Wellness Foods New Ingredient Profiles: April/May 2007

April's nutraceutical ingredient profiles inlcude roobios extracts, aloe vera, functional protein whey, and drinking chocolate.

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NEW INGREDIENT REVIEW: Keeping it Green

Rooibos extracts are being incorporated into a growing variety of product applications, including bars, confections, herbal teas and supplements, "energy" beverages, juice beverages and fruit-flavored milk drinks. In most applications sold in the U.S., the rooibos is derived from the red, fermented variety.

Rooibos's health-promoting characteristics are mainly ascribed to its numerous nutraceutical compounds, especially the flavonoids aspalathin, nothofagin, quercetin, quercitrin, rutin and vitexin. Although most of these antioxidative phytochemicals occur ubiquitously in plants, aspalathin so far is found exclusively in rooibos. [Editor's note: For more information on rooibos, see "South Africa's Red Rocker," February 2007.]

A new aspalathin-standardized, antioxidative-effective green rooibos tea extract is now available from RAPS GmbH and Co., Kulmbach, Germany, in co-operation with Vitiva (www.vitiva.si), Slovenia and PL Thomas Inc. (www.plthomas.com), Morristown, N.J. Unlike red rooibos, the green variety is produced by interrupting the natural fermentation process. The leaves are quickly withered, steamed to prevent enzymatic oxidation and then dried.

Green rooibos is left with higher concentrations of most of the key nutrients, including flavonoids and antioxidants. Working in close collaboration with researchers from South Africa's Agricultural Research Council, RAPS designed a process to produce a standardized green rooibos extract with three times the antioxidant potential of competitive extracts from conventional fermented rooibos. Among the asserted benefits of this extract are enhanced antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antidepressive and anti-allergic properties.

PL Thomas; St. Louis
973-984-0900;
www.plthomas.com

- Morton Satin, Ph.D.


INGREDIENT PROFILES

Aloe Vera for Diabetes

Diabetes is a result of inefficiency or absence of insulin, the hormone that regulates levels of sugar in the blood. More than 20 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. The disease and its complications are the fifth leading cause of death in the country. A growing body of preclinical and clinical research suggests the gel-like juice of the Aloe vera plant, in liquid or in dried form, displays significant antidiabetic activity. Aloecorp Inc. a manufacturer and distributor of aloe vera ingredients, offers the highest quality aloe vera via a patented method under the brands Activaloe, Certified Plus and Qmatrix.

Persons with diabetes have decreased antioxidant defenses with lower levels of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, or reduced activities of antioxidant enzymes. Several animal studies show oral supplementation with aloe helps induce production of antioxidant enzymes and enhance the bioavailability and half-life of the antioxidant vitamins, ascorbate (vitamin C) and tocopherol (vitamin E). Aloe vera gel has also been shown to help normalize blood sugar while having a beneficial effect on the liver and in cardiovascular disease. In a human clinical trial, patients treated with 1 tbsp. aloe vera juice (80 percent) twice daily showed significantly reduced blood sugar and blood triglycerides. Aloe vera is not recommended as a replacement for conventional treatments for diabetes.

Aloecorp Inc.; Lacey, Wash.
800-458-2563;
www.aloecorp.com


Whey to Go

With non-fat dry milk (NFDM) and milk protein concentrate (MPC) price fluctuations, and supplies tight and deliveries delayed, Grande Custom Ingredients Group rolls out Grande Bravo, a functional whey protein to address these problems. Grande Bravo provides a range of functional qualities standard NFDM and MPC can't offer. It's a 100 percent-natural ingredient that binds water, decreases syneresis and purge, increases creaminess, improves texture, extends shelf life, increases yield and enhances freeze-thaw stability. This functional whey protein is also a major cost reducer for most applications, since one-half a pound can often replace a full pound of NFDM or MPC to achieve similar viscosity. Grande Bravo functions especially well in creamy products such as cream sauces, cheese sauces, creamy soups, dips, dressings and gravies as well as frozen desserts and processed meat products. The product is also USDA/FDA approved and certified USPH Grade A, kosher (dairy), halal and EU-compliant.

Grande Custom Ingredients Group; Lomira, Wis.
800-772-3210;
www.grandecig.com/bravo


One Hot Chocolate

Perfect for drinking chocolate formulations, Cargill introduces "Finely Ground Burgundy" semi-sweet chocolate from Peter's Chocolate. Lititz, Pa.-based Peter's most popular semi-sweet chocolate is now available in finely ground form from Cargill is pure chocolate, not a cocoa powder and sugar blend. By adding either warm milk or water to Finely Ground Burgundy semi-sweet chocolate, chocolatiers can make drinking chocolate with fruity, winey undertones. In addition, they can create their own signature-flavored drinks by adding spices, or they can simply repackage the product and sell it to their customers. The chocolate is guaranteed to be in such temper to be used to "seed" chocolate for proper gloss and hardness. The product is molded in block form and packed in 50 lb. cases, or also available in 1,800 lb. unitized pallets or in liquid, depending upon quantity ordered. Finely Ground Burgundy Semi-sweet Chocolate eliminates the need of grinding blocks or wafers and can also be labeled as "real chocolate."

Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate; Lititiz, Pa.
717-626-3478;
www.cargill.com


Eye On: Green

Formulators of foods or beverages often have wondered why the natural color palette has been lacking a good natural green. After all, chlorophyll is abundant in nature, and we consume a good deal of it in green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli. In fact, the use of chlorophyll as a colorant has been severely restricted by food additive regulations first proposed in the late 1950's. These regulations, as they exist today, limit the use of chlorophyll and copper chlorophyllin to certain specific products (21 CFR 73.1125 (drugs), 21 CFR 73.2125 (cosmetics), and 21 CFR 73.125 (foods)). This may be about to change: The FDA is in the process of evaluating a color additive petition submitted by Food Ingredient Solutions LLC (www.foodcolor.com), Teterborough, N.J., and Phytone Ltd. (www.phytone.com), Staffordshire, England. If the results are favorable you may see greatly expanded permission to use these valuable, natural colorants in a wider range of applications. For more information keep an eye on this space.

-- Winston Boyd, Ph.D., technical director Food Ingredient Solutions LLC

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