GRAS status gives K2 a US dairy platform, says NattoPharma

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Milk, Middle east

NattoPharma will be able to expand further in the US, said the firm, after it was awarded GRAS status for its vitamin K2 ingredient for dairy foods.

Company CEO, Peter Carlsson told DairyReporter.com he thought there was great potential for its MenaQ7 product in the country, where functional products are popular.

This is good news for NattoPharma, hence we can now ramp up the sales effort towards the US food industry, and expect to reposition MenaQ7 as a high quality and reliable vitamin K2 for enrichment of food products​”, said the CEO.

This opens immediate potentials in the dairy industry, as well as the non-dairy dairy segment,​” he added.

MenaQ7 has achieved the Self Affirmed (Generally Recognized as Safe) GRAS with designated specifications and for associated food uses, as long as production that occurs in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices.

This means the company can sell MenaQ7 to the food industry in the US as long as it complies with FDA requirements.

US growth

According to the CEO, yoghurt and milk are ideal partners for K2 due to the level of consumption of these categories.

However, he said the potential of the ingredient was open to the industry to see where they could see the benefits of K27 in their products.

Carlsson said there was also growing interest for MenaQ7 in the Middle East, Canada, Australia, Japan and Korea.

BRIC and Middle East countries especially have potential to become major markets for the product, however for the upcoming years NattoPharma is concentrating on Europe and US, said Carlsson, due to the traditional use of vitamins in these regions.

Bone and cardiovascular health

MenaQ7 provides natural vitamin K2 as a fermentation extract whereby vitamin K2 is manufactured using bascillus subtilis natto, this process has the capacity of producing the highly pure and bio-available form of vitamin K2, menaquinone-7 (MK-7).

There are two main health areas that the supplement targets, said the CEO.

Firstly, bone health, which is linked with calcium and vitamin D. However, K2 has the greatest potential in cardiovascular health were there is large global interest.

Professor Vermeer, a global leader in vitamin K research, previously told this publication that the synergistic effect of vitamin K2 in combination with calcium and vitamin D is a critical factor to bear in mind when fortifying foods.

“These three ingredients should be used in products together to optimise bone health, and, for that reason, dairy applications are the ideal delivery system,” ​he explained.

Related topics: Regulation

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