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News

New food ingredient for heart health

CSIRO : 19 March, 2003  (New Product)
Vin life, a natural antioxidant, grapeseed extract and functional food ingredient developed by the Barossa-based Tarac Technologies, was recently found by the CSIRO to have a positive benefit for aspects of heart health when incorporated in food.
Designed for use in foods as diverse as breakfast cereals, cracker biscuits and fruit juices, Tarac's Vin life, when incorporated into yoghurt over a four week period, was found to improve the ability of the arteries to expand in response to a need for greater blood flow.

According to the CSIRO's Director of Clinical Research, Dr Peter Clifton, these findings are important because the end result with foods like this for the general population could be improved circulation and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

'Cardiovascular disease remains the major cause of death in Australia,' says Dr Clifton.

'Diet is often part of the problem, but studies like this one show that it can also be part of the solution. There is great potential for the food industry to work in partnership with researchers to produce innovative healthy foods and to demonstrate their safety and effectiveness.'

Antioxidants are well recognised for their ability to help counter the damaging effects of free radicals in the body. Scientific studies have shown that an excess of free radicals may be a significant factor in many degenerative diseases including certain types of cancer, premature aging and heart disease.

Although Vin life is yet to be made available to Australians in the form of a commercial available food product, Tarac Technologies is currently working with a number of major Australian and international food and beverage companies keen to leverage its potential as a Australia's newest functional food ingredient.

Tarac Technologies' Managing Director Mr Grahame Tonkin says that improving the health benefits of food is an important driver of innovation in the Australian food industry.

'Not only do we need sound scientific evidence to support the health claims we make, but it also underpins the integrity of our innovative natural ingredients,' he says.

'The food industry and the Australian community both benefit when industry works with credible organisations like CSIRO, especially when there is an opportunity to target a significant Australian health issue.'

The CSIRO trials were funded jointly by Tarac and CSIRO, through the 'Food into Asia' research program.
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