LEXINGTON, Mass.- Microbia, Inc., today announced that a panel of independent
experts has determined its bio-based -carotene (beta-carotene) to be GRAS
(Generally Recognized As Safe) for both food and beverage applications. GRAS is
a food safety standard implemented and recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (“FDA”). Today’s announcement paves the way for Microbia to begin
marketing its -carotene as a food ingredient in the United States.
Microbia followed FDA recommendations to establish that its -carotene is GRAS.
A three member panel of biomedical scientists, each qualified by relevant
national and international experience and scientific training, completed an
independent safety evaluation. The panel reviewed an extensive data package that
included methods of preparation, compositional profile and safety and toxicology
“GRAS status certifies that our natural -carotene can be safely used as a food
ingredient in numerous dairy and baked food products as well as processed
fruits, vegetables and juices,” explained Marcus Lovell Smith, Chief Executive
Officer of Microbia. “Moreover, now we can offer a natural provitamin A
alternative for use in dietary supplements.”
-carotene is one among many naturally derived carotenoids that Microbia is
developing for the food ingredient and nutritional supplement markets. Utilizing
its proprietary metabolic engineering capabilities, the Company created
microbial strains that produce carotenoids via fermentation and is now focused
on commercially launching these products.
Microbia, Inc. (formerly Microbia Precision Engineering), is an industrial
biotechnology company that develops high-value, renewable specialty ingredients
and biomaterials by applying its proprietary metabolic engineering to
fermentation-based manufacturing. Carotenoids are the first products launched
from Microbia’s diverse pipeline of natural specialty ingredients, biopolymers,
biofuels and other biomaterials. Microbia, Inc., based in Lexington,
Massachusetts, was established in 2006 as an operationally independent
subsidiary of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc.