GLG Life Tech Corp. (TSX:GLG), a global leader in the agricultural and commercial development of high quality natural sweeteners, announces that it has submitted a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) notification with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its luo han guo (monk fruit) extract products.
This notification represents many months of work developing the products and all required documentation for the FDA-administered GRAS process, in order to demonstrate that GLG's luo han guo extracts meet the FDA's criteria for safety. This process included in-depth consultations with GRAS Associates LLC, which convened an independent panel of scientists to spearhead the safety assessment. The GRAS notification covers three distinct luo han guo extracts, MV30, MV 50 and MV60, each containing a minimum level of mogroside V (30 percent, 50 percent and 60 percent, respectively).
GLG has set up a vertically integrated supply chain, including agriculture and processing, for luo han guo in China. GLG differentiates itself from other luo han guo producers in three ways: (1) its competitive advantage in establishing agriculture systems in China, including the introduction of Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) by its luo han guo farmers, superior luo han guo seedlings and its proven methods to expand the amount of farming in other crops such as stevia; (2) its advanced processing and extraction technology, which will enable GLG to more efficiently and economically produce luo han guo extracts and (3) its large industrial processing capacity, which well positions GLG for anticipated growth in the luo han market driven by international food and beverage companies. GLG is expecting its first fruit to be harvested at the end of the third quarter and to commence processing in late 2014. GLG is currently working with a number of international customers interested in its luo han guo products and expects initial sales to be finalized prior to the start of production.
Additionally, GLG has GRAS projects underway for two high-purity stevia products, high-purity rebaudioside C and rebaudioside D; notifications for these are expected to be released for review by the FDA in 2014 as well. GLG already has the largest number of stevia products certified under the GRAS process, including rebaudioside A products ranging from purities of 50 to 97 percent, high-purity stevioside and high-purity rebaudioside M. GLG is committed to ensuring that each of its naturally sourced sweetener products is fully documented as compliant with the FDA GRAS process.