Glucona America, the sole US producer of glucono-delta-lactone (GDL), has been granted all natural status for its Gluconal GDL product by the US Food & Drug Administration. Glucona claims it is now the only provider worldwide to hold a natural status for a GDL food additive. Gluconal GDL is prepared via a fermentation process from corn without any additional chemical processing or synthetic reactions. It is then crystallised into a liquid and reduced to a white crystallised powder convenient for food manufacturing. Until this all natural product was available, food manufacturers had to rely on GDL prepared through typical dextrose conversion and ion exchange processing, the company claimed. "Food manufacturers use GDL to improve the look, taste and/or shelf life of their products," said Phil Gowaski, Glucona product line manager. "Before this confirmation, these manufacturers were unable to label their products as all natural if a glucono-delta-lactone was used in the mixture. In a world more driven to healthier foods, Gluconal(R) GDL's all natural status becomes a selling benefit as well as a reassurance to the manufacturer's clientele." Gluconal GDL is a natural controlled-release, non-bitter acidulant used throughout the food industry as a substitute for enzymes in cheese processing or tofu manufacturing, a slow release leavening acid in bakery formulations and as a mild tasting acidulant used for pH control and adjustment to increase shelf life. Gowaski said that Gluconal had a much more neutral taste when compared to other common acidulants and that it did not impact the true flavour of final products. "For the food manufacturer who is driven to ensure a consistent taste profile, this becomes a major sellingpoint." Glucona, which claims to be the leading global manufacturer of gluconate-based products, markets 65 per cent of its GDL product in the US. It also produces Gluconal CAL, a proprietary highly soluble calcium product, and a full line of mineral gluconates for the nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical industry including calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium and iron.