The number of new products making satiety claims has soared, with more than 40 new launches globally in the first quarter of 2008, compared to 60 for the whole of 2007 and 32 in 2006, according to Mintel.
At least 50% of launches were based on proteins or/and fibres, with more likely to follow as research into pea, potato, whey, milk and other proteins increases.
While more unusual satiety-boosting ingredients are largely confined to dietary supplements, some have been incorporated into foods, notably PinnoThin, the appetite-suppressant from Lipid Nutrition (in chocolate and smoothies); and DSM's Fabuless (in dairy shots, yoghurt drinks and meal replacements).
Other potentially exciting hunger-busting ingredients like extracts from the succulent Caralluma fimbriatra will need to progress through the Novel Food Regulation before they can gain EU access, although Hong Kong-based Gencor Pacific says it will file an application this year.
Hoodia, the subject of a tie-up between Phytopharm and Unilever, also has regulatory hurdles to cross before it hits the mainstream food market.
Other satiety boosters such as potato protein Slendesta from Kemin Health are now branching out beyond supplements into foods following the launch of new water-soluble versions, says global marketing manager Isabel Farinha. "Some of the biggest players are already performing trials." Satiety products must deliver discernible dips in appetite to work, she says. "But the choice of claims is also important in order to avoid raising false expectations in consumers."