Norwegian company Primex Ingredients ASA is poised to enter the US food market, after its ultra-pure form of Norwegian shrimp-derived chitosan, trademarked as ChitoClear, was Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the US FDA. ChitoClear may now be used in food and beverage products in the US.

Chitosan is accredited with reducing blood pressure, cholesterol, and calories, and is marketed as both a food ingredient and a dietary supplement. It can also be used as a natural preservative in raw fish and meats; as a clarifying solution and odour remover in beverages and as a protective film for fruits and vegetables.

Sales Manager Thore Ivar Thorsen explained: "US manufacturers, especially those in the cereal and snack food industries, have shown great interest in including ChitoClear […and] the confirmed purity status of our ChitoClear allows us to offer manufacturers a "ChitoClear Inside" label on their packaging as a way of notifying their customers that only the highest quality chitosan is being used in what they are consuming."

"Achieving GRAS status for ChitoClear distinguishes Primex from the rest of the chitosan industry, and is based specifically on Primex' use of North Atlantic (Pandalus borealis) shrimp shells and a unique processing technology which produces a product with purity specifications that are unmatched in the market today. 

"It took us two years to compile the necessary scientific documentation and safety studies before an international panel of experts concluded to the FDA that ChitoClear was GRAS. We are very proud of this distinction."