Vitafoods Europe live: Sugar-suppressant gum lands innovation award in win for weight management
11 May 2023 --- Food tech start-up Sweet Victory Gum’s botanical chewing gum, designed to curb sugar cravings, won Vitafoods Europe’s Startup Innovation Challenge 2023 for finished nutraceutical products this week, after a consumer study showed it could support weight loss.
“Sweet Victory is a functional gum in a range of flavors. It tastes like regular gum, but if you chew it for two or three minutes, it blocks the sweet taste receptor in the tongue and immediately reduces sugar cravings,” Gitit Lahav, the company’s co-founder and CEO tells NutritionInsight at the trade fair.
“We designed it for people that want to reduce their sugar intake in a fun and easy way.”
The gum’s active ingredient is gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre), a botanical native to India, which is hailed as a “sugar destroyer” in traditional medicine for its sugar suppression activities.
In a recent consumer study, 80% of participants reported that they cut down their intake of sweets with the gum, helping to result in a measurable weight loss in almost 90% of users.
The company developed the gum to create a convenient solution to support consumers’ resistance to sugary temptations. In addition to blocking the taste receptors for sweetness, gymnema plant extract slows the intestinal absorption of sugars.
Future product development will explore expanding the variety of flavors in addition to the current peppermint, spearmint, bubble-gum and watermelon flavors.
“We are also working on different applications to block sugar so people have better control for their food choices, such as gummies or hard candies,” adds Lahav.
The gum was tested in a home usage experiment to evaluate its capacity to reduce the desire for sweet treats and impact on weight management. Volunteer participants provided feedback on the product’s appeal and effectiveness.
In a two-week trial involving 80 people aged 25-45, all participants wanted to lose weight but were not in a dietary process. The participants were instructed to chew gum at least three times a day, after or between meals or whenever they craved sugar. They weighed themselves and filled out a questionnaire daily.
After the trial, 87% of participants reported weight loss at an average of 1.3 kg. Moreover, 80% of participants reported having “better control” of their food choices and significantly reduced their sweet consumption, while 70% felt the product was innovative, describing it as a fun addition to their daily routine.
“The overall improvement we witnessed was incremental,” notes Lahav. “Significantly more participants felt they were in control of their impulses after four days and at the end of the trial, compared to the beginning.”
“A significant decrease in the consumption of sweets was observed from the fourth day until the end of the experiment compared to the first days, suggesting an enduring effect. We further noted relatively even gum consumption throughout the day, indicating that it can positively affect any time of the day,” she concludes.
By Jolanda van Hal, with live reporting from William Bradford Nichols at Vitafoods Europe
This feature is provided by FoodIngredientsFirst’s sister website, NutritionInsight.
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