New Hope Network is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Sitemap


Articles from 2011 In February


New Hope Standards Group takes high road on health claims

The New Hope Standards Department has been one of the best-kept secrets of this company. It forms the regulation-compliant framework under which all of New Hope Natural Media's business is conducted, whether at trades shows or other events or in New Hope's various publications.

New Hope is the only media company within the natural products industry that has a dedicated Exhibitor and Standards Department. That's the boilerplate. But what does it mean?

It means that everything that appears on the floor at SupplyExpo, Natural Products Expo West and the other New Hope trade shows – all of the banners, all of the handout literature – goes through a rigorous process to ensure that it complies with federal regulations. It means that the advertisements that appear in New Hope publications go through the same process. It means that New Hope's industry partners are willing to step up to the plate in cooperation with Don McLemore, director of the New Hope Standards Department, and his team members Michelle Kelly Zerbib and Steve Taormina, to try to make this a better, more reliable business.

It's an effort that has drawn kudos from industry.

"I think it has no equal in the industry,"said Scott Steinford, president of ZMC-USA and also an industry consultant. "The biggest obstacle we have as an industry is overcoming bad players, and I think the New Hope Standards Department has gone a long way to make sure that doesn't occur.

"The standards department levels out the playing field for those companies that are dedicated to doing the right thing. It provides a greater degree of confidence from a marketing standpoint. We know that there are not going to be issues that arise over companies making unsubstantiated or unfair claims.”

It's a critical differentiator for New Hope, said Loren Israelsen, executive director of the United Natural Products Alliance.

Birthed by DSHEA

To understand why this became a priority at New Hope, we have to delve into history. During the tumultuous birth of the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA), which became law in 1994, questions were raised in Congress about industry responsibility in the relatively free market that DSHEA would bring about.

"A number of key members of Congress – the Kennedys and the Waxmans of the world – quite rightly said, ‘Why do you deserve it and what kind of standards and practices do you have in place that would reassure us that if we do agree to this, that this won't all go badly?'" Israelsen said.

That led to an urgent scramble to catalogue the standards and practices then extant in the industry in 1992-93, forming the Natural Products Quality Assurance Alliance (NPQAA). That group produced something of an encyclopedia cataloguing definitions, industry practices, etc., that was presented to these key members of Congress as part of a demonstration of the earnestness of the natural products industry.

In the midst of this ferment, New Hope sponsored a meeting in the fall of 1992 at the Hotel Boulderado, in New Hope's backyard, according to Israelsen, who was there.

"It was on neutral ground, which was getting hard to find," he said.

The meeting focused on what Israelsen called the "first principles"of DSHEA, which he summed up as: How does the industry provide broad consumer access in an atmosphere of confidence and trust in the products being offered? They must go together.

"New Hope has consistently been a champion of the first principles of DSHEA, but also a champion of the second, underlying principle: the responsibility not to screw this up. New Hope did what it could do as a trade show provider and as a publisher. They set the standards in place and then they just did it," Israelsen said.

McLemore was working at the time for the Herb Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization.

New Hope contracted with the foundation to put together a standards program, and McLemore was the obvious choice as the first, and to date only, director of the department.

"I came (to the natural products industry) after a career in the medical industry. I wanted to find a way of life and a profession that was consistent with my philosophy," McLemore said. McLemore and his team collect the material for all the trade show booths and review it for compliance with claims language allowed under DSHEA. They also vet all of the advertisements that appear in the various New Hope publications.

How Standards work

What they find is sometimes surprising, McLemore said. "Some of them [natural products companies] don't know there is a DSHEA," McLemore said. Regardless, whether it's a long-time client whose ads and booth materials are generally compliant or a first-time exhibitor whose approach is a little, shall we say, edgier, the same standards are applied to all.

"We don't just run people off. We try to work with people. It is an education process," McLemore said.

"It is unfortunate how many companies appear to be not aware of the rules or unwilling to comply," said Israelsen. "I attribute that to the extended summertime the industry has enjoyed for 16 years in the post-DSHEA era when it has been blue skies and 72 degrees for most people most of the time."Many companies and decision makers came into the industry in the post-DSHEA period of rapid growth.

