Gee Lawson enlists Indian calcium specialist

Related tags Gee lawson Nutrition

UK supplier Gee Lawson has signed a deal with a world-leading calcium compound supplier as it seeks to develop its presence in the calcium functional foods market in the UK.

Global Calcium has been trading in various calcium and other mineral forms out of India for about 30 years, a fact that Gee Lawson managing director Jonathan Shorts said made it a compelling fit for Gee Lawson’s ambitions in the food supplements aisles and beyond.

Quality and change

He highlighted Global Calcium’s emphasis on quality that included low lead levels and production to HACCP ISO9001 good manufacturing practices (GMP) levels and emphasised the importance of such protocols at a time where European Union hygiene, maximum level permitted levels for nutrients and nutrition and health claim regulations are changing.

“There are many changes occurring in vitamins and minerals legislation and this puts us in a good place to support the nutraceuticals industry,”​ he told this morning.

The deal will see Gee Lawson distributing and developing more than 40 products for the UK food, supplements, feed and pharma markets including gluconate, citrate, lactate, orotate, pidolate, levulinate, lactobionate, saccharate, malates and aspartates.

“They are a major player and have a large research and development facility which will help to develop proprietary blends as all these regulations come into play,”​ Shorts said.

“This slots in very well with what we want to do and saves from having to do a lot of the following up because they have done so much work in this area. But they had little exposure in the UK market so they gain much from this deal as well.”

Of 17 categories reviewed by Mintel recently, only four saw growth in 2008: glucosamine, omega-3, calcium and iron.

Huge potential

Short said functional foods “had huge potential in calcium” ​despite the regulatory uncertainty over health claims, approved nutrients and upper levels and said such legislation, “if applied sensibly, will be good for business”.

Potential food applications for the calcium forms includ fruit juices, energy drinks, dry powder blends, breakfast cereals, nutrition bars, infant formula, biscuits, wafers, breads, pasta, milk yoghurt, candies, gums and edible oils.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently approved calcium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate and zinc ascorbate for use in food supplements across the 27-member state EU bloc. But it was unable to affirm the safety of calcium phosphinate.

According to Mintel there were 578 added calcium products launched in Europe in 2008 and there have been 225 to date this year.

Calcium is best known for its ability to keep bones in good health but has also shown potential in some research to assist in areas such as weight management.

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