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DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2015 15F670 UCC (Teagasc) €533,403

Project Title:

Development of biofortification approaches for enhanced vitamin K content of foods: proof of stability, efficacy and sensory appeal (BioKfoods)

Project Coordinator:

Prof Kevin Cashman

Project Abstract

Vitamin K has important physiological functions which relate to blood coagulation (its classical role), but also bone turnover and strength, inhibition of arterial calcification, amongst others. Inadequacy of vitamin K intake is common in all age groups within the population, and this translates into under-carboxylation of key Gla-proteins, respresenting sub-clinical vitamin K deficiency – also common in the population. Clearly, there is an urgent need for food-based strategies for increased vitamin K intake so as to minimise risk of sub-clinical vitamin K deficiency. There are, however, some important hurdles which point towards the need for more creative food-based solutions. For example, vegetables and vegetable dishes are key food contributors to vitamin K intake. Promoting greater vegetable consumption in the population, across all age groups, has been a mainstay of dietary guidelines over several decades, but adherence and uptake of this advise has been challenging. Biofortification of foods with vitamin K is an important potential complementary food-based approach to addressing low vitamin K intakes in the overall population, young and old. Eggs have been shown to be an ideal vehicle for biofortication with vitamin D and cultured/farmed fish likewise. The same approach can be adopted for vitamin K, with scope to potentially increase the content of phylloquinone (vitamin K1) and/or menaquinine (vitamin K2) in eggs and cultured fish. These two foods are being used as exemplars in this project, but there are numerous foods which could be used likewise. The biofortification approach needs to be evidence-based, and this project will bring together a multidisciplinary team of human and public health nutritionists, analytical chemists, food technologists, sensory scientists, and animal nutrition and feed, poultry and culture fish specialists. This research will contribute to the development of functional food products capable of enhancing nutritional status of the consumer while assuring consumer/sensory acceptance.

Final Report:

Not available yet.