A French bakery is expanding distribution of a special bread that can help the slimming process.
The Compagnie Internationale Diététique et Panification, based in Nimes in southern France, first unveiled its 'Régente' bread in July last year. Currently available in 35 outlets in southern France, the baguette will reach its first depot in Paris during May, according to the company.
The bread is said to reduce weight problems and results have shown it can cut fatty tissue around the thighs by up to 3.5 cm after daily consumption over a two-month period.
The company claims that this is the first time that French baking has innovated on the traditional baguette by adding a functional health action.
Régente bread contains a slimming complex produced during a 10-year research period. Made from edible marine algae, the compound is said to help the body eliminate fats more easily by speeding up the breakdown of triglycerides, stored in the fat reserves (the adipose cells).
Research carried out by the French firm found that eating half a baguette daily can significantly help to reduce fat. In clinical tests on a sample of women aged 22 to 57 years old, volunteers taking the Régente slimming compound twice a day lost on average 1cm of fat around the thigh and reduced ankle circumference by 0.6cm after 55 days, reports the company.
The quantities tested were equivalent to that contained in half a slimming baguette weighing 200g.
While the product has seen only limited distribution until now, Compagnie Internationale Diététique et Panification seems confident that it meets increasing consumer demand for traditional foods. A SOFRES study shows that 94 per cent of French families still buy baguettes daily, with 10 billion baguettes sold annually in the country.
At the same time, bread also has a reputation for causing weight gain, which is why women tend to eat half the amount consumed by men. The French bakery is hoping its combination of tradition and novel functional food will prove a success with the Parisians. It has not so far outlined plans to extend the product to neighbouring countries.
Compagnie Internationale Diététique et Panification also makes Pain Souverain, which launched in 1992 and is made with yeast derived from seawater naturally high in oligo-compounds.