NEWS

NEWS

SOBAR wins as Best Health or Wellness Food in global awards competition

March 5, 2020

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Today at an awards ceremony in London, UK, FoodBev Media announced that SOBAR won the category in the World Food Innovation Awards as Best Health or Wellness Food for 2020. Out a deep pool of 17 entries, the SOBAR was chosen as the most innovative food-based approach in this area. The SOBAR is a unique protein-bar snack and the world's first food specifically designed to reduce alcohol absorption. Although eating any food before drinking can reduce alcohol absorption, the SOBAR was designed to accomplish this goal with greater caloric efficiency and in clinical testing worked about 2x as well per calorie consumed compared to other typical foods eaten before consuming alcohol. Alcohol is a major contributor to global morbidity and death and the SOBAR is the first purpose driven food to address this problem head on.

Zeno Functional Foods is currently selling the SOBAR in the U.S. but is planning to expand to other countries around the world by the end of 2020. With over 2.5B global users of alcohol and both U.S. and international patents pending, the SOBAR is poised to be a leader in this targeted area of functional food usage in the future.

SOBAR is a finalist in two categories for FoodBev's World Food Innovation Awards

February 12, 2020

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Today FoodBev Media announced the shortlisted finalists for all 28 categories of its World Food Innovation Awards. This global competition seeks out the most creative new foods that have been recently launched and pits the largest companies, such as ALDI and Danone, against the smallest emerging brands.

Zeno Functional Food's SOBAR® was honored as being a finalist in both of the two categories where it was entered:

  • Best Health or Wellness Food
  • Best Snacking Innovation

The winners of the competition will be announced at the HRC show in London on March 5, 2020.

Clinical trial results published demonstrating the SOBAR's efficacy

November 26, 2019

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In conjunction with a world leader in functional food clinical evaluations, INQUIS Clinical Research, Zeno Functional Foods has initiated a clinical trial to put the SOBAR to the test. The trial is designed to rigorously evaluate the effect of the SOBAR on alcohol bioavailability (absorption into the systemic circulation) as compared to eating no food or other conventional foods; the trial has been posted to the US government website clinicaltrials.gov. The design of the trial was based on the results obtained using SOBAR prototype bars in clinical case studies (done for both cocktail and wine consumption). In the case study (tested on one individual, 3x for each condition), the SOBAR was effective at reducing the peak blood alcohol level achieved after drinking 2 x 5oz glasses of wine even if it was eaten along with the wine (food consumed during the first 5 minutes of wine drinking). Compared to control foods with the same caloric content, the SOBAR had a significantly greater effect than the savory snack mix or energy bar tested

THE CLINICAL TRIAL

The trial will be a four-arm controlled and randomized design incorporating 20 healthy subjects (10 women, 10 men) and it has received IRB approval for its start in Toronto, Canada. Each test subject will eat a standardized dinner (provided), fast overnight and then report to the Inquis clinic the next morning. There they will consume either no food or a test food (a savory snack mix or SOBAR (210 calories) or a full meal (635 calories)) and then drink a cocktail over 10 minutes. The cocktail is tailored to each individual's weight and sex, but for an average sized man (70kg) it is equivalent to about 3oz of 80-proof liquor, or a double cocktail equivalent. Each subject will repeat this procedure 4x, at 1 week intervals, to complete the study with each subject having tried the no food and 3 different food conditions. The trial is planned to be completed by July of 2019 with the results being published in a peer reviewed scientific journal and posted to the www.getsobars.com website. This trial is unique in that the SOBAR is the first food to be developed to reduce alcohol bioavailability and rigorously evaluated in human testing.

The SOBAR is Launched Through Internet-Based Sales Channels

November 20, 2019

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The first three flavors of the SOBAR, White Chocolate Almond, Caramel Macchiato, and Honey Peanut, are now available for purchase through the internet. Initially, these products can be ordered through this website, www.getsobars.com. Over the latter part of 2019 and early 2020, other internet based sales channels will be added to distribute the SOBAR including:

  • Large and diverse e-commerce marketplaces including Amazon.com and Walmart.com.
  • Sellers of beer, wine, and spirits and related products.
  • Specialty distributors in the grocery, health, and wellness areas.

To facilitate the internet product launch, Zeno Functional Foods has partnered with Whitebox, Inc., a leader in e-commerce logistics solutions who will be handling all product fulfillment, returns, and customer support.

Starting in Q2 of 2020, the SOBAR will begin sales with select retail partners in limited geographic regions; please check this website for updates on retail availability.

The SOBAR Randomized Clinical Trial is Initiated

March 8, 2019

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In conjunction with a world leader in functional food clinical evaluations, INQUIS Clinical Research, Zeno Functional Foods has initiated a clinical trial to put the SOBAR to the test. The trial is designed to rigorously evaluate the effect of the SOBAR on alcohol bioavailability (absorption into the systemic circulation) as compared to eating no food or other conventional foods; the trial has been posted to the US government website clinicaltrials.gov. The design of the trial was based on the results obtained using SOBAR prototype bars in clinical case studies (done for both cocktail and wine consumption). In the case study (tested on one individual, 3x for each condition), the SOBAR was effective at reducing the peak blood alcohol level achieved after drinking 2 x 5oz glasses of wine even if it was eaten along with the wine (food consumed during the first 5 minutes of wine drinking). Compared to control foods with the same caloric content, the SOBAR had a significantly greater effect than the savory snack mix or energy bar tested

THE CLINICAL TRIAL

The trial will be a four-arm controlled and randomized design incorporating 20 healthy subjects (10 women, 10 men) and it has received IRB approval for its start in Toronto, Canada. Each test subject will eat a standardized dinner (provided), fast overnight and then report to the Inquis clinic the next morning. There they will consume either no food or a test food (a savory snack mix or SOBAR (210 calories) or a full meal (635 calories)) and then drink a cocktail over 10 minutes. The cocktail is tailored to each individual's weight and sex, but for an average sized man (70kg) it is equivalent to about 3oz of 80-proof liquor, or a double cocktail equivalent. Each subject will repeat this procedure 4x, at 1 week intervals, to complete the study with each subject having tried the no food and 3 different food conditions. The trial is planned to be completed by July of 2019 with the results being published in a peer reviewed scientific journal and posted to the www.getsobars.com website. This trial is unique in that the SOBAR is the first food to be developed to reduce alcohol bioavailability and rigorously evaluated in human testing.

