Hidrox, a nutritional supplement made from olive juice, has been GRAS acknowledged by a panel of nutritional experts.
"Now that Hidrox has been self-assessed as GRAS, we are seeking Food andDrug Administration (FDA) approval to sell it as an additive," said Roberto Crea, founder of five-year-old CreAgri. He estimated it would take about six months for the FDA to approve the product.
Hidrox could then be added to baked goods and baking mixes, breakfast cereals and bars, snack foods, processed fruits and fruit juices, beverages, gravies and sauces.
"We're excited about the possibilities, especially in beverages," said Crea, who hopes to approach various companies, including Coca-Cola.
Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, which are believed to play a role in helping to prevent cancer and heart disease. According to CreAgri, its products Olivenol and Hidrox contain all the antioxidants of olive oil, but none of the calories.
The 12-employee company grows its own olives at a 7,000-tree grove in Oroville. The olives are processed in the company's Hayward plant and their pulp and water are used to create Olivenol and Hidrox.
"We're currently negotiating with some major distributors," said Crea, adding that this deal would extend distribution to Europe and Latin America. At the moment, CreAgri distributes its products in the US and Japan.
In August last year, the company launched a high-concentration version of Hidrox at SupplySide West.
The company said that the organic, freeze-dried hydroxytyrosol powder, offered extra application possibilities for a range of formulations, including dietary supplements, cosmetics and functional foods which require small volumes of the ingredient.