ResVez, a US company that markets gourmet nutritional bars, has unveiled its first nutrition bar and the first bar to contain resveratrol, the ingredient found in the skin of grapes that has widely acclaimed health properties.

Called Winetime Bar, the rich, dark chocolate bar contains as much resveratrol as 50 glasses of wine, according to its makers.

Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant found in grape plants and berries. Recent media reports have touted the compound as an antiaging substance capable of diminishing and even reversing the effects of time, if taken in sufficient concentrations.

Numerous laboratory tests on rodents have found that resveratrol has acted as an anti-cancer agent, lowered blood sugar, increased cardiovascular function, removed brain plaques and lengthened life spans - largely because its chemical structure activates genes associated with longevity.

Resveratrol occurs naturally in red wine and is available in manufactured supplements. More recently, it has been added to personal care products because of its alleged anti-aging properties.

The first bar of its kind, the 50g Winetime Bar has 190 calories and is made from a formulaton of resveratrol produced by DSM Nutritional Products and an extract from a premium variety of French grapes. High in fiber, the bar also contains dates, almonds and several so-called superfruits including cranberry, noni, pomegranate, goji berry, acai, mangosteen and blueberry.

Nutrition bars continue to be the hottest category in the neutraceuticals sector - particularly those making specific health claims. Earlier this year, ZonePerfect added three new flavors to its line of Dark Chocolate Nutrition Bars (Caramel Pecan, Mocha Pecan and Cookies and Cream), which continue to feature high levels of antioxidants, vitamins C and E and the mineral selenium as well as the essential fatty acid omega-3. The popular nutrition bar NuGo 10 also expanded its line of vegan, no-gluten, high-fiber bars, which are also free of soy and dairy products. The bars aim to fight heart disease with antioxidant fruits like cranberries and boost the immune system with lemon and apple.

Winetime Bars will retail for about $2.99 per bar.

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