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Articles from 2009 In March

Rochem Adds Taurine to Roster

RONKONKOMA, N.Y.—Rochem International is now the exclusive U.S. and Canadian distributor of taurine from Hubei Shayang Tianyi Medicine Co. Ltd. According to Rochem, Tianyi can produce up to 16,000 MTs of taurine annually out of its new, state-of-the-art production facility; the material is also kosher and halal certified. Rochem offers a full range of nutraceutical ingredients out of its GMP (good manufacturing practice) compliant warehouses in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and California.

ConsumerLab: Multis Missing Mark

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—Many multivitamin/mineral dietary supplements are missing label claims, either with too much or too little of ingredients such as vitamin A, folic acid and niacin, according to a new report issued by As with its 2004 report on multivitamin/mineral dietary supplements, ConsumerLab found approximately one-third of tested human products (29 this round) were not approved—eight were short on amounts of certain nutrients or had lead contamination issues, while 12 others had issues with nutrient overages. One nutrient that popped up on both lists with many products—vitamin A as retinol.

“Consumers need to be aware that problems with multivitamins are common.” said Tod Cooperman, M.D., president of ConsumerLab. “Just as important, people need to determine their need for a supplement, factoring in other sources of nutrients in their diets.”

As with previous ConsumerLab reports, industry members questioned the breadth and accuracy of results, as well as the company’s positioning of results as raising major concerns about safety. David Seckman, CEO and executive director, Natural Products Association (NPA), noted: “Safety concerns? No lead was found, except for a pet product, and it appears that only spot checking was done for vitamin A and folic acid, which is hardly a comprehensive, in-depth study of multivitamin/multi-mineral products, as may be inferred from how the results are presented. A product is ‘failing’ because it is over the UL [upper limit], which does not necessarily mean there is a safety issue. Certainly there isn’t one in this case. Regarding methodology used for testing, there is much recent debate over what is best for folic acid. Since there is no peer-review component, it certainly calls the selection of methodology and subsequent results into question.”

When ConsumerLab releases notice of a new report, it provides only a general list of companies/brands tested; only paid subscribers to ConsumerLab can find out which companies passed or failed the tests and why. This has lead some companies to issue public statements regarding products that reportedly “failed” ConsumerLab’s test. Scott Daniel, marketing communications manager, NOW Health Group Inc., said when the company received advance notice that its Adam™ Men’s Multivitamins had not met label claims for folic acid, the company took immediate action. “NOW is committed to quality products, and follows GMPs,” she said. “Testing by analytical scientists has confirmed that the last five batches of Adam Men’s Multivitamins met folic acid label claims. We have just received the specific batch information tested in this report and are currently investigating further. NOW bases our formulas on clinical research. Adam Men’s Multivitamins is a balanced formula for men’s health. Folic acid has an established upper limit because it can mask vitamin B12 deficiency; however, ample vitamin B-12 is provided in this formula.”

SelenoExcell® High Selenium Yeast Granted GRAS Status

FRESNO, Calif.—Cypress Systems Inc. was granted GRAS status for its SelenoExcell® High Selenium Yeast. According to the company, SelenoExcell is the only certified 100-percent organically bound high selenium yeast standardized with the National Cancer Institute.

“Receiving a GRAS designation from FDA is a huge step for our company and SelenoExcell,” CEO Paul Willis said. “It allows us to move beyond our current market in dietary supplements, into the massive food and drink manufacturing industry. Consumers will now potentially be able to get a wide variety of foods, from baked goods to beverages to processed juices and soups, containing SelenoExcell, and reap the many health benefits of this form of selenium.”

Walnuts Improve Age-Related Shortfalls

Adding a moderate amount of walnuts to an otherwise healthy diet may help older individuals improve performance on tasks that require motor and behavioral skills, according to an animal model study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-funded scientists.

The study was conducted by researchers with the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University in Boston, Mass., and published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

For the study, weight-matched, aged rats were randomly assigned to one of four diet groups. For eight weeks, the rats were fed special chow mixes that contained either 2 percent, 6 percent or 9 percent walnuts-or no walnuts-before undergoing motor and memory tests. For comparison, the 6 percent walnut study diet is equivalent to a human eating 1 ounce, or about 7 to 9 walnuts, a day.