"And they really don't understand how difficult it was – that FDA was very aggressive. Times were pretty dark. Companies didn't know what they could tell their customers. You didn't know what ingredients FDA would go after," he said.

Some companies have problems because of almost willful cases of ignorance. McLemore cited the case of a major company based in Europe that wanted to exhibit its products at Expo West. The labeling for the products and the associated information was completely noncompliant.

"You'd think if you were spending that much money you'd want to hire a regulatory consultant," McLemore said. Nevertheless, it went through the process, using McLemore and his department as, in effect, free consultants. In the end, the manufacturer decided that it would not be able to meet the regulatory requirements.

Some companies cut even more corners, trying stunts that border on being illegal. Taormina showed a case of a falsified organic claim, in which a company replaced the certified name with its own. It's not an isolated incident, unfortunately.

That segues into a key point of the standards department ­– the complete autonomy McLemore and his teammates have in applying the standards and making decisions on those companies that don't measure up.

"[New Hope executives] said to me, ‘When it comes to standards, it's your call. We know we will lose some exhibitors and advertisers,'" he said.

The standards department turns away about 10-20 potential exhibitors every Expo West. "Some of the booths we turn away… you would not want to exhibit next to them if you were an exhibitor," McLemore said. 

Fewer print advertisements are turned away. Zerbib handles most of the work associated with bringing print ads into compliance. "I have a pretty good record," she said.

The combination of lost revenue and the significant investment of having three full-time employees devoted to this work is the price New Hope pays to be able to say that it is supporting and fostering best practices within the industry. And to be able to say with backing from industry that New Hope puts on the most carefully vetted events in the natural products industry.

"It's raised my opinion of New Hope above others to know that those kind of standards are there," Steinford said.

"At the end of the day, as companies believe that if you go to a show that is vetted, as the standards rise and there are greater expectations and insistence that we can do better, my hope is that exhibitors at Expo West and SupplyExpo will use the fact that they are there on the show floor as a badge of honor," Israelsen said.

Review process: Nuts and bolts

• When exhibitor or advertising claims are noncompliant, clients are notified that the claims must be omitted or revised in order to exhibit or advertise.

• In the case of unacceptable drug claims, the department provides the client with examples of acceptable structure/function claims (with a disclaimer that advice does not constitute a legal review for compliance with FDA/FTC regulations).

• Clients are given a comprehensive list of FDA/FTC regulatory and scientific consultants.

• Clients are also supplied with FDA/FTC warning letters to other companies that have made similar claims.

PAVA: Government acknowledges reliable quality of PAVA’s flour

On the 24th of February 2011 PAVA received the highest public award in the field of food production based on 2010 results entitled "For Abundance and Prosperity of Russia."

Having received “For Abundance and Prosperity of Russia” award PAVA has once again proved its reliability and accountability as well as efficiency of its approaches to business. Based on 2007 results Ministry of Economic Development and Trade recognized the company as the "Best Russian Exporter of the Year” while in 2008 Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade acknowledged the grain processor as the “Most Dynamically Developing Russian Exporter”.

These awards are well deserved. In fact, PAVA took part in government programs targeted at supporting the Far North regions, military units and naval fleets. The company also supplied its products under government campaigns to overseas destinations. In addition to that, the grain processor acts as a supplier of food products under World Food Programme initiated by United Nations.

Q&A: Frank Lampe of American Herbal Products Association


Frank Lampe is the new director of communications at the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), a former editor of Natural Foods Merchandiser and editorial director at New Hope Natural Media, and has been part of the healthy-living media marketplace for 22 years. He was previously the executive vice president of InnoVision Health Media.

Frank LampeFi: You did some work with the medical profession while you were at InnoVision. Based on that experience, do you see ways to create bridges between our businesses and theirs?

