Luravida cranberry oil is made by Georgia-based AHD International and has been on-market for about six months where it has been made available to the dietary supplements industry. Now that it has achieved GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) status in all food and beverage categories, the company has begun aggressively marketing the ingredient at functional foods makers. GRAS grants new application potential President and chief executive officer John Alkire told NutraIngredients-USA.com the dairy and nutrition bars sectors were being targeted and he expected products containing the oil to be on-market by year's end. "We are pursuing dairy companies because it seems there are a lot of milk products coming to market with omega-3," he said. "Our ingredient offers a vegetarian alternative, omega-source that is also high in antioxidants." Juices, functional waters and other beverages were appropriate for fortification. He said the ingredient was priced at a premium over the majority of fish oil-sourced omega-3 ingredients, but that the margin was being reduced as fish oil raw material prices surged due to demand from other sectors such as biofuels and animal feed. He expected economies-of-scale to kick in as Luravida's volumes increased. Benefits Although the oil is extracted from cranberry seeds, the health benefits associated with cranberry such as its potential to prevent and combat Urinary Tract Infections, were not being employed because the ingredient did not employ its active constituents in sufficient quantity. Rather the heart health, brain and other benefits associated with omega-3s were being highlighted. Luravida's high-antioxidant level meant it could keep within most food matrices for up to two years. A patented extraction and microencapsulation process meant the ingredient carried no taste or odour tariffs, Alkire said. "Aside from its nutritional benefits, its big benefit is the fact it is stable and has no fishy odour." The ingredient was manufactured without oxygen, enzymes or solvents at temperatures not exceeding 100°F, the company said. Other cranberry seed oils existed on the US market, Alkire said, but they did not have GRAS status. AHD has an annual turnover of $30m and includes in its offerings vitamin K, chondroitin and fucoxanthin. It planned to launch more branded ingredients by the end of the year, he said.