ZENO Advances the SOBAR Intellectual Property Portfolio

January 25, 2019

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Zeno Functional Foods has completed both its US and PCT patent filings around both SOBAR and the Alco-HOLD technology as part of its intellectual property strategy. ZENO has previously obtained trademark registration for both the product name (SOBAR) as well as the underlying food ingredient technology (Alco-HOLD) and intends to use these marks as key components of branding on both packaging and web based promotional strategies.



ZENO Trademark Applications

PATENTS

ZENO established an invention priority date in 2018 using a US provisional patent filing strategy. This filing covered the basis for the Alco-HOLD technology as well as its use for delaying gastric emptying and associated applications for alcohol and drug absorption, as well as carbohydrate digestion and metabolism. On January 25th, 2019 ZENO followed up the provisional application with full patent applications for the US and PCT; these are expected to be published by their respective agencies by August of 2019. During this period, ZENO plans to complete a clinical trial demonstrating the effectiveness of the SOBAR, as compared to other foods, in reducing alcohol bioavailability and using the trial results to further bolster its pending patent applications. ZENO plans to expand the SOBAR intellectual property portfolio based on the results from future clinical testing as well as from distribution of the product to new geographic areas, in particular the EU and Asia.

The SOBAR Beta-Testing Program is Completed

August 14, 2018

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A SOBAR beta-testing program initiated in the spring of 2018 has been completed. SOBAR prototype bars were produced in two flavors (Vanilla, Honey & Coconut & Double Chocolate Chip) and were distributed to a broad range of testers in the US. Each flavor had 250 calories and 20g of protein per bar/serving and contained ZENO's proprietary Alco-HOLD formulation designed to reduce alcohol absorption.

THE TESTERS

Beta-testers with a variety of backgrounds were used in this program including individuals, bloggers/influencers, those involved in the wine and spirits industry, as well as organizations involved in public health initiatives related to the use of alcohol. The bars were tested both casually as well as in more "controlled" situations; testers were asked for subjective feedback related to the bar's taste, ease of consumption, and its effect on alcohol absorption.

FEEDBACK

Although there was a wide range of responses, the consensus opinion of the testers was the following:

  • The concept was sound and most could see a scenario where the use of the bar made sense or was highly desirable.
  • It was somewhat difficult to eat, too chewy, needed more flavor, and after a few weeks became too hard.
  • If the number of calories could be reduced it would more attractive, around 200 would be ideal.
  • The bars had a surprisingly strong moderation on the effect of alcohol when they were consumed before drinking.

Based on the feedback from the beta-testing program, ZENO is planning to develop second generation bars that would be improved in all of the areas pointed out by the testers with a target of close to 200 calories per bar. This new version of the SOBAR will continue to have the Alco-HOLD formulation and be validated to maintain the effects of the prototypes on reduction of alcohol absorption and bioavailability.

ZENO Identifies Key Food Components That Efficiently Reduce Alcohol Absorption

January 21, 2018

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Zeno Functional Foods has completed a systematic study of the ability of snack foods, macronutrients, polysaccharide fibers, and their combinations to influence alcohol absorption and metabolism. Using an in-human case study approach, individual foods or test nutrition bars were eaten as part of a controlled testing protocol at Zeno to evaluate their ability to reduce alcohol absorption and peak blood alcohol levels as well as overall alcohol bioavailability. The protocol consisted of a subject eating a standardized lunch followed by a six hour fasting period; the test food was then consumed and a defined alcoholic cocktail (20% alcohol by volume, 0.35g alcohol/kg bodyweight, about a "double cocktail equivalent") which was finished over 10 minutes. The blood alcohol level was then estimated using a calibrated breathalyzer over the next 90 minutes with the effect of the foods eaten compared to the no food (empty stomach) condition.

The medical literature suggested, but had not proven, that certain macronutrients and fibers might influence alcohol absorption through an effect on the gastric emptying rate. The rate of gastric emptying has been established as an important influencer of alcohol absorption and first pass metabolism and because of this, was targeted as a key mechanism for the development of the SOBAR. A wide array of prepared foods were tested including chips, savory snack mixes, cheese, nuts, granola/protein/nut bars, bananas, cookies, and full meals. In addition to these foods, test nutrition bars were formulated that were high in carbohydrate, fat, or protein and combinations of these with polysaccharide fibers were evaluated. The results of this work indicated that snack bars that had particular combinations of macronutrients and fiber types were the most efficient, per calorie, on reducing peak blood alcohol levels and alcohol bioavailability.

Alco-HOLD

ZENO's unique combination of ingredients used for the purpose of reducing alcohol bioavailability has been named Alco-HOLD since its presumed mechanism of action is that of holding alcohol in the stomach for a longer period due to delaying gastric emptying. The company plans to both use this formulation in the development of the SOBAR as well as to file broadly for patent protection for these novel and important research results.