FL: Absolutely. The medical profession consists of a very complex group of individuals because the various disciplines are quite diverse. You’ve got MDs who are the most critical of the products because of their ultimate reliance on science. And then you’ve got many others including naturopaths, acupuncturists, nutritionists, dieticians and others who utilize different therapies including supplements.

But as influencers, they have become much more important to this industry in terms of their engagement with the products. Going forward, the medical profession will be even more tied to the success of this industry as they embrace the products, drive additional research and ultimately use them more and more in their own practices.

Fi: In your role for AHPA, do you see opportunities and challenges for the supplements category, specifically, reaching out to medical professionals? A lot of them are afraid of herbs.

FL: We’re familiar with traditional herbs and traditional uses for herbs; but medical professionals, specifically MDs, just don’t have any stomach for anecdotal evidence, even if a product has been proven effective for more than 2,000 years. They’ve all been brought up in the AMA model and, until recently, the medical schools were all reinforcing the “empirical-knowledge-only” model. Multi-constituent botanicals just don’t fit into this model very well. As you probably know, ginger has more than 475 identified constituents – and probably more that we don’t know about. This is true for almost all botanicals. How can you extract one constituent and expect definitive research to show benefit? 

You do have a handful of progressive MDs who are supportive of the products, but it’s going to take continued research and the promotion of quality science to get those practitioners to really buy into herbs ­– and dietary supplements in general.

Fi: You and your wife, Monica, have a little piece of wilderness near Westcliffe, Colo. The last we heard, you had deer that were angry with you for thinking you had any right to be there.

FL: You know, the deer seem to like us, especially during hunting season when we see many more of them on the property. We get to share the land with mountain lions, bobcats, pronghorn antelope, rattlesnakes, giant jack rabbits, elk and also some bear – we found some tracks nearby recently. And coyotes, of course. It’s a wonderful retreat and a great reminder of our ties to the natural world. But it’s not a place you would leave a small dog out at night.­

–Suzanne Shelton
www.sheltongrouppr.com

Delicious Living

Delicious Living Editor's Choice: Tipu's Chai

 

Tipu's Chai.  I call this organic, fair-trade chai a "Goldilocks" drink:  not too sweet, not too spicy and just right.  The recipe was passed down to founder Bipin Patel from his grandmother in India, so it's the real deal, without any sweeteners, preservatives, or lactose.  A warming treat, available in concentrate, decaf, instant and slow brew.

-Elisa Bosley, senior food editor

Soy-plus-sterols drink offers extra cholesterol-lowering power

Soy's ability to lower cholesterol levels is well documented in scientific literature. Health claims stating as much have been approved in a number of countries, including the U.S., UK and Japan.

Click to enlargeSo it was something of a shock when, in August last year, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a negative opinion on an Article 14 disease risk reduction health claim put forward for evaluation under the European Union's Nutrition & Health Claims Regulation.

Submitted by a group of three trade bodies, the dossier requested approval for the claim that: "Soy protein has been shown to lower/reduce blood cholesterol; blood cholesterol lowering may reduce the risk of (coronary) heart disease."

Soy producers had hoped a positive opinion, and subsequent European Commission ratification, would have put soy on a similar footing to plant sterols and stanols, which are already subject to approved claims to lower cholesterol levels.

But EFSA threw the dossier out, arguing that the studies submitted did not demonstrate conclusively that soy protein, rather than other constituents in the various products tested, was the cause of any reduced cholesterol levels that occurred. For now, it leaves the soy industry in limbo in the cholesterol space.

It's against this turbulent backdrop that Alpro, one of Europe's largest suppliers of soy-based food and beverage products, has launched an intriguing new proposition. Alpro Soya Plus is a standard soy milk drink, but with a significant twist – it contains plant sterols.

Marketed as a cholesterol-lowering drink, it bears all the hallmarks of a direct response to EFSA's negative opinion on soy protein. But Alpro said this is absolutely not the case, insisting that it is a coincidence that it has begun to arrive on shelves just as the soy industry is facing a health claims induced crisis. "Plus has been in the pipeline for some time and is not a reaction to the EFSA decision," said John Allaway, Alpro's commercial director for its UK business.

