MRI minerals receive GRAS for foods

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Mineral Resources International (MRI) has received GRAS status for
its mineral ingredients, opening up the products to the US
functional food and beverage market.

The firm, which has been using these ingredients in its own finished dietary supplement products, said the approval will "open new doors for our company".​ MRI's natural mineral concentrates are "naturally"​ harvested from the northwest arm of Utah's Great Salt Lake, and are then processed by the firm. Trace minerals contained in sea water include magnesium, potassium and bromine, and are thought to play an essential role in maintaining optimal health. According to MRI, the Great Salt Lake water is six to ten times more concentrated than regular ocean water, and is a more "naturally pure"​ source. MRI claims it is the only firm to achieve GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status for naturally harvested mineral products. The self-affirmed GRAS was received after a panel of scientific experts reviewed scientific, safety and product data. The company said the new approval will allow manufacturers of foods and beverages to enhance the nutritional profile of the products. In addition, the minerals could be used as flavor enhancers in certain applications, said the firm. "Dietary intake studies continue to show that many consumers don't receive adequate amounts of essential minerals,"​ said Bruce Anderson, president and CEO of MRI. " With this new designation, food companies can easily fortify the nutritional content of their functional foods and beverages with the essential minerals consumers want to support cardiovascular health, brain function, bone health, and a number of other personal health and wellness concerns." ​The ingredients are made using all-natural minerals, and do not contain synthetic or chemical additives, said Anderson. The company, which was set up in 1969, focuses on the manufacture of nutritional supplements using naturally occurring minerals and trace minerals from the Great Salt Lake. Last year, the firm was involved in a legal dispute with competitor Trace Minerals Research (TMR) over intellectual property. In June, the US District Court for the State of Utah ruled that MRI had committed trademark infringement and unfair competition by continuing to use trademarks owned by TMR after the company allegedly terminated its license agreement. In November, the same court denied a motion for summary judgment submitted by TMR, which was seeking ownership of the international rights to certain trademarks. One of the trademarks at issue is for Concentrace, which TMR markets as "the most powerful natural health mineral supplements in the world".​ The court ruled that MRI violated the license agreement "on several occasions"​ after TMR terminated its license for the supplement.

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