Healthy food for Americans

The American food conglomerate General Mills signed a licensing agreement for MultiBene, developed by Professor Heikki Karppanen.

MultiBene logo The licence entitles General Mills to manufacture and market MultiBene breakfast cereals, cereal bars, yoghurts and soy-based drinks in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Heikki Karppanen, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Helsinki, is the father of the MultiBene innovation. It is based on research by the Universities of Helsinki, Kuopio and Oulu and the National Public Health Institute.

MultiBene is a combination of cholesterol-lowering plant sterols with the beneficial mineral nutrients calcium, potassium and magnesium. It has been studied for several years with the support of Tekes, the National Technology Agency of Finland. Research results show that foods containing this combination lower elevated serum cholesterol and the mineral composition lowers blood pressure and strengthens the bones. The innovation can be applied to most foods and drinks. In animal experiments, MultiBene has also reduced obesity.

The innovation is protected by patents world wide. The food manufacturers Ingman, Fazer and Pouttu have previously signed a licensing agreement for some MultiBene foods in Finland and neighbouring areas. Products have not yet reached the shops.

"MultiBene is a prime example of how basic research can give rise to innovations that can be commercialised," says Professor Karppanen.

More information at www.multibene.com.

Text: Tapio Nurminen
Photo: MultiBene
2.11.2004
www.helsinki.fi/digitalcommunications

Translation: Valtasana Oy

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