Cellulose has been in the news recently for its use in the manufacture of the alternative fuel, ethanol. It is the primary structural component of the primary cell wall of green plants, and it is reportedly one of the most common organic compounds on Earth. Cellulose is actually used in the manufacture of many well-known products, such as cotton and paper. It can also function as inactive fillers in tablets and stabilizers in processed foods. Today, a new innovation for the functional food use of cellulose is emerging for its potential in enhancing solutions to address weight management.

The Dow Chemical Company’s Food & Nutrition business has been focusing on developing technologies for the healthy lifestyle market. Toward this goal, Dow announced the development of SATISFIT Weight Care Technology. This line of proprietary, plant-based ingredients, with FDA-notification GRAS status, is for weight-management products. Preclinical studies, conducted through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the USDA and Dow, have found SATISFIT lowers fat absorption in the gut. In particular, the absorption of the “bad fats,” such as trans and saturated fats, is decreased, which ultimately may reduce their harmful effects in the body.

In one four-week, animal-model study, the SATISFIT EZ ingredient, named for its “easy formulation” capability, was incorporated into a high-fat diet. The diet resulted in a 7% reduction in weight gain, as compared to a control diet containing microcrystalline cellulose (MCC). In another study, animals were fed either pound cake or hamburger meal that had been fortified with either MCC or SATISFIT. Those that had been given the SATISFIT-fortified food absorbed significantly less saturated fat from their diet. Preclinical studies also indicate that SATISFIT helps regulate fat metabolism in tissues, thus helping to prevent fat build-up in healthy tissues. For example, larger undesirable fatty deposits were found in the liver of animals fed a 20% high-fat control diet containing MCC, when compared to the livers of those fed foods fortified with one of the experimental SATISFIT products.

Currently, all data is based on preclinical studies. Dow is looking for developmental partners to help bring clinical substantiation for human use and claim substantiation to SATISFIT.

According to Stephanie Lynch, global marketing manager for food & nutrition at Dow, SATISFIT is easy to formulate in many of the fast-growing applications in the functional foods market, such as beverages, dairy products, snack foods, biscuits and bars, and ready meals. Lynch says, “SATISFIT is 100% soluble fiber, highly process-tolerant, non-fermentable and can help extend food freshness. It also does not add calories to formulation, so it is perfect for adding functionality to weight-care formulations and recipes with ease.” pf 
--Kerry Hughes, Technical Field Editor

For more information:
Dow Wolff Cellulosics * Midland, Mich.
Stephanie Lynch * 800-488-5430
foodgroup@dow.com * www.dowfood.com