Monday, February 8, 2010
Category : INNOVATION | Author : experts | Comment : No Comments
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According to Hans Vriens, chief innovation officer with global chocolate supplier Barry Callebaut, chocolate-based products with health benefits are currently being developed.

Developments underway, include the addition of prebiotics to chocolate bars, with research demonstrating that chocolate is three times more effective than a dairy drink in terms of being a delivery mechanism for the prebiotic benefit on gut health. A tooth friendly chocolate is also in the innovation pipeline, as well as chocolate products containing omega-3 or optimising the cocoa bean’s antioxidant potential.

If the natural polyphenol content of cocoa was not a sufficiently strong argument, these innovations could make chocolate addicts definitely free from any guilty feelings.

Beta-carotene, a very good antioxidant widely recognized and used in products including solar care had already lost much of its credit following data obtained in smokers for which it could be dangerous. The situation is repeated with this review that highlights the reduced risk of developing ARMD with the consumption of certain antioxidants (lutein / zeaxanthin, B vitamins, zinc and DHA), but risk increases with consumption of beta – carotene and vitamin E.

These data illustrate the need to provide both evidence of efficacy and safety of actives used in health nutrition because an active can be both beneficial and dangerous, which is even more true for antioxidants which due to their function can become pro-oxidants.

Reference: Johnson EJ. Age-related macular degeneration and antioxidant vitamins: recent findings. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2009 October 16

Cacti-Nea™ is an extract of prickly pear cactus fruit developed by Bioserae Laboratories. The company has recently conducted a clinical study in order to confirm the diuretic and weight management effect of Cacti-Nea™ on Human.

Find all the scientific data synthesized of this ingredient on the database Nutraveris’On Line.

This review presents the interest of some probiotics to maintain urogenital health. It remembers us that all health claims filed on probiotics have received negative opinions from the EFSA because they were insufficiently characterized.

The effects of probiotics are strain-specific and dose-dependent, and then the NDA panel of experts could not accept claims on insufficiently characterized probiotics. A phenotypic characterization is not sufficient and must be complemented by a genotypic characterization. The microorganism is considered to be sufficiently characterised only when these two criteria are fulfilled:

• Species identification by DNA-DNA hybridization or 16S rRNA sequence analysis.

• Strain identification by DNA macrorestriction followed by PFGE (pulsed-field gel electrophoresis), RAPD (random amplified polymorphic DNA), ARDRA (amplified 16S rDNA restriction analysis) or other internationally accepted genetic typing molecular methods.

Reference : Reid G, Dols J, Miller W. Targeting the vaginal microbiota with probiotics as a means to counteract infections. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2009 Nov;12(6):583-7

A randomized and double-blind study demonstrated that 20 g of dark chocolate rich in flavanols daily consumed for 12 weeks had a photoprotective effect against UV on skin.

A greedy way, in addition to sunscreen, to protect skin against sunlight.

Reference: Williams S, Tamburic S, Lally C. “Eating chocolate can significantly protect the skin from UV light”. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2009 Sep;8(3):169-73.