Fuji Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., Burlington, NJ, has attained GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status for its AstaREAL brand of astaxanthin for use as an ingredient in food and beverages. The company received an official no-objection letter from FDA following review from an expert panel, which determined that AstaREAL astaxanthin is GRAS. AstaREAL astaxanthin is a member of the carotenoid family of natural pigments closely related to beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein. The notification allows permits the marketing of AstaREAL as an ingredient in food and beverages within the U.S., expanding the potential market as well as the availability of astaxanthin to the consumer. Food categories for which astaxanthin is now allowed include baked goods, beverages, cereals, chewing gum, coffee, tea, dairy product analogs, frozen dairy desserts and mixes, hard candy, milk products, processed fruits and fruit juices, processed vegetables and vegetable juices and soft candy.