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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2011 11F063 UL (UCC) €330,066

Project Title:

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients for health enhancement in the older population

Project Coordinator:

Prof. R.J. (Dick) FitzGerald

Project Abstract

Casein represents a valuable dairy ingredient having as yet an essentially untapped range of biologically active sequences encrypted within its primary structures. This project will investigate the ability of casein-derived peptides to beneficially modulate biomarkers associated with antioxidant status and low grade inflammation. A range of human conditions involve deleterious changes in antioxidant status and inflammatory responses, e.g., atherosclerosis, aging, neurodegenerative diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. Detailed scientific investigations are therefore proposed to develop the data required to unlock and thereby enhance the functional food ingredient potential of casein-derived peptides to act as dietary health enhancing agents for the older population. Initial laboratory-scale studies will assess the antioxidant capability of casein hydrolysates. Additionally, cell culture studies will quantify a range of biomarkers associated with antioxidant and inflammatory responses of selected casein hydrolysate/peptide preparations using different human cell lines. Peptide bioavailability will be assessed using a simulated gastrointestinal digestion model. Selected optimised hydrolysate protocols identified from data generated in the in vitro and cell culture studies will be transferred to semi-pilot scale for prototype ingredient manufacture. Mass spectroscopy analyses will be carried out to identify the peptide composition. Selected hydrolysates will be formulated into model foods for technofunctional and sensory evaluation. Potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory casein hydrolysate peptide preparations generated at semi-pilot scale will be characterised in an intervention study to quantify relevant biomarkers associated with antioxidant and inflammatory responses in older human volunteers. These studies will provide confirmatory data on the bioavailability of the casein-derived peptide preparations in humans.

Final Report:

Final Report 11F063 (pdf 305Kb)