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A snack that helps reduce cardiovascular risk in obese children has been developed

Miembros del equipo con los snacks.

Researchers at the University of Valencia, Technical University of Valencia, Doctor Peset University Hospital and the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology, CSIC have designed and tested the effectiveness of a new apple snack tangerine juice impregnated with reducing risks cardiovascular disease in obese children and improve their physiological.

The snack, developed at laboratory scale at the premises of the Institute of Food Engineering for Development of the Technical University of Valencia stands out for its high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential. According to the researchers emphasize, forty grams of this product provide the bioactive components of a glass of fresh tangerine juice. The results of this work have been published recently in the journal 'International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition', 'Nutrition hospital' and 'Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies'.

To analyze the properties and functional value of a snack, a study involving 48 obese children aged 9 to 15 who were being treated at the Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital Doctor Peset were taken out . Specifically, they evaluated the effect of the incorporation of the starters to a low-energy diet, which followed children for four weeks. 

From this study, researchers found how the incorporation of functional food diet improved systolic blood pressure and lipid profile (types of fats in the blood) of children; also increased antioxidant defenses and decreased markers associated with oxidative DNA damage and inflammation, all cardiovascular risk factors.

"It is not a product that induces weight loss in children, but it would help improve their quality of life. The modification of oxidative stress in adipose tissue (or fat tissue) can help in the prevention of cardiovascular risk associated with childhood obesity and long term, to prevent diseases such as atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries caused by the accumulation fat, cholesterol and other substances)," said Dr. Pilar Codoñer, head of the Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital Doctor Peset and professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Valencia.

To get the snack, researchers enriched apple slices with mandarin juice for this technology using vacuum impregnation developed and patented by the UPV equipment that allows to incorporate additional ingredients to the structure of porous foods, as in the case of fruits and vegetables

"After several years of work, and the product is ready to be marketed by those companies that might be interested. Our snack has all the properties of two products as healthy as apples and tangerine and has no added ingredient. It is an alternative to snacks that exist in the market that contain oils and saturated fats and therefore which are high in calories," says Noelia Betoret, project principal investigator and professor at the School of Agricultural Engineering and Natural Environment.

This work is part of the thesis of Esther Betoret, also researcher of the Institute of Food Engineering for Development of the Technical University of Valencia and which was funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Last update: 23 de september de 2013 10:31.

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