According to biotechnology company Avesthagen, its whole wheat crackers enriched with the bioactive Teestar will reduce blood glucose levels among type II diabetics by almost 10-15 per cent. The bioactive is derived from a single Indian herb developed by Avesthagen and works by slowing the process of carbohydrate breakdown in the body. Clinical trials, carried out by independent clinical research organisations INTOX and Manipal AcuNova, have proved Teestar's efficacy on healthy volunteers and diabetics, the company said. Although Teestar is more a food supplement that can be used in the preventive care of type II diabetes than a diabetes drug, "the cracker will help to delay the consumption of insulin or even help to avoid the intake of insulin," said Dr Villoo Morawala Patell, CMD of Avesthagen. Avesthagen has used two of its patented technologies to develop Teestar, Adept, a database that helps match traditional medicine with modern, and MetaGrid, an algorithm that enables constituent profiling of the plant extracts. Teestar contains one of the initial seven proprietary disease-fighting ingredients that the company launched in February, which are targeted at specific degenerative conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The whole wheat crackers, which will not contain any transfat and will have high fibre content, are being launched on 15 May through Avesthagen's subsidiary, Avestha Good Earth Foods, which produces a range of crackers and muesli. Teestar itself will also be available as a dietary supplement in capsule form, said the company. According to Avesthagen, chronic diseases such as diabetes account for about 60 per cent of the 56.5m deaths in the world each year. It is because of these sort of statistics that new ingredient and supplement launches aimed at the diabetic arena have been growing in popularity in recent months. The company is also looking into developing products aimed at other degenerative conditions, hoping, with Avesthagen stating that "similar products for bone health, cardiac care and advanced diabetes will follow.". At the same time as the launch, Dr Morawala-Patell, Avesthagen's founder, was presented with the French award of Officier de L'Ordre National du Mérite (Officer of the National Order of Merit) for her contribution as a scientist and as a businesswoman. Avesthagen's close relationship with France is expressed in the list of industrial partners the company works with, which includes Biomérieux, Danone and Limagrain.