Healthy ageing, immunity and cell renewal
GoodMills’ new SpermidinEVO wheat germ concentrate is rich in spermidine, a polyamine compound found in ribosomes and living tissues that is associated with various metabolic functions.
Spermidine occurs naturally in the human body and is produced within the cells as well as by bacteria in the intestinal microbiome.
Recent studies in journals Science and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have concluded spermidine supports autophagy, the ‘self-cleaning process’ that takes place in the body’s cells and is linked to a healthy immune system, as well as ‘decelerated ageing’.
During this process, old and superfluous cell components as well as harmful invaders such as viruses are broken down and recycled. These disassembled components can subsequently be used to build new structures, meaning the system provides an energy efficient mechanism for the production and renewal of cells.
GoodMills Innovation noted that the spermidine contained in SpermidinEVO also offers a ‘high degree of purity’. Compared with conventional wheat germs, the concentrate has up to six times the spermidine content: two grams provides the recommended daily intake of one milligram of spermidine.
SpermidinEVO also provides vitamins that enhance these positive effects, GoodMills added. Folic acid, for instance, plays a role in immune defence. Vitamin E, with its cell-protecting function, is considered to be a ‘classic anti-ageing ingredient’, while vegetable proteins and fats round off the nutritional profile.
“This composition allows product developments in the health, wellbeing and healthy ageing market segments. Thanks to its pleasant taste, the concentrate is suitable for numerous applications,” the company said.
Health ‘from the inside out and outside in’
In combination with a high-fibre diet, the company said its wellbeing ingredients contribute to a healthy microbiome and a ‘holistic approach to spermidine supply’.
“The right nutrient source for intestinal bacteria is an important basis for the body’s own spermidine production. Dietary fibres contribute to healthy intestinal flora and thus support spermidine production from within,” explained Michael Gusko, Managing Director.
“The combination of high-fibre ingredients and our spermidine-rich wheat germ concentrate makes it possible to boost cell recycling in two ways — from the inside out and from the outside in.”
Microbiome health has been linked to numerous benefits, from cognition and skin health to immunity. This is an important attribute as the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.
“We see that more and more consumers are concerned about a healthy diet and corona crisis is fueling the trend towards a healthy and immune-boosting diet definitely,” Project Manager Johanna Imbeck told FoodNavigator.
“Food manufacturers can of course position themselves well right now by offering appropriate products. As a partner for the industry, it is therefore important for us to provide up-to-date solutions and we can also observe an increased demand.”
Addressing ‘less active health-conscious consumers’
Diet is not the only way to stimulate autophagy. Regular fasting intervals and intensive sport are also associated with the cellular recycling process.
However, GoodMills Innovation sees the mainstreaming of health concerns due to COVID-19 as an opportunity to leverage diet to reach consumers outside the ‘active nutrition’ niche.
“Foods and drinks with SpermidinEVO can address less active health-conscious consumers who find it hard to fit regular activity into their everyday life and would rather not undertake fasting.”
This is opening up innovation opportunities outside the ‘traditional’ supplement space for such ingredients.
“Traditionally, health-promoting properties are very much anchored in the nutraceutical sector. However, more and more consumers are concerned about a healthy diet and are pleased when enjoyable foods bring added value to their health,” Imbeck explained.
GoodMills said its wheat germ concentrate is suitable for multiple mainstream grocery categories, from baked goods, bars, cookies and pasta to liquid applications such as dairy drinks and shakes.
According to the company, it can be ‘easily integrated’ into existing recipes as well as new formulations.
“Especially now in times of the corona pandemic, many consumers are concerned with an intact immune system. In view of this positioning, we therefore see enormous potential in all application areas including everyday foods. Classical positioning is probably in product segments that are already perceived as 'healthy' anyway, such as shakes, smoothies but also wholesome baked goods,” Imbeck suggested.
In terms of specific health claims in the EU, there are currently no approved claims for spermidine. However, GoodMills said ‘if dosed in sufficient amounts’ health-related claims such as 'folic acid for immune system support', and 'vitamin E for cell protection' are possible.
Imbeck added: “In many cases, health claims can also be made in accordance with EU regulations by combining different grain-based ingredients, for example with grain varieties which are rich in zinc or selenium.”
'Spermidin in Health and Disease'
Authors: Madeo, F et al
'Higher spermidine intake is linked to lower mortality: a prospective population-based study'
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Authors: Kiechl, S et al