Lutein GRAS status is broadened to include new food and beverage categories

Roche experts will help developers meet
widening consumer demand for eye health benefits

(July 23, 2002) – Roche Vitamins Inc., the worldwide leader in nutritional ingredients for healthful foods and beverages, is eager to assist manufacturers in creating profitable new applications fortified with Lutein, a nutrient that can help promote eye health. Roche Lutein, which achieved GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status last year, has now received GRAS self-affirmation for seven additional food and beverage categories including: pasta sauce; snack crackers; canned soups; refrigerated yogurt; liquid, frozen and powder egg substitutes; ready-to-drink teas; and fermented milk beverages. The extended GRAS status is expected to create greater demand than ever for applications fortified with Lutein, which is already the world’s most popular nutrient for eye health.

Lutein is found primarily in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale and scientific evidence suggests that Lutein is associated with a reduced risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Over 22 million Americans aged 60 and over have either cataracts or AMD. In addition, cataract extraction surgery is the single largest item on the Medicare budget. As a result, consumers are well aware of the importance of maintaining eye health. In fact, in independent market research conducted by HealthFocus® it was found that today’s consumers rank eye health as a number-one health concern. Furthermore, a Gallup survey showed that 77% of consumers over age 60 believe that a nutritious and balanced diet can play a pivotal role in the health of their eyes.

However, industry studies show that most people do not eat enough dark green leafy vegetables and therefore are not receiving the full health benefits of Lutein. With its broadened GRAS status, Roche Lutein can now be formulated into a wide range of applications without affecting key profiles such as taste, texture, color and aroma. Besides the seven newly added food and beverage categories mentioned above, Lutein also has GRAS status for: cereals; soy milk; breakfast and granola bars; energy bars and energy drinks; fruit drinks and fruit juice; mixed vegetable juice; and meal replacement drinks.

Utilizing industry-leading resources that include more than 100 years of scientific exploration in health and nutrition as well as the world’s most advanced R&D capabilities, experts from Roche Vitamins will work side by side with customers to create applications containing Lutein – adding appeal to labels and taking full advantage of growing consumer demand for Lutein’s health benefits.

For further information about Roche Lutein, its recently broadened GRAS affirmation, and how the ingredient can bring exceptional sales and profit potential to foods and beverages, please contact Roche Vitamins Inc. at 45 Waterview Boulevard, Parsippany, New Jersey, 07054-1298. Phone: 1-800-526-0189, ext. 8338. Fax: 973-257-8472. Website:

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