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Dual-action technology for healthier food

In a world where the major causes of death in developed countries are elevated blood pressure, tobacco, and cholesterol, the patented MultiBene® food concept offers a valuable way forward by reducing both cholesterol and blood pressure. The concept turns everyday foods into dual-action health foods that can also contribute to improved bone health and weight control.

Cardiovascular diseases are currently the leading causes of death in industrialised countries, according to the World Health Organisation – and scientific studies have shown that these diseases can only be prevented effectively by reducing both elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

With MultiBene technology, it is now possible to produce a highly beneficial reduction in both these essential areas, in foods ranging from yoghurt and cheese to bread and meat and fish products.

Yoplait Essence Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol is produced using the Multibene® concept and contains 0.8 g of plant sterols and 350 mg of potassium per serving.

Natural ingredients

The Multibene® concept – which has been patented in Europe, the US, and more than 40 countries elsewhere – involves enriching foods with a combination of minerals and plant sterols to produce a uniquely broad spectrum of health benefits.

Plant sterols are natural constituents of plants and can inhibit cholesterol from being absorbed in the small intestine. Their cholesterol-lowering health benefits have been proven in numerous clinical trials. In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) currently recommends plant sterols as a first-line heart disease prevention therapy.

The other key ingredients in the dual-action Multibene® concept are natural minerals, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

The AHA also recommends increased dietary intake of these minerals to reduce elevated blood pressure. Increased calcium intake is also highly recommended for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis; and extensive evidence indicates that calcium can help in the fight against obesity as well.

Healthy bread, yoghurt, and milk powder

As heart health becomes increasingly important, business forecasts indicate that cholesterol-lowering products are likely to be the most profitable source of innovation for food manufacturers in the near future.

A number of manufacturers have already taken advantage of MultiBene’s innovative food technology, including Fazer Bakeries, the leading bakery company in Finland and the Baltic area, which has launched Ruisihme rye bread using the MultiBene® concept in Finland and Sweden. In Ireland, the country’s largest dairy company, Glanbia has launched a dual-action yoghurt drink known as Yoplait Essence Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol.

The world’s largest food company, Nestlé has launched a Multibene-based product, NESTLE® Omega Plus® ActiCol™ milk powder; and General Mills has created MultiBene Nature Valley Healthy Heart cereal bars in the US, the first products of their type to contain cholesterol-lowering plant sterols on the American market.

> Heikki Karppanen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2008)