Blue California, a manufacturer of highly purified botanical extracts, announced completion of their GRAS self-affirmation for Good&Sweet™ Reb-A 97%, a zero-calorie natural sweetener 400 times sweeter than sugar.
Blue California started commercial production of this natural sweetener derived from stevia in December 2007 and began the GRAS self-affirmation process in February 2008. After months of extensive review of data, the Expert Panel convened by GRAS Associates, LLC, concluded that Good&Sweet meets the safety criteria for use as a general purpose sweetener in a variety of food products for consumer use including, food, beverages, confectioneries and table-top products. It must be noted also that Good&Sweet meets, or exceeds, the specifications for steviol glycosides 95% established by the Joint Expert Committee of Food Additives (JECFA) in their June 2008 recommendation.
On December 17, 2008, the FDA issued a non-objection letter of GRAS status for another Stevia sweetener, paving the way for greater use of the product.
Cecilia McCollum, Blue California’s Executive Vice President, commented, “We are very pleased with the completion of our GRAS dossier for Reb-A, clearing the way for food and beverage companies to use this natural sweetener. Consumers world-wide want a safe natural sweetener without calories or guilt. We are also very proud Good&Sweet offers not only the highest purity but also the best taste” Blue California offers their trademarked ingredient at 97 and 99% purity.
GRAS self-affirmation is a legal and accepted process that allows companies and organizations to conduct their own GRAS self-determinations by consulting with an independent panel of scientists to determine if an ingredient meets the FDA’s criteria for safety. The necessary requirement is a “reasonable certainty in the minds of competent scientists that the substance is not harmful under the intended conditions of use.”
Robert S. McQuate, PhD, and CEO of GRAS Associates, adds, “We were very impressed with Blue California’s Rebaudioside A. Its extremely high quality puts it at the top end of purity. It will serve the food industry and consumers especially well.”
Rebaudioside A is a non-caloric natural sweetener derived from the stevia leaf, is heatstable and 400 times sweeter than sugar. Rebaudioside A and other Stevia products are approved for general food use in Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Russia, Israel (as of October 2008) Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and in a few other countries. It has been approved for use in dietary supplements in the U.S. since 1995.
Good&Sweet is manufactured by Blue California under strict GMP and ISO-9001:2000 quality certifications by NSF. Blue California is a manufacturer of Kosher-certified high purity botanical extracts and other unique ingredients for use in foods, beverages, cosmetics and dietary supplements.