Cargill announces GRAS status for non-animal glucosamine

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cargill

Minneapolis-based Cargill has announced that its Regenasure
ingredient, the only non-animal glucosamine available on the
market, has been determined generally recognized as safe (GRAS).

The announcement permits the ingredient to break out of the supplements market and break into a variety of foods and beverages.

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are the most commonly used supplements for osteoarthritis, with estimated sales of $730m in the US in 2004.

"Regenasure glucosamine with GRAS status allows our food and beverage customers to confidently incorporate glucosamine into new of existing products, allowing them to innovate in mainstream markets and address consumer joint health needs with ease," said Bill Gruber, VP of Cargill Acidulants.

The fungus-derived ingredient, being the only non-animal glucosamine available (other glucosamine products are derived from the shell of crabs, lobster and shrimps) eliminates fears over shellfish allergues, and is also Kosher/Halal certified.

According to Cargill, the ingredient is also highly soluble and clean tasting.

Proving its ease of formulation, Coca-Cola launched a Minute Maid beverage this month with the ingredient, with each serving containing half the daily amount of glucosamine demonstrated by clinical trials to be effective in promoting joint health (750 mg).

The joint health benefits of glucosamine have been reported in numerous clinical trials, most notably the Glucosamine/chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT), sponsored by the National Institute of Health, that studied the effect of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements on 1583 people with osteoarthritis and found that the combination supplement was highly efficacious in reducing moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis pain ( New England Journal of Medicine , Vol. 354, pp. 795-808).

The ingredient is reported to work by rebuilding cartilage in the joints.

Cargill's Regenasure also gives manufacturers a more stable source, since the introduction of trade tariffs at the end of 2004 halved the profits made by shrimp farmers in China and other producing countries, causing many to give up the business and glucosamine prices to soar.

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