The 55 percent oat soluble fiber beta-glucans, UltraTrim, adds to the existing range including Nutrim oat bran and BarleyTrim barley bran. "We saw our customers' demand increase for such a product," FutureCeuticals product manager Kay Kapteyn told NutraIngredients-USA. "This is in answer to industry calls for higher concentration beta-glucan." The company stated that the fiber will provide opportunities for formulators to incorporate higher concentrations of beta-glucan into formulations that require smaller ingredient percentages. Indeed, according to FutureCeuticals, the ingredient is ideal for encapsulation or tableting, in addition to being formulated into products such as smoothies, soups, stews, ice cream and bars. Kapteyn confirmed that the product will be available globally: "We have distributors all over the world," she said. The high concentration beta-glucan is not alone on the market with a few other companies offering similar concentrations, said Kapteyn, but UltraTrim was answering industry calls for high concentrate beta-glucans. Beta-glucan, a non-starch polysaccharide found in oats, has been the subject of increasing attention with some reports showing the soluble fiber can decrease LDL-C levels. Nutrim qualifies for the FDA heart health claim, said Kapteyn, but the higher concentrate UltraTrim does not. Several studies have also reported that beta-glucan-containing foods can play a role in reducing blood pressure. A pilot study from 2002 by Joseph Keenan at the University of Minnesota reported that daily consumption of an oat cereal containing 5.5 grams per day of beta-glucan led to systolic and diastolic blood pressure reduction of 7.5 and 5.5 mmHg, respectively in moderately hypertensive men and women with high insulin levels (Journal of Family Practice, Vol. 51, p. 369). Furthermore, researchers recently reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602562) that consumption of beta-glucan-containing foods could reduce the insulin and glucose response after a meal, thereby easing a risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Such a reduced response could translate into the blood pressure reduction observed in the obese/ high-BMI people participating in the study.