ADM gains IP certification for vitamin E and phytosterols

Related tags Tocopherol

The second biggest supplier of natural vitamin E, US group Archer
Daniels Midland (ADM), has gained non-GM certification for its
natural vitamin E, phytosterols and mixed tocopherols, writes
Dominique Patton.

The testing and analysis firm Eurofins-GeneScan said yesterday that it had given independent confirmation that the ADM products were identity preserved non-GM material.

At the time of publication, ADM had not revealed how much of each non-GM product was available.

However in an interview at the end of last year, Greg Dodson, ADM​ global product manager for vitamin E, sterols and tocopherols, told that the majority of vitamin E offered by the group would remain as it is currently, with supply of IP material from traditional crop sources primarily targeted at the European market.

ADM, like leading natural vitamin E maker Cognis, is faced with significant challenges in sourcing sufficient quantities of raw material - vegetable oil distillate - from traditional, non-GM crops like soya.

Cognis is currently supplying non-GM vitamin E in powder form but is unable to offer IP status oils.

In addition, the short supply of non-GMO soya is also restricting growth in the use of plant sterols, a proven cholesterol-lowering ingredient seeing increasing interest in Europe.

Also a byproduct of the vegetable oil industry, where numerous plant sources - soya, sunflower, rapeseed - are not separated by processors and rarely traced from their source, sterols slow take-up may be partly down to the GM issue, believes ADM technical manager Dr Michelle Jones.

"A number of companies are not launching products because there is no guarantee of non-GM source material and they do not want to take the risk,"​ she said in an interview in May.

As soya farmers around the world continue to switch to GM varieties, sourcing is going to become increasingly difficult, leading most health ingredient producers to look at alternative crops.

Last year Dodson said the non-GM vitamin E would come from a variety of traditional crop sources.

"To limit supply to just one crop source would severely reduce availability and would impact further on production costs,"​ he said.

Dodson also predicted that the high premium charged for IP vitamin E could lead to further differentiation in the vitamin E market.

Natural vitamin E already costs significantly more than the synthetic variant, which can be as low as around $4.5 per kg for the cheapest Asian import. This compared to $45-50 per kg for a premium European naturalsource tocopherol.

"Naturally sourced vitamin E products have always been used by supplement manufacturers who are selling into specialist market segments, and this is likely to continue in the future. If anything, we could see this market segment becoming more differentiated than has been the case previously,"​ commented Dodson.

Yet Frost & Sullivan has forecast a faster compound annual growth rate for natural vitamin E - 6 per cent annually until 2011 compared with just 2.3 per cent for synthetic vitamin E at more than 50 per cent concentration.

Eurofins' identity preservation testing programme includes audits from the sourcing of non-GM grain to the manufacture of the final product. It also involves on-site assessments of facilities involved in the production of deodorizer distillate as well as vitamin E, mixed tocopherols, and phytosterols.

Last year Eurofins-GeneScan certified ADM's Documented IP Program for Soy Ingredients that covers the manufacture of flours, concentrates, isolates, isoflavones, and other products derived from identity preserved non-GM soybeans.

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