The study found that in aged rats, the diets containing 2 percent or 6 percent walnuts were able to improve age-related motor and cognitive shortfalls, while the 9 percent walnut diet impaired reference memory. Walnuts, eaten in moderation, appear to be among other foods containing polyphenols and bioactive substances that exhibit multiple effects on neural tissue, according to the researchers.

Biotechnology Making Soy Foods Healthier

ST. LOUIS—Eighty-two percent of healthcare professionals believe soy is beneficial to the diet, and the majority recognize agricultural biotechnology as a method to make food products even healthier, according to the Healthcare Professional Biotechnology Awareness & Attitude Survey sponsored by the United Soybean Board.

The study found that nearly 70 percent of healthcare professionals report having an overall favorable view of agricultural biotechnology for use in food products. One in ten hold a negative view, while the remainder are neutral in opinion or unsure. When informed that biotechnology can be used to enhance soy beans in precise ways, the majority of survey respondents found these developments impressive enough they would recommend increased soy food consumption to patients.

Its a Go for DSMs CakeZyme

DSM’s CakeZyme enzyme, originally launched in 2007, received approval from China’s Ministry of Health to use as a processing aid in the People’s Republic. The enzyme is used to reduce the amount of eggs used in cake mixes.

Pistachios Recalled For Salmonella Risk

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers to avoid eating pistachio products due to a risk of Salmonella contamination.

FDA and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) are investigating Salmonella contamination in pistachio products sold by Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc., Calif. The company stopped all distribution of processed pistachios and issued a voluntary recall involving approximately 1 million pounds of pistachios. The ongoing investigation may lead to additional pistachio product recalls.

The contamination involves multiple strains of Salmonella. According to FDA, several illnesses have been reported by consumers that may be associated with the pistachios. It is not yet known whether any of the Salmonella strains found in the pistachio products are linked to an outbreak.

A searchable database of affected products is available by clicking here.

FDA first learned of the problem on March 24, when it was informed by Kraft Foods that its Back To Nature Trail Mix was found to be contaminated with Salmonella. Kraft identified the source of the contamination to be pistachios from Setton and conducted a recall.

Tapping Into Mood Foods

A number of established and emerging mood-food ingredients, including omega-3, GABA and ginkgo, represent potential future growth opportunities for food manufacturers. A new report from Datamonitor, “Opportunities in Mood Foods & Boosting Mental Performance: Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors,” offers information on consumer attitudes and behaviors toward mood-food products, and identifies key mood-food innovation platforms and how best to leverage them going forward. In addition, the report includes:

• Analysis focusing on the drivers and inhibitors of mood foods, with coverage of stress relievers and cognitive performance enhancers.

• Analysis examining consumers opinion of mood foods and how this varies by socio-demographics.

• Actionable recommendations for industry players looking to fully capitalize on this growing segment.

• Consumer survey data for France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the UK, the US, Australia, Japan, South Korea, China, India, Brazil and Russia.

Click here for more information on the report.

Saw Palmetto Berries Co-op Settles Case Against Euromed

NAPLES, Fla.—In early March, Saw Palmetto Berries Co-Op of Florida announced it settled a lawsuit filed against Euromed USA Inc. Saw Palmetto Berries Co-op filed suit in Florida Middle District Court in November 2007, alleging libel and slander by Euromed and its general manager, Joseph Veilleux, related to an article published by about saw palmetto pricing in the nutrition industry. The terms and conditions of the settlement are not to be disclosed; the only statement available from the parties is a letter of clarification from Veilleux regarding the original situation. Further details on that statement are available from Saw Palmetto Berries Co-op online (

Greg Zaino, president, Saw Palmetto Berries Co-op, also sent comments to INSIDER thanking the company’s customers for their support during the lawsuit. He noted: “Our reputation and integrity is one of the most important things to us. Saw Palmetto Berries Co-op of Florida Inc. looks forward to supplying you for many years to come with competitive prices and premium quality.”