Dunedin-based biotechnology company Blis Technologies
plans to launch its probiotic Blis K12 on the global
The company recently obtained GRAS (generally recognised as
safe) status from the United States Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), having worked towards obtaining it for
The FDA requires all ingredients used in food manufacturing
to obtain a standard for safety.
Until now, the company's Blis K12 probiotic had been limited
to sale as a dietary supplement, which was a small market
compared with the "massive" food industry in the US, Blis
Technologies chief executive Dr Barry Richardson said in a
Blis K12 is a natural bacteria, promoted as a probiotic
prevention of upper-airways infection, bacterial sore
throats, tooth and gum disease and chronic bad breath.
While having GRAS status was expected to rapidly expand
market opportunities for the company and enable Blis K12 to
be sold to many major food manufacturers in the US, it also
had major international consequences.
Dr Richardson believed it would make it "far easier" for the
company to market K12 in other countries because GRAS status
was well recognised internationally as a "gold standard" for
The company has plans to immediately start promotion to food
manufacturers such as ice cream, yoghurt and other dairy
producers in the US. Blis K12 is already approved as a food
ingredient in both Australia and New Zealand.
The company's development scientists have been preparing new
food-product applications, including delivery systems such as
lozenges, powder formulations, chewable soft gels,
mouthwashes, chewing gum and wafer melts.
The company's market development group has also been busy
with several market development initiatives associated with
dietary supplements or foods containing Blis K12 or Blis M18,
now in 13 countries around the world, including Russia.
Two recent developments involved a presentation of Blis K12
to a major meeting of Eastern European dentists and dental
professionals in Russia, and the announcement of a major
launch of a Blis K12 jelly bean product to protect children
from upper respiratory tract infection by an Israel-based
biopharmaceutical company, Anlit Advanced Nutrition, at the
pharmaceutical networking event Cphl Worldwide 2011 in
While the slow global economy and tough regulatory
environment still meant it would be a challenging period for
the company over the next one to two years, "at least it is
an even playing field for all participants within the
industry", Dr Richardson said.
The immune health category had been forecast to grow over the
next few years, and he was "cautiously optimistic" for the