banner

SOBAR

Just in time for the season of holiday happy hours, office parties, and festive family gatherings, a company called Zeno Functional Foods is introducing a protein bar formulated specifically to help promote sobriety by reducing alcohol absorption. Aptly named the SOBAR, the new bar is the brainchild of physician/scientist/foodie Joseph Fisher, who says the concept is designed “to help address the tremendous negative influence that alcohol has on global health outcomes.” Fisher says that the bar, nearly two years in development, is the first food product of its kind.

All foods reduce alcohol absorption (although to different degrees), but the formulation of SOBAR, which is a proprietary mixture of milk protein and insoluble oat fiber, makes it particularly effective, he says. Zeno’s patent-pending formulation, Alco-HOLD, works to reduce the rate of gastric emptying, which enhances alcohol inactivation.

If alcohol sits in the stomach, it is partially inactivated due to an enzymatic action termed “gastric first pass metabolism,” Fisher explains. “In contrast, alcohol that gets released from your stomach to the small intestine is very rapidly absorbed due to the large surface area of the intestinal microvilli,” he continues. “Therefore, if you have an empty stomach, the alcohol does not sit there long and moves to the small intestine quickly, which facilitates fast absorption. If you can delay the speed of stomach emptying, alcohol sits in the stomach a lot longer, and it can be inactivated there.”

In a recent clinical trial, a group of 21 healthy adults consumed either no food, a 210-calorie SOBAR, a 210-calorie serving of a popular snack mix, or a 635-calorie meal before having two drinks. As one might expect, when alcohol absorption was measured over the course of 90 minutes, the full meal had the greatest effect, reducing peak blood alcohol concentration by 68% (compared with no food). The snack mix reduced blood alcohol concentration by 25%, and SOBAR reduced it by 50%. Although the full meal was most effective overall, SOBAR outperformed both the meal and the snack mix by about 2 to 1 on a per-calorie basis, the company reported in a press release. The study’s findings were published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

The bars, each of which contains 20 g of protein, are available in Honey Peanut, White Chocolate Almond, and Carmel Macchiato varieties.

Although he’s enthusiastic about the benefits of SOBAR, Fisher cautions SOBAR consumers about overestimating its benefits. Just because you consume a SOBAR doesn’t mean you can’t become intoxicated, and it won’t sober you up or reduce blood alcohol levels if you’re already intoxicated, he emphasizes.

A member of IFT who has MD and PhD degrees from Stanford University, Fisher says his company is focused on creating foods that modulate specific physiological responses (i.e., hormonal, neuro-muscular, or behavioral).

More from IFTNEXT right arrow

A new approach to reducing salt while maintaining taste

The dangers of a high-sodium diet have been well documented, but a new technology devised by scientists from Washington State University could help reduce sodium in processed foods while retaining taste and texture.

Sucralose–carbohydrate combo may affect insulin sensitivity

A study found that people who drank beverages that contained the low-calorie sweetener sucralose did experience metabolic problems and issues with neural responses but only when the beverage was formulated with both sucralose and a tasteless sugar (maltodextrin).

Manipulating photosynthesis for food security

British scientists have gained new insights into the compound in plants that plays a vital role in the natural process through which plants grow.

Latest News right arrow

Commercially available cell line rapidly detects African Swine Fever Virus

Scientists from the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have identified a new way to detect the presence of live African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) that minimizes the need for samples from live animals and provides easier access to veterinary labs that need to diagnose the virus.

Purina invests $167 million to expand U.S. production

Nestlé Purina has announced it will expand its operations in Cumberland County, Pa., hiring 94 additional employees and adding new processing and packaging lines to its Mechanicsburg location.

USDA provides an update on 2019 Tyson beef plant closure and COVID-19 investigation

The report, prepared by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service in coordination with the Office of the Chief Economist, summarizes market conditions, fed cattle prices, boxed beef values, and the spread before and after the fire and plant closure at the Tyson Holcomb, Kan., plant, and before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lee Kum Kee awarded LEED Platinum certification for Xinhui production base

Lee Kum Kee, an Asian sauce provider, has announced that its Xinhui Production Base was awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification.

EFSA seeks public comment on nutrient assessment framework

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has released a draft approach that aims to harmonize assessments of the intake of these nutrients, the potentially hazardous properties of excessive intakes, and the overall risks for consumers.