Dispatches from Vitafoods Europe 2014

Lycotec readies EU health claim for cholesterol lowering chocolate

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Cholesterol lowering chocolate set for EU health claim?
Cholesterol lowering chocolate set for EU health claim?

Related tags Nutrition European food safety authority Taste

Biotec firm Lyctoec is poised to apply for an EU-approved health claim for cholesterol lowering chocolate.

It has prepared a dossier for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that would give credence to the claim that it’s L-tug ingredient, when added to chocolate, directs lipid particles to a specific part of the liver to be broken down and excreted from the body. Or said more simply, that it lowers cholesterol.

L-tug is derived from lycopene, a pigment found in tomatoes and other red fruit and veg that is recognised as safe for food-use in Europe and the US.

‘We’re ready for an EFSA claim’

Speaking to ConfectioneryNews at Vitafoods in Geneva, Lycotec CEO Ivan Petyaev, said:“We’ve done enough studies now, we think, in the last two years that we are strong enough to prepare a dossier for EFSA.”

He said that the company planned to submit its dossier later this month.

Lycotec has entered a partnership with an unnamed chocolate manufacturer that will support the UK-based biotec firm.

The chocolate industry backer is preparing to set up production of L-tug chocolate and will launch the product in a medium-sized European country.

However, the firm will not have exclusivity to L-tug chocolate and Lycotec is prepared to license any claim it wins.

Petyaev said: “We’re are applying for two articles 13.5 and 14 – one for the prevention, to maintain healthy cholesterol and the other one for reduction of cholesterol as a risk factor.”

‘Chocolate will be a champion’

Cholesterol lowering products tend to come in drinks or spreads such as Benecol. Petyaev said that these products worked but struggled to attract consumers because of flavour implications.

“They need to win consumer attraction. We have no change in taste, no change in flavour, we’ve no change in mouth experience with the chocolate.”

“Chocolate will be a champion because it’s a great convenience – you cannot carry butter or oil in your pocket.”

According to Petyaev, 6-7 mg  of L-tug  was the optimal dose for a person of average weight and could be added to 10g of chocolate, milk dark or white.

“You don’t need to have it in one piece. You could have two pieces in a smaller dose.. ​The good thing about this is that it tastes neutral.”

He said that EFSA might take around a year to issue an opinion on Lycotec’s claim.

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