As a major supplier of natural health ingredients, Symrise keeps its ear close to the ground when it comes to key consumer trends. As a result, a strong focus of late in terms of both research and product development has been on gut health and immunity, metabolic health, and healthy ageing.
“One aspect that makes us unique is our ability to extract healthy, natural ingredients from fruits,” says Dr Ballèvre, vice president of health at Symrise taste, nutrition, and health. “For example, we developed a scientific network close to cranberry production sites in Canada. This resulted in a five-year collaboration with INAF [Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods] at Laval University, chaired by Professor Yves Desjardins.”
Fruitful scientific collaboration
This scientific collaboration has revealed a great deal about the unique prebiotic potential of fruit polyphenols, in this case cranberry. Professor Desjardins will discuss these findings in greater detail during the Metabolic Health Conference at Vitafoods 2023.
“We want to take this opportunity at Vitafoods to really demonstrate our ambitions in health, and to highlight our role in long term collaborations like this,” says Dr Ballèvre. “For example, cranberry has long been associated with tackling urinary issues. Together with this leading university, we were able to demonstrate that polyphenols rich extracts from cranberries also have a unique prebiotic potential effect.”
Cranberry polyphenol extracts were shown to modulate the gut microbiome and deliver metabolic health benefits. “The notion that these polyphenols can have a beneficial impact on the microbiome is quite a breakthrough,” adds Dr Ballèvre.
Delivering gut health and other benefits
Based on the scientific discoveries of Professor Desjardins’ team, Symrise will launch Prebiocran, an innovative cranberry extract designed to deliver prebiotic effect and gut health benefits.
“We believe that this ingredient has lots of potential in the supplement category and possibly in food and beverage applications,” says Dr Ballèvre. “Our focus at Vitafoods 2023 will be on dietary supplements, and we’ll provide examples at our stand of how brands can use these ingredients in their formulations.”
While the key functional benefit of this cranberry polyphenol extract is gut health and an improved microbiome, Dr Ballèvre notes that preliminary scientific studies have also suggested that the ingredient can deliver improved lipid metabolism for cardiometabolic health. “This research has also confirmed that the reported use of cranberry in the cardiovascular space could be scientifically validated, for example in liver detoxification and optimising blood lipids. So, there are potential health opportunities beyond just gut or urinary health.”
Another positive aspect of using cranberry extract is that this is of course a natural ingredient. This is very much on trend, as consumers are increasingly looking for natural products that deliver health benefits.
Looking forward, Symrise plans to invest further in researching the health benefits of cranberry polyphenols, in order to build on preliminary findings and establish this extract as an attractive, all-natural nutraceutical.
“At present, our research is focused on the microbiome and the consequences of improving the gut ecosystem; as well as inflammation and all the health-related consequences of this such as healthy ageing,” says Dr Ballèvre. “We already have an interesting portfolio of ingredients in this field linked to these two areas. For example, we have a new ingredient based on collagen for joint health.”
Professor Yves Desjardins will discuss these research findings in greater detail during the Metabolic Health Conference at Vitafoods 2023, 2:30-3:00 PM on May 9. Prebiocran will be presented at the Vitafoods Probiotics Theatre 12:30-12:55 PM the same day. Symrise will be demonstrating application concepts at their booth G161 during the coming Vitafoods show.