Folate-based food additive officially approved by South Korean food and drug ministry

By Cheryl Tay contact

- Last updated on GMT

Quatrefolic has been approved as a food additive in South Korea. ©iStock
Quatrefolic has been approved as a food additive in South Korea. ©iStock

Related tags: Folic acid

Quatrefolic, the metabolically active form of folate, has been granted approval as a certified food additive by the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS).

Its official addition to the Food Additive Code means it is permitted for usage in functional health foods, which is allowed to feature claims that the additive is necessary for cell and blood production, the maintenance of normal blood homocysteine levels, and the proper growth of a foetal neural tube.

Developed by Italian biotechnology company Gnosis, Quatrefolic was formulated to completely bypass the conversion of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene to deliver a finished folate that can be used immediately by the human body without the need for any metabolisation.

China appproval

This allows the body to avoid the accumulation of unmetabolised folic acid (UMFA) in the blood, which is known to have serious health implications.

This latest regulatory approval of the additive follows other such authorisations in countries such as China and the US.

Prior to Quatrefolic being approved by the South Korean MFDS, Gnosis organised and held a Quatrefolic seminar in Seoul, where commercial director Paolo Malesani spoke to scientists, doctors and other healthcare professionals about the additive’s development process.

Folate deficiency​ has been found to play a role in cognitive decline, colorectal cancer, cardiovascular disease, and prenatal malnutrition.

Related topics: Policy, South Asia

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