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The GR2020 proyect concludes its research on heart-healthy fats with encouraging results

THE GR2020 PROJECT CONCLUDES ITS RESEARCH ON HEART-HEALTHY FATS WITH ENCOURAGING RESULTS

The GR2020 project, led by the Andalusian company Aceite del Sur-Coosur (ACESUR group), and integrated by five other Spanish companies (El Hórreo HealthyFood, Ingeniatrics, Novadays, CitolivaeImibic), part of the 2015 call of the Fondos FederInterconnecta, finalized its research on the application of heart-healthy fats to different foods after an empirical analysis of its results.

Launched two years ago, the GR2020 project aims to promote a healthier diet through the research and application of advanced fats from unsaturated oils such as olive oil, that improve the properties of food and neutralize, in greater or lesser extent, the negative impact on the body, such as cholesterol.

To this effect, many studies were carried outwith meat products, sauces or chocolates substitutes, to achieve a reduced use of saturated fats.

Thus, in the case of chocolate substitutes, the palm oil was completely replaced, reaching satisfactory results with a reduction of fatty acids by 40%. Moreover, due to its melting temperature and texture, it has been concluded that this type of product is perfectly suited for cocoa creams intended for the filling of bakery products.

Success with meat products and cold meats

With regard to meat products, through the use of advanced microencapsulation and direct substitution technologies, part of the saturated fats traditionally used in the manufacture of chorizo and sausages, both raw and cooked, were replaced by other more heart-healthy unsaturated fats, with highly positive sensory acceptance results.

This acceptance was measured through a study carried out during 6 months by the University of Córdoba in the Units of Endocrinology and Child Metabolism Unit of the Reina Sofía University Hospital, as well as in the Dept. of Analytical Chemistry.

Besides, this allowed to analyze one of the primary goals: the postprandial lipid profile (*) in healthy people and obese patients (children between 6 and 14 and adults) after the intake of foods made with unsaturated fats in meat matrices that are likely to have an impact on health.

Thus, the statistical study consisted in an analysis of variance (ANOVA) of repeated measures to evaluate the concentration changes experienced by each fatty acid for each patient, so that the results obtained reveal a better function both in the lipid profile measurements and in the insulin values for a certain type of users, especially healthy individuals.

There was also evidence of an increase in oleic levels after the intake of the product, which corroborates that the modification of the fat content of chorizo results in instant changes in the blood fatty acids profile after its intake, similar to those expected with the olive oil intake.

Chia and folic acid

Similarly, the GR2020 Project team deepened its research with foods such as chia, one of the highest ranked food in the current list of the most consumed superfoods due to its multiple benefits.

Therefore, the incorporation of these seeds was studied through an encapsulation process of their oil, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, in both sauces and meat products, obtaining optimal results pending completion of their commercialization.

As far as folic acid is concerned, with the goal of facilitating and promoting a complete diet especially for pregnant women, microencapsulation in bottled oils was investigated, without achieving positive results due to the regulatory constraints related to additives in the food sector.

About GR2020

The Project, which is already in its final phase, is composed of:

· Aceites del Sur-Coosur: Andalusian company leader in the production, marketing and export of olive oil, seeds and table sauces.

· El Hórreo HealthyFood: the oldest pork company in Asturias, with extensive experience in the industry and related to the development of healthy products- The company provides the practical approach of the final company and will serve as a specific industrial "test stand".

· Ingeniatrics: Sevillian company that develops solutions based on its own micro-encapsulation technologies, allowing product innovation.

· Novadays: research and consulting company, with a solid experience in innovation and development in the agri-food industry.

· Citoliva: research center specialized in olive oil and its components.

· Imibic: nutritional analysis center that will allow to check the healthy and functional impacts of the new products and their bioavailability.

(*) postprandial lipid profile: blood content of different types of fatty acids during the hours followingintake.

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