DuPont - Tools for successful weight management

Diets and dieting are falling out of favour as a single weight-management concept. Instead, a holistic health focus is becoming more fashionable, with people beginning to understand that weight management is part of a healthy lifestyle. Digestive wellness and replacing 'bad' carbohydrates with 'good' carbohydrates are common health trends of our time. Fortunately, DuPont Nutrition & Health is working hard to craft exciting new solutions to accompany these changes.

A new take on weight management

HOWARU Shape is a proprietary probiotic dietary supplement containing either DuPont's patented B420 probiotic alone, or in combination with Litesse Ultra - a prebiotic fibre that works synergistically with B420 to support healthy weight management. HOWARU Shape can be provided as a sachet, capsule, tablet or stick to be added to food products such as fruit smoothies. It need only be consumed once a day for efficient weight management.

B420 has the potential to improve the epithelial integrity of cells from the gastrointestinal tract, which could ultimately reduce inflammation in the body and metabolic disorders. Either working alone, or in combination with Litesse Ultra, B420 has been shown to control body fat mass, energy intake, trunk fat mass and waist circumference over a six-month dietary intervention. At the same time, B420 is perfect for increasing lean body mass.

Litesse Ultra, a polydextrose, is part of this process, too. It is an example of a so-called 'good' carbohydrate. It is a low-calorie and water-soluble fibre that is better tolerated than almost all other low-caloric carbohydrates in commercial use (including polyols and inulin). As a complex carbohydrate and dietary fibre, it positively influences weight management concepts because of its ability to reduce caloric density, and improve gut health and satiety.

Clinical studies have shown Litesse reduces energy intake at a subsequent meal, and that energy was not compensated for later in the day. It also decreased aftermeal feelings of hunger and increased the glucagon-like peptide-1 response after meals, which is known to decrease food intake.

Altogether, HOWARU Shape has a proven track record of helping users to control their weight. For example, in a study published in EBioMedicine, DuPont's product controlled body fat mass, trunk fat mass, waist circumference and energy intake in overweight and obese adults better than a placebo.

Meanwhile, a six-month gold-standard study demonstrated that the probiotic alone or in combination with prebiotic fibre has strong weight-management benefits. These impressive results were obtained with no change to participants' diets or exercise habits.

Global consumers

As brilliant as these products are, they need an eager audience to be commercially viable. Happily, DuPont's consumer research indicates that over 54% of global consumers identify with a particular segment in the health and wellness sector. Known as 'weight strugglers', these people are concerned with weight-related health issues, but are unable to overcome the barriers that keep them from attaining a healthy weight. These strugglers are a vital part of the market - they represent one in every two consumers, meaning there is huge commercial potential for targeted weight-management solutions, including HOWARU Shape.

At the same time, consumers have a strong desire to manage their weight proactively, and their purchasing behaviour reflects this attitude. After all, the global weight loss supplement market is now worth almost $5 billion and looks set to grow in future. For consumers, this is not simply about dieting, but rather an overall wellness - combined with fitness and looking good - is the ultimate goal.

With HOWARU Shape, it is possible to help consumers manage their weight naturally with tailor-made products for those looking to manage their weight without changing their diet. In short, satisfying health and wellness trends with clinically documented probiotics alone - or in combination with prebiotics - is simple with HOWARU Shape.

Not only probiotics

Though its probiotics are an important part of the business, it is not the only area DuPont is involved in. Its global network of food scientists and technologists bring worldclass expertise to soy proteins, emulsifiers, enzymes, hydrocolloids, cultures, antioxidants, antimicrobials and an array of health-promoting ingredients. DuPont calls all this the 'Global collaboratory' - a place where solutions that make a real difference can be discovered and brought to life.

More broadly, through its nutrition and health business, DuPont addresses the world's challenges in food and supplements by offering a wide range of sustainable, biobased ingredients and solutions to provide safe, healthier, and more nutritious food and supplement products. Through close collaborations with its customers, DuPont combines knowledge and originality to deliver unparalleled customer value to the marketplace.

This mix of experience and innovation is strikingly clear in another DuPont project. In November 2017, the company announced a new microbiome enterprise. Engaging strategic partnerships with other microbiome science leaders in academia and industry, DuPont hopes to accelerate new microbiome product development. At the same time, the project complements the company's existing product portfolio, especially in the areas of probiotics and prebiotics, including human milk oligosaccharides.

This focus is easy to understand. After all, academic research over the past decade has demonstrated the significant role that these microbes play in human health and disease, yielding revealing facts about how a healthy microbiome can be established in early life. At birth, for example, infants acquire microbiota from their mothers by the transfer of microbes resident in the birth canal, gut, breast milk and skin. At about two years, a mature microbiome develops in the infant. Immune system development is linked to that of the microbiome, meaning that microbiomes are crucial to health.

"Microbiome science is developing extremely fast with tremendous opportunity for innovation," explains Angela Naef, DuPont Nutrition & Health's global technology and innovation leader. "With the microbiome venture, we intend to build on our probiotics leadership position to develop new microbiome science-based solutions for health and wellness."

Next-generation microbes

Though the project is only a few months old, there is already ample evidence that DuPont is doing just that. In March 2018, for instance, the firm announced its second strategic research and development partnership. The newly forged relationship with the Centre of Food and Fermentation Technologies (TFTAK) in Tallinn will focus on developing cultivation and bioprocess capabilities for 'next-generation' probiotics.

In this case, the term 'next generation' refers to commensal microbes naturally resident in the gastrointestinal tract and demonstrated to be associated with health and wellness. These microbes typically have fastidious growth requirements, which must be mastered in order to be able to produce them at scale.

But with a wealth of experience behind it, DuPont is clearly confident of success. "We are delighted to be partnering with TFTAK," explains microbiome venture leader Sebastien Guery. "With its excellent capabilities in bioprocess technology and systems biology, TFTAK will support DuPont by defining the optimum conditions required to culture and produce some of our next-generation probiotic strain candidates."

Scientists at TFTAK are clearly just as excited to get going. "Our DuPont Nutrition & Health microbiome venture partnership will build on our long-term successful cooperation on the development and optimisation of production processes for novel bacteria of interest to the dairy industry and potentially to nutrition, health and wellness companies more widely," explains Professor Raivo Vilu of TFTAK. "We are looking forward to an exciting next step in our cooperation."

On past form, there is every reason to believe this partnership will be successful. Across its range of nutritional products, DuPont has consistently shown how far quality products and innovation can go - something that seems certain to continue.

DuPont will be exhibiting at Vitafoods 2018 at stand J10.

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