US Patent No. 9,226,940 targets individuals with presbyopia, hyperopia or astigmatism. In these three conditions, blue wavelengths of light are focused directly onto the macula, creating a higher risk for ocular damage.
The patent covers products containing ocular antioxidants including lutein and zeaxanthin employed to protect the eye from light-induced damage, particularly the damage caused by the blue wavelengths of light.
Kemin’s patent allows vitamin and dietary supplement manufacturers using FloraGLO Lutein and ZeaONE Zeaxanthin (distributed by DSM as OptiSharp Natural) to position their products for blue light protection, said the company.
“Because of the widespread prevalence of presbyopia, this patent opens the door for FloraGLO and OptiSharp Natural customers to make blue light eye protection claims when targeting consumers 45 years and older,” said Dr. Richard Roberts, patent inventor and principal manager of scientific affairs and technical services for the Human Nutrition and Health division of Kemin.
While nearly every source of light emits harmful blue wavelengths of light, our exposure is increasing with the growing prevalence of digital devices like computers, tablets and smartphones, said Kemin in a press release. As blue light levels and sources continue to grow, children are especially vulnerable to the effects.
“Children are exposed to blue light more than ever before. Believe it or not, greater than half of American children use digital devices two or more hours a day,” said Heather Richardson, vision platform senior product manager at for the Human Nutrition and Health division of Kemin. “Our patent can help customers address this growing concern and develop blue light protection products for kids.”
The company said it would offer royalty-free licensing of its patent to customers interested in marketing blue light protection products to adults 45+ and children ages 0-2.
“It is clear this will be a huge market opportunity for our customers as the concern of blue light exposure and consumer awareness grows,” said Anita Norian, president of the Human Nutrition and Health division of Kemin.