Vitamin :: Merck offering nature identical folate
A chemically produced folate, said to be several times more bioavailable than folic acid and recently approved for food use in Europe, gives premium supplement makers a chance to differentiate from the commonly marketed form of the vitamin, says manufacturer Merck Eprova.
The product, Metafolin, has been available in the US since 2002 through specialty players like Nature Made, Metagenics and Source Naturals.
Safety approvals from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in October last year, and last month from the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), look set to open up new markets for the patented ingredient.
The folate, the calcium salt of L-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid or, for short, L-methylfolate, has a number of advantages over folic acid, sold in volumes of double-digit metric tons to food and supplement makers each year.