US consumers can soon expect to see juices fortified with the natural ingredient lutein on the supermarket shelves following an agreement between ingredients company Kemin Foods and the Hain Celestial group, the US natural foods company.
The two companies announced last week that Hain Celestial is to introduce two new juice products - Hain Pure Foods Veggie Juice and Carrot Juice - fortified with Kemin's FloraGLO Lutein, a patent-protected, purified form of lutein.
"As a manufacturer of natural products, we were excited with the opportunity to partner with Kemin to make foods and beverages even better for consumers and to differentiate our products on the grocery shelf," said Maureen Putman, general manager for the grocery business unit at The Hain Celestial group.
The new carrot and vegetable juices each contain 1 milligram of purified lutein per 8 ounce serving.
"Our relationship with Hain Celestial and their market-leading brands demonstrates the growing nutritional appeal of lutein for food and beverage applications," said Cheryl Sturm, strategic marketing manager for foods and beverages at Kemin Foods.
A growing body of research on lutein would suggest that it has important health benefits for the eyes, skin and heart. Research has also linked regular lutein intake with prevention of age-related macular degeneration - a leading cause of vision loss in the United States and Europe - and cataracts.