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Articles from 2008 In July

Natural Foods Merchandiser

Serrano peppers now suspected in salmonella outbreak

by Laurie Budgar

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced yesterday that serrano peppers from Mexico have now been implicated along with jalapeños in the salmonella outbreak affecting U.S. consumers.

FDA inspectors found that a sample of serrano peppers and a sample of irrigation water collected on a farm in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon contained salmonella Saintpaul, with the same genetic fingerprint as the strain currently causing the U.S. illnesses. That bacterium was also found on jalapeño peppers last week at a produce distribution facility in McAllen, Texas.

The FDA is warning consumers not to eat raw serrano or jalapeño peppers from Mexico, or any foods that contain them. The agency further advises that washing, peeling or cooking these peppers is unlikely to rid them of the bacteria, and could spread salmonella to sinks, cutting boards and other equipment and foods.

Retailers may continue to sell raw jalapeño and serrano peppers grown, harvested or packed in the United States, as well as foods made with them.

5-LOXIN® proven to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis in new human study published in Arthritis Research and Therapy

MORRISTOWN, NJ (1 August 2008) ..... PL Thomas (PLT), in alliance with Laila Nutraceuticals, India, today jointly announced the publication of a new study using their exclusive dietary supplement ingredient, 5-LOXIN®. In the study, 5-LOXIN supplementation conferred clinically and statistically significant improvements in pain scores and physical function scores in OA patients at doses of 100mg and 250mg daily. Interestingly, significant improvements in pain score and functional ability were recorded in as early as 7 days after the start of treatment. Corroborating the improvements in pain scores in treatment groups, a significant reduction in synovial fluid MMP activity, enzymes which damage connective tissue, was noted. 5-LOXIN was found to be well-tolerated, with no safety concerns. Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008, 10:R85doi:10.1186/ar2461 click here

The study was led by Siba Raychaudhuri, a faculty member of the University of California, Davis, in the United States. According to an interview with the journal, Dr. Raychaudhuri said, "The high incidence of adverse affects associated with currently available medications has created great interest in the search for an effective and safe alternative treatment."

The ingredient used by the authors was 5-LOXIN, (a unique, patent pending extract of Boswellia seratta) providing 30% AKBA (3-O-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid).

Raychaudhuri continued, "AKBA has anti-inflammatory properties, and we have shown that a Boswellia serrata extract with concentrated AKBA can be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee".

Seventy-five OA patients were included in the study. Dived into three groups of 25, the patients were given daily either 100 mg 5-LOXIN, 250 mg 5-LOXIN or a placebo for 90 days. Each patient was evaluated for pain and physical functions by using the standard tools (VAS - visual analog scale, Lequesne's Functional Index, and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index) at the baseline (day 0), and at days 7, 30, 60 and 90. Additionally, the cartilage degrading enzyme matrix metalloproteinase-3 was also evaluated in synovial fluid of the knee from OA patients.

According to the authors, "In this study, the compound was shown to have no major adverse effects in our osteoarthritis patients. It is safe for human consumption and even for long-term use."

5-LOXIN is available in North America in Osteo Bi-Flex products with the Joint Shield blend sold in food, drug and mass market and club stores.

For more information on this study please contact PL Thomas: phone: 973-984-0900, fax: 973-984-5666, e-mail: or

About Laila Nutraceuticals (LN)
LN is a division of Laila Group, the largest producer of herbal extracts in India. LN works with Laila Impex Research Center to develop, manufacture and commercialize standardized herbal extracts & phytochemicals worldwide, and supports this work with patents and publications.

About PLT
PL Thomas & Co., a New Jersey-based ingredient supplier, offers fifty years of innovation in providing high quality ingredients for the food/functional food and nutrition industries. PLT successfully champions nutritional products and technologies "Where Food & Health Meet."

Cantox to host 1st Annual Congress on Developments in International Agriculture: Agriculture is Changing (AIC)

Cantox will be hosting the 1st Annual Congress on Developments in International Agriculture, titled Agriculture is Changing (AIC) . AIC 2008 will present 4 half-day sessions, comprising expertise in Research & Development and novel applications of natural health products in food production from animals. Each session will consists of plenary lectures, short lectures, and product presentations inside the presentation theatre, and a graduate student poster competition.

