The product has up to 94 per cent epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the active compound in green tea, which has been linked to prevention of a number of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, periodontal disease and dental cavities. Recent studies have also suggested that green tea may play a role in weight control and reducing body fat.
DSM is the world's first industrial manufacturer of pure EGCG, inheriting a new Shanghai-based facility for production of the ingredient, started early last year, from Roche Vitamins. Initial annual output is expected to be around 40 tonnes.
The product, unveiled at Natural Product Expo West in Anaheim, California last week, is nearly colorless, unlike other common tea extracts, and does not have the bitter taste of other green tea formulations, according to DSM.
The company does not yet have approval for its use in foods but told NutraIngredientsUSA.com that it expected to obtain GRAS status by the end of the year.
It will likely be added to dietary supplements and pharmaceutical products in coming months, however, and was 'well-received' by visitors to last week's event.
Teavigo has strong advantages over competing products in terms of tabletting properties as it is available in both powder and granular form and at such high concentration, can standardize the level of EGCG in green tea extracts.
Karen E. Todd, senior marketing manager at DSM Nutritional Products, explained: "High purity allows manufacturers to put more EGCG into a smaller tablet."
The product, an off-white powder that is completely water-soluble, produces a clear solution without residue or sediment in liquids and will therefore be suitable for beverage applications once GRAS approval is complete. High flowability also makes it well suited for sensitive applications and improves manufacturing efficiency, says the company.
A growing number of food makers are adding green tea extracts to products to add value and capitalise on consumer interest in health. New York-based ingredient supplier RFI Ingredients has recently introduced a new food grade, oil-soluble green tea antioxidant that provides antioxidant capabilities to extend the shelf life of food products susceptible to oxidation. The product imparts minimal flavor and odor and can be labeled as a natural flavor.