MArch 05, 2019

San Diego New Foods Company Gets FDA “No Questions” Letter

      FDA ‘has no questions” that primary strain of algae is “GRAS” for intended uses in food

March 5, 2019 - Triton Algae Innovations, a San Diego-based startup company focused on new food and nutritional products derived from a highly nutritious algae, has announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “has no questions” that Triton’s algae ingredient Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (C. reinhardtii) is GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) for its intended uses in food.  FDA reached this finding following a lengthy and rigorous evaluation of a comprehensive science dossier prepared by Triton, which was comprised of toxicological safety studies and characterization data.  This dossier had been previously reviewed by an independent panel of experts, which also concluded that Triton’s algae is GRAS.

“Our focus remains on bringing safe and healthy new products to consumers, who are increasingly interested in the nutritional content and sustainability of the foods they eat” said Xun Wang, President and CEO of Triton.  “We are excited to have this acknowledgement from the FDA regarding the GRAS status of our algae as a food ingredient, and about the multiple potential commercial pathways for it as a source of healthy plant-based protein in foods.” 

Triton’s non-GM, plant-based algae powder is rich in essential amino acids, omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, vitamin A/beta-carotene, and iron, and is an excellent source of highly nutritious protein.  This abundance of nutritional benefits has attracted the attention of both established and emerging food companies in search of non-traditional sources of protein which can be produced sustainably and affordably, and readily incorporated into food products.

Additionally, Triton has demonstrated the ability to make a red version of its algae, from which  non-GM heme can be produced.  Heme is what gives alternative meat products, such as burger patties and sausages, the look, taste and smell of traditional meat.  Wang noted that the significance of FDA’s “no questions” letter (NQL) is considerable, in that it further validates the science-based safety of their algae ingredient with both industry and consumers.

“Having the NQL helps a great deal as we move forward in discussions with established and new food companies interested in our ability to provide a healthy new source of protein, and to produce non-GM heme for use in alternative meats” he said.  “It also serves as a clear message of safety, and a stepping stone to acceptance in key overseas markets in the EU and Asia.”

“This is great news, and will help to further accelerate our ability to respond to the increasing market interest in plant-based food ingredient options, and in the rapidly expanding demand for non-traditional sources of protein.  We are grateful to the FDA for the considerable time and attention they have devoted to the review and analysis of our ingredient.”

Wang noted that Triton’s algae ingredient has already been featured in foods consumed at several large national conferences, and in menus at several prominent San Diego-area restaurants.  Triton is currently scaling up manufacturing via strategic commercial partnerships, and is continuing in the process of introducing its algae into the consumer market in 2019.

Triton Algae Innovations

11558 Sorrento Valley Road #3

San Diego, CA 92121

Contact: Dave Schroeder, dave@tritonai.com