Ingredients supplier BASF has cleared an important regulatory hurdle in the authorisation of its LycoVit lycopene formulations in the EU.
The European Commission's (EC) Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health has approved the marketing of the product in the EU. Formal adoption by the EC is expected shortly.
LycoVit is a synthetic product, which is nature-identical to carotenoid lycopene - the substance responsible for the red colour of tomatoes, water melons and grapefruit.
BASF says clinical studies show that regular intake of lycopene with a healthy diet can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer. Lycopene is also a component of the skin's natural protection against UV rays.
LycoVit is manufactured for addition to breads, spreads and fats plus fruit juice and sports drinks and dietary supplements.
Dr Bernd Haber, who is responsible for regulatory affairs in BASF's Nutrition Ingredients Business Unit, says: "We really welcome the decision of the Standing Committee. The European Food Safety Authority already confirmed the safety of LycoVit last April. Consumers will now be able to choose for themselves whether to take this physiologically important nutrient as a dietary supplement or in fortified functional foods."
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