Shaking off pandemic pounds: Unibar launches capsaicin extract
23 Jul 2020 --- Unibar has launched a capsaicin extract called CapZfuel to help active consumers in COVID-19 isolation better convert fat to energy. As the pandemic has led to the closure of public gyms and increased at-home exercising, CapZfuel helps support non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) to burn body fat and provide a boost to energy and endurance. Notably, it features a special coating to ensure it can be safely absorbed in the intestines.
“There has been a big uptick in the number of people working out at home, but many people can’t afford all the home-gym equipment. Supplementing even a small exercise routine with CapZfuel will help consumers get the most out of their at-home or outdoor workouts and will enhance their efforts when they begin going to the gym again too,” Sevanti Mehta, President of Unibar, tells NutritionInsight.
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a significant focus on health and well-being among consumers. With the lockdowns gradually lifting in many regions, a revival of food and beverages in the diet and weight management category is anticipated for people trying to feel fit and lose weight after confinement. Crucially, industry experts highlight how the sports nutrition sector is even moving away from weight loss and toward weight management.
NEAT turns existing body fat into energy during physical activity unrelated to sports exercise.While fiber is a staple ingredient in weight management, Mehta affirms that soluble fiber may decelerate the digestion process without any thermogenesis effect. “What is unique about capsaicin is that, unlike soluble fibers, it induces NEAT, which is an important part of weight management. It helps to actually burn existing body fat and uses that fat as an energy source for better exercise and sports performance.”
Capsaicin, derived from Capsicum annuum, is the molecule within chili peppers that give them their pungency. Contained in enteric-coated beadlets, CapZfuel is delivered directly to the intestines where it can be absorbed without unnecessary damage or irritation to the stomach and gut. Crucially, CapZfuel does not dissolve in the stomach, which has a pH level of about 2. “The enteric coating will release only when the pH level is about 6.8 and facilitates absorption,” Mehta explains.
“Typically, gastric irritation is caused when capsaicin is released in the stomach, which also leads to poor absorption in the body,” he details. The ingredient is suitable for tablets, capsules, licaps (suspension of CapZfuel in oil) and beverage premixes.
Unlike other capsaicin options on the market, CapZfuel is free from pharmaceutical excipients, like methacrylate, and achieves better dissolution and palatability without the use of surfactants and soothing agents.
“Methacrylate is not commonly used in dietary ingredients or supplements in the US, even though it is allowed in small quantities. We use proprietary methods of formulation in the development of CapZfuel that delivers a potent and safe ingredient as a single molecule without the need for methacrylate and surfactants,” affirms Mehta.
Throughout the past few pandemic-stricken months, NutritionInsight spoke with experts from the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA), which is working to ensure the sports sector at large can come out of this crisis “stronger than ever.” Meanwhile, Arla Foods Ingredients shared how it is handling the outbreak and its impact on the dairy segment within the sports nutrition sector.
NutritionInsight also spoke with Mehta on how the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated eye health concerns, following Unibar’s launch of its eye health-supporting ingredient CapsiClear in March.
By Anni Schleicher
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