Jones Soda has secured exclusive rights to an anti-stress natural additive.

The US soft drinks company, which operates in the soda and energy drink segments, announced yesterday (26 June) that a deal has been struck with Japan's Pharma Foods International and Mitsubishi Corporation, allowing Jones exclusive use of Pharma Gabatm in its beverages.

Pharma Gabatm is a naturally-produced form of the amino acid gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter in the human brain that exerts a number of anti-stress effects. Already in use in Japan, the ingredient recently achieved 'generally recognised as safe' status in the US, Jones noted.

In Japan, Pharma Gabatm is used in coffee - where it helps counteract the negative effects of caffeine - as well as chocolate, sports beverages, water, energy beverages and confectionary.

"Securing the rights to Pharma Gabatm is the key step in our development of an entirely new type of Jones energy beverage," said Peter van Stolk, president and CEO of Jones Soda.

The new product line is expected to be available at select retail locations by the end of this year.