Japanese pharmaceuticals firm Kyowa Hakko Kogyo is introducing a liquid version of its cholesterol-lowering food ingredient CSPHP to the US and European markets this week.
The company believes the new ingredient, said to be more effective than plant sterol esters, has greater chances in the West where functional beverages are currently more popular than functional foods.
CSPHP has been available in Japan since 2001 in powder form. It contains soy protein hydrolysate and soy phospholipids to block the absorption of LDL cholesterol in the intestine and is also said to stimulate the production of healthy HDL cholesterol.
Trials have found that 3 grams of CSPHP taken every day for one month reduced LDL-cholesterol by 17 per cent, compared to a 13 per cent reduction with the same quantity of plant sterol ester, claims Kyowa Hakko's food division. In the same trials, a daily intake of 25 grams of soy protein resulted in a reduction of LDL-cholesterol by only 10 per cent.
CSPHP is also stable through high temperature food manufacturing processes and can be added to proteins, lipids, starches and minerals, offering uses in a wide range of foods, drinks and dietary supplements, says Kyowa Hakko, which had net sales of Y359 billion (€2.6bn) in fiscal 2003.
The liquid CSPHP, on display at the IFT Annual Meeting in Chicago opening this weekend, was added to a yoghurt-flavoured drink for the Japanese market earlier this year. The firm will market the liquid CSPHP technology in the US through its New York-based Kyowa Hakko USA. It has been recognised as a 'Food for Specified Health Use (FOSHU)' in Japan and has also gained self-affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status.
Tadayasu Furukawa, president of Kyowa Hakko's food division, said the liquid version "requires such small volumes and is so stable that almost any manufacturer can incorporate it into their products".
About 50 per cent of American adults have elevated blood cholesterol levels, one of the key risk factors for heart disease, while in the UK, nearly two thirds of consumers are living with cholesterol above the recommended limit, according to the British Heart Foundation. Both markets have seen continuing innovation in cholesterol-lowering foods, starting with the spreads developed by Unilever and Raisio, but continuing to diversify into other foods such as milk drinks and cooking oil.
The IFT meeting and expo runs from 12-16 July in Chicago, US.