New Ingredient Profiles - January/February 2008

These ingredient profiles include a soy neutriceutical, prickly pear cactus extracts and antioxidant-rich berries.

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Mad About the Soy

Soy Labs LLC, a Fairfield, Calif.-based neutriceutical company, presents Lunasin-XP, a proprietary ingredient for inclusion in soyfoods, nutritional supplements, cosmeceuticals, functional foods and beverages. Lunasin, first discovered in 1996, is a 43 amino-acid peptide first isolated from soybeans and recently found in barley as well. Research by the company shows the lunasin peptide works at the genetic level and exhibits cholesterol lowering actions as well as cancer-preventive properties. Lunasin was first investigated as a factor that might prevent cancer cells from dividing and multiplying. It is believed to block cell division by binding to specific chromosomal proteins. Further research has shown the lunasin peptide appears to inhibit the natural production of cholesterol in the liver and also appears to enhance the binding of LDL cholesterol in the body.

It’s encouraging to see new and detailed studies of the potential health effects of soy. Much has been written and claimed about soy, but controversy remains. If the company’s claims of functionality are supported by peer-reviewed research, then lunasin may prove to be an interesting nutraceutical which could become a part of a dietary intervention to help persons with high cholesterol levels. The isolation and characterization of lunasin, as well as attempts to elucidate the mechanism of its actions, provide formulators and processors with the science-based background necessary to develop and use soy nutraceuticals effectively in formulation toward preventing disease and enhancing health.

Winston A. Boyd, Ph.D.
Soy Labs LLC; Fairfield, Calif.
707-421-8123;
www.lunasin.com

Prickly Sweet

Martin Bauer North America launches its OpunDia line of extracts of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) for use in foods and beverages to support healthy glucose levels. OpunDia extract has been shown in animal studies to reduce blood glucose levels by as much as 20 percent. OpunDia extract is currently the subject of a 16-week, double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled human study to determine its ability to support healthy blood-glucose levels. Prickly pear has a long history in Mexico, and Central and South America of use in managing glucose, and has been used as a food for 9,000 years. OpunDia is produced from cactus cultivated in Northern California under Good Agricultural Practice guidelines and is manufactured in a EU Pharmaceutical Good Manufacturing Practices-certified facility. It’s water-soluble, made from both the pads and the fruit of the cactus and has a low recommended dosage of 200-400mg. OpunDia also is available as fresh fruit puree, offering manufacturers a natural,antioxidant-rich ingredient for foods and beverages.

MB North America; Torrance, Calif.
310-534-7100;
www.mbnorthamerica.com.

Purely Sweet

Blue California has isolated Rebaudioside A, a pure compound derived from Stevia rebaudiana and responsible for stevia’s sweet taste   but not its distinct aftertaste. The natural sweetening capacity of this pure compound makes it ideal for the food and beverage industries. Currently, FDA only approves stevia-derived sweeteners as a dietary supplement. However, many leading food and beverage processors teamed together to encourage a change in status. Rebaudioside A can be used in products such as protein powders, nutritional bars, beverages, cereals, desserts, yogurts, gum, candies, chocolates and any other product that can benefit from sweetness without extra calories. Blue California offers unique contract manufacturing services such as microencapsulation, extraction processing and complete R&D solutions under strict ISO-9001:2000 (Quality Management), ISO-14001 (Environmental Management) and cGMP standards. Blue California manufactures kosher-certified, standardized botanical extracts and specialty ingredients for functional products.

Blue California; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
949-635-1984;
www.bluecal-ingredients.com

Cosmeceutical Approval Down Under

Australia has granted a patent to LycoRed Ltd. for an innovative carotenoid composition of lycopene, phytoene, phytofluene and optional vitamin E to protect skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation. The novelty lies in the fact that it is not a topical application – the natural tomato-derived complex helps prevent sunburn when taken orally, via a fortified food or beverage. While it does not replace topical sunscreen, research shows that, when taken daily, such carotenoid compositions provide a degree of protection from both UVA and UVB light, even during months of the year when one is not likely to apply a topical lotion. Also, natural lycopene is more effective than synthetic in protecting the skin from UV damage, and its efficacy is improved when combined with phytoene, phytofluene and vitamin E   other antioxidants found naturally in the tomato. A health claim is not available for cosmeceuticals in the U.S., but a structure –function claim could possibly be made with appropriate phrasing and required substantiation.

LycoRed Ltd.; Orange, N.J.
877-592-6733;
www.lycored.com

Going Pro

P.L. Thomas now represents Ganeden Biotech’s probiotic ingredient system GanedenBC30, ideal for food and beverage manufacturing. GanedenBC30 is a kosher-certified, patented Bacillus coagulans probiotic, self-affirmed GRAS, with many healthful benefits and applications. The ingredient is shielded by a natural organic layer which protects the probiotics cells, not only from extreme manufacturing processes but from acids in the stomach, too. This protection allows the cells to remain viable through the intestine, multiply and produce results. It maintains viable cells after surviving harsh manufacturing processes such as high pressure, high heat and cold. It also has a long shelf life, low use level and does not need to be refrigerated.

PL Thomas; Morristown, N.J.
973-984-0900;
www.plthomas.com


EYE ON: Saskatoon Berries

Açai set the trend bar for antioxidant-rich, little purple berries. The result is fruits like Saskatoon berries can more easily vie to be the next big little thing. Similar to blueberries, Saskatoons are a new crop with long-term industry potential, and poised to be a contender in the superfruit pantheon. A five-year effort to cultivate enough of the berries to bring them to market as an ingredient processors can rely on for the long haul is coming to – pardon the pun – fruition. Although, the first orchard in Manitoba was planted 15 years ago, it’s now the second largest commercial fruit crop in Manitoba. Market studies indicate potential to produce, process and export Saskatoon berry products is huge. Consumers favor products made from the berries, and a superior antioxidant profile in comparison to other prairie fruits, such as blueberries, only increases the appeal. They might need a less unwieldy name before they really catch on, although a funny name didn’t hold back açai. Still, would “sassberry” or “toonberry” be so bad?

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