Marketed under the PhytofLORAL brand, there are two carotenoids in IBR's range: Phytoen and Phytofluen, both of which are precursors in the biosynthetic pathway to pigmented carotenoids, such as lycopene and beta-carotene.
The company has made its technology available for topical formulations since 2001 (IBR-CLC & IBR-TCLC), but with the PhytoflORAL products it is taking it into the new area of oral applications, and sought regulatory clearance to this end.
In a letter dated September 29, the UK's Food Standards Agency told the company that, after evaluation of the submitted information, it judges PhytoflORAL to be a dried extract of tomato "with only the water removed and no differential concentration of the components derived from tomato".
The oily liquids are derived from a special species of tomato or from algae, the growth conditions of which are manipulated to produce more carotenoids (not genetic modification).
While phytoen has three conjugated double bonds and Phytofluen five - a distinction that means they have a slightly different absorbance spectrum and activity. Pigmented carotenoids, on the other hand, are full of double bonds and that is why they have colour.
"It is our opinion that this extract is not subject to the novel foods regulation and you are free to market this product," said the FSA.
The ingredients were formerly launched at the Beyond Beauty trade show last month.
IBR's VP business development and marketing Liki von Oppen-Bezalel, PhD, explained to NutraIngredients.com earlier this year that, beyond being antioxidants, they have the capacity to fight hydroxyl radicals - the most powerful radicals in nature, stronger than free radicals.
They are also said to have an anti-inflammatory action, protecting the skin against inflammation and UV radiation, and can help protect the cardiovascular system by preventing oxidation of LDL.
In addition to their own health properties, Phytoen and Phytofluen have been seen to work together with other ingredients like CoQ10 and pigmented carotenoids to boost their activity, stabilise the molecules and prevent degradation.
The nutricosmetics market (oral products to enhance outward appearance) is a growing sector, recently valued for the first time by Kline and Company as being worth US$1bn globally, with double digit growth expected over the next five years.
A number of companies, including Ferrosan with its Imedeen range and Procter & Gamble's Olay, have opted to introduce supplements under the same brand as topical product, for a combined approach.