Major deal for Reducol in UK

Related tags European union United kingdom

UK dairy foods company Fayrefield Foods is to launch the first
foods containing Forbes Medi-Tech's cholesterol-lowering plant
sterols in the UK and Ireland next year, using the GM-free claim to
competitive advantage.

Canada-based Forbes Medi-Tech​ said yesterday that it has signed a five-year sales and licensing agreement with Fayrefield to supply its Reducol brand sterols for use in milk-based drinks.

It is thought to be the first licensing deal in western Europe, following an agreement in Scandinavia.

Fayrefield​, which makes and exports both branded and private label dairy products throughout Europe, the Middle East and North America, said it will use the 'GM-free' claim on product labeling to stand out from other cholesterol-lowering products.

"Existing proprietary brands are not making this claim currently and we plan to do so,"​ Chris Swire, marketing director at Fayrefield, told NutraIngredients.com.

The majority of plant sterol ingredients on the market are derived from soya but traditional sources of the crop, or GM-free varieties, are becoming increasingly difficult to source.

This has held back the use of sterols made by soy processors Cargill and ADM on the European market. Forbes' ingredient however is derived from by-products of the forestry industry.

Swire said that Fayrefield intends "to use the ingredient to maximum effect".

"We can work within the existing regulatory framework to move outside the products currently available on the market,"​ he said, declining to reveal further information on the planned products.

Major brands on the UK market include Unilever's ProActiv, Raisio's Benecol, and the recently introduced Danacol from French group Danone.

"We have an excellent quality product that will be competitively priced and we hope to be able to grow this market too,"​ added Swire.

The first product is due to reach the market during the first half of 2005.

Forbes said it is planning to file applications for other food groups before the year-end. The EU Commission granted novel foods approval for the use of Reducol in milk-based products last week.

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