Instead, he said the rationale behind the product concept has always been to give consumers a double-hit of cholesterol-lowering power. "We believe there is an added benefit and at some point in the future, once we've managed to submit our studies [to EFSA], we'll be able to make claims on the combined effect," he explains.

Alpro will be getting in touch with health professionals in a bid to persuade them to recommend Alpro Soya Plus to patients with raised cholesterol.

"We have a team who work very closely with healthcare professionals," said Allaway. "We'll be doing a large campaign letting them know about this product, providing them with material they can use with patients."

Yamaha, Fuji astaxanthin plant closures shake up sector

The natural astaxanthin market has had a bit of a shakeup recently, with the announced closure of two production facilities from two different Japanese suppliers.

First, in late December, Yamaha Motor Co. folded its entire Life Science Division and astaxanthin production line. Then, in January, Fuji Chemical Industry Co. announced it was closing its astaxanthin facility in Maui, though it will continue to maintain production at its Sweden locale.

"We are not very surprised about these closures, as we've seen several other companies get into the astaxanthin game over the years and withdraw after finding out that it's not that easy," said Bob Capelli, vice president of sales and marketing for astaxanthin supplier Cyanotech Corp. "The reasons for closures in the past have been mostly because of an inability to produce  Haematococcus, the microalgae from which astaxanthin is extracted. It's a very difficult species to produce, particularly in large quantities."

The companies gave different reasons for the closures.

Yamaha expanded beyond its existing motor, vehicle and musical instrument product lines in 2005 when it opened a Life Science Division to produce natural astaxanthin. In 2006, the company created PURESTA astaxanthin ingredient for cosmetics and skin-care products. In 2007, it released ASTIVO, an astaxanthin-based health supplement, to the general market.

Despite the launches, in the three fiscal years between 2007 and 2009, cumulative sales did not exceed 500 million yen ($6.03 million), "proving market demand and growth rate to be far below initial estimates," the company said in a statement. "Future projections indicate that it will be difficult to achieve further growth and improve the business' profitability."

Fuji began operating its Swedish facility in 1994; it was the first in the world to produce commercial natural astaxanthin, sold under the name AstaCarotene. The ingredient is now called AstaREAL, and it was also being produced at a second manufacturing facility in Hawaii.

The AstaREAL brand has the largest market share globally of natural astaxanthin for human consumption, the company said.

Fuji has cast the closure of its Hawaiian facility as a "strategic realignment," which will create "better product uniformity, operational efficiency and ease of expansion" by consolidating operations in Sweden.

"Although both facilities operated fully enclosed biosystems, each equally producing the highest levels of astaxanthin in the world, the two technologies were different," the company said in a statement, issued mid-January. "Consolidating operations into one of the two technologies would avoid duplication of effort and achieve operational efficiency.  One of the reasons the Swedish facility was chosen as the surviving technology was because of its ease of expansion.  It is modular and can be expanded rapidly."

For its part, competitor Cyanotech is puzzled by Fuji's explanation.

"To be honest, we found Fuji's reason very strange as they built their Hawaiian facility from scratch and were publicly touting their technology as 'a cutting edge BioDome system in Maui' for the last several years," Capelli said. "To put it bluntly, if the technology they developed and invested in to build their Maui facility worked, I can't imagine why they would close it."

Ken Sadowsky joins Bai as an investor and advisor

Bai Brands (www.drinkbai.com) has announced that Ken Sadowsky, a beverage industry leader who serves as executive director of the Northeast Independent Distributors Association (NIDA), has agreed to become an investor and advisor. Bai Brands produces the fast-growing Bai and Bai5 lines of beverages powered by the coffee fruit, one of nature's most powerful antioxidants.

"I am excited to have Ken Sadowsky come aboard as an investor and advisor to Bai," said Ben Weiss, Bai's founder and CEO. "Ken has been a major figure in the beverage industry for many years, with a proven knack for associating with brands that are winners. Ken has established a reputation as one of the industry's most astute trend observers, and I am grateful that he believes in the Bai brand strongly enough to invest in our future. I welcome the opportunity to benefit from his insights and perspectives as part of the network of beverage industry professionals who have supported—and continue to support—the growth of Bai."

