New Ingredient for Dietary Supplements, Functional Foods

Cognis Launches VEGAPURE™ Vegetable Sterol Esters to Combat Heart Disease through Cholesterol Management

Dec. 5, 2002, Las Vegas, NV – Cognis Nutrition and Health, the world’s leading producer of sterol esters, announced during the annual SupplySide West International Trade Show & Conference that it is adding a new ingredient called VEGAPURE™ vegetable sterol esters to its successful family of natural-source products.

“VEGAPURE™ vegetable sterol esters are in demand from food and dietary supplement manufacturers after a long history of clinical trials proving sterol esters are effective in fighting cardiovascular disease. In fact, the FDA has approved a health claim stating sterol esters may reduce the risk of heart disease,” explained Kathleen Moran, Cognis’ Market Segment Manager, Dietary Supplements.

“The October 2002 World Health Report states that over 12 million people die each year from cardiovascular disease, and 4 million of those deaths are directly attributed to high cholesterol. (1) We are very excited to offer a proven product that will have a positive impact on the world’s greatest health risk, cardiovascular disease,” Ms. Moran said.

The government’s National Cholesterol Education Program issued new guidelines suggesting that diet and lifestyle changes including food products containing plant sterols as a first line of therapy. As a result, it is expected that the number of Americans using dietary treatment to lower their cholesterol will increase from 52 million to 65 million.(2) “The need for safe and effective products that fight heart disease is greater than ever. Cognis is poised with VEGAPURE™ co-promotions and marketing support to help our customers meet this need,” she pointed out.

VEGAPURE™ vegetable sterol esters are believed to inhibit cholesterol absorption in the body’s digestive tract. Cognis Nutrition and Health esterifies pure vegetable oil sterols with sunflower oil fatty acids, increasing their solubility in fats or oils and allowing improved dispersion in the digestive tract. During digestion, sterol esters are broken apart allowing the sterols to reduce cholesterol absorption. Based on the scientific evidence supporting its safety, sterol ester products are Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for specific food use.

“By allowing a disease-reduction label claim, the FDA has acknowledged the persuasive scientific research showing the health benefits of sterol esters,” said Cindy Schweitzer, PhD, Senior Scientist, Cognis Nutrition and Health. “Sterol esters lower LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) or “bad cholesterol” without affecting the HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) or “good cholesterol,” Dr. Schweitzer added.

“More than 45 years ago, Cognis invested in facilities to purify sterols and today we are the world leader in sterol processing. Cognis brings the expertise, capacity, and commitment to make our customers’ products successful,” Ms. Moran said.

VEGAPURE™ is sold in the United States and Asia-Pacific in three forms to fit all formulation needs. VEGAPURE™ 95 contains the highest concentration sterol ester available. This oil is suitable for soft gelatin encapsulation and its high purity allows for minimal dosage size. VEGAPURE™ 50TP is a tablet grade powder ideal for formulations with other heart-healthy formulations like COVITOL® natural-source vitamin E. VEGAPURE™ 67WDP is a high potency water dispersible powder perfect for drink mix formulations, chewables, and energy bars.

For more information about the VEGAPURE™ brand in North America, call your sales representative or call 1-800-673-3702, e-mail [email protected], or send a fax to 1-513-482-3576. For more information in Asia-Pacific, call +61-3-9584-4588.

(1) Rodgers, A., Vaughan, P., Prentice T., Edejer, T., Evans, D., Lowe, J., “World health Report 2002, Reducing Risks, Promoting Healthy Life, “ World Health Organization, October 2002.
(2) Executive Summary of the Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). Journal of the American Medical Association 2001; Vol. 285, No. 19, 2486-2497

About Cognis

Cognis ( is a worldwide supplier of innovative specialty chemicals and nutritional ingredients with almost 9,100 employees in close to 50 countries. The company has dedicated its activities to a high level of sustainability and delivers natural-source ingredients for food, nutrition and healthcare markets and serves major customers in the cosmetics, detergents and cleaners industries. Additionally, Cognis provides solutions for a number of other industries such as, coatings and inks, lubricants, textiles and plastics as well as agrosolutions and mining chemicals.

Cognis is owned by private equity funds advised by Permira, GS Capital Partners, and Schroder Ventures Life Sciences. In 2001, Cognis recorded sales of 3.1 billion euros and an operating profit of 174 million euros. In the first half-year of 2002, sales were 1.6 billion euros.

Cognis Nutrition and Health, a business unit of Cognis Group, provides antioxidant, botanical and nature-based ingredients for dietary supplements; pharmaceuticals and healthcare; functional foods and medical nutrition; and animal nutrition. As a leader in food technology, Cognis manufactures emulsifiers, emulsifier-based compounds, and numerous other specialty products for the food industry worldwide.

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