French company Tetrahedron has received ‘Novel Food’ status for new L-ergothioneine product, a micronutrient that studies have shown prevents oxidative stress
The first launch of the micronutrient L-ergothioneine has been approved by the European Commission. Produced by Tetrahedron, the amino acid is branded as Ergoneine and now been classed as both a novel food in the EU and as GRAS (generally regarded as safe) in the US.
The French research and innovation company is the first, and as of now only, business in Europe to receive the authorisation to supply L-ergothioneine for incorporation into nutritional products in Europe. The nutrient is specific only to microorganisms and fungi, meaning availability is tricky.
Jean-Claude Yadan, President of Tetrahedron and recognised expert on L-ergothioneine, said: “Over 100 years of research has shown the potential health benefits of L-ergothioneine. Until now, that potential has gone unrealised due to the unavailability of L-ergothioneine at a cost and quality that make it fully marketable. Our new Ergoneine ingredient, now authorised as ‘Novel Food’, will fulfil the unmet need for this unique antioxidant L-ergothioneine in human health nutrition.”
The company has already started to market the ingredient to the functional food and nutraceutical industries as a micronutrient that prevents oxidative stress. Tetrahedron is currently on the hunt for industrial customers to include it in their dietary supplements.
The new status is in addition to the GRAS designation in the US for this micronutrient, which was granted in January 2015.
The approval of this launch may increase the availability of this micronutrient in Europe, with studies showing that L-ergothioneine can protect human cells and tissues from pro-inflammatory conditions that lead to oxidative damage, this would be to the benefit of the general population.