TOKYO, October 22, 2015 – Ajinomoto Co., Inc. (“Ajinomoto Co.”) today announced that the UK Competent Authority, the Food Standards Agency, granted marketing authorization on September 18, 2015 for dihydrocapsiate (DHC)1 as a novel food ingredient for use in dietary supplements and powdered drinks, and this will be recorded formally in the European Commission List. This paves the way to expand the use of DHC to these categories in the 28 member countries of the European Union (EU), in addition to its use as a food and beverage ingredient, which was authorized in November 2012.
Regulation (EC) No. 258/97, introduced in 1997, requires authorization in order to distribute novel food ingredients within the EU. Novel food ingredients are those with no history of significant consumption in Europe before May 1997. This authorization can be obtained only through the approval of the European Commission after the ingredient has been exhaustively evaluated and screened for harmful effects on human health based on scientific data and safety information by European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Through its business activities, Ajinomoto Co. contributes to addressing the issues of healthy living, global sustainability and food resources that are facing human society in the 21st century.
1. About dihydrocapsiate (DHC)
DHC is found naturally in chili peppers and is a member of the capsinoid family of compounds. It is structurally similar to capsaicin, the substance responsible for the sensation of hotness in chili peppers, but they do not taste hot. Its hotness is one-thousandth of that of capsaicin.
Capsinoids are attracting interest from experts worldwide for their recognized effects in increasing oxygen consumption, a measure of energy expenditure, and in activating brown adipose tissue.*
*Brown adipose tissue: Breaks down fat in cells, generating heat. Recent studies have found that it regulates the body’s total energy expenditure and contributes to reduction of body fat.
2. About NDI (New Dietary Ingredient)
The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) passed in October 1994 requires that food manufacturers file a notification with the FDA at least 75 days before introducing a new dietary ingredient (NDI) in the U.S. market. The NDI notification is reviewed by the FDA with a focus on safety.
3. About GRAS
GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) is a process established by the FDA in 1958. In this system, substances used in food products undergo objective evaluations by academic experts to determine whether they can be considered generally safe under their intended conditions of use. In the United States, new materials intended for use in food products (excluding the ingredients for dietary supplements) must either be approved as food additives or be determined to be GRAS.
About Ajinomoto Co.
Ajinomoto Co. is a global manufacturer of high-quality seasonings, processed foods, beverages, amino acids, pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals. For many decades Ajinomoto Co. has contributed to food culture and human health through wide-ranging application of amino acid technologies. Today, the company is becoming increasingly involved with solutions for improved food resources, human health and global sustainability. Founded in 1909 and now operating in 26 countries and regions, Ajinomoto Co. had net sales of JPY 1,006.6 billion (USD 9.17 billion) in fiscal 2014. For more about Ajinomoto Co. (TYO: 2802), visit www.ajinomoto.com.
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