Game-changer Lycotec invention for the chocolate industry will remove the stigma of health harm from the most enjoyed treat. Lycotec Ltd, a company based in Cambridge UK is pleased to announce that its invention of a chocolate for weight management and blood cholesterol reduction has been granted the World’s first patent in Europe.

Although patent applications on this invention are still pending in a number of other commercially significant territories, the European market is the largest, consuming 50% of more than 100bn Euros of chocolate produced globally every year.

In medical and nutritional communities a regular intake of dark chocolate is considered to provide a number of health benefits for the cardiovascular system, brain activity, physical performance and to control appetite. However, the most favourite treat among global consumers, regardless of territories or nationalities, is milk chocolate, which does not provide any of these health benefits. Moreover, over-consumption, as a sugar and fat rich confectionary product, it is considered to be, together with other dietary and life-style factors, a significant contributor to worldwide growth of obesity and diabetes cases.

Lycotec’s patented technology, called “L-tug”, can help to reduce the negative health effects of chocolate and in particular its milk form. This technology primarily targets chocolate fats by reducing their digestibility. This in turn affects the glucose rate of absorption and blood level, resulting in a reduction of the glycemic index for the ingested chocolate.

Clinical studies on middle-aged clinically healthy volunteers demonstrated that after consumption of 10 grams of L-tug milk chocolate with 30% cocoa, the rise in glucose concentration in the blood did not increase above the normal range of 6 mmol/L. Ingestion of the same amount of dark chocolate with 70% cocoa resulted in no detectable rise in glucose blood levels. These results suggest that a modest consumption of L-tug chocolate could be suitable for persons with diabetes.

Clinical trials on longer periods of administration of L-tug chocolate demonstrated a significant reduction of triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol in the fasting blood of volunteers. Control of the former lipid is essential for weight management and of the latter to support cardiovascular health. 

The technology behind L-tug fat conversion is the use of some safe food molecules, which are present in nature as essential micro-constituents in all plant and animal fats. During industrial extraction and refining of plant oils, these molecules are typically removed, making fat much too easy to digest. Lycotec technology reconstitutes the deficiency in industrially produced fats which are used on the production of chocolate by doping them in a ratio of 1 part of L-tug to 10,000, 100,000 or even more parts of lipids. As a result of this, the size of the lipid droplets or fat globules is dramatically enlarged, which leads to an increase in the time needed for their digestion. The changes in the fat digestibility are stable even when this chocolate is blended with, or added to, another food matrix such as ice cream, yogurt, milk, pastries, etc. L-tug does not change the chocolate taste and mouth melting experience, and is resistant to pasteurisation, boiling or cooking.

The change in fat digestibility is the result of an engineering process, therefore L-tug food health claims do not need EFSA or FDA approval, but can have the claims under the category of Food for Special Medical purposes. This would require only national authority notification and a scientific dossier to substantiate the claims, which Lycotec now has. Moreover, since L-tug technology does not create any new chemical entities, there is no need for Novel Food status approval.

Dr Ivan Petyaev, the inventor of this weight management and cholesterol-lowering chocolate, and the founder of Lycotec, states that application of this innovation could be a game-changer for the chocolate industry, and remove the stigma of health harm from the most enjoyed treat.

Both milk and dark L-tug chocolates will be introduced to industry and to investment leaders next month in London at the Future Food-Tech conference. 

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