The ingredient, marketed as Olibra (and previously Reducal) by Swedish developer Lipid Technologies Provider (LTP), has been rebranded by DSM as Fabuless.
It reached its first market this month through Italian firm Latteria Merano, which has created a drinking yoghurt called Action Calorie-Control for local supermarkets. A nationwide launch is planned for September.
The ingredient is said to help control food intake without the sacrifice and discipline usually associated with dieting and weight control. It could have a major impact on the European market for weight loss foods.
Olibra is made from two very common food ingredients - palm oil and oat oil - which are then fractionated by LTP at its plant in Sweden and formulated into a novel emulsion.
The well-established safety of Olibra's main raw materials makes it easier to introduce into the food category than many other nutraceuticals designed to help control weight, such as botanicals or new ingredients not traditionally used in foods. These must submit safety dossiers to European authorities before being permitted on the market.
In an interview with NutraIngredients.com earlier this year, LTP managing director Jorgen Quick said: "These are normal food fats. But it is unique because we have combined them in a very smart way."
The ingredient works by triggering the natural appetite control mechanism and suppressing the hunger signals that would normally be sent hours after a meal. Consumers feel more satisfied than they would have been and consequently eat less.
Studies have shown that when milk fat is replaced with Olibra, it can lead to a 20-30 per cent reduction in caloric intake at subsequent meals.
Rob Minnee, DSM business manager for weight management, explained that the product was largely about offering an easier option to dieting.
"Extensive consumer research in the USA and Europe highlighted that a key issue in weight management was the difficulty and perceived sacrifice involved in consumers' real efforts to control their food intake."
He told NutraIngredients.com that DSM Food Specialties had tested the ingredient in yoghurts, milk drinks and meal replacement shakes. It is also looking at cheese concepts and may enter other food categories in the future.
"We do intend to establish ourselves as the weight management ingredient company," said Minnee, adding that while Fabuless is the first such product in its portfolio, further ingredients could be added by external agreements or internal developments.
In May LTP announced that it had granted leading US supplement maker GNC exclusive rights to the use of Olibra in single dose containers like supplements.
The Swedish dairy Skanemejerier bought rights to the ingredient for a weight control range in 2003 but these have now expired.