It sounds just too good to be true – the prospect of cakes and chocolate bars that help you burn off calories.
But manufacturers claim to have discovered an ingredient derived from chilli peppers that could be added to any pudding or treat to make the red hot idea a reality. This ‘miracle’ extract – known as dihydrocapsiate (DHC) – speeds up the body’s metabolism, helping it use up more calories. It is already sold in the form of diet supplement pills in the U.S. and Japan, but it could be about to be used as a food additive in Britain. The ingredient, which is tasteless, is one of several chemical compounds known as capsinoids found in a particular variety of chilli.
Now a Japanese food firm has submitted plans to the Food Standards Agency watchdog with the aim of adding it to chocolate bars, desserts and ready meals targeted towards slimmers.