AHD president and chief executive officer John Alkire told NutraIngredients-USA.com the company now possessed "10 grades for various food and beverage applications" of the ingredient derived from amorphous konjac and backed by many clinical studies. Alkire said dietary supplements would remain the most important category for suite, but functional foods and beverages were becoming more important. PhoenixA flavorless version of LuraLean called Phoenix will target the beverage industry with an offering that "only achieves full viscosity upon reaching the stomach and interacting with human enzymes". Phoenix has Food and Drug Administration GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status in a range of foods, beverages and nutraceutical applications. Alkire said the pricing matrix for the entire suite had not been finalized but the Phoenix version will cost less than other offerings in the LuraLean range. The US weight management market is estimated to be worth about $4.65bn but weight loss dietary supplements are under threat from drug giant GlaxoSmithKline which has petitioned FDA to prevent themmaking weight loss claims. FDA is due to deliver a verdict on that petition by the end of October. LuraLean has been used in 14 safety studies and 60 clinical trials and shown to benefit weight loss, particularly among women. "The product appears to work better in females than males," Alkire said. LuraLean is manufactured via a patented process that AHD says allows it to "hold up through the stomach and intestines where most fibers fall apart". A campaign to build exposure for the ingredient at consumer level had begun and the company said LuraLean would appear on end-products by year's end. Aside from its North American base, LuraLean was being sold in Japan. "LuraLean is one of the most researched weight control offerings currently available and it has been tested for safety and efficacy across all demographic groups, including children and the elderly," Alkire said. The company said LuraLean also absorbs "excess fats and calories and carries them out of the body while allowing minerals and vitamins to remain in the body." AHD supplies ingredients in a host of health areas including joint health, bone health and heart health and was recently named in Entrepreneur Magazine's 'Hot 100' fastest growing companies.