Tonalin is Cognis Nutrition and Health's proprietary version of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to have body shape benefits in several trials involving Cognis ingredients. Positive opinions There is somewhat of a race occurring between Cognis and Dutch-based rival Lipid Nutrition which recently received a positive opinion from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) for its CLA version, Clarinol. Cognis's assessment has been passed to the European Commission and will be sent to the other 27 member states for review in a process that has no deadline but is unlikely to be completed this year. While NutraIngredients.com was not able to see a full translation of the Spanish assessment before publication, Cognis global product line manager for Tonalin, Dr Arne Ptock, said the Spanish authority for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN) had raised no formulation or consumption issues in relation to the ingredient. A full translation of the assessment is being compiled, he said. EU Novel Foods approval is required for foods and ingredients that were not on-market before May, 1997, and cannot demonstrate a safe history either inside or outside Europe. "This is very good news for us," Dr Ptock told NutraIngredients.com. "We must be patient and wait because this process is a slow one. But our customers have been calling out for this approval and they want to use this ingredient in foods and beverages." Beverages and dairy products would be the first to come to market if and when the ingredient received approval. "We see potential in all of Europe's 27-member states," he said. "But dairy products are one category where we see a lot of interest in CLA from existing and potential clients." Dr Ptock added: "Having achieved considerable success with Tonalin CLA in food supplements, we are now much closer to being able to launch a range of functional food applications, offering huge opportunities for food manufacturers to join supplement producers in marketing successful products for healthy fat loss featuring Tonalin CLA." Cognis applied to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for GRAS (generally recognised as safe) status in the US in 2007. The FDA is yet to give a verdict. Cognis says its version of CLA has the highest level of clinical backing. It has been used in a number of trials demonstrating its ability to benefit body composition."The topics of weight and body fat reduction are ever present in the minds of consumers and, as they become more aware of the limitations of 'quick solutions' and of the need for a well-balanced and sustainable approach to weight management," said Dr Ptock. One recent gold standard trial where Tonalin was incorporated into a skimmed milk product demonstrated a significant reduction in body fat mass (BFM) in overweight subjects, "indicating that CLA can be as beneficial in a functional food matrix as it is when taken in a supplement." Tonalin is manufactured via a proprietary process using linoleic acid derived from safflowers to create CLA. It is available in oil and water-dispersible powder.