December 2011/NutraSolutions -- Products with a heart-health positioning continue to show good growth worldwide, with a 13% increase in product launch activity tracked by Innova Market Insights from 2009-2010. Whole grains and vitamin E were the two most widely used ingredients for new product launches for heart-health claims in 2010, with the association of whole grain consumption (in particular) and heart health being firmly entrenched in the consumer psyche. Other ingredients being utilized for heart-health claims on a smaller scale include niacin, soy protein, flax seed, magnesium, omega-3, phytosterols, beta-glucan and grape seed extract. The most popular market categories for heart-health claims* in 2010 were breakfast cereals (28.8%), dairy drinks (7.3%) and bread & bread products (6.4%). Emerging market categories of note include juice & juice drinks (3.5%), plain pasta & noodles (2.9%) and yogurt (1.9%).
* Percentage of all products carrying a heart-health claim.
-- Lu Ann Williams, Innova Market Insights, helpdesk@innovami.com, www.innovadatabase.com

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 Tomato Extract and Heart Health Benefits
An impressive part of recent scientific studies follows the role of carotenoids in physical processes that support healthy heart function. Tomato extract contains valuable carotenoids, such as phytoene, phytofluene and lycopene. These three carotenoids have proven to act synergistically and to support health benefits in several cases. Tomato extract also contains natural phytosterols, which have been scientifically proven to reduce LDL cholesterol. A highly researched nutrient is the Lyc-O-Mato--a patented, natural tomato extract which contains the combination of all four valuable phytonutrients: phytoene, phytofluene, lycopene and phytosterols. The Lyc-O-Mato has been proven to support several aspects of heart health and is being continually studied in order to explore further benefits. LycoRed Ltd., www.lycored.com 

 Flavorful Answer to Sodium Reduction
Salt Answer RX-AX, from Ajinomoto, is specifically designed to address the issue of sodium flavor reduction, when salt levels are decreased. Salt Answer works synergistically with lower levels of salt or salt blends to re-establish that desirable salt flavor to a variety of products, ranging from snacks to soups to sauces. It allows the customer to deliver effective sodium reduction to products, without sacrificing taste; gives the character of true sodium taste to a range of products; and it is designed to be used with a wide range of salt blends--to allow a custom optimization for specific applications and desired sodium-reduction levels in the finished product. Ajinomoto Food Ingredients LLC, 800-456-4666, www.ajiusafood.com 

 Oil with a Difference
DELTA SL, from Bunge Oils, is a natural vegetable oil produced from a proprietary process. It is metabolized by the human body more rapidly than traditional vegetable oils and actually inhibits the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol. These attributes combine to present a vegetable oil that helps maintain desired weight and lower bad cholesterol, when used as a replacement for traditional oils. DELTA SL features a natural, bland flavor; performs as a salad oil and a cooking oil; and it is naturally low in calories and can be metabolized more rapidly than traditional fats. Bunge Oils, 800-828-0800, www.bungeoils.com 

 Say Cheese with Less Salt
Nu-Tek has five unique solutions to reduce sodium content in cheese, taking it down to the currently recommended sodium levels. Nu-Tek’s reduced-sodium salts function chemically like salt; have no metallic flavor or bitter taste; and are certified kosher and halal. Nu-Tek’s patented technology eliminates the metallic note of the potassium chloride, so it is similar to sodium chloride in salty perception. Cheddar cheese research trials using Nu-Tek’s Potassium Chloride show no significant differences in salty perception and flavor between the control cheese and cheese containing Nu-Tek’s product. Similar results were seen with respect to moisture, texture and shelflife. Nu-Tek Salt LLC, 952-936-3600, info@nu-teksalt.com, www.nu-teksalt.com

 Reducing Cholesterol with Pine
Danisco’s PinVita™ Phytosterols are derived from a natural, sustainable pine source. Pine-derived phytosterols are the purest form and offer superior benefits, due to their supply availability and their non-allergen and non-GMO source. PinVita Phytosterols are structurally related to cholesterol, but differ from it because of the presence of modified side chains containing extra methyl or ethyl groups. This structural difference results in a different metabolism in humans. Phytosterols derived from pine are equally as effective as plant sterols from other sources (such as soy) in reducing cholesterol absorption, thereby decreasing plasma cholesterol levels. PinVita Phytosterols are available in free or esterified form for use in dietary supplements, spreads, dairy and bakery products--to name just a few applications. Danisco USA Inc., bioactives@danisco.com, www.pinvita.com

 High-fiber, Natural Corn Bran
TruBran® corn bran, from GPC, is a golden-brown fiber made from yellow dent corn. It is specially processed using mechanical means, along with the use of water and heat, to produce a high-fiber, natural corn bran that has added stability and low microbiological counts. TruBran products contain a minimum of 85% total dietary fiber, almost all of which is insoluble. TruBran is available in two different particle sizes: F75M and F75R. F75M is a finely milled product that mixes easily with flour or other dry ingredients for incorporation into formulations. F75R has a coarse particle size and may be chosen for applications where a more visual fiber is desired. Grain Processing Corporation, 563-264-4265, food.sales@grainprocessing.commailto:food.sales@grainprocessing.com  

 Manage Blood Pressure with Flax Seed
AlaLife® Flax EFA, from BioGin Biochemicals, is an essential fatty acid extracted from flax seed. It has a very high absorptivity and bioavailability, because it does not contain the glycerin ingredient and animal fats which influence its absorption in the human body, says its supplier. One of the many nutrient benefits and pharmacological effects of AlaLife Flax EFA is to manage blood pressure by restraining platelet agglomeration and diluting blood viscosity, so as to lower and balance blood pressure. BioGin Biochemicals (China), info@biogin.com, www.biogin.com NS