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Avesthagen gets marketing rights for Finnish co's product

Our Bureau

Bangalore , July 20

THE Bangalore-based Avesthagen announced that it has signed an agreement with the Raisio Group of Finland giving Avesthagen exclusive marketing rights to Raisio's product - Benecol in India.

Benecol is a plant-derived product, which has been shown to lower cholesterol levels in 40 separate clinical trials conducted globally. It is widely used as a food ingredient in products such as yoghurt,milk-based drinks, margarine, pasta, cereal bars, ready-to-eat casseroles, mayonnaise-based salads and cheese in the US and the European Union (EU).

According to Mr Tehmaas Gorimaar, Senior Vice-President AQUAS, Benecol will be marketed by AQUAS, the services and sales arm of Avesthagen. "Avesthagen is rolling out its functional food programme with the marketing of Benecol. We are in talks with several potential customers to make Benecol available in India. Our target market is the large number of food and dairy companies that are developing new products or line extensions that incorporate nutraceuticals of proven value," said Mr Gorimaar.

Mr Intekhab Mufti, VP, Business Development, Natural Products, Avesthagen, adds, "It is part of an overall strategy of the company to introduce a line of scientifically proven nutritional bioactives that are effective in addressing health-related problems and can be added to food and beverages. Avesthagen has several products in progressive stages of research and development to support its plans for tapping the potential of the functional foods market."

Benecol has received GRAS (Generally Recognised as Safe) status in the US, and Benecol margarine has received FOSHU (Foods for specific health use) status in Japan. It has also been evaluated by food authorities in several EU countries prior to its launch, says a company release.

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