Additional information:

Delicious Living

Current Issue: August 2008

Mood-boosting supplements

A derivative of tryptophan, the primary building block of serotonin. If 5-HTP capsules upset your stomach (a common side effect), try lozenges. Suggested daily dose: 100 mg

Receptors in the brain can develop serotonin resistance. Accompany your 5-HTP with tyrosine to make its effects last longer. Suggested daily dose: 500 mg

These healthy fats, found in cold-water fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds, help the brain manufacture serotonin and also help receptors in the brain use serotonin more efficiently. Suggested daily dose: 1,000 mg of a high-quality fish oil supplement, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil, or 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds

There are a handful of vitamins and minerals that must be present for the body to transform tryptophan into serotonin, including vitamin C, the B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and trace minerals zinc, chromium, and selenium. Suggested daily doses: vitamin C, 500 mg; B vitamins, 50 mg each; calcium, 500 mg; magnesium, 500 mg; trace minerals, amount found in a high-quality multivitamin or an Emergen-C packet

Consult your health care practitioner for a supplement that's right for you.

Delicious Living Blog

Grab-and-go burritos

I've just been introduced to Phil's Fresh Foods burritos, and I have to say I'm a fan. Apparently they've been available regionally (Colorado, Texas, and environs) for seven years, but I'd not encountered them; now they're getting national distribution in the frozen foods section of stores like Whole Foods and City Market. I've chewed through lots of store-bought, doughy burritos in my time, and these are definitely a cut above; you get more filling than tortilla. Real-food ingredients (including organic fillings and hormone-free meat), handmade, inexpensive ($2.99; sometimes on sale 2 for $4!), portable, quick to heat and eat, and delicious; it all adds up to a winner. Try one of the nine flavors; I love the spicy Green Chile Breakfast burrito, as well as the vegan Veggie Fajita.

Fenchem Maintains Competitive Vitamin E price

The rising cost of raw materials, energy and transportation has led to an across the board vitamin E price increase.

The price of Fenchem’s TOCOVET® natural source vitamin E in North America has been generally maintained due to large stock and expanding production operations. The price applies to TOCOVET® natural-source mixed tocopherols (both oil and powder versions), d-alpha tocopherol and d-alpha tocopheryl acid succinate. Fenchem’s price has been increased compared with last year’s by about 10-15%.

Fenchem Inc facilities consist of a large warehouse space enabling the company to store an adequate level of inventory locally to provide prompt delivery fulfilling customer’s urgent requirements, which also guarantees a competitive price.

In spite of already large stocks, Fenchem is also expanding production capacities at our plant in China to satisfy USA market demand. The new facility will focus in the production of TOCOVET® vitamin E and Cholevel® phytosterol.

Not So Fast... Whole Foods Wild Oats Merger Ruling Upturned

Eleven months after Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market announced the acquisition of Boulder, Colo.-based Wild Oats Markets, a federal appeals court overturned a lower court's ruling allowing the deal. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled to overturn the district court's decision and remand the case back to the lower courts.

The judges wrote that the district court had committed legal error in assuming market definition must depend on marginal consumers and consequently it underestimated the FTC likelihood of success on the merits" Jeffrey Schmidt, director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition said in a statement that he was pleased with the decision.

As of now, legal experts surmise, the ruling will not force Whole Foods to stop the integration plans or stop the merger, but if a district court forces a reversal, Whole Foods could be forced to sell some stores or take other actions. To date, Whole Foods has sold 35 of Wild Oats stores, closed 12 more and has begun converting Wild Oats stores into their own. Even so, courts have the power to order a divesture of assets or other actions to "ameliorate harm to the competition," according to Judge Janice Rogers? Brown, one of the judges in favor of the action.

Kate Lowery, spokesperson for Whole Foods said in a statement, "While the company disagrees with the reversal of the lower court decision, denying the FTC request for preliminary injunction, the decision acknowledges that neither the court nor the FTC has found the merger to be unlawful….In our view, the court of appeals decision provides a road map for Judge Friedman to once again deny the FTC request for a preliminary injunction."

Whole Foods is seeking a review by the Court of Appeals, which would add another layer of opinions. In an interview with Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine, grocery-retailing expert Kevin Coupe said he doesn't know how the two companies could possibly disentangle at this point. "What would this do to shareholders?" he asked. "The FTC is like a dog chasing a car or truck. It's not going to give up, but has no idea what it would do if it actually caught up."

Coupe's question, "What would this do to shareholders?" was partially answered. On Tuesday, July 28, shares were valued at 22.71 (WFMI NASDAQ) by Wednesday morning after the decision was widely known, share values dropped to 21.5 by noon EDT.

Market Leader Beneo-Orafti Set to Reveal New Consumer Findings At Health Ingredients Europe

November 4th – 6th, Booth F051, Paris Nord, Villepinte, France

The world's market leader in the production of inulin and oligofructose, BENEO- Orafti will be exhibiting under the BENEO-Group banner at this year's Health Ingredients Europe (HIE) show in France. The company will unveil findings from its in-depth global consumer research program that will help its partners to even more successfully market new health and wellness products to consumers worldwide.

