Dispatches from Vitafoods Europe 2013

Confectionery ‘a new way to control weight’ claims Carmit Candy

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Adrian Sagman from Carmit Candy discusses his firm's chocolate wafer with glucomannan and Slendesta potato extract
Adrian Sagman from Carmit Candy discusses his firm's chocolate wafer with glucomannan and Slendesta potato extract

Related tags Nutrition European food safety authority Konjac

Confectionery is a novel way to control your weight, according to private label firm Carmit Candy which has just launched a weight management chocolate wafer bar.

Adrian Sagman, vice president of international sales and marketing at Carmit Candy told us at Vitafoods in Geneva this week that many people experienced “diet tiredness”.

“Confectionery is a new way to control weight….To be able to have a weight management bar inside chocolate is a fun way of keeping people smiling on their diet and to keep themselves under this weight management program on a long period.”

Carmit Candy’s dark chocolate wafer bar contains two satiety ingredients: Glucomannan and potato extract Slendesta.

“Together these ingredients are going to keep you full for a three to four hour period with a glass of water,”​ claimed Sagman.

Glucomannan: EFSA approved health claim

Glucomannan is a soluble dietary fiber from the konjac root that acts as a proteinase inihibator II, which release helps release cholecystokinin, a natural factor used by the body to tell the brain food has been eaten.

The ingredient has an approved European Foods Safety Authority (EFSA) 13.1 health claim for “reduction of body weight”.

To achieve the effect a product must contain 1 g of glucomannan per quantified portion and a person must eat 3 g of glucomannan in three 1 g doses, together with 1-2 glasses of water, before a meal.

“The water’s important because it interacts and reacts with the glucomannan in the stomach and it blows up a little bit like a small sponge, keeps the stomach smaller and keeps making you feel that you are full,”​ said Sagman.

Carmit’s 20 g bars each contain 1 g of glucomannan. The ingredient also has an EFSA approved health claim for maintenance of normal blood cholesterol concentrations.

Slendesta: EFSA rejected health claim

The other active ingredient is Kemin Industries’ Slendesta. The ingredient is derived from potato skins and also helps the body release cholecystokinin.

There have been 11 clinical trials on Slendesta – but the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently said that a cause and effect relationship between the ingredient and weight loss had yet to be established.

Slendesta, which is labelled as “potato extract”,​ is present as a 300 mg dose in each wafer bar, which is the amount recommended by Kemin in its clinical trials.

Both active ingredients are incorporated in the water rather than the chocolate coating.

Market potential

The 20 g bar has 99 calories and around 8g of sugar. “Which is must less than a standard candy bar,”​ said Sagman.

He said that the retail price could be kept as low as £1 because wafer was used rather than solely chocolate.

“I think it’s going to go really well in pharmacies, retail and even in snack bars, kiosks – somewhere where people can grab it on the go.”

“We really see a lot of potential in North America and we’ve seen lots of interest and lots of pick up all over Europe,”  ​he said.

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