Sadowsky has more than 20 years of operational experience in the beverage industry, with a vast network of relationships with distributors and industry leaders and entrepreneurs. As executive director of NIDA (www.nidaonline.org), he oversees a network of leading multibrand beverage distributors covering nine states. In recent months, Bai has reached distribution agreements with several members of NIDA to significantly enhance distribution of Bai and Bai5 throughout the Northeast.

Sadowsky also serves as a senior beverage advisor to Verlinvest (www.verlinvest.com), a Brussels-based investment holding company founded by the family tied to Interbrew (now Anheuser Busch InBev). He was a principal of Atlas Distributing Inc., overseeing the non-alcoholic beverage division, which he created in 1988 and grew from $50,000 in sales to more than $16 million by 2007. Sadowsky was a director of Energy Brands, Inc. (Glaceau), makers of Glaceau vitaminwater, smartwater, and fruitwater, from 2000 to 2006. He currently sits on the board of directors of All Market Inc., a private company that makes Vita Coco coconut water, and Hint Inc., a private company based in San Francisco that makes Hint Water.

"I am extremely encouraged by what I have seen in Bai—both in the product, which is creating an exciting new segment in the functional beverage category, and in the people involved with building and growing the company," Sadowsky said. "Bai has charted a very impressive path in a relatively short period of time. I hope to help make Bai an even greater success, the way I have with the other brands in my portfolio." 

About Bai Brands

Harnessing the benefits of coffee's "superfruit," Bai Brands produces the innovative line of Bai and Bai5 beverages to meet the demands of today's health-conscious consumers. Bai beverages offer refreshing, exotic fruit flavors and are powered by the coffeefruit—one of nature's most powerful antioxidants and, until now, one of its greatest secrets. Based on a scoring method used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, or ORAC), the coffeefruit extract found in Bai provides more than 40 times the antioxidant benefit of acai per gram and more than 50 times the benefit of pomegranate. Bai is lightly sweetened with organic evaporated cane juice in its traditional line and organic stevia in its low-calorie Bai5 line. Unlike the over-caffeinated energy drinks saturating the market, a bottle of Bai contains 70 mg of natural caffeine—less than a typical cup of coffee—that is derived from coffeefruit and white tea extract.

Bai beverages are available through an expanding network of retailers and distributors in the Northeast, the West Coast and the Midwest, as well as the Caribbean, Dubai and Panama. Bai won the Best New Functional Drink and Best New Beverage Ingredient awards at the InterBev 2010 Beverage Innovation Awards. For more information, visit www.drinkbai.com.

Mead Johnson Nutrition gets halal approval

Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN) Philippines, Inc., recently obtained a Halal Assurance System (HAS) Certificate from the Assessment Institute for Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics of the Indonesian Council of Ulama of Indonesia, the most highly recognized halal-certifying body worldwide.

A Halal Certification recognizes that products are permissible under Islamic law and thus are consumable or usable by Muslims.

The HAS certificate was issued to MJN Philippines after it consistently maintained an “A” rating for three consecutive years, from 2008 to 2010, during annual Halal Assurance System implementation audits conducted for companies exporting products to Indonesia.

The certification signifies that Mead Johnson has effectively implemented the halal assurance system in every step of its supply chain, from raw material purchasing to final product transportation.

In 2008, MJN Philippines was the first company in Asia to achieve an “A” rating on a first HAS implementation audit. Owing to this accomplishment, Mead Johnson representatives were invited to be among the resource speakers at at the International Training on Halal Assurance System in Bogor, Indonesia, in 2009 when the company, again, received an “A” rating on the second HAS implementation audit, where 19 of the 20 assessment components were rated “A.”

Last October 2010, another “A” rating was given to MJN during the 3rd HAS audit, where 100% of the assessment components were rated “A.” The HAS certificate is valid for two years.

