Hunger-busting potato protein gains ground in functional food market

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Obesity, Nutrition

Hunger-busting potato protein gains ground in functional food market
Slendesta – a potato protein ingredient from Kemin Health claimed to boost satiety – has raised its profile in the functional food market after being included in the Fullbar range of weight management products developed by bariatric surgeon Dr. Michael Snyder.

Launched nationwide last month, Fullbar’s line of products with Slendesta includes bars, ready-to-drink shakes, gummies, gum and supplement capsules in packaging featuring the Slendesta trademark.

You can’t subject it to ultra-high temperatures

Slendesta – which is made by Kemin in Des Moines, Iowa - contains protease inhibitor PI-2, which stimulates the release of appetite-suppressing gut hormone CCK.

It first entered the US in 2006 in the dietary supplements market – and is now in several supplements including Swanson’s 15mg capsules, but potentially had greater prospects in the food and beverage space, Kemin product manger Corey Jansen told NutraIngredients-USA last year.

“We got GRAS status in late 2008 and we’re seeing momentum build in this area now with products such as Metabolife protein shakes ​[containing Slendesta plus fiber, whey and soy proteins] and IdealShape shakes ​[which contain Slendesta plus a combination of other ‘filling’ fibers and nutrients].”

He added: “Slendesta is still a protein, so you can’t subject it to ultra-high temperatures or use it in extruded snacks. But it is pretty heat and pH stable and can be used in a wide variety of products – particularly shakes, beverage mixes and bars. We’ve also have different grades for ease of formulation including a 5% PI-2 product and a 10% PI-2 product.”

No miracle pills

But as Cyvex Nutrition - which markets the potato protein ingredient SolaThin in supplements – recently cautioned, the key to success in satiety was managing consumer expectations, agreed Jansen.

“People will feel fuller for longer, but they have to be realistic. It’s more of a lack of a feeling if you ​like [not feeling as hungry as you otherwise would] so it is not something people necessarily notice straight away. But over time they eat less.”

Communicating this was a challenge, he said. “Things like ephedra have cast a long shadow over the supplements market and people’s expectations can be unrealistic.

“It’s not about taking a pill and then carrying on eating or doing what you normally do. You need to change your lifestyle if you want to lose weight but Slendesta helps you stay motivated.”

Clinical evidence

While Slendesta had been proven to reduce hunger and stimulate CCK, human studies over a longer period had also shown it helped people consume fewer calories and lose weight, he said.

“If you get 15 milligrams of PI-2 before the two largest meals of the day – so 30 milligrams in total – you can make weight loss claims, but many of our customers are actually more interested in talking about having an ingredient clinically proven been clinically to help you feel full sooner and longer.”

He added: “What makes us stand out is that the science is there. We have a long list of proprietary and published human studies specifically on Slendesta, as well as the large body of evidence to support PI-2.”

While there were other ingredients in the satiety space such as PinnoThin - an appetite suppressant from Korean pine nut oil also claimed to stimulate CCK production - and DSM’s palm and oat oil emulsion Fabuless (believed to work via the ‘ileal brake mechanism’), Slendesta was effective at lower doses, he claimed.

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