Fighting obesity with natural health ingredients: tailored concepts for highly effective but natural weight management products.

Obesity and being overweight are primary topics for the food

industry, particularly as they remain prominent and wholly unresolved.

Global flavour and fine ingredients company, Frutarom, has developed a

scientifically backed product line based on natural sources from its

extensive ingredients profile of more than 20,000 products. These health

ingredients enable manufacturers to create highly effective but natural

and clean label slimming products. For those accomplishments in the

weight management ingredients market, Frutarom was granted the Frost

& Sullivan “2009 Global Weight Management Ingredients Product

Line Strategy Award.” From its portfolio of health ingredients,

Frutarom has selected ingredients from sources that are traditionally

associated with slimming and which are scientifically proven to support

weight management as well as promote weight loss. Proprietary

ingredients such as fenugreek fibre (FenuLife), purslane extract

(Portusana), green mate extract (Finomate) and olive leaf extract

(Benolea), as well as distribution extracts from apple, algae and green

coffee bean, can be incorporated into slimming products–individually or

in combination. For the latter, Frutarom provides a combination matrix.

The company’s slimming campaign organizes weight management

according to three mechanisms:

* reducing food intake

* decreasing food absorption

* improving fat metabolism.


With the new slimming concept, all three approaches can be

combined, resulting in a wide range of formulation possibilities. The

campaign structures Frutarom’s weight management ingredients

towards the customer and explains to product developers and marketers

which slimming mechanism is important for which target group.

FenuLife for Increased Satiety

The first ingredient selected by Frutarom is FenuLife, a deodorized

galactomannan fibre from fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.). It

possesses a unique 1:1 ratio of galactose to mannose. Thus, it has a

large water binding capacity (up to 16 times its own weight), allowing

it to form a thick, viscous mass in the stomach. Because of this

increased viscosity and mass, FenuLife is able to slow down gastric

emptying and prolong intestinal passage for an increased feeling of

satiety. Furthermore, the fibre reduces the absorption of glucose,

resulting in a reduced glycaemic response. The positive effects of

FenuLife on body weight reduction have been confirmed by the results of

a randomized crossover study with obese volunteers. FenuLife has been on

the global market for more than 10 years and is used worldwide for its

ability to enhance satiety and manage glucose levels.

Portusana for Naturally Healthy Blood Glucose Levels

At last year’s Vitafoods, Frutarom introduced Portusana (EFLA

308), a branded purslane herb extract. As confirmed in clinical trials,

the extract supports improved sugar metabolism, leading to healthy blood

glucose levels. Portusana positively affects blood glucose metabolism by

acting on three different mechanisms: it reduces the transport of

glucose from the intestines into the bloodstream; it increases the

uptake of glucose from blood into cells; and it modulates the

sensitivity of cells to insulin, a hormone that controls blood glucose

levels. Owing to its triple mode of action on blood glucose metabolism,

Portusana–in a food supplement or in a phytopharmaceutical

application–supports dietary measures, helping to stabilize blood

glucose levels and, as a result of this, potentially affecting blood

glucose-related appetite.

Finomate Combines Three Slimming Strategies

The patented green mate leaf extract, Finomate (EFLA 920), has a

multifunctional activity profile: it suppresses the appetite, reduces

fat absorption, increases fat burning and enhances physical endurance

(Figure 1). Its efficacy and safety have been clinically tested in a

randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind trial with overweight

females. The results of the clinical trial led to the conclusion that

the green mate leaf extract mediates weight loss by specifically

reducing body fat mass and fat percentage. Analyses of fat percentage

and fat mass showed a statistically significant decrease in the subjects

receiving Finomate compared with the placebo group (Figure 2). The lean

body mass of the subjects in the Finomate group decreased to a lesser

extent than the placebo group, indicating that Finomate particularly

affected fat tissue. In addition, Finomate demonstrated a positive

influence on body mass index (BMI), weight and waist circumference.

Furthermore, the extract caused no adverse effects and was very well




Mediterranean Diet Health

The scientifically proven olive leaf extract, Benolea (EFLA 943),

supports the cardiovascular system as well as a healthy heart and

protects against the development of metabolic syndrome. Its unsaturated

fatty acids and antioxidant ingredients–such as Oleuropein–provide

protection against cardiovascular disease.


Support from Apples

POMACTIV and POMELITE–both of which are bioactive extracts from

cider apples–are also safe, natural and efficient solutions for weight

management programmes. These ingredients contain the most active apple

polyphenolic compounds and apple fibres, respectively. The polyphenolic

compounds consist of chlorogenic acid, which reduces glucose hepatic

synthesis, and procyanidins, which slow down digestion by decreasing the

activity of digestive enzymes. The antioxidant action of quercetin, by

contrast, allows for optimal glucose utilization, while phloridzin

reduces glucose absorption from the diet. The soluble apple fibres

(polysaccharides), combined with water, form a colloidal suspension that

fills the stomach and eases feelings of hunger. Furthermore, they

decrease glucose and fat absorption.

Slimming Power of Algae

ASCOP, which is extracted from brown seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum),

is 100% natural and free from additives and preservatives. This extract

was selected for the slimming campaign because of its high polyphenol

(phlorotanins) content. ASCOP’s activity profile–its positive

effect on feelings of satiety, reduced glycaemic response, reduced fat

and glucose absorption–is based on the following mechanisms: its

three-fold inhibition of enzymatic activity (alpha-amylase,

alpha-glucosidase and lipase) and its ability to act as a pepsin

booster. These properties lead to a direct reduction of caloric uptake

and to indirect effects on fat storage and satiety (via blood sugar

regulation). This activity profile has been confirmed by in vivo and in

vitro studies.

Green Coffee Bean

Because of its high concentration of the active ingredient,

chlorogenic acid, green coffee bean extract from the unroasted fruit of

Coffea arabica may also prove to be a useful weight management tool. The

mechanism involved in weight loss is derived from the main active

components–chlorogenic acid and related compounds–and caffeic acid.

These components promote the conversion of stored fat into energy and

delay glucose absorption.

Clever Combinations for Multiple Applications

All of the above ingredients can help in the obesity battle. Clever

combinations and suitable dosage forms result in products that can

support weight management and weight loss in an efficient way. Whether

it be via dietary supplements in the form of capsules, powder and sachet

drinks, dragees or syrups, or as functional food products such as

slimming dairy shots or fruit boosters, confectionery products or even

as slimming drinks, with the “Frutarom Goes Slimming” concept,

the company offers support in every aspect of creating highly efficient

supplements–and tasty functional products–with powerful slimming

effects. Further projects are in the pipeline, in bakery goods and

pasta, as well as applications outside the food industry.


Additional Information on Obesity

Obesity is a global problem with rising importance. The latest

projections from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that

globally in 2005, approximately 1.6 billion adults were overweight and

at least 400 million were obese. Looking ahead, these numbers are

predicted to rise to about 2.3 billion overweight and more than 700

million obese adults by 2015

( As many as 1.7

billion people in the world may one day be exposed to weight-related

health risks (International Obesity Task Force [IOTF]). Thus, market

demand for weight loss formulations is high; according to official

reports, the drug treatment market for obesity will increase more than

five-fold during the next 8 years, reaching $2.7 billion in 2016


For more information

Liesbeth Neven Global Marketing Manager, Frutarom Health Frutarom

Netherlands BV Landjuweel 5 NL-3905 PE Veenendaal, the Netherlands.