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Ljubljana, Slovenia

Pravst I.,Nutrition Institute
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition | Year: 2010

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an effective natural antioxidant with a fundamental role in cellular bioenergetics and numerous known health benefits. Reports of its natural occurrence in various food items are comprehensively reviewed and critically evaluated. Meat, fish, nuts, and some oils are the richest nutritional sources of CoQ10, while much lower levels can be found in most dairy products, vegetables, fruits, and cereals. Large variations of CoQ10 content in some foods and food products of different geographical origin have been found. The average dietary intake of CoQ10 is only 3-6 mg, with about half of it being in the reduced form. The intake can be significantly increased by the fortification of food products but, due to its lipophilicity, until recently this goal was not easily achievable particularly with low-fat, water-based products. Forms of CoQ10 with increased water-solubility or dispersibility have been developed for this purpose, allowing the fortification of aqueous products, and exhibiting improved bioavailability; progress in this area is described briefly. Three main fortification strategies are presented and illustrated with examples, namely the addition of CoQ10 to food during processing, the addition of this compound to the environment in which primary food products are being formed (i.e. animal feed), or with the genetic modification of plants (i.e. cereal crops). © Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Pravst I.,Nutrition Institute
Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech | Year: 2010

The implementation of health claims legislation in the European Union has involved a steep learning curve for everyone. While a few years ago many food companies were quite enthusiastic about the ideas of the easier circulation of goods within the community and protecting the consumer from misleading claims, the picture today is no longer so clear. Due to the high standards needed for the scientific substantiation of health claims, many currently used health claims will soon be banned from the market. Scores of them are indeed not very supported, but at least some of them might be correct, albeit not sufficiently substantiated. It is therefore very important for the industry to learn from the existing evaluations to enable better research in this area and to improve the chances of success of following applications. This paper focuses on the experiences of existing evaluations, leading to a better outcome not only for the industry but also for consumers. Source

Pravst I.,Nutrition Institute
Journal fur Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit | Year: 2011

In the European Union (EU), food supplements are regulated as food and their use is expanding rapidly. There is no enforcement to ensure that good manufacturing practices (GMPs) are followed during production but manufacturers are fully responsible for their products. Recently, the safety and quality of supplements available in the market has come into question. In our surveillance, we examined coenzyme Q10 content of 58 food supplements available in three EU member states or from Internet stores using high-performance liquid chromatography methodology. While some of the tested supplements contained almost exactly the same quantity of active ingredient as labelled, one-third of the products contained <70% of the labelled content. In the food supplements obtained online the medium content was lower than in the products purchased in pharmacies. To protect the consumer and assure the safety and quality of products, the market authorities need to exert better control. In addition, it would make sense to enforce additional requirements to ensure GMPs are followed in the manufacturing process of food supplements. © 2011 Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL). Source

Insights into the use of health-related information on foods are important for planning studies about the effects of such information on the consumer’s understanding, purchasing, and consumption of foods, and also support further food policy decisions. We tested the use of sales data for weighting consumers’ exposure to health-related labeling information in the Slovenian food supply. Food labeling data were collected from 6342 pre-packed foods available in four different food stores in Slovenia. Consumers’ exposure was calculated as the percentage of available food products with particular food information in the food category. In addition, 12-month sales data were used to calculate sales weighted exposure as a percentage of sold food products with certain food information in the food category. The consumer’s in-store and sales-weighted exposure to nutrition claims was 37% and 45%, respectively. Exposure to health claims was much lower (13%, 11% when sales-weighted). Health claims were mainly found in the form of general non-specific claims or function claims, while children’s development and reduction of disease risk claims were present on only 0.1% and 0.2% of the investigated foods, respectively. Sales data were found very useful for establishing a reliable estimation of consumers’ exposure to information provided on food labels. The high penetration of health-related information on food labels indicates that careful regulation of this area is appropriate. Further studies should focus on assessing the nutritional quality of foods labeled with nutrition and health claims, and understanding the importance of such labeling techniques for consumers’ food preferences and choices. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source

Martin-Pelaez S.,Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition Research Group CARIN | Covas M.I.,Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition Research Group CARIN | Covas M.I.,CIBER ISCIII | Fito M.,Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition Research Group CARIN | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Nutrition and Food Research | Year: 2013

The Mediterranean diet and consumption of olive oil have been connected in several studies with longevity and a reduced risk of morbidity and mortality. Lifestyle, such as regular physical activity, a healthy diet, and the existing social cohesion in Southern European countries have been recognised as candidate protective factors that may explain the Mediterranean Paradox. Along with some other characteristics of the Mediterranean diet, the use of olive oil as the main source of fat is common in Southern European countries. The benefits of consuming olive oil have been known since antiquity and were traditionally attributed to its high content in oleic acid. However, it is now well established that these effects must also be attributed to the phenolic fraction of olive oil with its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial activities. The mechanisms of these activities are varied and probably interconnected. For some activities of olive oil phenolic compounds, the evidence is already strong enough to enable the legal use of health claims on foods. This review discusses the health effects of olive oil phenols along with the possibilities of communicating these effects on food labels. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

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