1 Nutrition and Food Chemistry.University of Valencia, Burjassot (SPAIN)
2 Instituto Hero Baby de Nutrición Infantil. Alcantarilla, Murcia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Page: 2529
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
The Bionutest group of the Nutrition and Food Chemistry Area of the University of Valencia (Spain) develops functional foods, and one of its main activities is to study the bioavailability and biological effects of food components.
The Hero Group is one of the most important companies in the European food industry, with a presence in over 15 countries, and their products are exported to 5 continents. Due to the geographic dispersion of the Hero Group companies, the Hero Institute for Infant Nutrition has been created to ensure coordination in all the activities of Research, Development and New Technologies within the Hero Group.
It is in this context where the development of functional foods is found. Such foods provide the necessary nutrients for satisfying the needs of the individual, and moreover exert a number of important effects upon the body. In this sense, functional foods afford improved health and/or reduce the risk of diseases.
A currently frequent practice in the food industry is to enrich products with several biologically active compounds offering potential health benefits. Nevertheless, there is an important lack of information regarding the effects of their simultaneous presence in food components that may interact with each other during absorption, as well as regarding nutrient interactions and the impact derived from their simultaneous intake.
The currently marketed mixtures of fruit beverages and milk at the same time constitute a source of biologically active compounds and mineral elements. However, there is relatively little information on the bioavailability and bioconversion of these nutrients and bioactive compounds in enriched foods, their effects upon mineral and vitamin status, and their possible relevance as a means to prevent risks in healthy individuals.
The digestion of casein from milk releases casein phosphopeptides that offer different applications due to their antioxidant and cell modulating potential and capacity to form complexes with mineral elements. Accordingly, they can play an important role in mineral bioavailability. These properties imply that casein phosphopeptides can be used as functional food ingredients.
An R&D project has been developed in this setting (AGL 2004-07657-C02-01). This project implies for the company the design, formulation and manufacture of fruit beverages with/without milk and/or mineral enrichment. The Bionutest group participates in the Network of Research Groups and Centers to address the Scientific-Technological demands of companies in the Valencian Community (Red Valenciana de Investigación Vinculada, REVIV).
The Bionutest group evaluates the formation of casein phosphopeptides during manufacture and simulated gastrointestinal digestion in samples subjected to study, as well as mineral bioavailability, based on a validated intestinal epithelial model (Caco-2 cells).
The information provided by this study will contribute to increase information regarding the bioavailability of relevant nutrients in these new developed foods, and to clarify the potential effects associated with their consumption in humans.
The results obtained will allow more adequate and balanced formulation of functional foods, especially in relation to mineral enrichment and compounds with biology activity, with greater beneficial effects for health. Benefit can also be derived by consumers, mainly those more vulnerable to mineral deficiencies.