NEXT Proteins' Aria Captures Quality Institute International's Gold Medal Taste Award

Culinary Professionals Recognize Company's Soy Protein Powder As Superior in Taste

CARLSBAD, Calif., July 7 -- NEXT Proteins announced today that it has captured the Gold Medal Taste Award for its superior-quality Aria protein powder in the 2003 Quality Institute International competition. The Quality Institute International, parent organization that runs both the American Tasting Institute (ATI) and the American Culinary Institute (ACI), is an independent, chef-based tasting and performance testing organization dedicated to honoring the best of the best culinary products in the marketplace. A panel of professional and accredited chefs representing American Tasting Institute selected Aria out of all of the competing national brands as offering the industry's absolute best tasting soy protein powder supplement.

The Quality Institute International (QII) honors the best products in food, beverage, and culinary equipment through the judging panels of the ATI and ACI. Judging, testing and scoring are administered with the highest level of review and scrutiny and conducted only by degreed and accredited chefs and recorded through a proprietary software program to ensure unbiased, efficient and accurate tabulation of results. Only the winner in each specified product category may use the Gold Medal award in their marketing efforts. The institute's Gold medal is a trusted symbol that signifies the "Best of the Best(TM)" food, beverage and culinary housewares categories.

Each product was judged double blind, without brand identification, on a variety of criteria including taste, aroma, freshness, mouthfeel and overall impression. All panel judges have A.S. degrees in Culinary Art and/or certification levels such as Master Chef, Certified Culinarian, Certified Executive Chef, Chef du Cuisine, Certified Culinary Educator or Chef/Owner Restaurateur.

"Our organization has dedicated itself to upholding the highest level of taste and quality standards throughout the culinary industry and the search for the most impressive food and beverage products and culinary equipment," says Chef Patrick Finney, national culinary director for the Institute who oversees the judging process for Quality Institute International. "We're happy to bestow the prestigious Gold Taste Award on NEXT Proteins' Aria protein powder as the superior tasting brand in the sports nutrition category."

"Since we were founded more than 10 years ago, NEXT Proteins has continuously strived to offer our customers innovative, products that not only taste good, but are good for you," says David Jenkins, president and CEO of NEXT Proteins. "We're thrilled to have our efforts recognized by receiving the 2003 Gold Taste Award."

As a Gold Taste Award winner, NEXT Proteins joins the ranks of other reputable winning companies, including The Minute Maid Company (part of The Coca-Cola Company), Nestle and General Mills, and is the only product in its category that can take advantage of Quality Institute International's commercial Gold Medal Endorsement Program. The company may also display the Gold Taste Award medal on its packaging, publicity materials, advertising, point-of-purchase displays and at trade shows.

About American Tasting Institute

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Quality Institute International (QII) is an organization that manages both the American Tasting Institute and the American Culinary Institute. Founded in 1985, the Institute judges nationally distributed food products and culinary equipment via panels of acclaimed and accredited third-party professional chefs to determine the best tasting and performing food and culinary brands in the marketplace through secure, double- blinded test procedures. In addition, QII has established a National Chef Board, which supports the organization's mission of honoring the "Best of the Best(TM)" products in the market. When consumers see the Gold Medal on a food product package in the supermarket, they know that it has been judged one of the best-tasting or performing products in America by our panel of esteemed judges. For more information, visit us at .

About NEXT Proteins

Since 1991, NEXT Proteins has led the development of the industry's best selling protein, Designer Whey(TM), which powers the company's innovative, great tasting products like Designer Whey Protein(TM) powders, Designer Whey Protein Blast sports drinks and the first protein candy bars -- DETOUR(TM) and U-TURN(TM). Recognized as the authority on the many advantages of whey-based protein products, NEXT Proteins has invested more than $4.7 million in whey research and clinical testing over the past 15 years. For more information visit our website at or contact us toll free at 1-800-GOTNEXT.

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