EFSA greenlights new vitamin D yeast applications following Lallemand dossier
06 Jul 2021 --- Following a favorable opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Lallemand’s vitamin D yeast can now be used in 34 food categories, including fermented milk or cream products, as well as meat and dairy analogs.
Lallemand submitted a novel food dossier last year to expand its spectrum of food products, including Lalmin vitamin D, an inactive cell yeast. It was formerly only permitted in bakery products and food supplements.
“We are very proud of obtaining approval for a natural source of vitamin D produced through the exposure of yeast to UV light. Our vitamin D yeast was the first UV-treated food in the EU,” states Celia Martin, global regulatory affairs director for Lallemand Bio-Ingredients.
“With this extension of use, we are now expanding its use in food applications and allowing for more foods to provide vitamin D. Evidence shows that vitamin D levels in the EU population are not adequate. Through our efforts, Lallemand can contribute to help address this important issue,” Martin adds.
Other new categories include ready-to-eat meals, infant formula and food, bread, cereals and vitamins.
Lallemand conducted a detailed food intake assessment that included all food categories and intended population groups. The EFSA issued an opinion stating that the use of vitamin D yeast in a wide range of food categories is safe for all targeted populations.
The updated EU regulation, which authorizes Lalmin vitamin D yeast food categories, is set to be published by the end of 2021.
Lallemand has a long history with the EFSA for vitamin D yeast, having obtained the first authorization to use vitamin D yeast as a new product in 2014.
Previously, Lallemand acquired a fermentation site in Ontario, Canada, further establishing its presence in the North American market.
A petition to extend the use of Lalmin vitamin D yeast in 18 food categories has also been submitted to the US FDA in the form of an application dossier. The approval date is set for 2022.
Lalmin vitamin D yeast explained
Lalmin vitamin D is an inactive whole cell yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) that has been dried, fermented and has naturally high quantities of vitamin D2. It’s a vegan supplement that can be used in tablets, capsules, or for food fortification.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast naturally changes ergosterol (endogenous to yeast) into ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), a vegan source of vitamin D.
Benefits of vitamin D
Vitamin D modulates the immune response to protect against infections, especially viral infections and is an essential component of the immune system.
Global insufficiencies are widespread, with supplementation often helping to fill in nutritional gaps. However, a quarter of the British population does not take vitamin D supplementation.
Similarly, a US-based campaign named #VitaminDforAll is advocating for widespread increases in vitamin D intake.
While skin produces vitamin D when exposed to sunshine, the amounts generated are insufficient for health, and the hazards of excessive sun exposure outweigh the benefits.
Vitamin D modulates calcium absorption and promotes the mineralization of bones and teeth.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, osteoporosis, periodontal disease, macular degeneration, asthma and mental illness.
According to the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA), vitamin D deficiency can lead to severe falls that injure 100,000 elderly people every day.
By Nicole Kerr
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