Global business manager at DSM Nutritional Products Kristina Cselovszky told NutraIngredients.com that the method is the first to enable differentiation between dietary zeaxanthin, which occurs naturally in corn, persimmons, goji berries and red peppers, among other foods, and mesa-zeaxanthin, which does not occur naturally in the typical human diet.
In foods and dietary supplements, only one stereoisomer (3R, 3’R) – or dietary zeaxanthin – is approved for use in compliance with good manufacturing practices (GMPs) and regulations in the European Union and the United States.
The new chiral analytical method has been developed jointly by DSM Nutritional Products, Kalsec and Chrysantis over a six-month period in order to pinpoint the percentages of different stereoisomers in dietary ingredients and finished products.
Director of Product Management – Nutritional Ingredients at Kalsec Kevin Meyle said: “The method is an important step in the Association’s efforts to help all zeaxanthin users comply with the regulatory framework in the manufacturing of dietary supplements containing zeaxanthin.”
The standard will be made available on Zeaxanthin Trade Association members’ websites, the association said.
General manager of Chrysantis Manuel Pavon called the move an “example of positive self regulation of the dietary supplement industry.”
Zeaxanthin is a carotenoid important for eye health, and it is thought that supplementation could help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a degenerative retinal disease that causes central vision loss, leaving only peripheral vision. The macula is a yellow spot of about five millimeters diameter on the retina. As we age, levels of the pigments in the macula decrease naturally, thereby increasing the risk of AMD. The yellow color is due to the content of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which we derive from the diet.
According to AMD Alliance International, about 25 to 30 million people worldwide are affected by AMD, and the Alliance expects the disease to become more common as the population ages.