Brazil is a major producer and exporter of propolis of Apis mellifera L. A new type of Brazilian propolis, named red propolis, has been chemically and biologically characterized by our research group. A peculiar phenolic composition was found in this type of propolis, mainly isoflavonoids, in addition to antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory activities. Based on the evidence that the consumption of these phytoestrogens has beneficial effects such as the positive impact on menopause discomfort, foods containing isoflavonoids of red propolis represent a potential and promising market. Moreover, their bioaccessibility and epithelial transport by human cells have never been given attention in order to clarify whether the isoflavonoids present in this type of propolis are modified during these steps, and whether the antioxidant properties observed in ethanol extracts of propolis are conserved. Thus, the bioacessibility study of isoflavonoids of Brazilian red propolis after dynamic gastrointestinal digestion and their transport by human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells opens new paths to add value and develop new functional ingredients and products, since Brazil currently exports this type of propolis exclusively as raw material.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: