Tagatose Gets Green Light: Expert Panel Finds Sweetener 'GRAS'

Arla Foods Moves Forward on Commercialization Plans



Apr 11, 2001, 01:00 ET from Spherix (Biospherics Incorporated)

    BELTSVILLE, Md., April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Arla Foods of Denmark and
 Spherix (Biospherics Incorporated) (Nasdaq:   BINC) of Beltsville, Maryland,
 today jointly announced that an Expert Panel has found tagatose, the low-
 calorie sweetener, to be Generally Recognized As Safe ("GRAS"), thereby
 permitting its sale in the US. Arla Foods has already introduced tagatose to
 many major food products companies and found them receptive to the product.
 Well known products were successfully made by substituting tagatose for
 presently used sweeteners. Among these products are diet health bars, hard
 candies, diet soft candies, cereals, icings and diet-milk-based frozen
 desserts, sugarless chewing gum, and diet soft drinks. Arla Foods has also
 developed tagatose-sweetened nutritional bars for the healthy food market, and
 is investigating use of tagatose in the dietary supplement market.
     "Our extensive marketing efforts show an attractive market for tagatose.
 With GRAS, we are now able to increase our effort vis-a-vis potential
 customers. Tagatose fits nicely into our product line and our distribution
 system," said Peter Lauritzen, Managing Director, Arla Foods Ingredients.
 "GRAS is an important milestone that will enable us to engage customers in a
 closer dialogue," said Henrik Andersen, Executive Director, Arla Foods
 Ingredients.
     Tagatose is a naturally occurring, multi-purpose, low-calorie, full-bulk
 sweetener derived from lactose. It is non-cariogenic and has prebiotic
 properties that promote healthy digestion. Tagatose is suitable for use in
 both food and functional food applications. It also enhances the taste of diet
 soft drinks. The new sweetener is safe for use by people with diabetes.
     Establishing GRAS status for tagatose culminates a four-year effort.
 Spherix licensed its patent rights for the manufacture and sale of tagatose in
 foods and beverages to MD Foods in 1997, which, in 2000, was merged with a
 Swedish dairy to form Arla Foods, the world's second largest volume milk
 producer with annual revenues exceeding $4 billion. Whey is the raw material
 for the process and Arla Foods is one of the world's largest producers of
 whey. Arla Foods will now pursue regulatory approvals in Europe, Japan and
 Asia including Australia and New Zealand.  Spherix will receive royalties on
 all sales of tagatose.
     Arla Foods announced that it is proceeding to notify the FDA of the
 findings of the Expert Panel.  Arla's plan for the commercialization of
 tagatose can now proceed.  This plan includes plant development with
 participation of one or more major investment and/or production partners.
 With GRAS status established, it is hoped negotiations can be completed and
 implementation of the plan be undertaken this year.
     Dr. Gilbert V. Levin, CEO of Spherix said, "I am delighted at the GRAS
 Panel's finding.  Our invention is now a food product.  I want to recognize
 the strong development work of Arla Foods.  In addition to pursuing safety
 approvals, Arla Foods made important discoveries that increase the potential
 market for our product.  They found that tagatose synergistically improves the
 taste of diet soft drinks, that it can be used to enhance the flavor of health
 foods, and that it has prebiotic properties, promoting gut health. However, I
 am most impressed that taste panels have found that tagatose provides great
 tasting low-calorie products. Everyone agrees that taste matters most."
     Dr. Levin concluded, "I hope that future royalties from tagatose will
 amply reward the patience and loyalty of our shareholders, and make it
 possible for the Company to expand operations in both of its lines of
 business, biotechnology and information technology."
 
     Certain statements contained herein are "forward looking" statements as
 defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Because such
 statements include risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ
 materially from those expressed or implied.  Factors that could cause actual
 results to differ materially from those expressed or implied include, but are
 not limited to, those discussed in filings by the Company with the Securities
 and Exchange Commission, including the filing on Form 8-K made on March 3,
 1999.
 
     Under its motto, "A World of Solutions," Spherix's mission is to create
 value and increase shareholder wealth through innovations that benefit our
 clients and the human condition.  Spherix offers innovations in information
 technology, knowledge management, and biotechnology.
 
