Tetrahedron receives ‘Novel Food’ status for micronutrient that prevents oxidative stress
Tetrahedron, a research and innovation company specialized in developing innovative ingredients for the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical and personal care industries, today announces that the European Commission has given ‘Novel Food’ status to, and approved the launch of, Tetrahedron’s pure nature-identical L-ergothioneine (brand name Ergoneine) for the general population. Tetrahedron is the first company in Europe to receive such authorization to supply L-ergothioneine for incorporation into nutritional products for European consumers.
The ‘Novel Food’ designation refers to food that before May 15, 1997, had not been consumed to a significant degree by humans in the EU, when the first regulation on novel food came into force. ‘Novel Food’ can be newly developed, innovative food, food produced using new technologies and production processes, as well as food which is or has been traditionally eaten outside of the EU.
In January 2015 Ergoneine also gained GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) designation for this micronutrient.
The company says that studies have shown L-ergothioneine can protect human cells and tissues from pro-inflammatory conditions that lead to oxidative damage. Micronutrient deficiencies may increase the risk of developing age-related disorders, including immune dysfunction, cognitive decline, skin photo-ageing and vision deterioration. The development of these disorders is correlated with a mild pro-inflammatory state, which is induced by chronic exposure to stress factors such as UV radiation, pathogens and pollutants, and in which oxidative stress plays a major role. Oxidative stress in combination with micronutrient deficiency results in the loss of functional and structural integrity of cells. In this regard, balancing the diet with L-ergothioneine may contribute to cell protection against oxidative stress for healthy aging.
Following the EC official publication, Tetrahedron is now the only company authorized to sell a highly pure and safe source of GMP-level synthetic L-ergothioneine for incorporation into a wide range of nutritional products on the European market. The company has already started to market the ingredient to the functional food and nutraceutical industries. It is now looking for industrial customers to include this unique micronutrient in their dietary supplements.
“We are very excited to bring this new source of L-ergothioneine to the market,” said Jean-Claude Yadan, Ph.D., president of Tetrahedron and recognized world expert on L-ergothioneine. “Over 100 years of research has shown the potential health benefits of L-ergothioneine. Until now, that potential has gone unrealized due to the unavailability of L-ergothioneine at a cost and quality that make it fully marketable. Our new Ergoneine ingredient, now authorized as ‘Novel Food’, will fulfill the unmet need for this unique antioxidant L-ergothioneine in human health nutrition.”
L-ergothioneine is produced in nature only by microorganisms and fungi, and naturally absorbed by humans through their diet. The main sources are mushrooms, black and red beans, oat bran, garlic and certain meat products (liver and kidney). The human genome includes a genetic code for a specific transporter of L-ergothioneine, allowing the absorption of this nutrient into all essential tissues (liver, kidney, heart, skin, lung, intestine, central nervous system etc). For several reasons, including the depleted soil in ergothioneine-producing microorganisms, or certain cooking conditions, the human diet can potentially lack this micronutrient. In such cases, as a supplement, L-ergothioneine contributes to a more balanced diet.