Stevia standards developer could lack future funding

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dietary supplement

Ingredient standards researcher ChromaDex Corporation has said that it anticipates significant future demand for its services, but is unsure if it can secure the capital necessary to continue expansion.

ChromaDex Corporation, which develops analytical standards for ingredients, was rewarded with a Scientific Achievement Award from the Nutrition Business Journal​ in January for its role in developing quality standards for the sweet components of stevia, and it says that demand for its services is expected to increase.

The company said that although it has raised enough capital to implement its current plans over the next ten months, it “may determine that it needs additional financing to implement its business plan, and there can be no assurance that it will be available on terms favorable to it or at all.”

ChromaDex added that if it cannot secure funding it may have to cut or delay its products and services.

“The inability to raise additional financing may have a material adverse effect on the company,”​ it said.

On Friday, the company announced a net loss of $323,842 for the first quarter of 2009, which it said was due to costs related to becoming a public reporting entity – costs that it expects to continue to incur. During this period it generated net sales of $1,447,127, up nearly $400,000 on 2008’s first quarter.

New demands

Despite its anticipated additional costs, ChromaDex said it expects demand for its services to increase in the wake of upcoming US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines for the dietary supplement industry, and as the trend for ‘green chemistry’ intensifies for the food and cosmetics industries.

CEO and co-founder of ChromaDex Frank Jaksch said: "The importance of not only implementing Good Manufacturing Practices for dietary supplements but also the utilization of reference standards and other analytical methodology is paramount to ensuring that food and supplement products are safe and effective…The [Scientific Achievement] award further validates our mission to provide the tools needed to validate the safety, quality and potency of products for the dietary supplement, food, beverage, personal care and sports nutrition markets."

Stevia standards

The company entered into an agreement with Cargill to ensure quality and consistency of stevia extracts in November last year, ahead of Cargill being one of two companies to be issued with an FDA letter of non-objection that its stevia-derived Reb A sweetener was generally recognized as safe (GRAS).

ChromaDex offers a range of stevia-related sweet compounds as analytical reference standards or research materials which food and beverage companies can use to validate stevia-derived Reb A for use in consumer products. The analytical tools are used by Cargill in its production process to ensure quality benchmarks are met.

The firm's major focus is the development of reference standards for botanicals, supplement ingredients and food ingredients, and it currently has standards for over 3000 products.

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