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Here's to health from red wine extract. Santé!

A European project, Paradox, has extracted a mix of compounds from red wine-making waste to produce a functional food with antioxidant properties.
Here's to health from red wine extract. Santé!
Having a regular glass of red wine gave rise to the so-called French paradox. The phenomenon earned its name because the incidence of cardiovascular disease is lower in France than in some other countries despite the fact that French consumption of saturated fat is higher due to their penchant for fatty cheeses, foie gras and indulgent sauces. Some scientists claimed that the complex mixture of compounds in the seductive drink lent protection against heart disease.

More recently, large epidemiological studies have indicated that red wine can indeed prevent cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's and other dementias. In vitro tests have also shown an inhibitory effect on prostate and breast cancer cell lines.

With so much encouraging evidence about the benefits of red wine, the 'French paradox - Red wine extract food additives' (Paradox) project aimed to turn the waste from red wine production into functional food high in antioxidants. Paradox scientists also investigated new processes for production of the extract for testing in future clinical trials.

The Paradox researchers looked at the production process as a whole and their first step was to develop an extraction method that avoided the use of apolar solvents. To maintain the beneficial activity of the antioxidants during production and increase shelf life the researchers also devised a novel microencapsulation method.

High polyphenol content extracts from the grape pomace, the waste skin and seeds from the wine-making process, were produced. Using nine polyphenol target molecules, the compounds were characterised, standardised and purified.

paradox has prepared manuals, specifications and patents and created a brand name. A functional food ingredient is all ready for the market that may make it possible to avoid the ill-effects of the cheese board and reduce oxidative stress-related diseases that contribute to ageing.

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