The company said it had submitted the ingredient to a review by an “expert panel” of safety and toxicological data and means the eye health ingredient can be used in foods in the US, at least this year.
“As part of the self-determination process, the expert panel was provided extensive ingredient information including the background of the ingredient, usage history, summary of anticipated daily intake and literature research,” OmniActive said.
“Upon completion of the material review, the panel then conducted a safety assessment. OmniActive is also currently in the process of securing self-affirmed GRAS status for its newest offering, Lutemax 2020.”
OmniActive vice president, Hiren Doshi, said: "Achieving self-affirmed GRAS status for our Lutemax line of free lutein and lutein esters assures our food and beverage customers that they can safely use these clinically validated ingredients in an array of foods and beverages aimed at improving consumers' overall eye health."
The firm last year agreed to phase out one form of Lutemax in favour of its new lutein and zeaxanthin-based version, Lutemax 2020, by the end of 2010, after it thrashed out an agreement with lutein rival, Kemin Food.
Kemin had for many years previously charged it with patent infringement.
Kemin filed its suit against OmniActive on July 17, 2007 at the US District Court for the Middle District of Florida for infringing on methods pertaining to the isolation and purification of lutein and lutein compositions.
The patent at issue in the OmniActive suit was licensed exclusively to Kemin through a research collaborator and Catholic University of America in 1995.