Dairy Products As Functional Foods And Nutraceuticals

CANADA - Researchers with the University of Manitoba hope to shed new light on the potential uses of dairy products as functional foods and nutraceuticals, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 11 June 2010
clock icon 2 minute read
University of Manitoba
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The University of Manitoba's Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences has kicked off a project which includes two graduate student studies.

The first student is working on a project in conjunction with the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals looking at bioactive peptides from whey proteins and their potential role in treating metabolic syndrome and the second student is looking at the survival of probiotics in cheese and the impact these probiotics may have on the flavor and texture of the cheese.

Dr Sue Arntfield, a food science professor with the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, says both studies are scheduled to run for two years.

Dr Sue Arntfield - University of Manitoba

Bioactive peptides have been popular from a number of different sources over the years.

Whey proteins are not extensively used at the moment although there is more use than there used to be and we really just wanted to see if there is some options of using it to treat something called metabolic syndrome.

The probiotics is again something we've seen a lot in dairy products and we're just trying to extend it to a product that lasts a longer time than the yogurts and something that's often consumed by a lot more people I think than yogurt.

Again if there are health implications by eating products be they whey protein hydrolysates or cheeses that now have a probiotic capability, I think there's value to the consumer.

I don't know that it's going to have a major impact in terms of the actual price of these products.

It may increase the use of whey but cheese is pretty expensive anyway so I'm not sure that this is going to make a big difference.

It may entice more people to eat cheese in that they can see the health benefits.

Dr Arntfield says the demand for functional foods is still increasing as people prefer natural preventive health solutions rather than taking drugs so anything we can do to ward off disease is highly regarded.

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