Food & Biotechnology

Development of nutraceutical products from the Chilean Maqui

The main objective of this research and development work is to establish a technological platform in Chile for the identification, development and commercialization of biological activity products for nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, functional and/or botanical therapeutic purposes - derived from the Maqui (Aristotelia chilensis) and from other Chilean native plants.

Context and Trends:

Obesity and diabetes are considered among the biggest health problems of the public health around the world. Diabetes is the most prevalent endocrine disorder and it is estimated that there are more than 347 million people that have this disease. Unfortunately, the projections are not promising, because the WHO expected that all deaths caused by diabetes will double by 2030. Diabetes is a non-communicable chronic disease and 90% of the world cases correspond to the type II, which is largely explained by the excess body weight and the physical inactivity. Diabetes is not only a disease that is strongly linked to obesity, but also is a central component of the metabolic syndrome.

A healthy diet and the regular practice of physical activity contribute to prevent the associated risk factors. For this reason, the consumers that are informed and aware of the link between diet and health are increasingly demanding natural food and/or products with demonstrated benefits to prevent these diseases of the modern life.

In this context and given the wide availability of native fruits of our country, there is an important development potential of unique and different botanical products that are related to some native fruits. These products are called “superfruits” and apart from being associated to a region with unique features, they have a high nutritional value of antioxidants and/or bioactive compounds with beneficial properties for the human health.

This research work was developed by the company SBP Chile S.A., subsidiary of Fundación Chile, and demonstrates that the consumption of purified extract of maqui allows controlling the alterations in the sugar and insulin levels and, therefore, establishes a base line for the development of natural products and nutraceuticals which can replace the traditional hypoglycemic medicines.

Acknowledgements: Corfo Innnova, San Cristobal Medical Foundation, Department of Nutrition at the Universidad de Chile.

 

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