US-based biotech company Cypress Systems has announced that it has achieved self-affirmed Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status for its organically bound natural food form of selenium yeast, SelenoExcell.
Selenium has been a mandated mineral in infant formula since 2019, but only inorganic forms have been approved by the FDA.
The company says that this is the first GRAS notification for a selenium source for use in infant formula for healthy, full-term infants.
SelenoExcell is a standardised high-selenium yeast that is a more efficacious food form of the mineral. It is the first selenium yeast product to be GRAS-approved by the FDA for use in a variety of food categories and to have a Qualified Health Claim.
It is originated from a non-pathogenic, non-GMO Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strain. During its growth, it creates compounds resembling food forms of selenium, similar to those found in Brazil nuts, eggs, peas and meats.
The S. cerevisiae cells in SelenoExcell are inactive, and only the nutritional properties remain. The cells cannot reproduce in the human body when consumed because they are no longer alive. The yeast accumulates, encouraging the incorporation of selenium into the protein structure, supporting antioxidant properties that may reduce oxidative stress in the body.
Cypress Systems’ president and COO, Michelle Martin, said: “While the FDA mandated the use of selenium in infant formula in 2019, until now, only inorganic forms of selenite or selenate were allowed, which prevented manufacturers from using the highest quality option. SelenoExcell is the gold standard for maternal health supplementation, so extending its benefits to infants is a seamless evolution. We are honoured to be the first organic selenium ingredient to attain Infant GRAS.”
She continued: “Our focus has long been perfecting the process of fermentation for organically bound minerals to yeast, which creates natural, food-form minerals that can be easily absorbed by the body. Achieving infant GRAS is a further testament to the quality of this ingredient.”
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