The Cambridge, Mass. based Arthur D. Little company (ADL) announced it has developed a series of new flavoured beverage formulations that contain a soluble dietary fibre, found naturally in oats, that reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and lowers blood cholesterol.

A report by Food Ingredients Online says that working with a subsidiary of Van Drunen Farms, a food ingredients manufacturer based in Momence, Ill., "ADL developed the beverage using Nutrim, the newest generation of oat bran, which features a highly concentrated amount of oat beta glucan." The report says that the FDA has approved oat beta glucan as the component of oats that lowers cholesterol.

"Van Drunen Farms licenced the USDA technology and involved ADL in developing a line of beverages, that contained sufficient amounts of oat beta glucan to meet the requirements of the FDA Nutrition Labelling and Education Act health claim," according to Food Ingredients Online.

Arthur D. Little is one of the world's premier management and technology consulting firms with offices and laboratories in more than 30 countries around the world. ADL works with leading food-nutrition and health-oriented companies. The family owned Van Drunen Farms, which began growing vegetables in Illinois over 100 years ago, has expanded to include fruits, herbs, grains, dairy products and other food ingredients.

By Aaron Priel, correspondent