Worcester, MA; October 25, 2004 – With interest in the antioxidant lutein for its claimed eye, skin and cardiovascular benefits at an all time high, and the results of a recent lutein supplementation study at the North Chicago VA Medical Center (published in April 2004 in Optometry – The Journal of the American Optometric Association) showing it effective in reversing symptoms of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the number of companies distributing lutein crystals is increasing.
According to Daniel Kagan, Ph.D., president of BioActives LLC of Worcester, MA, the increase in the number of suppliers has led to a wide disparity in the quality of lutein crystals available to manufacturers of supplement products.
Kagan says there are a number of distributors currently claiming either low concentrations of lutein at 45% or less or very high-grade lutein at above 90%. Based on random testing and detailed review of some of these company’s patents, BioActives has found that some of these products can be subject to rapid degeneration affecting shelf life or contain high residual-solvent levels – both factors that are undesirable by supplement manufacturers..
Kagan suggests the following guidelines for companies that purchase lutein crystals – the starting material for stabilized “beadlets”, 20% oil dispersion for softgels and other finished lutein products – for use in their own product manufacture. Buyers should check the supplier’s patent or manufacturing process to be sure that the process is gentle thereby avoiding excessive solvent residue. They should verify the supplier’s patent number to be sure the patent applies to making lutein (some don’t) and take steps to ensure that the process described in the patent is actually the one being used to produce the lutein. Lastly they should ask for certificates of analysis for each of the aforementioned.
Lutein is purified from marigold oleoresin that contains fatty acid esters of lutein. The purification process creates free lutein and residual impurities that hold moisture. The more impure lutein product has to be dried at higher temperatures for longer periods of time to lower moisture to less than 5%. These harsh processing conditions initiate a slow oxidative degradation of lutein, resulting in a significantly reduced shelf-life in the final product. If the moisture level is not reduced to below 5% the product also degrades more quickly.
About BioActives LLC
BioActives, based in Worcester, MA develops and manufactures active ingredients for nutraceuticals that have four distinct characteristics: proven efficacy; proprietary processes; distinct analytical footprints; and cutting-edge technology. These product-features satisfy increased consumer and regulatory demands for accountability as well as creating effective barriers to look-alike-products. BioActives’ proprietary products which include its patented lutein and its more bioavailable lutein complex are produced at its own G.M.P. facility in India.
More information about BioActives can be found at www.bioactives.com
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Dan Kagan, President
Email: [email protected]