Green light for Cyanotech's astaxanthin claims

By Alex McNally

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

Cyanotech has been given approval to use 17 different structure and
function claims for its astaxanthin supplement BioAstin - a move
which the firm says will help spread the word about the benefits of
its product.

The firm secured four claims at the end of last year by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but this latest raft will help the company advertise all of the benefits associated with the product across the US. ​Gerry Cysewski, Cyanotech's chief executive, said: "Finally, we can advertise the benefits of BioAstin to consumers in the USA." ​ The company has also secured deals which will see BioAstin added to a skincare product, and the algae used to make BioAstin supplied to another company. Cyanotech has also said it has been granted notice that BioAstin is the first astaxanthin product approved for human consumption and registered in China by the Ministry of Health. Cysewski said: "We are continuing to seek new markets worldwide for our products." ​ Astaxanthin is produced by the haematacoccus pluvialis​ algae when water supplies in its habitat dry up to protect itself against the effects of UV radiation. This microalgae is part of the diet of fish or crustaceans, such as salmon and shrimps, and is responsible for the pink colour in their flesh. Cyanotech claims BioAstin is the world's best selling brand of astaxanthin for humans, and grows the microalgae from which it derives the ingredient in shallow ponds at its 90-acre facility along Hawaii's coastline. Claims ​The claims approved for use include: supports joint health, supports healthy skin; supports increased energy levels; supports eye health. Six additional claims for nutritional benefits have been lodged with the European Commission for use in Europe. Structure/function claims differ from qualified health claims in that they do not require pre-approval from the FDA and refer more generally to functions in the body as opposed to specific health conditions. ​Cyanotech has also entered into a deal with a sales company called OceanGrown International, which will soon be selling several natural products with BioAstin as a key component. The initial product line will feature a skincare designed to protect, nourish and build the skin. Cyanotech has also formed what it calls an "important relationship"​ with Valensa International, a company which specialise in supercritical CO2 extraction. Valensa's is capable of extracting large volumes of haematococcus​ microalgae under very high pressure without the use of solvents to produce a very high quality Astaxanthin oleoresin. A contract has been signed between Valensa and Cyanotech to guarantee Valensa supply of Cyanotech's haematococcus​ to produce Valensa's trademarked Astaxanthin product Zanthin. Last year Cyanotech had BioAstin approved in the EU as a novel food. Since then the firm has been busy building a network of distributors in Europe, it said.

Related topics: Antioxidants/carotenoids

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