Naturex (Avignon, France) showcased natural ingredients for cardiovascular support at May’s Vitafoods Europe trade show in Geneva, Switzerland, demonstrating some of the potential heart-health applications in which these ingredients can be used. At the show, Naturex highlighted its new Sweoat range of oat beta-glucans, its Aronox aronia berry extract, and its acerola cherry–derived vitamin C, all of which the company says have applications in the heart-health space.
Naturex developed its range of Sweoat ingredients, which include the new beta-glucans, as well as oat flours and oils, following the 2017 acquisition of oat ingredients manufacturer Swedish Oat Fiber. The company notes that oats are naturally rich in beta-glucans, which have been shown to reduce serum cholesterol and blood glucose, and thus, may help to reduce the risk of adverse cardiovascular events. Sweoat is also said to be highly viscous, which is a key characteristic in helping to reduce cholesterol. The company explains that when the beta-glucan in the oat is digested, it forms a gel, or a “viscous net.” The viscous net traps cholesterol-related particles, preventing them from entering the bloodstream.
In addition, the company says, the high viscosity of the oat beta-glucan also helps to slow digestion, thereby helping to prevent sudden fluctuations in blood sugar following meals. The oat-based brans also contain fiber, protein, antioxidants, and all essential amino acids. The company says that its Sweoat brans have been approved in Europe for the following European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) health claims: for cholesterol reduction (Article 14.1), maintenance of cholesterol levels (Article 13.1), and for glycemic response and gut health (both Article 13.1).
According to the company, oat beta-glucans have unique characteristics, including water-binding properties and high solubility, that make them ideal for a wide range of applications compared to other grain brans. At Vitafoods, Naturex showcased Sweoat’s potential in a range of heart-health applications, including in prototype instant-drink formulations.
Aronox, meanwhile, is an aronia berry extract standardized for its polyphenol content that is said to help improve cardiovascular circulation. The company says that it has conducted a number of studies on Aronox demonstrating its potential for improving circulation and endothelial function—functions which may help to reduce the risk cardiovascular disease. The company’s most recent clinical study on Aronox, which it says will be published soon, found that supplementation with Aronox significantly improved endothelial function two hours post consumption compared with a placebo, and after three months continued use. At Vitafoods, a Naturex representative hosted an educational seminar about Aronox and its heart-health benefits, titled “Exploring the effect of anthocyanin-rich foods on vascular function.”
Naturex also showcased its highly standardized natural vitamin C ingredient, Acerolife, at the show. Acerolife is formulated using acerola cherries grown in Brazil, and is processed in a way that preserves the fruit’s naturally high vitamin C content, the company says. Because Acerolife contains such high levels of vitamin C, a lower dose is needed to help consumers achieve their daily recommended intake of vitamin C. The company adds that Acerolife is ideal for a variety of dietary supplements and functional food and beverage products.