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Food Chemistry publishes a scientific article on Cereal Docks' sunflower isolate

25 January 2024
Reading time: 1 min

Bioactive peptides derived from the sunflower protein isolate developed by Cereal Docks (Italian patent application number IT102022000016812) exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory biological activity, as demonstrated in various model systems. This is revealed in the recently published article in the international scientific journal Food Chemistry.

The data stems from research conducted by the R&I Department of Cereal Docks in collaboration with the University of Padua, the Institute of Neuroscience of CNR in Padua, the Veneto Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM, Padua), and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble (France). The research consortium explored the biological activity of peptides from the sunflower protein isolate developed by Cereal Docks, a product obtained by valorizing a by-product of sunflower oil production. The protein isolate underwent simulated gastrointestinal digestion, and the peptide-enriched fraction obtained showed antioxidant properties even in vivo, in zebrafish.

The sunflower protein isolate is a particularly valued and versatile product, offering a diverse range of potential applications: protein-enriched baked goods, gluten-free products, mayonnaises and other sauces and condiments, plant-based beverages and ice creams, spreads and cheeses, veggie burgers and breaded vegetable products, as well as meat analogs.

The research was funded under the POR-FESR project: "Future Agriculture and Functional Foods: a challenge for research and the revitalization of the Veneto region (F.A.&A.F.)," which involved partners from the regional innovative networks Innosap and RIBES-Nest, of which Cereal Docks is also a part. The objectives of the call focused on identifying and characterizing new active principles in plant-based raw materials to enhance primary productions, focusing particularly on biological activity and immune response.

Participating in the research consortium were: Federica Tonolo, Sara Coletta, Federico Fiorese, Alessandro Grinzato, Marica Albanesi, Alessandra Folda, Stefania Ferro, Agnese De Mario, Ilaria Piazza, Cristina Mammucari, Giorgio Arrigoni, Oriano Marin, Giulia Cestonaro, Luigi Nataloni, Enrico Costanzo, Claudia Lodovichi, Maria Pia Rigobello, Marina de Bernard. The full scientific article was published by the prestigious scientific journal Food Chemistry.

Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), a key element of the Cereal Docks supply chains, not only represents a source of edible oil rich in unsaturated fats but also an excellent protein source with a high-quality organoleptic and amino acid profile. Last but not least, sunflower is not among the fourteen major food allergens identified by European Regulation 1169/2011, meeting the growing demand for hypoallergenic and non-allergenic products.

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