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Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) > for food, dietary supplements and beverages

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) refers to a group of different isomers of linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is an unsaturated fatty acid with 18 carbons and two double bonds (18:2). The conjugated double bonds of linoleic acid are always in the cis-configuration. However CLA sees the conjugated double bonds appearing in either the cis or trans-configuration. They are present at the positions 9 and 11 or 10 and 12. In nature life the fatty acid is produced by ruminants; microorganisms in their digestive system convert linoleic acid into CLA. Therefore CLA is naturally found in meat and milk products. The average daily intake of CLA from natural sources in Europe is between 200-300 mg/d.
CLA intake has an influence on the body composition. The body composition is a term where the body is divided in lean mass, fat mass, water and bone mass. By CLA intake the body fat mass is reduced; this effect may not necessarily be accompanied by a loss of weight.
Overweight and obesity is a social problem in the modern society and a risk factor for chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and stroke. To prevent these diseases the body composition is more important than the body weight.
Multiple clinical trials with CLA demonstrate the efficacy of CLA to reduce body and maintain muscle mass. A body fat reduction of about 10% is achievable.
The mechanisms of CLA in the body are the inhibition of the enzyme lipo-protein-lipase (LPL), so that the amount of fat that is stored after eating is decreased by promoting the rate of fat burning in the mitochondria. In this way the total number of fat cells in the body is decreased and the proliferation of preadipocytes into adipocytes is reduced. These mechanisms are reported data from animal studies and in vitro studies.




Tonalin® is available in powder form, in oily form or integrated in soft gelatine capsules. Tonalin® is sourced from safflower oil, which is high in linoleic acid. Tonalin® contains a 50:50 mixture with cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10, cis-12 isomers
Stability: Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) should be stored at ambient temperatures below 25 °C. Stored in the unopened original packaging, the product is stable between 12 up to 36 month depending on the product type. The products are sensible to atmospheric oxygen, light and heat. It should therefore be stored in the lightproof sealed original packaging in a cool place. Once opened, it is recommended to flush the packaging with inert gas and to use the remaining content as quickly as possible.
For food applications it is recommended to store the product at refrigerated conditions (4-8°C) to maintain the fresh taste in food.


Tonalin® products are intended to be used in dietary supplements. The liquid oily grades are ideal for soft gelatin capsules, syrups or one-shot supplements. The product has to be protected against oxidation.
For applications with the powder grades, instant powder mixes or nutrition bars are recommended. A neutral pH is necessary for these applications. A usage for tablets is not advisable because the product will not withstand the pressure applied during the high-speed tableting.
Tonalin® can also be used as an ingredient for functional food products. The main categories for functional food with CLA are dairy products. The products are almost neutral in taste and odour.
Tonalin® may be used in functional beverages. BASF offers a grade which is water-dispersible and made by spray-drying. The product is almost neutral in taste and odour.