Study: Olive-sourced hydroxytyrosol effective in biscuits

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bioavailable, extensively metabolised and rapidly eliminated, contributing to a decrease of plasma oxidised-LDL. Therefore, biscuits can be considered an efficient vehicle to deliver HT,” the Spanish researchers wrote in the journal Food Chemistry.

Olive oil phenol HT has been proven in numerous studies to positively influence cardiovascular health by protecting LDL particles from oxidative damage.

In 2011 this evidence was given the stamp of approval by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) when olive oil polyphenols was awarded a rare health claim. This captured the interest of the food and ingredients industry and since then the market for HT has been hot.

Narrow scope

However, the scope of the EFSA claim is limited to the application of HT and its derivatives in the olive oil matrix and relates to ‘chronic consumption’.

“Any claim with hydroxytyrosol in a different food matrix requires a study to assess the capacity of hydroxytyrosol to protect LDL against oxidation,” lead researcher Raquel Mateos told NutraIngredients.

She explained: “Bioavailability of food components may vary positively or negatively depending on the food it is contained in. Previous studies have reported that the bioavailability of phenols in olive oil declines in food matrices other than olive oil. There are few studies on the bioavailability of hydroxytyrosol in foods other than oil and none in cereal based matrices, to our knowledge.”

This research gap coupled with the restriction on how the EFSA claim could be applied prompted Spanish biscuit and pastries manufacturer Adam Foods SL to approach the Institute of Food Science, Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN-CSIC) to evaluate the bioavailability of HT in biscuits.

From the researchers’ point of view, the driver for the study was to help encourage uptake of the phenol by facilitating its inclusion in an increased range of products.

“Biscuits are widely consumed by all population groups, hence being an interesting food option for enrichment with bioactive ingredients to deliver healthy compounds to consumers. Therefore this study was aimed at assessing the absorption and metabolism of HT, contained in biscuits, in volunteers,” the researchers said.

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