Biotech firm launches natural appetite control product

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LONDON -- Scottish biotechnology company Scotia Pharmaceuticals has developed a food ingredient made from natural substances that it claims effectively suppresses appetite. The ingredient, branded Olibra, is made from natural oils.

Scotia says the product has a patent- protected emulsifying system that carries Olibra swiftly to the small intestine where it works by activating the brain's normal appetite control system. The resulting comfortable feeling of full- ness lasts for three to six hours, reducing the temptation to snack be- tween meals, the company claims. Con- sumption of calories at the meal is significantly reduced at the next meal, according to a controlled test of 29 people conducted for the company .

A yogurt containing Olibra launched nationally this week in Sweden. The Swedish milk company Skanemejerier has already been successfully test marketing yogurts under the brand name Maval (Feeling Good) in southern Sweden. The yogurt, which costs twice the price of ordinary yogurts, is being positioned as a food which will reduce snacking between meals and lower calorie consumption in an entirely natural way. Because the ingredients are so natural, no regulatory barriers are anticipated. There are no known side effects. However, the company may be limited in what health claims it can make in its advertising in some countries.

Scotia will begin promoting its products to food manufacturers around the world. The ingredient can be added to a wide range of milk products, fruit drinks and soups. It has the potential to be added to chocolate, cookies and candy. Scotia is reportedly talking with Procter & Gamble.

Copyright January 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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