Leicestershire company Omniceutica Limited has received backing from the Food and Drink Innovation Network (iNet) to help develop, test and commercialise its unique new sports recovery drink, fuelSAQ™.

The firm, based at Asfordby Business Park, Melton Mowbray, has created a formulation that offers a range of benefits, not just as a sports recovery drink but potentially as a platform for other nutraceutical opportunities.

The unique drink not only reduces the ‘sugar drop’ experienced by athletes and commonly described as ‘hitting the wall’, but the base that’s been developed can be used as the foundation for a range of different products that can provide health benefits for the heart, joints and other parts of the body.

Omniceutica (www.omtca.com) has now completed successful pilot studies of fuelSAQ™ and tested the product using professional sports people and elite athletes, under the direction of the world-renowned sports training company, SAQ International Limited, which is also based at Asfordby Business Park.

Professional cricketers at Derbyshire Cricket Club, including veteran first-class, one-day and international bowler, Steffan Jones, were among those who tested the product, and the results showed that their fatigue was reduced over several hours by between 21% and 49% in tests, when compared to a placebo (‘dummy’) drink. Jones also stated that his energy levels were maintained over a long period when consuming fuelSAQ™.

Omniceutica and SAQ will now use the results and positive feedback from these and other athletes who have trialled the product, to support promotion of fuelSAQ™ to third parties via a distribution, acquisition or out-licensing deal, or to market the drink directly through its own niche channels, including online via www.fuelSAQ.com.

“The unique selling point of the product, compared to currently available sports drinks, is its multi-component formulation that provides several benefits in a single serving,” said Glen Martyn, Omniceutica’s managing director.

“Patent protection is being sought for the proprietary formulation but the novel combination of ingredients present in the fuelSAQ™ product , namely a stimulant, together with a carbohydrate providing sustained energy and also hydrolysed protein, offers unique nutritional and physiological benefits including, for example, an expected blunted insulin response.”

The Food and Drink iNet, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), awarded Omniceutica a £10,000 grant to help with development.

The funding was used towards field trials of the proprietary drink that documented information on the product’s impact on performance, endurance and recovery – ultimately enabling Omniceutica to finesse the marketing strategy.

“One of the roles of the Food and Drink iNet is to support innovative new product development in the sector, and the drink developed by Omniceutica appears to have significant potential,” said Food and Drink iNet director Richard Worrall.

“fuelSAQ™ has been designed specifically for professional and elite athletes, but is also likely to appeal to, in a slightly modified form, amateur athletes and young people”, said Glen Martyn, a qualified pharmacist with experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector.

The drink contains a rapid-acting stimulant and a slow release carbohydrate component which has a longer lasting energy profile compared to conventional sugars and which also avoids spikes in plasma insulin. The formulation also comprises a protein hydrolysate that has been demonstrated in clinical trials to accelerate recovery from exercise and increase physical performance.

“We believe there is an opportunity for a single product which can provide sustained energy and aid recovery, all without producing a plasma insulin peak and resultant glucose drop often seen with other sports drinks,” he added.

“There is a potential market of around 27million people in the UK who regularly buy health and sports drinks to help them through busy schedules and fitness regimes. We believe the global potential for this product is huge. We would like to thank the iNet and their team, Stevie Jackson in particular, for their constant support and helpful input over the last nine months, without which we would not have entered this critical phase of testing.”

Omniceutica Limited is a specialist product development and consultancy organisation working on the development of pharmaceutical and functional food products.

The Food and Drink iNet co-ordinates innovation support for businesses, universities and individuals working in the food and drink sector in the East Midlands. It has developed an effective network to encourage the collaboration of academic expertise and knowledge, and local food and drink business innovation needs.

It aims to build on the tradition of innovation in the food and drink industry in the regionby helping to create opportunities to develop knowledge and skills, and to help research, develop and implement new products, markets, services and processes.

The Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by The Food and Drink Forum and including Quotec Ltd (formerly Food Processing Faraday), Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham. It is based at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, with advisors covering the East Midlands region.



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