HEALTH

BASF, OrganoBalance to commercialize probiotic to improve oral health

BY Michael Johnsen

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. BASF earlier this month announced plans to commercialize the oral-friendly probiotic pro-t-action in collaboration with OrganoBalance.

“Working closely with OrganoBalance, we have been able to identify the L. paracasei strain that effectively and exclusively binds to the caries bacteria and in doing so improves elimination from the mouth,” stated Markus Pompejus, senior manager BASF Future Business. “The effectiveness of the active ingredients combined with BASF’s ability to offer a product ready for incorporation into everyday oral care products, truly represents new and exciting possibilities in the way of significantly improving oral health.”

Based on probiotic microorganisms, the active ingredient in pro-t-action binds to and eliminates bacteria from the mouth. The Berlin-based OrganoBalance is specialized in microbial strain development and microbiological screening.

Together the companies identified a very particular strain of Lactobacillus paracasei and BASF has since developed a proprietary production process enabling the active ingredient to be easily integrated into everyday consumer products like toothpaste, mouthwash, candies, lozenges and chewing gums used for daily oral care.

Bacteria in the oral cavity, such as Streptococcus mutans, initiate the onset of tooth decay converting the sugar from food into acids. These acids ultimately destroy tooth enamel, reducing essential minerals protecting the teeth and thus lead to lesions or cavities. Shown in testing, the active ingredient, L. paracasei, in pro-t-action has the ability to target the bacteria and bind exclusively to them. The bacteria can then be flushed out of the oral cavity by normal swallowing or rinsing. Needing to remain in the oral cavity for only a minimum of ten seconds to become active, pro-t-action is tasteless, odorless, pH-neutral and helps to maintain the healthy and beneficial microflora in the oral cavity.

Research on L. paracasei for the development of pro-t-action was conducted as a joint effort by OrganoBalance and BASF, in collaboration with the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Connecticut Health Center. The findings of the research, led by Jason Tanzer, University of Connecticut Health Center, and those of Christine Lang, OrganoBalance, was presented before the International Association of Dental Research annual conference held in Miami April 1 to 4.

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Rite Aid to launch Wellness+ program nationwide

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Monday announced that its new Wellness+ customer rewards program that provides members with free health-and-wellness benefits, as well as shopping discounts and special prices, is launching nationwide.

“Our customers told us they wanted a program that offered more than just discounts. The Wellness+ program marries our customers’ fiscal and physical well-being, and we reward them with both member-only shopping discounts and health-and-wellness benefits that increase the more they shop and the more prescriptions they fill at Rite Aid,” stated John Learish, Rite Aid SVP marketing. “We’ve tested this program in four markets over the last six months, and results exceeded our expectations. This is the drug  store industry’s only customer rewards program focused around pharmacy and wellness.”

The program will be supported by a national television, radio, circular and digital advertising campaign.

The free Rite Aid Wellness+ rewards card offers immediate benefits including 24/7 toll-free access to a pharmacist and 10% off Rite Aid brand products. Member-only discounts are listed each week in Rite Aid’s weekly newspaper circulars, and there are special member-only temporary price reductions and offers on register receipts, via e-mail and online.

Members accrue points with eligible pharmacy and store purchases to get free health screenings and additional merchandise discounts including 20% off non-prescription regularly priced items every day. Members’ wellness+ points are tracked automatically, and a tiered benefits structure combines health-and-wellness rewards with savings rewards.

Members earn one point for every dollar spent on non-prescription store purchases and 25 points for every eligible prescription they fill at Rite Aid.

At 125, 250 and 375 points, members will receive a one-time-use shopping pass via e-mail or mail good for 10% off any non-prescription, regularly-priced purchases.

When customers earn 500 points, they’ll receive 10% off all non-prescription regularly priced items every day at Rite Aid. They’ll also get a certificate for free health screenings — blood glucose and total cholesterol screenings at a local lab — and they can pick up their test results at their local Rite Aid.

When members earn 1,000 points, they’ll receive 20% off all non-prescription regularly priced Rite Aid purchases every day.

Program rules can be found in-store and at www.riteaid.com, including purchases that are excluded from point accrual and discounts such as cigarettes, alcohol, gift cards, online purchases, lottery tickets, licenses, money orders and transfers, prepaid cards, stamps, other mail services and items prohibited by law, Rite Aid stated.

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Kiwi Shoe Care helps consumers put their best foot forward

BY Michael Johnsen

EXTON, Pa. Kiwi Shoe Care, part of Sara Lee Food & Beverage, on Monday announced that the company is focusing on Kiwi-branded clear soft gel inserts and ultra-thin disposable shoe inserts that work with any type of open or closed shoe for women.

Designed to provide relief from pain and blisters that spring and summer shoes can cause, the Kiwi Smiling Feet line of clear soft gel inserts will be available in seven configurations. And Kiwi Fresh’ins are ultra-thin disposable shoe inserts designed to absorb moisture and provide anti-slip protection. Fresh’ins can be used every day for up to five days and come in packages of six pairs.

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