Mead Johnson, one of the leading companies in the world known for science-based nutritional products for babies and children, began its operations in the Philippines in February 1962. Next year will mark its golden jubilee in the country.

C P Kelco seminar highlights its new hydrocolloids for food products

C P Kelco, a Huber company, organised a seminar on "Latest innovations in Hydrocolloids and their applications in the development of value for many products."

The seminar also marked the launch of its newly established application laboratory in Mumbai.
The application laboratory was inaugurated by Beh Kok Wei, technical director, customer innovation & application, C P Kelco. The laboratory is fully equipped with instruments like homogenizer, high speed stirrer, hot air oven, viscometer for measuring the thickness, cooling incubator for yoghurts and auto stirrer.

According to Beh Kok Wei, "Innovation is not restricted to products but also to processing and packaging."

CP Kelco is the innovation leader in the production of polysaccharides by microbial fermentation, extraction from land and sea plants, and modification of cellulose-based raw materials. It has over 200 years experience in the manufacturing, manipulation and application of multiple hydrocolloids.

Taking into consideration the rising price of sugar and the fact that people are becoming more and more diet conscious, the company invented certain hydrocolloids which can be used as alternative (ingredients) in food products by maintaining their original taste, but by providing additional benefits through increased shelf life, cost reduction and are also low in calories.

The latest innovations in hydrocolloids, as offered by the company, were GENU Pectin, KELCOGEL Gellan gum, KELTROL Xanthan gum, GENU Carageenan, CEKOL Cellulose gum, GENU GUM, SIMPLESSE and SLENDID 200.

Each hydrocolloid has a different usage or functionality like GENU Pectin is a polysaccharide derived from naturally occurring structural components in fruits and vegetables. The raw material source is citrus peel. It is the first and foremost gelling agent and used to impart a gelled texture in products mainly in fruit-based foods. GENU Pectin is used in jams, jellies, marmalades, beverages, drinking yoghurts and fruit-flavoured drinks. It helps in thickening or gelling agent in acidic food, gives outstanding flavour and has an excellent stability. GENU Pectin can be used as an alternative to sugar reduction in food product without changing its original taste and is also cost effective.

KELCOGEL Gellan gum is a water-soluble polysaccharide produced by fermentation. It is available in two types, low acyl and high acyl. The low acyl forms firm, non-elastic, brittle gel, whereas high acyl forms soft, very elastic and non-brittle gel. It also provides sparkling clarity, process flexibility tolerance and range of textures. KELCOGEL Gellan gum can be used in oil droplets, herbs, fruit pulp, cocoa, bakery fillings, dessert gels and sauces.

KELTROL Xanthan Gum is produced by fermentation process using the bacterium Xanthaomonas campestris. It belongs to the cabbage family. KELTROL Xanthan gum functions as hydrophilic colloids to thicken and stabilises emulsions, foams and suspensions. It is soluble in hot and cold water. It is used in dressings, sauces, salsas, bakery products, syrups, puddings and marinades.

GENU Carrageenan is purified, natural hydrocolloids extracted from select red seaweed Rhodophyceae and is highly active, standardised carrageenan. It is used in dairy, beverages, vegetarian foods, meat and poultry products and water jellies.

CEKOL Cellulose Gum is highly-purified cold water-soluble polymer derived from cellulose. Cellulose gums are versatile, cost effective way to add viscosity. They give a thickening, binding, foam stabilisation, shelf life extension of baked goods, water retention and also addition of body and mouth-feel. They are used in ice-creams, red and white wines, fruit drinks, processed cheese creams, cottage creams, puddings, etc.

GENU Gum is a highly refined locust bean gum obtained from the seeds of the carob tree. Locust bean gum has long been used for moisture control and viscosity in food products. It provides clarity, syneresis control, and pH stability and low use levels. It is used in ready-to-cook products, water dessert gels, dairy desserts, and cream cheese.

