Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Squeezing the health out of blackberries

Squeezing the health out of blackberries

Researchers are looking at new food production methods to extract valuable natural compounds from fruits like blackberries. Their work could lead to greater use in foods and medicines to improve public health and wellbeing.

Studies have shown that fresh fruit and vegetables have properties with the ability to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and cancer, and are widely promoted as an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Guidance from the World Health Organization recommends eating a minimum of 400 grammes of fruit and vegetables a day to lower the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

However, many millions of people across the world regularly miss their nutritional targets prompting researchers to look at alternative ways to extract and introduce important vitamins, minerals and other naturally occurring chemical compounds – such as ellagitannins – to fortify and enrich daily diets.

Ellagitannins are relatively rare in foods but are found in some fruits like blackberries and other rubus fruits. Ellagitannins have antioxidant properties and are potentially beneficial to public health, but minimal research has been undertaken to extract them efficiently and economically.

Using ultrafiltration membranes a team of researchers from France and Costa Rica1 have successfully chemically engineered the extraction of ellagitannins from blackberry juice. Their innovation could see the introduction of another important natural ingredient into the food chain – especially functional foods designed to improve health.

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) chief executive, Dr David Brown, said: “Society continues to be challenged by preventable issues such as rising cancer rates. Education and encouraging people to lead more active lifestyles and nutritionally balanced diets are just some of the solutions. Producing food which is inherently healthier is another option to improve public health.

“Many functional and ‘fortified’ foods like probiotic yogurts and breakfast cereals are staple items in most households and successfully balance health, nutrition and consumer satisfaction. Their production relies on chemical engineering principles.

“The more research we can undertake to identify and extract important ingredients such as ellagitannins on a large scale, the greater the opportunities we have to introduce healthier foods for populations as a whole and address health inequalities.”

The role of chemical engineers in the health, water, food and energy sectors is explored in IChemE’s latest technical strategy, Chemical Engineering Matters.

About chemical engineers
Chemical, biochemical and process engineering is the application of science, maths and economics to the process of turning raw materials into everyday products. Professional chemical engineers design, construct and manage process operations all over the world. Pharmaceuticals, food and drink, synthetic fibres and clean drinking water are just some of the products where chemical engineering plays a central role.

About IChemE
The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) is the hub for chemical, biochemical and process engineering professionals worldwide. With a growing global membership of over 38,000, the Institution is at the heart of the process community, promoting competence and a commitment to best practice, advancing the discipline for the benefit of society, encouraging young people in science and engineering and supporting the professional development of its members. Further information: www.icheme.org

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

I Sing The Highway Electric: Charge Net NZ To Connect New Zealand

BMW is turning Middle Earth electric after today announcing a substantial contribution to the charging network Charge Net NZ. This landmark partnership will enable Kiwis to drive their electric vehicles (EVs) right across New Zealand through the installation of a fast charging highway stretching from Kaitaia to Invercargill. More>>

ALSO:

Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>

Earlier:

Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>

ALSO:

Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>

ALSO:

Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>

ALSO:

Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news