This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, August 4, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, imagine, a yodel with only half the calories and half the fat (search) but still the same great taste. Well, it sounds like a dream to me. But, if my next guest is on to something, it could soon be reality. It is called Z-Trim. It's a fat-substitute gel.
The company behind it is called Circle Group Holdings, and its CEO, Greg Halpern, joins us now to tell us how it works.
Greg, thanks for coming.
GREG HALPERN, CEO BEHIND Z-TRIM GEL: Well, thanks, Neil, and, you know, it's really a pleasure to be here. My colleagues and I really enjoy your show, and to be able to speak with you directly is really great.
CAVUTO: Well, that's very nice, Greg. Thank you. But how does this work now?
HALPERN: Well, Z-Trim is a naturally-occurring fiber (search) from corn that you put in food. It becomes a functional ingredient that holds a lot of water, and, as such, you can mix it and emulsify it with fats, and it cuts about half the calories of food without affecting the taste or texture.
Because it's a healthy fiber, it's contributing naturally to the diet in a healthy way, but, because it's got the ability to simulate fat so well and has zero calories, you can take a portion of the fat out of foods, put this in in place of it, get healthy fiber, not affect the taste or texture, and give people a product with less saturated fat.
CAVUTO: So, Greg, what products would this be ideal for?
HALPERN: Well, it's outstanding for dips, dressings, cheeses, spreads, any of your wet foods since it holds a lot of water. It can also be used in processed meats, hamburger, sausages, ham.
CAVUTO: How would you do the hamburger?
HALPERN: Well, in hamburger, for example, when they process all the meat, there's a certain amount of fat content, and you would take out some of the fat content -- not all of the fact content because this is where you get into a problem, Neil.
People have had low-fat, less-fat, no-fat foods, and, generally, they have experienced that they don't taste very good, and so they don't choose to eat them.
You remove about half the fat, and professionals taste testers at the USDA (search) that have done this with a whole variety of foods have found that you don't impair the taste or the texture. And keep in mind the texture's equally as important.
CAVUTO: Now, Greg, there are a lot of naturalists who say, well, don't put syringes in my food, who knows what problems we'll discover years down the road, that maybe the new product is a lot more dangerous than the old one. What do you say?
HALPERN: Well, I think that's an excellent point, and that's why we're really pleased with this product because it comes from the USDA. It is actually a byproduct of healthy grains. It's the hull or the shell of the grain.
Now a hundred years ago, Neil, when grandma made food for you on the farm, she didn't refine the grain. So she didn't extract that healthy fiber, that hull of the grain.
But, today, some 10-billion or 20-billion tons -- I don't know, it's some astronomical number -- is extracted from the grain-milling process, and then it's sold to feed lot, which goes to feed cattle, and then the balance of it goes to dog food companies or has to be environmentally managed.
What we've done is taken this patented and trade-secreted process developed there by arguably one of the most notable scientists in grain agriculture history, Dr. Inglett, and the Z-Trim is really the culmination of his life work.
In a humanitarian mission, this man has developed 23 patents, and this, the last product of his development a few years back, is a healthy fiber that's not extracted, if it's taken out of the refining process.
You now take it through Z-Trim, which basically, we sheer it in the centrifuge and we clean it and cause a thermal reaction, and the finished product is...
CAVUTO: Real quickly, how soon will it be out?
HALPERN: Well, it's really available now in small production, but we're going to ramp up production by year end.
CAVUTO: OK. All right. Greg Halpern, thank you very much. We'll see where all this goes.
HALPERN: Thank you very much, Neil.
CAVUTO: All right. A very thin Greg Halpern joining us out of Chicago.
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