Healthier Foods

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading health problems worldwide and the main cause of death in industrialized countries. Almost every second death in Germany (about 40 %; more than 1.9 Mio. deaths in the EU) can be attributed to CVD. In Germany the highest rates of CVD mortality are observed in the Federal States Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony and Thuringia which are clearly above the German average.

Our diet, the so-called western diet, is one of the key factors we can change that will impact almost all other modifiable cardiovascular risk factors. The consumption of fast food or processed products rich in calories, saturated fat, salt and simple carbohydrates characterizes the nutrition in the developed world. A diet low in saturated fats, with plenty of fresh fruit and in particular vegetables, reduces the risk of new major cardiac events by more than 80 % (World Heart Federation 2014). There is an obvious need for healthier food and an improved nutritional behavior.

In this respect nutriCARD follows two approaches:

1st approach
nutriCARD develops tailor-made nutrition strategies. The concept aims to inform the broader public about the risks of unhealthy eating habits and the benefits of a healthier nutrition (which includes the consumption of improved innovative foods, newly developed cardio-protective foods and respective recommendations).

2nd approach
Within a second parallel approach nutriCARD aims to improve recipes of traditional products with regard to fat quality, in particular the replacement of saturated fatty acids in favor of MUFA and PUFA (in particular n-3 PUFA). Further concepts to modify traditional products are based on the enrichment with Vitamin D as well as the reduction in salt and simple sugar (low glycemic index) content. To achieve consumer acceptance and beside the physiological added value the optimization of the sensory components, in particular smell, taste and mouth feel are of high relevance.

 

 

Prototypes

Presently the first primary prototypes are being developed on a laboratory scale. The evaluation and validation of the newly developed products for food quality and safety as well as the determination of sensory parameters will be performed by DLG sensory experts. In the framework of a human intervention trial the resulting prototypes will be tested according to any physiological benefits and effects on CV status. These heart-healthy food products can be marketed within the next 3-5 years at the earliest.

Based on this preliminary work the product range will be gradually broadened. Additional groups of foods: dairy products, bakery products, prepared dishes, etc. will be optimized for nutrient composition.

 

 

Concept

nutriCARD aims to improve recipes of traditional products with regard to nutrient composition, especially fat quality.

The added health benefits of the innovative products will then be scientifically investigated in human studies.

Human studies

The initiation of human studies are an important tool to investigate and evaluate the correlating effects between nutrition, metabolism, biomarkers and risk factors, genetic determinants and age- and nutrition- dependent diseases in healthy and diseased individuals (study participants).

Product development

Currently the following projects will be also initiated:

  • Development of a drinkable yoghurt for pregnant and lactating women, and children to ensure an adequate supply of long-chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids (in cooperation with Herzgut Landmolkerei Schwarza eG, Rudolstadt-Schwarza; LFE – Förderung der Zusammenarbeit in Land-, Forst- und Ernährungswirtschaft)
  • Influence of roasting on health-related compounds and physiological effects of β-glucan rich grains (barley and oat), FEI-Project
  • Development of innovative noodle products "Thuringian noodles for children AckiNu and LupiNu" (LFE – Förderung der Zusammenarbeit in Land-, Forst- und Ernährungswirtschaft)

 

Projektdetails
Das Vorhaben „Produktentwicklung - Trinkjoghurt für A) Schwangere und Stillende und B) Kinder zur Sicherstellung der Versorgung mit mehrfach ungesättigten, langkettigen n-3 Fettsäuren" wird im Rahmen der Förderung der Zusammenarbeit in der Land-, Forst- und Ernährungswirtschaft (LFE) Förderrichtlinie des Thüringer Ministeriums für Infrastruktur und Landwirtschaft (TMIL) / Teil A - Operationelle Gruppen (Europäische Innovationspartnerschaft) gefördert (Projekt-Nr.: 2016 LFE 0015, Laufzeit: 2 Jahre)

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Based on preliminary SME projects (e.g. with the Herzgut Landmolkerei Schwarza eG, Rudolstadt-Schwarza) marketable cardio-protective products are already being offered:

  • monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acid-enriched butter
  • yoghurt enriched with long-chain n-3 PUFA from marine sources (marketed as Omeghurt®) as well as
  • sugar-reduced yoghurt which is sweetened with stevia.

 

The additional health and nutritional benefits achieved by regular consumption of yoghurt enriched with long chain n-3 fatty acids has already been evaluated and confirmed in human studies (previous projects).