Slimming coffee to launch in UK

By Jess Halliday and Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Weight loss, Nutrition, Blood sugar, Coffee

A new coffee drink that claims to help consumers lose weight by
reducing the amount of sugar the body absorbs from food will be
launched in the UK next year.

The drink, named CoffeeSlender, uses a novel, coffee-derived ingredient called Svetol that has been shown in studies to aid weight loss during a diet.

Weight management is a key area of interest for food and drink companies, as they seek convenient and tasty ways to help consumers tackle weight gain and obesity.

CoffeeSlender, first launched in Norway last year, has become one of the fastest selling weight control products in Scandinavia, according to its UK-based manufacturer, Energix Ventures.

Even the Norwegian Miss Universe of 1990, Mona Grudt, has endorsed the drink.

Consumers are advised to drink a cup of CoffeeSlender after their meals. Svetol then goes to work, helping the body to reduce glucose absorption from carbohydrates in the food - and so lowering calorie intake.

Current trials in the UK have reported a strong drop in cravings for sweet things and snacking between meals, Energix said. The drink is already available to buy online.

Svetol is a decaffeinated, natural ingredient derived from Robusta coffee beans, and has been available as a dietary supplement since 2002. But its maker, Berkem, used the HIE exhibition in Frankfurt last month to communicate the success of clinical trials to potential food customers.

Benoit Lemaire, Berkum's commercial manager, told DairyReporter sister site NutraIngredients.com that Svetol had two uses: to regulate of blood glucose levels, and to spur weight loss.

In the first instance, it is taken before a meal. In the second, it is taken afterwards to encourage energy to be drawn from fat deposits rather than from stores in the liver, thereby encouraging weight loss.

Lemaire said the secret behind the ingredient was the source, rather than the extraction process used. "There are 80 different varieties of Robusta. We know exactly which one is best."

The first toxicology data on Svetol was obtained in 2002, and this year a study was published in the French publication Phytotherapie on its ability to induce weight loss. Coffee could be a good first vehicle for the indredient's move into functional foods, according to Lemaire.

A spokesperson for the charity Diabetes UK advised caution on CoffeeSlender, however. The group added it was unable to comment on or recommend the product until it had seen the evidence.

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