Creating New Functional Foods


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Benchmarking of nutraceutical ingredients

How to use our guide ?

This guide is destined for both producers of ingredients and for food companies. You will find technical information on each ingredients. As below, these technical profiles include :

  • General data on the molecule;
  • Side effects yet reported;
  • Information on RDA;
  • Possibilities and risk of overdose;
  • The kind of beverage for which you can use the ingredient;
  • Evaluation on scientific evidences and promising developments for each health segments;
  • Interactions with other ingredients;
  • The natural dietary source of the ingredient.

Clinical studies

WPC/ WPI: Review of clinical data and research

Athletic performance
Easily absorbed whey protein enhances performance in sports beverages. WPCs and WPIs offer varying concentrations of protein, high concentrations of calcium, and low levels of fat and lactose in the readily bioavailable form of branch chain amino acids. Branch chain amino acids seem to provide a direct energy source to muscles during workouts and prevent muscle breakdown after exercise. However, some research have shown that supplemental branched-chain amino-acids (BCAA) (typically 10-20 grams per day) do not result in meaningful changes in body composition 463, nor do they improve exercise performance 464-466 or enhance the effects of physical training 467,468. Nevertheless, BCAA supplementation may be useful in special situations, such as the prevention of muscle loss at high altitudes 469 and prolonging endurance performance in the heat 470.

Colon cancer
The mechanism by which dietary whey protein protects against colon carcinogenesis is probably biochemical, including levels of the sulfur-containing peptide and the influence of protein on fat metabolites generated in the gut, or immunological, or a combination of both.

For instance, cystein, one of the undenatured sulphur amino acids, is though to stimulate the glutathione, which is a tripeptide (L-g-glutamyl-L-cysteinylglycine) believed to play a multifunctional role in the body as an antioxidant and anticarcinogenic agent. It plays a role in the stabilization and repair of DNA, by reducing the risk of mutation, mutation being one of the steps towards increasing the risk of cancer.

Source : Ubic – Benchmarking of Nutraceutical Ingredients – 2001

Experts' point of view

Key words of experts

“The beta-cryptoxanthin molecule is an interesting carotenoid to develop since the amount is quiet rare in the diet.” (INSERM) “It is too much early to get any conclusion about health benefits of secondary metabolites as carotenoids.” (NACRE) “Adding beta-carotene into functional beverages have a nutritional interest since the amount from diet is not enough.” (INRA)

Processing Data

Extraction process of plant extracts
There are four basic techniques for obtaining plant extracts:

  1. Expression
  2. Physical separation: active plant principles, whether of nutritional or pharmacological interest, are often concentrated in a particular part of a plant (e.g. in the leaf or fruit) and a very significant degree of concentration can take place by simply removing unwanted plant parts. Such separations can often be achieved using basic principles such as air classification, sieving or other mechanical separating methods. Those separations may be carried out before or after drying (depending on the type and part of the plant).
  3. Steam distillation
  4. Solvent extraction

Types of extracts
There are also different types of extracts. As a starting point for botanical extracts there are, derived from the British Pharmacopoeia, a number of different basic types of extracts that may be identified.

  • Liquids extracts
  • Tinctures
  • Soft extracts
  • Dry extracts
Nutraceutical ingredient Main applications & Example of Products
Ginseng (Asian & Siberian)
· Bars
· Drinks
· Juice supplements for home use. "Ginseng" from Robeks Juice (USA), for strengthening the body and increasing the physical and mental capacity for work. (Source: Nutraceutical World).