Corazonas Foods, Inc., creators of great-tasting, heart-healthy snack foods, has announced an exclusive licensing agreement with Brandeis University to utilize its technology in creating several new categories of heart-healthy snacks. Brandeis’s innovative technology allows high levels of plant sterols to be incorporated into snack foods while retaining the product’s outstanding flavor.
The partnership’s first venture, Corazonas Heart-Healthy Tortilla Chips, are currently the first and only snack chips clinically proven to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, a.k.a. “bad cholesterol,” by up to 15 percent. The chips have been a huge hit since debuting in early 2006, further demonstrating the overwhelming consumer demand for healthful snack alternatives without sacrificing great taste.
Patented by Brandeis researchers K.C. Hayes, Daniel Perlman, and Andy Pronczuk, the cutting-edge technology has allowed the creation of foods fortified with natural (chemically unmodified) plant sterols. Found naturally in fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products and most vegetable oils, plant sterol levels are usually too low to effectively combat LDL cholesterol. The Brandeis technology makes natural plant sterols biologically available in oils at concentrations of 2 to 25 percent, enabling them to effectively block cholesterol absorption and reduce LDL levels.
A variety of scientific studies have shown that plant sterols, when appropriately added to other foods, can lower blood cholesterol and reduce risk for coronary heart disease. Brandeis University has licensed its patents exclusively in the field of snack products to Corazonas Foods, which will create additional categories of plant-sterol enhanced foods expanding beyond tortilla chips to other popular snacks including cookies, crackers and potato chips.
“Brandeis University has been a dream partner,” said Ramona Cappello, Corazonas Foods chief executive officer. “We’ve been able to take an American favorite, tortilla chips, and produce them with healthy ingredients to create a crunchy, good-for-you and absolutely delicious snack. In the United States, half the population suffers from borderline to high cholesterol. It’s very rewarding for our Corazonas team to be providing a product that we know can make a real difference in people’s heart health.”
“Brandeis is thrilled that Corazonas is successfully turning our basic discovery into products that have both a positive health benefit and are gaining broad acceptance by consumers,” said Irene Abrams, executive director of the Office of Technology Licensing at Brandeis University. “We are confident that Corazonas will be as successful with its new line of products as they have been with the tortilla chips.”
The chips are currently available in three flavors: Original, Jalapeño Jack and Salsa Picante. Three additional flavors – Margarita Lime, Cilantro Salsa Fresca and Baja Bean Dip – are launching this fall.