SIMPLESSE is a versatile product that provides important functional benefits in a wide range of full-and low-fat food applications. SIMPLESSE is a free-flowing powder that is readily rehydrated which required no special processing. It promotes smoothness and creaminess, increases volume in baked goods, reduces processing time, can reduce fat and calories, is heat stable and also provides high quality protein. It is mainly used in low fat ice-cream, low fat cream cheese, white sauces, soups, coffee creamers, frozen desserts, spreads and fruit juice beverages.

SLENDID 200 is originally developed as a fat replacer. SLENDID 200 is a patented product and like traditional pectin it can also function as a thickener, stabiliser and texturiser in a wide range of products. It does not dissolve but rather swells instantly into soft particles creating the fat sensation in the final product. It gives a smooth and creamy mouth feel, supports "natural" label claim, is process friendly, controls syneresis, reduces the level of emulsifier and improves emulsion stability during manufacturing storage. It is used in butter, margarine, cake, cookies, mayonnaise, dressings, sauce, low fat ice-cream and ready-to-drink coffee beverage.

Superba krill oil proclaimed GRAS by independent panel

Aker BioMarine Antarctic announces that Superba(TM) Krill Oil has been determined to be safe for use as a human food ingredient by an independent panel of recognized experts. The panel conducted a critical review of extensive safety, toxicology and clinical research data obtained from animal and human testing, based on scientific procedures and safety assessment criteria established by the U.S. FDA. The determination comes from experts qualified by scientific training and is based on Superba(TM) Krill Oil's intended use in food.

"Safety is of course the most important factor for food ingredients and this GRAS finding by independent experts is an important validation of Superba's safety for foods and supplements," stated Nils Hoem, PhD, Chief Scientist at Aker BioMarine. "The safety of Superba Krill Oil has been exhaustively demonstrated, and this GRAS process is an important step in validating the studies we have conducted on our products. Superba is a minimally processed whole food harvested from the pristine Antarctic waters."

The high-phospholipid krill ingredients are intended for use as a source of omega-3 fatty acids in a number of food categories including beverages, cereals, cheese, dairy products, and other nutritional foods. The company is actively exploring functional food applications in the U.S. as well as in Europe where Superba(TM) Krill Oil is recognized as safe under the Novel Foods regulation.

"The health benefits demonstrated by Superba Krill phospholipid EPA & DHA in clinical research will now be available in food applications," stated Hoem. "Now the superior bio-efficiency, tolerability, and stability provided by krill's phospholipid omega-3 fatty acids will benefit consumers in convenient food products."

Aker BioMarine is the only krill ingredient marketer that is primary in its supply. Aker's proprietary Eco-Harvesting(TM) technology and on-board processing result in the unique composition of Superba(TM) Krill Oil and provide full traceability from sea to shelf. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has granted MSC Certification to Aker's fisheries, an exclusive distinction that no other krill fishery has earned. As part of an established commitment to substantiating krill's health benefits, Aker continues to sponsor in vitro, in vivo, and human clinical trials with phospholipid EPA & DHA from krill oil, consistently demonstrating a higher uptake of phospholipid omega-3 fatty acids, improved blood lipid profiles, and increased uptake of DHA in brain tissue compared to other omega-3 fatty acid sources.

About Superba(TM) Krill Oil

Superba(TM) Krill Oil is a pure, natural source of the health-promoting phospholipid EPA & DHA omega-3 essential fatty acids and the naturally occurring antioxidant astaxanthin. The uniqueness of Superba(TM) Krill Oil is that the omega-3 fatty acids are provided in phospholipid form. In vitro, in vivo, and human clinical research has demonstrated the safety and efficacy of Superba(TM) Krill Oil.

About Aker BioMarine

Aker BioMarine is an integrated biotechnology company dedicated to the sustainable harvesting of krill and development of krill-derived biotech products. The company supplies biomarine ingredients through an optimized value chain from raw materials to customers. Aker BioMarine's Superba(TM) Krill products are provided with 100% traceability from the Antarctic Ocean to the end user. Only Aker's krill fishery has been awarded Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Certification.