Food-tech start-up SolvEat brings research-supported botanical compositions to the functional foods space. The bioactive solution is designed to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels when used as part of a regular diet. SolvEat collaborated with a chocolate company to develop a chocolate bar prototype as a first proof of concept. SolvEat will introduce the new composition at Fi Europe in Frankfurt, booth no. 3.0L151
Necessity drives invention
The incentive for creating a functional chocolate was a prediabetes diagnosis received by one of the founders, Udi Peretz, CEO of SolvEat while managing a herbal biotech company. Colleagues suggested an herbal approach was effective. However, Peretz found the herbs to be incredibly bitter and needing a significant amount of effort to prepare.
The patent-pending herbal solution is a composition of eight different herbs, including golden thread (Coptis chinensis), Chinese foxglove (Rehmannia glutinosa), and Hawthorn Berries (Crataegus pinnatifida) which work together to support balanced blood sugar levels.
“Our botanical formula takes inspiration from the wisdom of various schools of traditional herbal medicines emanating from the East and West,” asserts Tal Naveh, SolvEat co-founder and Director of Herbal Medicine. “We merge them into one all-encompassing bio active composition that is supported by modern science. “The botanical extracts in our solution work synergistically to balance blood sugar levels through supporting various organs in the body and that’s why each is essential to the efficacy of the formula.”
The formula was developed by SolvEat’s multidisciplinary R&D team, which includes herbal medicine specialist Tal Naveh, and Orna Levin, MD, a clinical expert specializing in herbal product development. The two worked with leading Chinese medicine and herbal experts, Prof. Xia Long Prof. He Yuxin.
“Several herbal sets were screened using a pharmacological model to obtain the optimal composition,” explains Zacki Nudelman PhD, co-founder, CBO and Scientific Affairs Officer of SolvEat. “With the support of leading academics in the fields of natural ingredients we used the most refined scientific methods and instrumentation to identify the dominant bioactive compounds in each botanical extract, as well as their synergism of action as one formula.”
In vitro analysis confirmed the composition’s sugar-balancing effect on muscle cells, one of the body’s biggest consumers of sugar. The results demonstrated a significant uptake of excess glucose, comparable to the action of insulin. Interestingly, this effect was observed when utilizing a low dose of the full spectrum of the formula, indicating its potency and holistic action. Higher doses did not yield any further enhancement in the results.
Partial compositions did not elicit the same level of positive effect. In a preliminary clinical observation, the herb-infused chocolate demonstrated significant abilities to reduce blood sugar by 10 to 24 percent in 10 out of 12 prediabetic participants. A full clinical trial is in progress.
“Our herbal composition uses moderate doses of a broad spectrum of botanicals that work in harmony to evoke a gentle, yet powerful effect, and is suitable for daily consumption,” notes Nudelman. “This also prevents the occurrence of any potential risks that might be associated with consuming high doses of botanicals.” Moreover, using herbal compositions, as opposed to a single ingredient, offers a more effective, holistic, and safer approach.
A guilt-free chocolate prototype
The SolvEat solution brings good news to many prediabetics (a vast population of consumers) and health-conscious consumers in the form of a delicious chocolate bar prototype. The company successfully integrated its botanical composition in an indulgent yet guilt-free chocolate bar. Chocolate can help make supplementation for maintaining a favorable blood-sugar balance easier to digest for many consumers.
The chocolate serves as the first delivery system produced by the start-up showcasing its capacity to incorporate the benefits of traditional clinically validated herbal remedies into everyday foods. The start-up says its microencapsulated formula can be seamlessly integrated into a variety of food applications without impacting the flavor.
SolvEat was established in 2020 with a mission to sweeten the approach for consuming botanicals by including them into everyday foods. The company’s new composition is flavorless, microencapsulated and can be incorporated into snack bars, yogurts, crackers, cookies, and other products.
SolvEat’s proprietary food-tech platform for fortifying its sugar-free chocolate as well as variety of foods employs advanced technology designed to not only mask the bitter taste of the botanicals but also maintains the integrity and bioactivity of the active ingredients after ingestion.
The dark chocolate bar prototype, produced by the Israel-based boutique chocolatier Ornat, Ltd., was sweetened with natural sugar alternatives, including monk fruit. “Other botanical formulations targeting additional health categories are in the pipeline,” adds Peretz. “We are also exploring multiple food applications that could act as innovative palate-pleasing carriers for our custom formulations. We expect more creations will be unveiled in the very near future.”
Visit us at Fi Europe 2023 in Frankfurt on November 28-30, booth no. 3.0L151