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Ceylon cinnamon making weight loss progress for French start-up

By Shane Starling+

02-Sep-2013

French start-up supplier Dialpha Laboratories is gaining success with Ceylon cinnamon extracts promoting weight loss after just a few months on the market.

The 4-year-old company recently moved into bigger premises at its base in Montpellier in the south of France and has signed contracts with Eurochem in Germany, Han Sient in Taiwan and Horn in the US with its branded cinnamon extract, MealShape.

“The ingredient will be officially launched in the US at the Supply Side West in November,” business development director, Jean-Christophe Lonjon told us when we visited the firm’s new HQ recently.

Other distributors from Asia and Middle East will come very soon as discussions are really in good progress.”

While MealShape has only just been launched, Dialpha Laboratories was formed in 2009 and has been researching various ingredients with weight management and post-prandial potential ever since.

It has won government support for its research projects and teamed with French research innovation hubs like INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research) and CIRAD (Agricultural Research Development).

Dialpha has a science-first approach and has invested in clinical studies that have shown positive results and which are in the process of being sent for peer review. Other studies are in the pipeline.

“Our president Nicolas Chapal comes from the pharma sector so the importance of clinical data is understood here,” Lonjon said.

Claims, science

He said data would form a dossier to win a health claim in the EU for cinnamon, as well as in other places. Cinnamon is one of about 1700 botanical claims that is on-hold in the EU while regulators deliberate on how best to treat the science in the area.

Some of the Dialpha team at their new premise in Montpellier [Lonjon middle back; Chapal middle front].

“Until the EU decides claims can be made in some countries if they already existed or by blending with approved nutrients,” he observed. “Europe is very important for us but while we wait for the situation to be clarified we are targeting other regions like Asia.”

The company kicked off its marketing for MealShape at Vitafoods Europe in Geneva in May this year, where the powder was promoted for food, beverage and supplement applications.

MealShape is standardised to 40% polyphenol content and functions as a starch blocker by inhibiting alpha amylase activity, “thereby blocking carbs and lowering the glycaemic response after a meal.”

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