Munich- Munich-based chemicals group WACKER has received approval from the European Commission for the use of gamma-cyclodextrin as a novel food ingredient for foodstuffs and beverages in the European Union (EU). Cyclodex-trins are ring-shaped sugar molecules, which WACKER bioengineers from plant-based raw materials such as corn or potatoes. In food applications, cyclodextrins can mask an unpleasant taste, stabilize sensitive food ingredients such as vitamins or increase the bioavailability of certain active agents. EU approval of gamma-cyclodextrin thus opens up a series of new applications in the European food industry for WACKER.
According to Directive (EC) No. 258/97 of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, WACKER has received approval from the European Commission in Brussels for gamma-cyclodextrin in the "Novel Food Ingredient" category. "The EU approval is a very positive one for us and a further step toward strengthening our position as global market leader for cyclodextrins," said Dr. Gerhard Schmid, president of WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS, the Group's life sciences and fine chemicals division. "Gamma-cyclodextrin will now open up completely new applications for our customers in the European food industry."
For example, scientific studies have shown that gamma-cyclodextrin is an ideal source of glucose that has a low impact on blood sugar and blood insulin levels. As it is tolerated well even when taken in large quantities, gamma-cyclodextrin is an ideal ingredient for food-stuffs whose purpose is delayed glucose release. Furthermore, cyclodextrins can also mask odor and taste, for instance the bitter taste of green-tea products and ginseng preparations, without diminishing the benefits of the bitter substances. Moreover, the bioavailability of functional ingredients, such as curcumin or coenzyme Q10, can be increased with the aid of cyclodextrins.
Because gamma-cyclodextrin has been approved as a novel food ingredient, it does not have an E number. Consequently, gamma-cyclodextrin is particularly appealing for clean label formulations, which are growing in popularity.
Cyclodextrins are ring-shaped sugar molecules, which WACKER bio-engineers from plant-based raw materials such as corn or potatoes. Cyclodextrin molecules' special feature is their ring shape. It creates an interior cavity in which cyclodextrins can take up other, primarily hydrophobic substances. This makes cyclodextrins highly attractive for functional uses in the food industry: they can mask the taste and odor of functional additives, protect or stabilize sensitive substances against various external influences and substantially increase the bioavailability of active ingredients.
A natural degradation product of starch, cyclodextrins are not only free of allergens, but also purely vegetarian; they are bioengineered with the aid of enzymes from renewable raw materials such as corn starch and potato starch. Cyclodextrins are approved for food applications in numerous countries.
WACKER has been active in cyclodextrin-related research and development since the early 1980s. Today, WACKER is the global market leader in cyclodextrins and the only company to manufacture all of the three natural cyclodextrins. The company has been producing cyclodextrins at its Eddyville site in the USA since 1999. Their ability to enclose other substances reversibly makes cyclodextrins invaluable in many products and industries, such as household and personal care, pharmaceutical and cosmetic preparations, textiles and construction sectors.
WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS deploys advanced biotech processes to produce tailored and innovative solutions and products for the life-sciences sector. These include pharmaceutical proteins, cyclodextrins and fermentation-generated cysteine. The BIOSOLUTIONS portfolio is also complemented by catalog chemicals, such as acetyl acetone and high-quality polyvinyl acetate solid resins. The division focuses on developing customized solutions for growth sectors such as food additives, pharmaceutical actives and agrochemicals.
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Wacker Chemie AG
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The company in brief:
WACKER is a globally active company with some 17,200 employees and annual sales of
around Euros4.91 billion (2011).WACKER has a global network of 24 production sites, 19 technical competence centers and 53 sales offices.
Silicone fluids, emulsions, rubber and resins; silanes; pyrogenic silicas; thermoplastic silicone elastomers
Polyvinyl acetate and vinyl acetate copolymers in the form of dispersible polymer powders, dispersions, solid resins and solutions used as binders for construction chemicals, paints and coatings, adhesives, plasters, textiles and nonwovens, as well as for polymeric materials based on renewable resources
Biotech products such as cyclodextrins, cysteine and biologics, as well as fine chemicals and PVAc solid resins
Polysilicon for the semiconductor and photovoltaic industries Siltronic Hyperpure silicon wafers and monocrystals for semiconductor components
Wacker Chemie AG
81737 München, Germany