Topical issues

7 / March / 2016

ARAGON FOOD CLUSTER PROMOTES INNOVATION FOR SMES ON FUNCTIONAL INGREDIENTS IN ARAGON FOOD INDUSTRY

The products produced by the food industry as well as being a waste of valuable compounds, poses serious management problems, both economically and environmentally. Many of these products, however, have the potential to be reused in other production systems, for example, functional ingredients. In this line, the Food Cluster Aragonés commitment called circular economy, where products are used as raw materials for new products and applications, and is working with its member companies in its revaluation as a source of functional ingredients.

He is currently carrying out a project with two SMEs from Aragon to revalue a byproduct of the wine sector, having obtained functional compounds capable to reduce hypertension. These functional peptides with antihypertensive activity could be considered a useful therapeutic strategy in the fight against this disease and cardiovascular disease. As a continuation of this project, it is currently evaluating the inclusion of the ingredient obtained in two products produced by two other Aragonese SMEs, in order to get new functional foods.

In the coming months the Cluster start another project in this line, which will aim the product of an SME Aragon fish processing. Recently, one of the highest impact journals -Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) – has published a prospective study of dietary intake of fish, linking it to reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Also, the consumption of omega-3 becomes important in the diet of pregnant women, as different studies have proven its effect in reducing premature births and increased birth weight as well as improvements in cognitive function and some protection to autism.

Projects that the Cluster is carrying out in the area of ​​the revaluation, with several companies of Aragon, include the industrial scale process of obtaining functional ingredients, since it is necessary to have data about their economic and technical feasibility. We can not forget that the products that require processing stage before being used, involve costs to be studied to assess its feasibility.

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