ENI gets GRAS for L-Theanine

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Amino acid Gras status Tea Caffeine

Ethical Naturals Inc (ENI) has received GRAS status for its L-Theanine ingredient, which the firm says will help its uptake in the world of functional beverages.

ENI’s AlphaWave branded ingredient has been available to supplement and beverage manufacturers for around four months, but the firm’s president Cal Bewicke said the self-affirmed GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status was necessary (…) for widespread use in beverage applications.

L-Theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves, is thought to help reduce stress, promote relaxation and improve the quality of sleep.

Purity and quality

ENI said its AlphaWave ingredient is “equal to the most highly purified material available”.

It is produced under strict GMP’s and tested meticulously prior to release, it is also virtually tasteless, odorless and colorless, making it ideal for beverage and supplement use. In short, the primary advantages are reliability and safety,”​ Bewicke told NutraIngredients-USA.com.

L-Theanine is found in tea leaves in low concentrations (less than 2 percent), which means that effective dosage levels (of 100 – 200mg/day) cannot be delivered from drinking tea. For the same reason, Bewicke explained, it is “not practical” ​to refine a purified form of L-Theanine from tea leaves.

ENI would not disclose the source of its ingredient, but said it is derived from another naturally occurring amino acid” ​via a proprietary process, and standardized to 98 percent L-Theanine. The purified material is chemically identical to that found in green tea (Camelia sinensis​).

Applications and health claims

The firm said the GRAS status for AlphaWave L-Theanine applies to a range of applications, including beverages, hard candy, chewing gum and food bars. The proposed daily recommended intake from food and beverages is 50mg – 250mg, and the maximum daily recommended intake is 250mg, said ENI.

Bewicke said that published data on its branded ingredient supports the use of the structure/function claims: ‘Helps relax without drowsiness’; ‘Promotes mental clarity and focus’; and ‘Reduces nervous tension’.

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