Biorigin joins European beta-glucan bandwagon

By Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn

- Last updated on GMT

Biorigin welcomes beta-glucan novel foods approval
Biorigin welcomes beta-glucan novel foods approval

Related tags: Nutrition, Eu

The Brazilian company Biorigin has announced plans to develop its position in the European beta-glucan market after winning EU novel foods approval; meanwhile the EU health claim scramble continues.

Goldcell beta-glucan consists of purified yeast beta-glucans derived from the cell walls of Saccharomyces cerevisiae​, or bakers yeast. In a statement, Biorigin said that it intends to, “develop the promotion of Goldcell Beta Glucan as food ingredient to the European market”.

Health claims okayed  

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved beta-glucan heath claims back in 2010 after Swiss CreaNutrition AG submitted a claim on oat beta-glucan’s blood cholesterol lowering/reducing properties.

With a daily intake of 3g of oat beta-glucan, the claim can be used for foods which provide at least 1 g of oat beta-glucan per  portion.

Substantially equivalent”

In May 2011 the EFSA Panel noted that “the “high intake” scenario for ‘yeast beta-glucans’ is grossly similar to the background intake of beta-glucans from other dietary sources”​.

In a statement to the press, Biorigin quotes the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) as saying that: “Goldcell Beta Glucan is substantially equivalent to insoluble beta-glucans authorized through Commission implementing decision 2011/762/EU”​ and said that the FSAI had declared it "can be used within the maximum levels in the foods specified in Annex II of that decision, which include foods for general purposes, dietary supplements and foods for particular nutritional purposes".

Dr. Patrick O'Mahony, chief specialist food technology at the FSAI, told NutraIngredients that, "[Goldcell Beta Glucan] was authorised in August for the EU market through the simplified procedure of the Novel Food Regulation EC No 258/97 and by virtue of an opinion provided by the FSAI."

He clarified: "This simply looks at the similarity of a novel ingredient to a comparator already on the EU market. If the ingredient is similar with respect to composition, nutritional value, intended use and level of undesirable substances it may be placed on the EU market. However, this process has nothing to do with health or nutrition claims and makes no case either way for such. I cannot release the FSAI opinion yet as other Member States have not yet been notified."

German yeast specialist Leiber's claim that yeast beta-glucan has immune system benefits was rejected back in 2010. NutraIngredients reported last year that the company was compiling a new EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR), yet the EFSA rejected this common cold claim for a second time in April this year. The company says it will apply again. 

New EU player

Biorigin’s Goldcell line consists of dry and autolysed yeasts, made from Saccharomyces cerevisiae​, which can be used as supplementation, a nutritional source, for nutritional fermentation and to assign consistency and texture to different food products.

Biorigin is part of Zilor - a Brazilian producer of ethanol, sugar and sugar cane electricity. 

Brazil, one of the BRIC markets, was named the world’s seventh largest economy this year. Globally it also has the sixth largest population and spans the fifth largest land area. 

Related topics: Ingredients, Bread

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1 comment

A point of clarification

Posted by Susan Tosh,

Cereal beta-glucans and yeast/mushroom beta-glucans are chemically very different which means that they have very different physiological effects as well. Oat and barley beta-glucans have been proven to reduce cholesterol. There is substantial evidence that yeast beta-glucans improve immune function. These are different bioactive components even if they have similar names and that needs to be kept in mind.

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