BOSTON, Mass.--A new dietary fat substitute that government scientists say will be good for your heart was reported here today at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.
The new product, to be marketed as "Nu-Trim," contains high concentrations of beta-glucans, soluble fibers found in oats and barley that are known to lower LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol, factors which have been linked to heart disease.
Nu-Trim is the first fat substitute designed specifically to meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements for food products that can be advertised as good for the heart, said chemist George E. Inglett, Ph.D., of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Peoria, who created the product.
Dr. Inglett has worked on oat-and barley-based fat substitutes for the past 10 years and has developed two previous products, Oatrim and Z-Trim. Oatrim is widely used in the food industry, and Z-Trim is in the process of being licensed. But neither of these products qualify for a "heart-healthy" label.
Several other researchers from the USDA and elsewhere also reported on the health benefits of Nu-Trim and other beta-glucan sources during the ACS meeting today:
Wallace H. Yokoyama, Ph.D., a scientist at the USDA research center in Albany, Calif., said that because of the way it is processed, Nu-Trim makes more soluble beta-glucans available to the digestive system than does a comparable amount of whole-grain oats or barley.
Beta-glucans may also play a role in regulating blood sugar levels. Studies conducted by Judith Hallfrisch, Ph.D., and Kay M. Behall, Ph.D., researchers at the ARS Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Md., suggest that beta-glucans lower and steady the production of insulin, released by the pancreas in response to glucose intake, by forming gels that slow the absorption of the glucose from the intestine.
This could be a significant advantage for patients who already choose fat-free or low-fat foods for weight control, an important factor in the treatment of some forms of diabetes.
David Busken of Oak State Products, Inc., Wenona Ill., which produces cookies for a number of major food marketers, reported on how well Nu-Trim performed in his company's products. He said the addition of Nu-Trim gave the cookies extra body and added moisture. Nu-Trim's primary benefit, however, is that it could help to transform treats like cookies, cakes and creamy desserts into low-calorie, high-fiber foods, said Dr. Inglett.AGFD 95-103, presented Tues., Aug. 25, from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon, Marriott Copley Place, Salon G, 4th Floor
A nonprofit organization with a membership of more than 155,000 chemists and chemical engineers as its members, the American Chemical Society publishes scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences, and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.
Additional information about Nu-Trim papers at the American Chemical Society national meeting:
W.H. Yokoyama, Ph.D., Western Regional Research Center, Albany, Calif. conducted studies in which Nu-Trim fed to test animals reduced their total plasma cholesterol by 27%; and their LDL cholesterol by 36%--reductions that exceeded those achieved in a control group in which the animals were fed unprocessed oats, he said. Dr. Yokoyama said his studies indicate that the way Nu-Trim is processed makes the beta-glucans react more favorably in the body than they would if obtained from whole grains.AGFD 102, Tues., Aug. 25, 11:20 a.m., Marriott Copley Place, Salon G, 4th Floor
Kathleen Warner, Ph.D.,National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Peoria, Ill., conducted studies in which she used Nu-Trim to replace all or part of the fat and flour in oat muffins. Dr. Warner said the Nu-Trim not only added nutritional value, but also improved the texture and volume of the muffins, which had more moisture and better consistency than those prepared with unmodified oat bran. Dr. Warner said she also used Nu-Trim to produce non-dairy "milkshake" beverages with high levels of beta-glucans. AGFD 97, Tues., Aug. 25, 9:40 a.m., Marriott Copley Place, Salon G, 4th Floor
Lyn O'Brien Nabors, Calorie Control Council, Atlanta, Ga., discussed the increasing consumer interest in the relationship between diet and health, and examined recent survey data on no-fat, reduced-fat, and "light" products--for example, a 1998 survey in which 90 per cent of Americans surveyed said they use such products regularly. They said their primary reason for using these products is "to stay in better overall health," said Ms. Nabors.AGFD 95, Tues., Aug. 25, 9:00a.m., Marriott Copley Place, Salon G, 4th Floor
David Busken, Oak State Products, Inc., Wenona, Il., whose company supplies cookies to some major food processors, reported on the preparation and analysis of cookies made with Nu-Trim. Mr. Busken said his studies showed that cookies prepared with Nu-Trim have better "eating qualities" than cookies made with oat bran alone. The cookies made with Nu-Trim were significantly less crumbly and more moist than those made with just oat bran, he said.AGFD 103, Tues., Aug. 25, 11:40 a.m., Marriott Copley Place, Salon G, 4th Floor
News Briefing: Monday, Aug. 24, 2 p.m., Sheraton Boston, Beacon A, 4th FloorB-roll available
For further information contact:Nancy Blount at (202) 872-4451. From August 20-27: Press Room , Convention Center, Room 308, Phone: (617) 351-6808; FAX: (617) 351-6820
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