     The Spherix Internet address is http://www.spherixinc.com .
 
 

SOURCE Spherix (Biospherics Incorporated)
    BELTSVILLE, Md., April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Arla Foods of Denmark and
 Spherix (Biospherics Incorporated) (Nasdaq:   BINC) of Beltsville, Maryland,
 today jointly announced that an Expert Panel has found tagatose, the low-
 calorie sweetener, to be Generally Recognized As Safe ("GRAS"), thereby
 permitting its sale in the US. Arla Foods has already introduced tagatose to
 many major food products companies and found them receptive to the product.
 Well known products were successfully made by substituting tagatose for
 presently used sweeteners. Among these products are diet health bars, hard
 candies, diet soft candies, cereals, icings and diet-milk-based frozen
 desserts, sugarless chewing gum, and diet soft drinks. Arla Foods has also
 developed tagatose-sweetened nutritional bars for the healthy food market, and
 is investigating use of tagatose in the dietary supplement market.
     "Our extensive marketing efforts show an attractive market for tagatose.
 With GRAS, we are now able to increase our effort vis-a-vis potential
 customers. Tagatose fits nicely into our product line and our distribution
 system," said Peter Lauritzen, Managing Director, Arla Foods Ingredients.
 "GRAS is an important milestone that will enable us to engage customers in a
 closer dialogue," said Henrik Andersen, Executive Director, Arla Foods
 Ingredients.
     Tagatose is a naturally occurring, multi-purpose, low-calorie, full-bulk
 sweetener derived from lactose. It is non-cariogenic and has prebiotic
 properties that promote healthy digestion. Tagatose is suitable for use in
 both food and functional food applications. It also enhances the taste of diet
 soft drinks. The new sweetener is safe for use by people with diabetes.
     Establishing GRAS status for tagatose culminates a four-year effort.
 Spherix licensed its patent rights for the manufacture and sale of tagatose in
 foods and beverages to MD Foods in 1997, which, in 2000, was merged with a
 Swedish dairy to form Arla Foods, the world's second largest volume milk
 producer with annual revenues exceeding $4 billion. Whey is the raw material
 for the process and Arla Foods is one of the world's largest producers of
 whey. Arla Foods will now pursue regulatory approvals in Europe, Japan and
 Asia including Australia and New Zealand.  Spherix will receive royalties on
 all sales of tagatose.
     Arla Foods announced that it is proceeding to notify the FDA of the
 findings of the Expert Panel.  Arla's plan for the commercialization of
 tagatose can now proceed.  This plan includes plant development with
 participation of one or more major investment and/or production partners.
 With GRAS status established, it is hoped negotiations can be completed and
 implementation of the plan be undertaken this year.
     Dr. Gilbert V. Levin, CEO of Spherix said, "I am delighted at the GRAS
 Panel's finding.  Our invention is now a food product.  I want to recognize
 the strong development work of Arla Foods.  In addition to pursuing safety
 approvals, Arla Foods made important discoveries that increase the potential
 market for our product.  They found that tagatose synergistically improves the
 taste of diet soft drinks, that it can be used to enhance the flavor of health
 foods, and that it has prebiotic properties, promoting gut health. However, I
 am most impressed that taste panels have found that tagatose provides great
 tasting low-calorie products. Everyone agrees that taste matters most."
     Dr. Levin concluded, "I hope that future royalties from tagatose will
 amply reward the patience and loyalty of our shareholders, and make it
 possible for the Company to expand operations in both of its lines of
 business, biotechnology and information technology."
 
     Certain statements contained herein are "forward looking" statements as
 defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Because such
 statements include risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ
 materially from those expressed or implied.  Factors that could cause actual
 results to differ materially from those expressed or implied include, but are
 not limited to, those discussed in filings by the Company with the Securities
 and Exchange Commission, including the filing on Form 8-K made on March 3,
 1999.
 
     Under its motto, "A World of Solutions," Spherix's mission is to create
 value and increase shareholder wealth through innovations that benefit our
 clients and the human condition.  Spherix offers innovations in information
 technology, knowledge management, and biotechnology.
 
     The Spherix Internet address is http://www.spherixinc.com .
 
 SOURCE  Spherix (Biospherics Incorporated)