Cognis Nutrition and Health has launched a new vegetable sterol esters ingredient on the US market.
The company, which introduced the product at the SupplySide West tradeshow in the US last week, said vegetable sterol esters are in demand from American food and dietary supplement manufacturers, as clinical evidence continues to prove their benefits to cardiovascular health.
"In fact the FDA has approved a health claim stating sterol esters may reduce the risk of heart disease," said Kathleen Moran, manager of Cognis' dietary supplements segment.
'Vegapure' sterol esters are believed to inhibit cholesterol absorption in the body's digestive tract. Cognis Nutrition and Health esterifies pure vegetable oil sterols with sunflower oil fatty acids, increasing their solubility in fats or oils and allowing improved dispersion in the digestive tract. During digestion, sterol esters are broken apart allowing the sterols to reduce cholesterol absorption.
Currently only available in the US and AsiaPacific regions, Vegapure is available in three different forms. Vegapure 95 contains the highest concentration sterol ester available, according to Cognis. The oil is suitable for soft gelatine encapsulation and its high purity allows for minimal dosage size. Vegapure 50TP is a tablet grade powder ideal for formulations and Vegapure 67WDP is a high potency water dispersible powder designed for drink mix formulations, chewables and energy bars.
Sterol ester products are approved GRAS by the US Food and Drug Administration for specific food use.
Cognis invested in facilities to purify sterols 45 years ago and are currently leaders in sterol processing. The company last week reported first nine month sales of €2,408 million, although growth has been flat so far this year, impacted by currency exchange rates.