Dr. Siegal & Son, LLC, a new Vienna, Virginia-based company launched by renowned physician and author Sanford Siegal, D.O., M.D., and his son, Matthew Siegal, the duo behind the internationally popular Dr. Siegal's COOKIE DIET® brand (www.CookieDiet.com), has introduced CalciOs™ cookies, a snack food that's enriched with calcium carbonate, a common source of dietary calcium supplementation that also neutralizes stomach acid and relieves occasional heartburn. U.S. and international patents are pending.
"CalciOs cookies are now available at CalciOs.com and select retailers, and they'll arrive at thousands of stores nationwide by the end of the year," said Matthew Siegal, CEO of Dr. Siegal & Son, LLC. "We believe that functional snack foods are the next big thing, and we intend to be a significant player in the space."
According to Matthew Siegal, he decided to branch out into the functional foods business in order to capitalize on the immense popularity and media attention that Dr. Siegal's COOKIE DIET® has enjoyed since the retail side of the business was launched in 2007.
"During the past three years, we've received an extraordinary amount of publicity," said Siegal. "We've been profiled by hundreds of major media outlets including Good Morning America, Today Show, Entertainment Tonight, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes. We even made the cover of People magazine."
Reactions to CalciOs™ from initial consumers have been enthusiastic.
"I expected them to taste like, I dunno, health food or something, but they're really good," said Frank Forrest of Washington, DC, who sampled a cookie before buying a box at a Smoothie King store in the Dupont Circle neighborhood.
And Carmen Vega, who bought a box for herself and one for her husband at a Walgreens store in Wellington, Florida, explained, "I turn 50 this year and I know that calcium is important. But I also bought a box for my husband because sometimes he gets heartburn if he drinks coffee after dinner. I'm going to tell him to dunk the cookie in the coffee."
Despite bearing the famous weight-loss pioneer's name, it is not intended that Dr. Siegal & Son® CalciOs™ cookies be used as a weight-loss aid but rather as a healthful snack food that provides calcium supplementation and relieves occasional heartburn. CalciOs™ cookies are certified Kosher; contain no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives; and are suitable for vegetarian diets. The first CalciOs™ flavor is all-natural vanilla; other flavors will follow by year's end.
According to Matthew Siegal, the idea of a convenient, calcium-fortified cookie was his, and his father personally developed the patent-pending formula in his private Miami bakery.
"I came up with the idea for the product after reading an article about how inconvenience is a major reason why many people don't get adequate nutrition, including the right amount of calcium," said Matthew Siegal. "I discussed the idea with my father and within hours he was in his bakery working on a formula."
Dr. Siegal's goal was to create a healthful snack food that was great-tasting, convenient, and high in calcium. Also, as an obesity expert, he was adamant that his new cookie had to provide more dietary calcium per calorie than other foods. After researching various sources of calcium, Dr. Siegal chose calcium carbonate and developed a patent-pending formula that provides 30% of the Daily Value of calcium per 37 calorie cookie, or 90% per three-cookie serving.
"Keep in mind that I've devoted more than 50 years of my life to helping people lose weight. Therefore, although it's not a weight-loss product, a fundamental requirement of our new cookie was that it had to deliver more dietary calcium per calorie than other foods. By providing 30% of the adult calcium requirement with a 37 calorie cookie, I'm happy to say that we achieved that goal," added Dr. Siegal.
According to Dr. Siegal, one would have to consume about 125 calories of 2% milk or 291 calories of 2% cottage cheese to get the same amount of calcium provided by one 37 calorie CalciOs™ cookie.
"The greatest challenge in creating the product was trying to pack a significant percentage of the Daily Value of calcium into a 10 gram cookie and still make it enjoyable to eat," explained Dr. Siegal. "It's easy to make a great cookie until you add 750mg of calcium carbonate to it. Calcium carbonate is a wonderful, natural substance but it's a gritty and chalky powder. Yet, through trial and error, I created a formula that produces a delicious cookie with a smooth texture and mouth feel."
Calcium carbonate is a natural substance found throughout the world in limestone, pearls, and eggshells. Its uses include baking, calcium supplementation, and heartburn relief.
"Calcium carbonate is a versatile substance. In our cookie, it provides supplemental dietary calcium. It also neutralizes stomach acid that can cause heartburn. Of course, our cookie is a snack food and isn't intended to be used to relieve chronic or severe heartburn which may indicate a medical problem," said Dr. Siegal. "Anyone who experiences frequent or severe heartburn should consult a doctor."