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Morinaga self-affirms GRAS status for LAC-Shield immune ingredient

© Getty Images / Zerbor
© Getty Images / Zerbor
Japan's Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd. has attained self-affirmed GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status in the US for its LAC-Shield immunogenic ingredient.

The self-affirmation opens the door for manufacturers of dietary supplements, functional foods and beverages to use the ingredient in immune health products, said the company.

LAC-Shield is an ingredient made from heat-treated Lactobacillus paracasei​ MCC1849. It is not a probiotic because the heat-treatment renders it non-viable. But the dead cells do stimulate immune function, the company claims.

Data from human clinical studies published in peer-review journals supports the ingredient’s ability to induce the production of a cytokine which activates and stimulates immune function. This is associated with a lower risk of contracting the common cold in susceptible subjects (Murata et al., Benef Microbes​. 2018, in press) or an enhancement of the immune responses of the flu vaccine in the elderly with immunosenescence (Maruyama et al., Int J Food Sci Nutr​. 2016​).

“In recent years, people have been demanding additional value and health benefits from the foods they consume. LAC-Shield has excellent potential to respond to those needs in the global market,”​ said Ko Shiino, General Manager of the International Division at Morinaga Milk.

“Achieving GRAS status enables LAC-Shield to be included in a wide variety of functional foods and beverages. We will continue our efforts to gain GRAS status for other probiotics in our portfolio so that we can contribute to healthier and brighter futures of people throughout the world.”

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