An American, independent panel of experts has approved Tagatose, the low-calorie, milk-based sweetener for use in food products in the US.
Having obtained GRAS (Generally Recognised As Safe) status, the sweetener can now be marketed in the US as an ingredient for food products.
The FDA (The US Food & Drugs Administration) will now be notified about the outcome. Upon a successful FDA review, Arla Foods will decide on how to proceed with the commercial development of Tagatose.
In 1997 Arla Foods acquired the global licence from the listed US biotechnology company Spherix (formerly Biospherics) for the production and marketing of Tagatose for use in food products. The contract entitles Spherix to royalties from sales of Tagatose.
The low-calorie Tagatose can substitute sugar in a substantial number of food products, including low-calorie confectionery, breakfast cereals, chewing gum and soft drinks. Tagatose is tolerated by people suffering from diabetes.
Arla Foods has also developed a range of health products in which the pre-biotic effect of tagatose is used in products aimed at healthy intestinal flora.
Tagatose has already attracted the interest of some of the world’s leading food producers.
“Our marketing efforts indicate that there’s potential for Tagatose,” said Peter Lauritzen, Managing Director, Arla Foods Ingredients. “With GRAS we are now able to increase our effort vis-a-vis potential customers.”
Following US approval, Arla Foods intends to pursue regulatory approvals in Europe and Asia while continuing with its plans for the production and marketing of Tagatose. External partners may join the project at a later stage. Further announcements can be expected during the year.