Arnhem, the Netherlands, March 24, 2006 — Akzo Nobel has received official acceptance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States regarding the self-affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status of the company’s Ferrazone® iron compound.
Ferrazone—which is used as an iron fortificant in foods and beverages to reduce iron deficiency—has been granted GRAS status by an independent panel of scientific experts, and is marketed as a GRAS product in the United States. FDA acceptance is an important acknowledgement of a thorough safety review, and is recognized by food companies and many national governments worldwide.
With regard to Ferrazone (food-grade ferric sodium EDTA) the FDA accepted an expert panel’s ruling that the product is GRAS for its intended use as a nutrient in soy, fish, teriyaki, hoisin, and sweet and sour sauces.
Developed by Akzo Nobel’s Functional Chemicals business, Ferrazone is added to food or beverages to effectively tackle the chronic problem of iron deficiency—one of the most common nutritional disorders in the world. The company believes that the product has the potential to eliminate iron deficiency anemia by as much as 80 percent in populations where the problem is widespread and foods such as fish and soy sauce are widely consumed. New programs are also underway to use Ferrazone in wheat and maize flour fortification.
A condition which affects around 3.5 billion people in the developing world, UNICEF estimates that iron deficiency undermines the health of 500 million women of reproductive age and leads to the deaths of more than one million children and 60,000 women in pregnancy and childbirth each year. It also irreversibly impairs the cognitive development of young children.
The iron compound has already been added to soy sauce in China and Indonesia, and is also being added to fish sauce in Vietnam as part of a five-year national program. In addition, in early 2005, Akzo Nobel donated Ferrazone to meet the iron requirements of 250,000 families affected by the tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia. The company is also working with a number of health ministries around the world to reduce iron deficiency using Ferrazone.
Ferrazone is a low cost, highly bioavailable form of iron which usually leaves no taste when added to food and remains stable under adverse storage and cooking conditions. Research has shown that Ferrazone is often absorbed into the human body two to three times better than other forms of iron, and is effective in reducing iron deficiency.