Expo East musings: Is Hoodia back?

After two days of noshing on every product sample on the show floor at Expo East in Boston, Functional Ingredients Editorial Director Kimberly Lord Stewart was full-out full. But there was one new product that caught her eye as a solution to cravings and overeating—The Ice Cube Diet: fresh/frozen Hoodia by Desert Labs.

Not only was this company developing a new product in an economic downturn, but they were also changing the way weight-loss ingredients are delivered in a fresh, cool format—an ice cube that ostensibly retains the sought after properties of Hoodia. Stewart sat down with Sales Manager Susan Knightly to find out about this new product.

Q: Hoodia held so much promise in its early inception as a solution ingredient for satiety. Unfortunately it was the victim of its own success with host of problems with adulteration, fraud and false health claims. Desert Labs is taking on a brave project with The Ice Cube Diet. How is Desert Labs overcoming Hoodia's previous market obstacles?

A: Yes, many other Hoodia products have had problems in the marketplace, including delivering a product that has little or no active P57, the plant's key component. Dried, processed versions of Hoodia degrade the active component P57 we know, but the Ice Cube Diet delivers an active more potent form of P 57 thereby preserving the appetite suppressing properties, which registers in the brain as a gentle fullness, without side effects. The Ice Cube Diet is the world's first fresh frozen Hoodia.

This is the first natural product that boosts one's willpower that I've ever encountered and I have several medical conditions as you know that preclude me from using any herbs and/or other weight loss products.

This is such an important plant and we've just touched the tip of the iceberg (pardon the pun) with research. We know it safely helps with weight loss with little or no interference with most medical conditions.

Q: What quality controls has Desert Labs implemented with regard to growing and production of the Hoodia Gordinii plant?

A: The Ice Cube Diet and Desert Labs attracted me because of the high standard of ethics in all aspects of the product. The ethics of this important functional whole food, is central to the company's core values:

For one the ethics of agricultural harvesting: Only Kibbutz members work the farm and the Hoodia must be at least 4 years old prior to picking. It is fresh/frozen within 24 hours of harvest, preserving the high quality of the strain's active ingredient P57 and contains no agricultural residues.

And two the Scientific ethics: Desert Labs' unique tissue culture propagation ensures purity of the species Hoodia Gordonii and is known to have the highest concentration of P57 which registers 10,000 times more active than glucose. Also — all research and development is done on-site for the testing and propagation.

And perhaps most importantly, the ethics of the Ice Cube Diet's delivery: Desert Labs controls the full cycle, from field to market, so there is no question regarding source and quality for the consumer.

I think this is an important step for healthy dieters. This is the Ice Cube Diet's launch week in the Northeast and we have never seen anything like it. The response from health conscious consumers is astounding and we've sold out in out pilot stores. It's good to know that those with complicated medical conditions now have something with great science behind it. I am really proud of what we're doing and hope that consumers will have the opportunity to use this very functional whole food.

www.icecubediet.com / or toll free 877.806.6661.

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