Sausages are a suitable carried for lutein, the carotenoid linked to eye health benefits, says a new study which reports higher lutein uptake than from vegetables.
Spanish researchers report that 30 per cent of the lutein added to sausages was accessible to the body, and result in a significant source of the carotenoid in the diet, according to findings published in Food Chemistry.
Bangers good for your blinkers
"Our results support the suitability of meat products as lutein carriers and as a means to increase the systematic intake of lutein," they wrote.
Lutein, a nutrient found in various foods including green leafy vegetables and egg yolk, has a ten-year history in the dietary supplement market as a nutrient to reduce the risk of age related macular degeneration (ADM).
The global lutein market is set to hit $124.5 million (€93 million) in 2013, according to a 2007 report from Frost & Sullivan, with skin health offering a major new avenue for the carotenoid.
According to the report, manufacturers need to address this growing maturity in dietary supplements by identifying new and potentially lucrative application segments that offer opportunities for the continued growth of the lutein market.
The Spanish researchers, led by Fernando Granado-Lorencio from Madrid’s Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro, formulated frankfurter-style sausages with different fat contents and fortified them with lutein-enriched olive oil.
Their results showed that increasing substitution of fat for the lutein-enriched olive oil detrimentally affected the stability of the sausage emulsion, but improved the colour by making it redder.
At least 30 per cent of the lutein was bioaccessible, added the researchers, which represented “a higher percentage than has been reported for fruits and vegetables under the same simulated conditions”.
Under storage conditions, the samples were found to have high stability.
“In this study, we have shown the efficacy of a meat product as a carrier for lutein, and, more importantly, we have shown that the higher the amount of fat in the product, the more free lutein will be micellarized and available for absorption, a result that is consistent with the factors affecting the bioavailability of carotenoids from foods,” wrote the researchers.
“The amount of lutein available for absorption per serving ingested (ie, 100 grams of sausages) could be significant within a dietary context and comparable to or higher than the amounts supplied by the ingestion of 100 grams of significant contributors to lutein intake in different European diets,” they added.
Source: Food Chemistry
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2009.11.005
“Lutein-enriched frankfurter-type products: Physicochemical characteristics and lutein in vitro bioaccessibility”
Authors: F. Granado-Lorencio, I. Lopez-Lopez, C. Herrero-Barbudo, I. Blanco-Navarro, et al.