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NUTRIDENT — Result In Brief

Project ID: 36210
Funded under: FP6-FOOD

Food with dental care properties

A European study illustrated how it’s possible to utilise foods and beverages to promote oral health.
Food with dental care properties
The accumulation of dental plaque – a bacterial biofilm – often gives rise to dental and gum infections leading to caries and gingivitis formation, respectively. Professional help is usually required to restore carious teeth and treat gingivitis or periodontitis, a common problem arising from gingivitis. Research has shown that certain foods and beverages contain substances that could help maintain oral health.

The EU-funded project ‘Towards functional foods for oral health care - isolation, identification and evaluation of beverage and food components with anti-caries and/or anti-gingivitis activities’ (Nutrident) focused on the identification of foods with special dental care properties. Project partners performed an extensive literature search to identify all foods and beverages such as wine, coffee and tea, thought to aid oral health. These were chemically analysed and subjected to a number of assays. The three most promising substances were further evaluated specifically for their anti-caries and anti-gingivitis activities.

Using fractionated extracts, scientists were able to identify the active constituents which were then formulated into mouthwashes and chewing gum. Clinical studies evaluated the actual potential of these novel mouthwashes to select one with combined anti-caries and anti-gingivitis activities.

Collectively, the Nutrident project identified foods and beverages with potential oral health properties, isolated their active constituents and formulated functional foods. Commercial application of these healthcare products will reduce the risk of dental disease and prove financially beneficial for the healthcare system.

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