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Ajinomoto Co., Inc. gains marketing authorization in Europe for the new novel food ingredient dihydrocapsiate -- a new milestone in taste sensation and energy expenditure

TOKYO, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ajinomoto Co., Inc. (Ajinomoto Co.) today announced that the EU Commission has just published the Implementing Decision authorizing the placing on the market of dihydrocapsiate (DHC) as a novel food ingredient under Regulation (EC) No 258/97 of the European Parliament and of the Council (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:327:0049:0051:EN:PDF).

"The entirely novel characteristics of DHC and the benefit of increasing energy expenditure safely will enable our customers in the EU food and beverage industry to innovate completely new and exciting applications for the consumer," said Shoji Tsubuku, General Manager of Ajinomoto Co., Inc.

Dihydrocapsiate has held GRAS status from the U.S. FDA as a food ingredient since March 2009 but the EU approval is particularly important, as it will drive global expansion into a much wider range of food products throughout Europe.

About Dihydrocapsiate
Dihydrocapsiate is found naturally in chili peppers and is a member of the capsinoid family of compounds.  It is structurally similar to capsaicin, the substance responsible for the sensation of hotness in chili peppers, which has long been recognized to increase metabolism and energy expenditure.  Like capsaicin, capsinoids are naturally occurring substances that activate receptors in the body and can favorably affect energy expenditure, but they do not taste hot. Ajinomoto Co., Inc. has conducted an extensive program of animal and human studies on capsinoids, and dihydrocapsiate received a positive opinion on safety from the European Food Safety Authority in July this year.

About Novel Food
Novel foods or novel food ingredients have no history of significant consumption in the European Union prior to May 15, 1997. Any food or food ingredient that falls within this definition must be authorized according to the Novel Food legislation, Regulation (EC) No 258/97.

About GRAS
GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) is a process established by the FDA in 1958. In this system, substances used in food products undergo objective evaluations by academic experts to determine whether they can be considered generally safe under their intended conditions of use.  In the United States, new materials intended for use in food products (excluding the dietary ingredients for dietary supplements) must either be approved as food additives or be determined to be GRAS.

About Ajinomoto Co.
Ajinomoto Co. is a global manufacturer of high-quality seasonings, processed foods, beverages, amino acids, pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals. For many decades Ajinomoto Co. has contributed to food culture and human health through wide-ranging application of amino acid technologies. Today, the company is becoming increasingly involved with solutions for improved food resources, human health and global sustainability. Founded in 1909 and now operating in 26 countries, Ajinomoto Co. had net sales of JPY 1,197.3 billion (USD 15.1 billion) in fiscal 2011. For more about Ajinomoto Co., (TYO: 2802), visit www.ajinomoto.com.

For further information, please contact:
Ajinomoto Co., Inc. Public Communications Department; [email protected] 

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