Reducol yoghurts launched in Finland

Related tags European union

Finland's largest grocery chain Kesko has launched a range of
yogurts that include Forbes Medi-Tech's cholesterol-lowering
ingredient, Reducol, the Canadian firm said on Monday.

The yogurt will be sold under the brand name "Pirkka" and, according to its manufacturers, is the first in a series of product launches planned for later this year.

Kesko said that the agreement with Forbes is part of its decision to increase the healthy foods range marketed under the Pirkka brand. Harri Sivula, deputy managing director of Kesko Food, said in a statement that the company planned to distribute the product to over 1000 stores and hoped to reach "virtually every household in Finland"​ through marketing.

"We see the Pirkka / Reducol products evolving into the day-to-day purchases of our consumers who are focused on lowering their cholesterol levels,"​ said Sivula.

This announcement is the fruit of an agreement originally signed last Novemeber in which Finnish healthcare company Scanvit said it would use Reducol in its milk-based drinks

And in March, Forbes' potential in Europe received a boost when it gained European approval to Reducol in seven new food applications, meaning the ingredient can now be added to yellow fat spreads (margarine), fermented milk type products, soy drinks, low-fat cheese type products, yoghurt type products, spicy sauces, and salad dressings.

The company has expanded its 50-50 manufacturing joint-venture facility to capitalize on demand from the EU market, a key market for the ingredient as its non-GMO status has a significant edge over many of the soy-derived sterols.

UK dairy foods company Fayrefield Foods was the first company to launch foods containing Reducol in the EU in November 2004, attracted by the 'GM-free' status of the cholesterol lowering ingredient.

The majority of plant sterol ingredients on the market are derived from soya but traditional sources of the crop, or GM-free varieties, are becoming increasingly difficult to source.

This has held back the use of sterols made by soy processors Cargill and ADM on the European market. Forbes' ingredient however is derived from by-products of the forestry industry.

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