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Novel aging: technologies and solutions to manufacture novel dairy products for healthy aging

Grant number: 17/01189-0
Support type:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: August 01, 2017 - July 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology
Cooperation agreement: Innovation Fund Denmark
Principal Investigator:Daniel Rodrigues Cardoso
Grantee:Daniel Rodrigues Cardoso
Principal investigator abroad: Lilia Ahrne
Institution abroad: University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Home Institution: Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos, SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Benedito dos Santos Lima Neto ; Daniela Cardoso Umbelino Cavallini ; Emanuel Carrilho ; Luiz Alberto Colnago ; Renata Tieko Nassu


According to a recent United Nations estimate, the number of people 65 and older is expected to triple by mid-century, from 531 million in 2010 to 1.5 billion in 2050. Malnutrition, as a consequence of age-induced malabsorption of essential nutrients, is associated with risk of falls and fractures, weak immune system, vision problems and increasing risk of infections. Milk and dairy products are known to provide the necessary nutritional, functional and physiological values to maintain health and wellbeing. Therefore, they have a large potential to be tailored for the needs of an aging population. In this project, we will explore the use of emerging non-thermal and powder technologies in dairy processing to support Brazilian and Danish companies to develop novel dairy products with improved bioavailability of nutrients and sensorial aspects intended to improve the nutritional status of the aging population. Non-thermal technologies like pulsed electric fields, pulsed-light and UV-C are recognized to have limited detrimental effects on the concentration of bioactive compounds in beverages. Most studies have been performed in juices, and very few on dairy beverages. Furthermore, there is very limited information about the impact of these technologies on nutrient bioavailability. Powder formulations are very suitable for long-term storage, ambient distribution and can be used to formulate innovative products, e.g. snacks. However, the technologies used to produce the powders need to be selected and optimized to reduce the negative impact of temperature on functionality and enhance the nutritional value of the reconstituted powder. Temperature, electric field, or light induces changes in the milk components (e.g. proteins, mineral balance) and colloidal structure, casein micelle or fat globule membrane, which may be favour release of potentially health-related compounds during GI digestion favouring their bioavailability. However, they may also promote oxidation reactions that influence both the sensorial quality and nutritional value. Formation of free radicals is the primary event in oxidative reactions and has not been studied for non-thermal technologies. The knowledge of the mechanism underlying these early events is of importance to develop new strategies for improving product shelf life, safety, and nutritional quality. On contrary to thermal treatment, non-thermal technologies can retain the activity of redox active enzymes, like lactoperoxidase, which may play a relevant role in the redox chemistry of dairy products. Aggregation proteins and calcium binding to peptides are expected to impart absorption of calcium, digestion of proteins or even absorption of vitamins like B12. In this project, we will combine the competences on Dairy Process Technology (Prof Lilia Ahrné at UC) and on Food Chemistry (Prof Daniel R. Cardoso-IQSC/USP and Prof Leif Skibsted-UC) to elucidate the mechanisms behind changes in the milk components promoted by mild non-thermal processing and finding technical solutions to tailor the nutritional and sensorial value of fresh milk beverages and healthy milk based snacks for improved absorption by elderly citizens. Through a better understanding of these mechanisms we expect to find technological solutions (technologies, process conditions, and formulations) to improve bioavailability of calcium, proteins, functional peptides and vitamin B12 in milk beverages and healthy snacks intended for improving the health of elderly citizens. Ultimately, the Brazilian and Danish dairy production will have a very large potential for new products with the actual health benefits. (AU)

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