Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. announced a European Commission decision has been issued authorizing the use of Forbes' cholesterol-lowering ingredient, Reducol, in milk-based beverages. The approval of Reducol in milk-based products creates a major opportunity for Forbes Medi-Tech to attract new contracts, drive revenue growth and increase shareholder value. Plant sterol sales in Europe are estimated to grow at a rate of 15% annually until 2010 in Europe, according to a recent Frost & Sullivan report.
"We now have the ability to pursue sales of Reducol in Europe and expand our global ingredient business," said Charles Butt, president and CEO of Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. "Currently, being the largest approved source of wood sterols in the world, we are in a favorable position to capitalize on EU countries' preference for non-GMO ingredients." The number of member countries in the European Union has recently been expanded to 25 with the addition of 10 countries in May of this year.
The approval of Reducol eliminates the requirement for further scientific evaluation to incorporate the ingredient into various approved food categories. Accordingly, Forbes plans to file a substantial equivalence notification letter with the EU commission informing them of its intention to sell Reducol as an ingredient in other food groups. Each EU food manufacturer using the Reducol ingredient will then be required to file a similar notification letter. Without the requirement for scientific evaluation, notifications are expected to be cleared in a relatively short time. Reducol is produced at Forbes' 50-50 manufacturing joint venture facility, Phyto-Source LP, near Houston, Texas.