GRAS opens functional food road for curcumin antioxidant

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Curcumin c3 complex, Nutrition

Herbal extract supplier Sabinsa has received GRAS status for its curcumin antioxidant ingredient, opening up its use in certain food and beverage applications in the US, including baked goods, snacks and dairy products.

The self-affirmed Generally Recognized As Safe status was determined after a review of safety and toxicology data by a panel of experts.

Sabinsa’s branded Curcumin C3 Complex is an extract of turmeric roots standardized to 95 percent curcuminoids. These are phenolic compounds that are thought to provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as support a healthy immune system.

Recent studies have investigated its potential to lower cholesterol levels, improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and diabetes as well as cancer-fighting properties.

Applications and levels

The new GRAS status means that Sabinsa’s ingredient, so far used in the US in dietary supplements, can now also be used in food and drink applications, including: Baked goods, milk products, fats and oils, jams and jellies, gelatins and puddings, soups, snacks, candy, frozen dairy, imitation dairy, non-alcoholic beverages and seasonings and flavors.

Sabisna said maximum recommended use levels of Curcumin C3 Complex are 0.125 percent w/w in these products. The safe intake level at the 90th percentile is 1.755g per day.

Turmeric has a long history of use in folk medicine for the treatment of wounds, infections, and other health problems.

Some experts recommend, however, that consumers wishing to make use of curcumin's properties consume it in supplement form rather than eating more curries, which tend to be rather high in fat in their Western form.

Sabinsa’s Curcumin C3 Complex last year also received Halal certification from the Islamic Foods and Nutritional Council of America (IFANCA), along with a number of other ingredients in the company’s portfolio.

Some studies

Over the last couple of years, curcumin has been linked to a range of health benefits, including potential protection against prostate cancer (Clinical Cancer Research​, 2008:14 - using Sabinsa's Curcumin C3 Complex), Alzheimer’s (Journal of Alzheimer's Dis​ease, 2006, Vol. 10, pp. 1-7; American Journal of Epidemiology​, 2006, Vol. 164, pp. 898-906), protection against heart failure (Journal of Clinical Investigation​, doi: 10.1172/JCI32865); diabetes (Molecular Nutrition & Food Research​, 2008, doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200700184); and arthritis (Arthritis & Rheumatism​, 2006, Vol. 54, pp. 3452-3464).

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