Vegetarian Nutrients

Thanks to the growing demand for vegetarian products in the nutraceuticals market and to the increasing consumer concern regarding beef-derived products, Algatechnologies has developed gelatin-free astaxanthin beadlets for tablets or hard shell capsules. This exciting nutrient is completely natural and free of animal products, and was developed recently for the dietary supplements market. The new microencapsulated natural astaxanthin is extracted by using a Supercritical CO2 extraction technique, embedded in a matrix of alginate. The AstaPure line complies with very high standards of microbiology counts; it is kosher and GMO-free. Algatechnologies Ltd., Efrat Kat, office@algatech.com, www.algatech.com



Food for Bones

An extract of natto, a fermented soy food from Japan, is particularly rich in the highly bioavailable form of vitamin K2 called menaquinone-7 (MK-7), linked to greater bone health and reduction in risk factors. PL Thomas & Co. Inc. (PLT) announced the launch of Natural Vitamin K2 as a newly available proprietary extract under the trademark MenaQ7â„¢. Natural Vitamin K2 helps keep calcium in the bones and out of the arteries, providing significant potential health benefits. Natural Vitamin K2 also may provide significant benefit to cardiovascular health due to its roles in calcium utilization. PL Thomas & Co. Inc., Eric Anderson, 973-984-0900, ext. 215, eric@plthomas.com



FlaxBerry?

Flaxseeds are one of the best vegetable sources for the omega-3 fat alpha linolenic acid (ALA), which long has been recognized for its potent health benefits. With increasing recognition of the health advantages of flax and cranberry, a new product is set to be a hit with dietary supplement manufacturers and consumers alike for general and urinary tract health. Leading essential fatty acid (EFA) solutions provider Bioriginal is gearing up for the global roll-out of its new flax-based product, BioFlaxEliteâ„¢ with Cranberry. A powerful combination of premium-quality, milled organic flaxseeds and cranberries, the formula will allow Bioriginal's customers to offer two well-recognized ingredients in one easy-to-use supplement. Bioriginal Food & Science Corp., 306-975-1166, business@bioriginal.com, www.bioriginal.com



All Clear for Healthier Beverages

A unique technology optimizes the intermolecular relationships of color molecules to create colors with superior heat and light stability. The ColorFruit™ range from Chr. Hansen covers all shades from yellow to violet, but is based on just two pigments—natural carotene and anthocyanins. The excellent stability of the new ColorFruit colors owe much to the technology developed by the researchers at Chr. Hansen, which offers the beverage industry an attractive natural alternative to the use of synthetics. Chr. Hansen, Ken Gawley, 800-558-0802, Innovations@chr-hansen-us.com.



A Sense of Sweet

A scientific paradox linking artificial sweeteners such as saccharin with a sensory experience in which plain water takes on a sweet taste has guided researchers to an increased understanding of how humans detect sweet taste. Reporting in an advance online publication in the journal Nature, scientists from the Monell Chemical Senses Center describe how certain artificial sweeteners, including sodium saccharin and acesulfame-K, paradoxically inhibit sweet taste at high concentrations. Taste perception switches back to sweetness when these high concentrations are rinsed from the mouth with water, resulting in the aftertaste experience known as sweet water taste. “These findings will open doors for tweaking the sweet taste receptor and finding new sweeteners and inhibitors that can be used both by food industry and in medicine,� states senior author Paul A.S. Breslin, PhD, a Monell geneticist. Sweet inhibitors are used by the food industry to counteract the undesirable high sweetness that results from replacing fats with sweet carbohydrates in reduced-fat products such as snack foods and salad dressings. Monell Chemical Senses Center, Leslie Stein, 215-898-4982, media@monell.org; www.monell.org



Grape Seed and Blood Pressure

Grape seed extract lowered the blood pressure of patients who participated in a U.C. Davis study of the benefits of the supplement on people with high blood pressure. The study was the first human clinical trial to assess the effect of grape seed extract on people with metabolic syndrome, a combination of risk factors that increases the risk for heart disease, including high blood pressure, excess abdominal body weight, high blood cholesterol fats and high blood sugar. The researchers presented the results at the American Chemical Society Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta, and at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology's 2006 meeting in San Francisco. An estimated 40% of American adults, or 50 million people, have metabolic syndrome. Three previous studies in animal models by this team have indicated that grape seed extract also may prevent atherosclerosis.



Tipping for Tea

Tea is second only to water as the most popular beverage in the world. Both green and black teas have been studied for their health benefits for a variety of diseases. “Lung cancer is the predominant cause of cancer mortality in developed countries," explained J. Clark and colleagues, University of Washington. "Smokers' risk of lung cancer is 20 times that of persons who have never smoked... Most animal studies indicate tea has strong chemopreventive effects against lung tumorigenesis.� The researchers concluded that additional studies will be required to determine just how tea affects carcinoma cell development. Clark and colleagues published their study in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research (Chemoprevention of Lung Cancer by Tea. Mol Nutr Food Res, 2006;50(2):144-151).

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Healthy Baking

A supplier of shelf-stable flaxseed ingredients introduced its new corporate image and ingredients to food and nutritional products companies attending the Natural Products Expo (NPE) West, which took place in March in Anaheim, Calif. Under new management, ENRECO Inc. co-sponsored the NPE West's Healthy Baking Seminar to underscore “our commitment to help bakers develop new, health-enhanced bakery products using flaxseed's omega-3, dietary fiber, low-glycemic and antioxidant benefits,� explained ENRECO president, Sean Moriarty. ENRECO Inc., 800-962-9536, www.ENRECO.com NS



Diving into Nutritional Science and Applications

The food and nutritional products industry—and its customers—have benefited greatly from formulators possessing much “know-how.� However, “know-how� must frequently be refreshed and updated so that R&D staffs are not left behind with 20th century expertise. On September 11-12, 2006, in Itasca, Ill. (a suburb west of Chicago), Prepared Foods will hold its second annual R&D Applications Seminars event. See www.PreparedFoods.com/rd for more information or e-mail Marge Whalen at whalenm@bnpmedia.com. Here are a few of the 90+ sessions providing must-know information on nutritional products.

• Formulation for Better Cardiovascular Health, Brain & Liver Function Made Easy: Balchem Corporation

• New Lycopene and Beta-carotene Products for Allergen-free Functional Beverages and Foods: BASF Corporation

• Solubilization and Increased Bioavailability: PL Thomas

• Foods for Beauty and Wellness—Nourishing the Body from Within: David Michael & Co.

• Probiotics—Trends and Opportunities: Chr. Hansen Inc.



Mediterranean Diet Cuts Risk of Alzheimer's by 40%

One of the largest studies of the impact of food and drink on mental decline has found that eating a Mediterranean diet cuts the risk of Alzheimer's disease by up to 40%. The diet of southern France, Italy and Spain, rich in olive oil and red wine, is known to protect against heart disease and high blood pressure, but this is the first time it has been shown to prevent Alzheimer's disease. Researchers monitored 2,258 healthy, elderly people in New York who were part of a research project on aging. After four years, 262 of the participants were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, more than one in 10 of the total. Records of their diets during the study period showed that those who adhered most closely to the Mediterranean diet—eating lots of fruits, vegetables, pulses, some fish and alcohol with little dairy food and meat—had the lowest risk of Alzheimer's, down by 39% to 40%.

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