UK firm Provexis looks set to release a novel heart-healthy drink next year after recent human trials on its tomato-based product proved successful.
If a final trial on orange juice containing the product, currently being set up at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland, confirms previous results showing that the ingredient helps reduce the tendency for excessive blood clotting, the company could see CardioFlow on the market in 2004.
CardioFlow is a water-soluble, concentrated tomato extract that contains no lycopene. There are multiple active compounds in the extract, according to Provexis, most of which have been fully characterised. These inhibit blood platelet aggregation which plays an important role in cardiovascular disease and the formation of blood clotting, known to lead to heart attacks, stroke and deep vein thrombosis.
Dr Stephen Franklin, chief executive of Provexis, said: "We were delighted by the response to the recent trial…Over 100 local people volunteered to take part in the study which showed we could add CardioFlow to regular orange juice and still get the 'blood thinning' effect."
The final trial on a new CardioFlow-containing orange juice will recruit 150 healthy men or women aged between 45 and 70 years old.
"Unlike previous trials, this study is using an industrially manufactured CardioFlow and the drinks - approximately 5000 of them - are being prepared in a bottling facility. The final trial is critically important to us as it will provide the level of evidence required to gain approval for the use of a health claim in the labelling of our product," said Dr Niamh O'Kennedy, principal scientist with the company.
The company is currently in discussions with a number of global food branding companies for the launch of a drink in 2004.