Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mars breaks new ground in heart health with Cocoavia™

20.09.2005


New cocoa-based snacks first to deliver real heart-health benefits, premium chocolate taste

With heart disease remaining the nation’s number one killer, Americans increasingly are looking for options to improve their heart health. Now there’s a new product hitting store shelves that will allow them to satisfy their passion for chocolate while being good to their heart.

CocoaViaTM is a revolutionary new line of heart-healthy snacks that combines real chocolate pleasure with ingredients formulated to promote a healthy heart. Ingredients in CocoaViaTM can significantly reduce LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels and promote healthy circulation to maintain heart health.



Created after more than a decade of research, CocoaViaTM is the only product that contains a patented blend of heart-healthy cocoa flavanols and cholesterol-lowering plant sterols from soy. The new line of snacks also is fortified with calcium and a mix of heart-healthy nutrients including folic acid, vitamins B-6, B-12, C and E. CocoaViaTM is made by Mars Nutrition for Health & Well-Being, a new division of Mars, Incorporated, makers of some of the world’s best-loved, great-tasting chocolate brands. "CocoaViaTM is the vanguard of our efforts to ’reinvent’ cocoa as an ingredient in healthful foods," said Dr. Harold Schmitz, chief science officer at Mars. "It’s a first-of-its-kind product that was purposely designed to deliver heart-health benefits and real chocolate pleasure in products that are less than 150 calories per serving."

Mars first introduced CocoaViaTM granola-based snack bars nearly two years ago and sold the product exclusively on the Internet. Now a full line of CocoaViaTM products – including new chocolate bars (original, crispy and blueberry & almond) and chocolate-covered almonds – will be available at retail beginning in October. Pre-orders can be made online at www.cocoavia.com until the product reaches national distribution.

Science-Based Benefits

Mars is the global leader in cocoa science, collaborating with researchers at leading universities like Harvard and the University of California-Davis to explore the health benefits of cocoa flavanols – the powerhouse compounds found naturally in cocoa beans that are similar to those found in red wine and green tea. Scientists have been encouraged by the growing number of independent studies that indicate cocoa flavanols may help influence factors associated with clotting and promote a healthy blood flow. Other studies suggest that cocoa flavanols can improve the health of blood vessels and reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol that can lead to clogged arteries.

"It is clear that cocoa flavanols represent an intriguing new area of research with significant implications for nutrition and cardiovascular health," said Dr. Carl L. Keen, a professor of nutrition and internal medicine at the University of California-Davis, who has led multiple studies on the health benefits of cocoa flavanols.

CocoaViaTM is the first product to be launched under the new business unit, Mars Nutrition for Health & Well-Being. The new division is charged with developing new foods, snacks, beverages and lifestyle support to better serve the nutritional well-being needs of the consumer.

It’s in the Flavanols

While flavanols are found naturally in cocoa beans, traditional cocoa processing often destroys many of these potentially heart-healthy compounds.

"Flavanols are essentially missing from much of the chocolate on store shelves today," said Schmitz. "Research clearly shows that a high cocoa or dark chocolate content cannot guarantee that a product can deliver the same potential heart-health benefits as the Mars flavanol-rich cocoa.

After 15 years of scientific research on flavanols, Mars developed a patented and proprietary process called Cocoapro® that helps ensure the heart-healthy flavanols remain active and are not destroyed. This technology guarantees that CocoaViaTM contains a consistent level of cocoa flavanols – which is what really counts when you’re talking about cocoa and heart health, according to Schmitz.

"The very exciting potential heart-health benefits of cocoa flavanols is not about simply adding more cocoa or consuming any dark chocolate," he added. "In fact, the percentage of cocoa in a product is meaningless. Research from several universities clearly shows that it’s about retaining the flavanols from the cocoa bean so you’re confident of enjoying a flavanol-rich, cocoa-based product."

Each serving of CocoaViaTM contains at least 100 milligrams of naturally occurring cocoa flavanols. And since each serving is packed with the heart-healthy flavanols, you can eat a relatively small portion and still reap the benefits. That means less fat and fewer calories compared to a regular, larger-sized chocolate bar. A 0.78-ounce CocoaViaTM Original Chocolate Bar contains 100 calories, while a serving of the CocoaViaTM Chocolate-Covered Almonds contains 140 calories.

Heart-Healthy Regimen

Research conducted at the University of California-Davis and reported at the American Heart Association meeting this past November found that two servings of CocoaViaTM snack bars significantly lowered total and LDL cholesterol levels, without impacting HDL or "good" cholesterol. Each snack bar contains 1.5 grams of natural plant sterols from soy.

"Natural plant sterols are a clinically proven ingredient that can lower blood cholesterol," said Schmitz, who directs a multi-million dollar research budget at Mars. "Many cardiologists and family physicians have been recommending sterol-fortified products like margarines to their at-risk patients as a way to help lower elevated cholesterol levels. Now, there’s a great-tasting option that naturally combines these cholesterol-lowering benefits with the exciting potential cardiovascular health benefits of cocoa flavanols." Including natural plant sterols from soy in the diet has been recommended by the American Heart Association and the National Cholesterol Education Program as one lifestyle change that can lower cholesterol levels significantly. The Food and Drug Administration approved a health claim based on the evidence that natural plant sterols may help reduce heart disease risk by lowering cholesterol.

"When eaten everyday, CocoaViaTM can help contribute to a heart-healthy lifestyle," said Kristine Clark, PhD, RD, nutrition professor at Pennsylvania State University. "Combined with daily exercise and a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, CocoaViaTM can play a valuable role in maintaining heart health."

Captures Your Passion for Chocolate Pleasure

"While the product provides real chocolate pleasure, you will only find it in the healthy foods section, not the candy aisle" said Jim Cass, vice president of sales and marketing at Mars Nutrition for Health & Well-Being. "That’s because it delivers real heart-health benefits supported by sound science."

The brand name "CocoaViaTM" was derived from the vision that a new and exciting way to good health is through flavanol-rich cocoa. Cass said CocoaViaTM is the nexus of taste and health – the only snack that provides real chocolate pleasure and real heart-health benefits.

"Who knows more about capturing great chocolate taste than Mars, the makers of some of the country’s best-loved chocolate brands such as M&M’S®, Dove® Chocolates and Snickers®, " said Cass. "We’ve been able to maximize the flavor and the health benefits in one unique cocoa-based product."

CocoaViaTM will be sold in the healthy foods section of grocery stores, drug stores and mass merchandisers such as Wal-Mart and Target. The new line of CocoaViaTM products, which includes the tagline "Be Good to Your Heart Every Day" on the label, can be pre-ordered before they are available in stores at www.cocoavia.com.

Rachel McMahon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cocoavia.com
http://www.webershandwick.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New antibody analysis accelerates rational vaccine design
09.08.2018 | Scripps Research Institute

nachricht Distrust of power influences choice of medical procedures
01.08.2018 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

Im Focus: A molecular switch may serve as new target point for cancer and diabetes therapies

If certain signaling cascades are misregulated, diseases like cancer, obesity and diabetes may occur. A mechanism recently discovered by scientists at the Leibniz- Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in Berlin and at the University of Geneva has a crucial influence on such signaling cascades and may be an important key for the future development of therapies against these diseases. The results of the study have just been published in the prestigious scientific journal 'Molecular Cell'.

Cell growth and cell differentiation as well as the release and efficacy of hormones such as insulin depend on the presence of lipids. Lipids are small...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Can radar replace stethoscopes?

14.08.2018 | Medical Engineering

The end-Cretaceous extinction unleashed modern shark diversity

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Light-controlled molecules: Scientists develop new recycling strategy

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>