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South Asian Heart Center Partners with Shastha Foods

Mountain View, CA - March 20, 2010 - Santa Clara-based Shastha Foods and the South Asian Heart Center at El Camino Hospital have announced they have collaborated to create newly formulated versions of the company's popular fresh, stone ground "dosa" batter using the Center's nutritional guidelines for healthy heart-savvy ingredients.

Shastha owner and CEO Mani Krishnan, a participant in the Center for the past year, said he was inspired by its approach and "the opportunity to collaborate with and formulate products that complement the goal of the Center."

Shastha's batter underwent analysis by the Center's nutrition team, which provided suggestions and help in modifying the recipes. For example, Shastha is adding more soluble fibers, higher protein content and complex carbohydrate whole grains. The reformulated products will carry the South Asian Heart Center logo, and the nutritional analysis provided by the Center. Ashish Mathur, Executive Director of the Center, said, "This is an exciting opportunity for the Center to reach an even broader base of the South Asian population. Shastha distributes its product throughout several states and we feel that through them, we can make even more people aware of the need for South Asians to pay attention to their heart health. We also are delighted that they've chosen to support the cause and the mission of the Center by donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of these innovative products back to the Center. This is indeed a novel way of increasing the awareness and providing resources for appropriate diet and nutrition at the same time."

South Asians--who trace their ancestry from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka--have four times higher levels of risk factors for heart disease than the general population. It strikes them at younger ages, without prior symptoms or warning and without presenting the same risk factors as the general population. It's estimated that by 2015, 60 percent of the world's heart disease burden will be borne by India alone. The South Asian Heart Center is the first major nonprofit devoted to combating this epidemic. El Camino Hospital Foundation is the fiscal sponsor of the Center.

"There are many ways you can adjust a recipe to make it healthy without making it boring or bland," said Nancy K. Bugwadia, MS, RD, CNSC, Assistant director at Regional Medical Center of San Jose, who develops such nutrition-focused partnerships for the South Asian Heart Center as the chairperson of its Nutrition Committee. "In our food partnerships, we work carefully to preserve the original flavor, texture and appeal while enhancing its healthful qualities."

The Center also has developed several restaurant partnerships, providing nutritional analysis and recipe consulting to create HEARTier Choices menu items.

Krishnan, whose company also imports a variety of branded Indian foods to the U.S., said he's happy to be in the right place at the right time. "What the South Asian Heart Center does is unique worldwide--just like what we do at Shastha Foods. I'm proud to be able to support a program that does so much to improve the health of our community, and hope this partnership has a game changing impact on the course of this devastating epidemic of heart disease" he said.

Shastha Foods also is the lead sponsor for the 2010 Scarlet Night, the Center's major annual fundraising gala.