Cyanotech Astaxanthin Obtains Self-affirmed GRAS

January 10/Entertainment Close-Up -- Cyanotech Corp. announced that its product, BioAstin Natural Astaxanthin, has obtained self-affirmed GRAS status (generally recognized as safe) for use in food and beverage applications by a panel of experts assembled by GRAS Associates.

GRAS assessment documentation has been submitted to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for the agency's review.

"Cyanotech is pleased to have BioAstin self-affirmed with GRAS status, which will allow manufacturers to use it in a variety of functional food and beverage products," said Gerald R. Cysewski, Ph.D., Cyanotech's founder and chief scientific officer. "BioAstin is used as a stand-alone nutritional supplement or in supplement formulas in over 50 countries worldwide."

According to a release, U.S. FDA GRAS status is the defining regulation for food and beverage applications in the United States. It is also an important milestone for other countries' regulatory bodies considering allowing BioAstin in functional foods and beverages. Cyanotech's other microalgae product, Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica, was previously recognized by the FDA as having GRAS status.

"GRAS status for BioAstin comes at an opportune time as we have completed extensive research that has led to increased yields and production capacity," added Cysewski. "Our increased capacity puts Cyanotech in a unique position as the industry's most consistent and long-term supplier of natural astaxanthin."

"With the announced closure in 2010 by Yamaha Motors of its natural astaxanthin production facility in Japan and Fuji Chemical Company closing its facility in Maui, Hawaii (while still maintaining astaxanthin production in Sweden), we estimate that we are now by far the world's largest producer of natural astaxanthin from microalgae," Cysewski noted.

From the January 24, 2011, Prepared Foods E-dition