New Consumer Insight
Ongoing research has been commissioned by BENEO-Orafti to further understand what resonates with today's evolving consumer consciousness within the arena of health and wellness. Preliminary results will be announced from research conducted in the US and UK with other European findings being revealed at a later date. The study program examines knowledge and awareness levels of consumers when presented with gut health concepts like 'the prebiotic effect' and 'digestive well-being' as well as taking the research to the next level to discover just how advanced consumer understanding is when faced with cutting-edge satiety and calcium absorption claims.

The research also endeavors to explore what marketing terminologies consumers understand and what motivates them to buy. This will help BENEO- Orafti assist its food industry partners to create attractive food concepts that will appeal to the consumer not only today, but tomorrow.

A Decade of Research
BENEO-Orafti's 2008 consumer insight study is the 15th piece of consumer research commissioned by the company over the past five years. BENEO- Orafti's consumer expertise currently spans four continents and 14 different countries, and has been carried out both quantatively and qualitatively.
Coupled with technical expertise, this has allowed BENEO-Orafti to develop a key strength in the translation of scientific knowledge into the kind of consumer-friendly language which is vital to effectively marketing a functional food or beverage product.

Dominic Speleers, Managing Director commented: "This latest study is just another example of BENEO-Orafti's commitment to investing in consumer research to provide the highest possible level of support to our partners.
Science, consumer understanding, applications know-how and regulatory expertise have always been key focuses for our business. This depth of knowledge is what allows us to effectively work in partnership with food manufacturers to successfully launch functional products into the marketplace. We invite existing and potential new partners to visit the BENEO- Orafti booth at HIE to allow us to share our know-how with them."

About BENEO-Orafti
BENEO-Orafti is part of the BENEO-Group, a division of the Südzucker Group that specializes in functional ingredients. BENEO-Orafti is the world leader in the production and sale of food ingredients derived from chicory. The company's Orafti® inulin and oligofructose products have been scientifically proven to improve the balance of the body's intestinal flora by stimulating its own beneficial bifidobacteria, helping the body to absorb more essential nutrients, such as calcium, from the diet.

Orafti® ingredients can be the basis for well-balanced food products that improve digestive health and the feeling of well-being. With a head office in Tienen, Belgium, BENEO-Orafti operates in more than 75 countries and has production units in Oreye (Belgium) and Pemuco (Chile).


Prestigious Confirmation of Low-Carb Diet Poised to Revitalize Weight Loss Nutraceutical Industry

KEARNY, NJ – A study published in the July 17th, 2008 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine1 showed that a low-carb diet helped people lose more weight than a Mediterranean-style diet and the common low-fat diet. In addition, researchers discovered that a low-carb diet also helped improve healthy cholesterol ratios. The two-year, randomized study, conducted by a group of investigators in Israel, and partially funded by the Atkins Foundation, was one of the longest, and largest of its type comparing the three diets.

“This is a landmark study in that it shows a “low carb” diet should be part of a healthy lifestyle and not just a fad,” says Mitch Skop, Director of New Product Development for Pharmachem, Inc., the manufacturer of Phase 2 Carb Controller, an ingredient extracted from the white bean, scientifically proven to assist in healthy weight loss and balancing of metabolic factors. “Phase 2 is a perfect addition to any product and lifestyle geared towards restricting carbohydrate intake because it has been shown to delay the digestion and absorption of carbs. “The average weight loss for those in the low-carb group was 10.3 pounds, followed by the Mediterranean diet with an average loss of 10 pounds and the low-fat diet with 6.5 pounds lost on average. Researchers were pleasantly astounded to likewise discover that the low-carb approach showed the most improvement in several cholesterol measures, including the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL.

The ratio is often used to determine a patient’s risk of hardening of the arteries. The lower the ratio, the better for the patient. In the study, the low-carb diet cohort experienced a cholesterol ratio decrease of 20 per cent, compared to 16 per cent for those on the Mediterranean and 12 per cent in the low-fat group.

In 2007, Pharmachem’s Phase 2 Carb Controller®, an extract of the white bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) became the first weight-control ingredient to receive two FDA-permitted structure/function claims, as follows: “May assist in weight control when used in conjunction with a sensible diet and exercise program;” and, “May reduce the enzymatic digestion of dietary starches.”

1. Shai, I., et al, “Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet.” NEJM 2008 359:229-241

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Headquartered in Kearny, NJ, Pharmachem Laboratories Inc. develops, supplies and manufactures a variety of high-quality, efficacious ingredients for the dietary supplement and food industries. Ingredients are manufactured under the strictest quality control according to GMP standards. Main product areas include vitamins and minerals; herbs and botanicals; specialty ingredients; and powdered drink formulation and manufacture. Standard operating procedures include testing every lot for potency, microbiology, organoleptics, and purity. For more information, call 1-800-526-0609, or log on to