CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 28, 2002--Arthur D. Little today announced it has developed a series of new beverage formulations that contain a soluble dietary fiber--found naturally in oats--that reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and lowers blood cholesterol.
"Consumers can already enjoy these health benefits in hot and cold cereals, but our challenge was to formulate oat fiber so that it could be used in beverages that people grab on the run," said Colleen Zammer, Manager of Food Product Development at Arthur D. Little (ADL). "Without compromising taste, mouth-feel or texture, we've created beverages so healthful that they can be used as meal replacements because they contain a balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and can reduce cholesterol."
Working with a subsidiary of Van Drunen Farms, a food ingredient manufacturer based in Momence, Illinois, ADL developed the beverages using Nutrim(R), the newest generation of oat bran, which features a highly concentrated amount of oat beta glucan. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved oat beta glucan as the component of oats that lowers cholesterol. A completely natural product with no chemical additives or modifications, Nutrim(R) was originally developed and patented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a food additive to act as a healthy replacement for butter, oil, cream, and other fats.
Van Drunen Farms licensed the USDA technology and involved ADL in developing a line of beverages that contained sufficient amounts of oat beta glucan to meet the requirements of the FDA's Nutrition Labeling and Education Act health claim, while also having the equivalent flavor, mouth-feel, and texture as the leading meal replacement and smoothie beverages now on the market.
ADL's beverage formulations include cran-raspberry and mango-orange smoothies and chocolate meal replacements. The company also developed a low-carbohydrate version for use by athletes and people on certain weight-reduction programs. The Nutrim(R) meal replacement formulations have been designed to qualify for the American Heart Association's "Heart Healthy" seal of approval.
"My original intention in developing oat beta glucan into a food ingredient was to provide people with a convenient and palatable way to lower their cholesterol," said Dr. George Inglett, the USDA scientist who originally developed and patented oat beta glucan. " These new beverage formulations developed by Arthur D. Little will now make the profound health benefits of oat beta glucan available to more Americans."
According to the American Heart Association, half of all Americans suffer from high blood cholesterol levels (above 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood). Elevated cholesterol levels are a major risk factor in contracting coronary artery disease, heart attack, and stroke. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in America and stroke is the No. 3 killer.
To ensure the flavor quality of the beverages, ADL used an objective method of sensory analysis called Profile Attribute Analysis (PAA) which asks an expert panel to describe a set of defined flavor attributes to provide a complete description of the beverages. The ADL sensory panel found no difference in flavor, mouth-feel, and texture between these new formulations and the leading meal-replacement beverages.
ADL and Van Drunen Farms are now seeking to partner with a major food manufacturer to bring the cholesterol-lowering beverages to the market.
ADL's Technology and Innovation Department is at the forefront of the development of functional foods. Since the department's inception in the 1930s they have developed the following products:
- - Slim Fast - Developed Slim Fast, working on a variety of fronts: they not only developed several flavors of the product, but also performed scale-up and stability studies, identified manufacturers, and performed quality assurance.
- - Tropicana Pure Premium - Worked with consumers to identify the flavor profile that is now Tropicana Pure Premium, a not
- -from-concentrate, fresh orange juice with an extended shelf life.
- - Fish Oil Ice Cream - Created the first reduced fat ice cream that contains Omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids from fish oils--a compound that is associated with significant health benefits.
- - Over the Counter Medications - Currently, ADL is helping pharmaceutical companies improve the taste of over-the-counter drugs (OTC). The flavor of drugs is increasingly critical to pharmaceutical companies as physicians and consumers are given more choices in new generic and private label products. Furthermore, flavor is also a key factor in helping ensure good patient compliance, which is particularly challenging with children's formulations.
- - Sugarless Chewing Gum - Formulated a sugarless chewing gum, including the chewing gum base, with longer lasting flavor.
Arthur D. Little (www.adl.com) is one of the world's premier management and technology consulting firms, with offices and laboratories in more than 30 countries around the world. Drawing on its unique blend of knowledge and hands-on experience across industries, the firm collaborates with its clients to develop significant breakthroughs in practices, products, and processes that lead to dramatic growth, innovation, and the creation of new value. ADL works with leading food-, nutrition-, and health-oriented companies to achieve breakthrough results.
Van Drunen Farms. (www.vandrunenfarms.com) Since beginning to grow vegetables in Illinois over one hundred years ago, the family-owned Van Drunen Farms has expanded to include fruits, herbs, grains, dairy products, and other ingredients. The Van Drunens are the largest supplier of organically grown culinary herbs in the United States. In addition to being one of the largest freeze-drying operations in the world, Van Drunen Farms also has drum-drying, vacuum-drying, quick freezing, fire-roasting, sun-drying and sugar-infusion facilities. Their client list includes many well-known companies from within the greater food and nutritional industries.
Because of a logical expansion into the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical market, a subsidiary company, FutureCeuticals, Inc., (www.futureceuticals.com) has been recently added to the Van Drunen roster. The FutureCeuticals catalog features a long list of natural food ingredients and additives, many of which are proprietary substances being developed for commercialization and licensing to multi-national distributors.