Sabinsa self-certifies Indian gooseberry as GRAS
While not as well-regarded as Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe), Sabinsa said it will proceed with bringing the Indian-sourced Ayurvedic ingredient to functional foods and beverages markets.
Vice president of Innovation and business development, Lakshmi Prakash, PhD, said the company would notify the FDA with the intention of receiving the valued letter of no objection from the regulator.
The panelists had spent “2-3 months” assessing Sabinsa’s ingredient, which Prakash said was comparable in cost to other superfruit extracts, and for which European Union approval was also being sought.
New food options
The GRAS-affirmation means Saberry can be added to products including baked goods, milk products, jams and jellies, gelatins and puddings, soups, snacks, candy, sugar, non-alcoholic beverages and instant tea and coffee.
“It’s too early to say when a product might be on the market but we are in negotiations with food companies,” Prakash said. “The fact it is part of the Ayurvedic tradition has helped grow its awareness.”
The ingredient was only brought to market last year, and is yet to feature in North America in dietary supplements, although discussions are more advanced in that area.
In this area, ascorbic acid was employed as the biomarker.
But Sabinsa said research had demonstrated that ascorbic acid was not totally reliable because it existed in inconsistent amounts in Amla, and so a new HPLC method was employed specific to those components, particularly antioxidants, existent in the fruit. Saberry contains a minimum of 10 percent b-Glucogallin and 50 percent gallates.
“Our research efforts established correct biomarkers, and now we can enter the functional food side with certainty of safety for our Saberry ingredient,” said Sabinsa marketing director, Shaheen Majeed.
Saberry is Sabinsa’s version of the Indian gooseberry, another name for Amla or Amalaki in Sanskrit, and which in the Ayurvedic tradition is known for its “rejuvenation” properties.
As an antioxidant-ladenb fruit, it is said to fight the degradation of skin proteins, which can enhance skin firmness. Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) measurements have confirmed it is in possession of high levels of antioxidants, like a lot of so-called superfruits.
The extract has a cumulative ORAC value of 5384 per gram.
The ORAC system is a commonly used value used to measure antioxidant capacity in a given composition. Cumulative ORAC is the sum of the values of ORACTotal (hydrophilic and lipophilic Peroxyl Radical Absorbance Capacity), SORAC (Superoxide Radical Absorbance Capacity), NORAC (Peroxynitrite Radical Absorbance Capacity), HORAC (Hydroxyl Radical Absorbance Capacity) and SOAC (Singlet Oxygen Absorbance Capacity).
Saberry ingredient is a water soluble, light colored powder. It is processed from fresh Indian gooseberries using solvent free technology, said Sabinsa.