Cognis brings natural beta-carotene powder to US

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Immune system

Cognis has launched a water dispersible powder form of its beta-carotene ingredient in the US, which the firm says makes it accessible to a wider range of applications.

Betatene, which is derived from algae, has been on the market for a while as a natural colorant. However, Cognis has recently placed more emphasis on the health benefits that its ingredient can provide.

According to the German firm, scientific studies suggest that Betatene could have eye health and immunity benefits through the Vitamin A it contributes when the body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A. There is also evidence that beta-carotene may help protect against damage from the sun, which expands its use to cosmetics applications.

More flexibility

The new 10 percent water dispersible powder, which was launched at SupplySide West in Las Vegas last week, means the product can more easily be used in dry mixes, supplements in tablet form, and some foods that are easier to formulate with ingredients in power form rather than oil form.

Cognis’ senior marketing manager for North America Sharrann Simmons told that the firm is “in the process of working on GRAS” ​(generally recognized as safe) status for the new version.

The firm will soon submit its self-affirmed GRAS to the US Food and Drug Administration, and expects to receive a letter of non-objection by the third quarter of next year.

“It should be really fast as this is a well documented ingredient,”​ said Sharrann.


According to the company, the mix of carotenoids found in Betatene – beta carotene, alpha carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin – is similar to that present in many fruits and vegetables.

The carotenoids are derived from a natural source - the marine alga, Dunaliella salina​, grown on a cultivated algae farm on the Indian and Southern Oceans of Australia.

Betatene can be used for carotenoid fortification and for contributing vitamin A to snacks, energy bars, sports drinks and other foods. For dietary supplement manufacturers, Betatene can be used in single supplements, for products designed for particular market segments such as skin supplements, or as part of multivitamin and antioxidant formulations.

The company said that structure/function claims that could be used with the product include:

· Helps improves skin hydration and elasticity

· Improves skin moisture

· Helps reduce UV damage from sunlight

· Helps to maintain your skin’s healthy look and feel

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is thought to aid the immune system in fighting certain infections and inflammations, such as measles and infections caused by some food-poisoning organisms.

Indeed, the impact of vitamin A supplements on diarrhea in children is reported to be due to an effect on the immune response in the intestine. The body's response to a gastrointestinal infection by organisms such as E. coli is inflammation, which reduces the colon's ability to absorb water and results in diarrhea.

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