Microbia Receives GRAS Notification for its Natural Beta-carotene

LEXINGTON, Mass., Jan 25, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Microbia, Inc., today announced that a panel of independent experts has determined its bio-based B-carotene (beta-carotene) to be GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) for both food and beverage applications. GRAS is a food safety standard implemented and recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"). Today's announcement paves the way for Microbia to begin marketing its B-carotene as a food ingredient in the United States.

Microbia followed FDA recommendations to establish that its B-carotene is GRAS. A three member panel of biomedical scientists, each qualified by relevant national and international experience and scientific training, completed an independent safety evaluation. The panel reviewed an extensive data package that included methods of preparation, compositional profile and safety and toxicology studies.

"GRAS status certifies that our natural B-carotene can be safely used as a food ingredient in numerous dairy and baked food products as well as processed fruits, vegetables and juices," explained Marcus Lovell Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Microbia. "Moreover, now we can offer a natural provitamin A alternative for use in dietary supplements."

B-carotene is one among many naturally derived carotenoids that Microbia is developing for the food ingredient and nutritional supplement markets. Utilizing its proprietary metabolic engineering capabilities, the Company created microbial strains that produce carotenoids via fermentation and is now focused on commercially launching these products.


Microbia, Inc. (formerly Microbia Precision Engineering), is an industrial biotechnology company that develops high-value, renewable specialty ingredients and biomaterials by applying its proprietary metabolic engineering to fermentation-based manufacturing. Carotenoids are the first products launched from Microbia's diverse pipeline of natural specialty ingredients, biopolymers, biofuels and other biomaterials. Microbia, Inc., based in Lexington, Massachusetts, was established in 2006 as an operationally independent subsidiary of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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