Phytosterols for dairy

Tuesday, 13 September, 2005

Canadian biotech firm Forbes Medi-Tech has gained European approval to market its cholesterol-lowering ingredient Reducol in seven new food applications.

The company received an opinion of substantial equivalence from European regulatory authorities based on prior dossiers of evidence submitted to support plant sterol ingredients.

Reducol, previously approved for use in milk-based products, can now be added to yellow fat spreads (margarine), fermented milk type products, soy drinks, low-fat cheese type products, yoghurt type products, spicy sauces, and salad dressings.

The company has expanded its 50-50 manufacturing joint-venture facility to capitalise on demand from the EU market, a key market for the ingredient as its non-GMO status has a significant edge over many of the soy-derived sterols.

Reducol has approval for use as margarine/vegetable oil spreads in Australia and New Zealand. It may also be used in dietary supplements, under the 'Dietary Supplements Act 1985' (NZ) and as a 'listed' medicine on the ARTG (Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods), with approval granted by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration).

Phytosterols have recently been cleared as safe by the FSANZ (Food Standards Australia and New Zealand) for use in milk drinks and cereal bars. Request have also been made by local companies to add the ingredient to low fat yoghurt and milk.

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