elasticity. However, as most glucosamine is derived from shell-fish, it is not suitable for use by vegetarians, people who are allergic to shell fish, and those who adhere to a Kosher diet. In an effort to meet this gap in the market, a number of vegetarian sources of glucosamine have started appearing on the market, including Cargill's Regenasure, derived from the fungus Aspergillus niger, and Cyanotech's JointAstin. China-based Hygieia Health also this week announced a new vegetarian glucosamine, as did DNP International at the end of last year. Ethical Naturals, a Californian firm that supplies ingredients to the supplement industry, has now added its name to the growing list, supplying both HCL and Sulfate forms of the ingredient. The company said its GreenGrown glucosamine is derived from corn, and produced using a proprietary process of corn fermentation. The ingredient is then further refined in order to meet "the highest levels of purity", said the firm. Other benefits highlighted by Ethical Naturals are that the ingredient is manufactured using "environmentally friendly technology", and that each batch is screened and guaranteed pesticide-free. The San Anselmo-based firm also said the ingredient is manufactured to the highest USP grade of purity. "With new uses for Glucosamine in the beverage and food markets, combined with the expanded, ongoing demand for joint care supplements, the unique qualities of GreenGrown glucosamine are already attracting a substantial amount of interest in the supplement industry," said Cal Bewicke, the company's president. GreenGrown is available in both granular and powder forms, and is kosher certified.