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QBI introduces 'safe' weight-loss herbal


New Jersey-based Quality Botanical Ingredients has introduced an ephedra alternative, said to mimic the thermogenic effects of the controversial weight-loss herbal.

Tri-Xanthine combines three thermogenic extracts, derived from cocoa beans, green tea and yerba mate, and can be used in a variety of products, including drinks, capsules and energy bars, claims the firm.

QBI, which processes more than 500 herbs, dried fruits and vegetables at its cold processing facility, previously supplied ephedra but the herbal has been linked to heart problems and deaths. This month it was banned for sale in New York state, although it is available in most other US states. However the success of products containing ephedra has driven most suppliers to seek an alternative to the herb to fill the gap in their portfolio.

The Health Sciences Group subsidiary aimed to mimic the effects of ephedra which speeds up the metabolism, increasing blood flow and the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the body. This results in improved cellular efficiency and higher energy. Thermogenic herbs also suppress appetite by directing the flow of blood away from the stomach, reducing hunger and appetite.

QBI president Joseph Schortz said that the company is working with food and supplement manufacturers on new products which could soon be on sale in grocery and natural food stores.