Blue California stakes claim to market for natural ferulic acid

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Blue California says it produces its ferulic acid from rice bran.  NutraIngredients-Asia photo
Blue California says it produces its ferulic acid from rice bran. NutraIngredients-Asia photo

Related tags Wheat

Increasing demand for natural sources of ferulic acid has led Blue California to boost its production capacity of the antioxidant ingredient.

The company announced recently that by 2018, it will have an annual capacity of 500 metric tons of the material. Up until now, Blue California has been producing the material based solely on production contracts, said executive vice president Cecilia McCollum.

This is the result of R&D work that we have done with customers,  ​McCollum told NutraIngredients-USA.

Potent antioxidant

Ferulic acid is a phenolic acid found in the cell walls of many plants.  Primary sources include wheat, rice bran, oats, peanuts and apples.  It is postulated that the acid plays a role in protecting plants against microbial attack and UV damage. A 2014 article in The Journal of Agriculture Food and Chemistry​ looked into ferulic acid’s potent antioxidant properties, concluding that it may offer numerous health benefits. It has a role in important anti-aging supplements and has been suggested to promote skin elasticity, as well has being purported to have neuroprotective and cardioprotective effects.

Some material not what it claims to be

McCollum said the decision to invest in the new capacity at one of the company’s plants in China (she didn’t specify which) came as a result of investigatory work done for customers.  She said the company found that not all of the ferulic acid ingredients in the market are what they say they are.

We found that a lot of the ferulic acid that is in the market is being produced synthetically.  That is when we realized that the demand for natural ferulic acid was growing. We saw that there were not many suppliers that could reliably produce authentic natural ferulic acid,” ​McCollum said.

We produce ours naturally, from rice bran, and we think it is very important for us to be in full compliance with all of the regulatory requirements in the markets in which we operate,​ she said.

Blue California has been making a push to expand its portfolio of natural ingredients of late. The company recently announced the availability of flavor ingredient gamma-decalactone​, made via a ‘natural’ fermentation process.

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