Cyanotech announces self-affirmed GRAS for antioxidant astaxanthin

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition Antioxidant Dietary supplement

Hawaii-based Cyanotech has announced self-affirmed Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status for use in food and beverage applications status for its product BioAstin Natural Astaxanthin.

A dietary supplement said to have powerful antioxidant and other health benefits, BioAstin Natural Astaxanthin is produced from microalgae. Its health benefits are claimed to stem from its superior antioxidant activity and from its ability to fight free radical damage and combat ongoing oxidative stress, supporting skin, muscle and joint health.

Cardiovascular system

"Natural Astaxanthin can have up to 550 times the antioxidant activity of vitamin E and 10 times the antioxidant activity of beta-carotene, and surpasses many of the antioxidant benefits of Vitamin C and other carotenoids​,” according to a company statement.

Natural Astaxanthin is said to support skin structure during sun exposure, healthy immune function, energy levels, joint health and a healthy cardiovascular system.

Commenting on the self-affirmed GRAS, Gerald Cysewski, Cyanotech’s founder and chief scientific officer said: “Cyanotech is pleased to have BioAstin self-affirmed with GRAS status, which will allow manufacturers to use it in a variety of functional food and beverage products​.”

In addition to the positive impact on US sales, self-affirmed GRAS is also an important milestone for other countries’ regulatory bodies considering allowing BioAstin in functional foods and beverages. Cyanotech distributes BioAstin to nutritional supplement, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical manufacturers for use in stand-alone nutritional supplements or in supplement formulas in more than 50 countries.

The company obtained self-affirmed GRAS status after assessment by a panel of experts assembled by GRAS Associates. GRAS assessment documentation has been submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the agency’s review.

Cyantech’s algae are grown at its 90-acre facility in Kona, Hawaii, using patented and proprietary technology.

Largest scale producer

Meanwhile, Cysewski claims Cyanotech is now the globe’s largest scale producer of astaxanthin from microalgae. “With the announced closure in 2010 by Yamaha Motors of its natural astaxanthin production facility in Japan and Fuji Chemical Company closing its facility in Maui, Hawaii (while still maintaining astaxanthin production in Sweden), we estimate that we are now by far the world’s largest producer of natural astaxanthin from microalgae​,” said Cysewski.

Last year the company unveiled a new antioxidant system for BioAstin, based on a blend of naturally occurring tocopherols. The system is said to enhance stability, doubles shelf-life and may prolong the storage capability of its customers’ final products.

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