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Marine lipids can help combat disease

08 Nov, 2010

Source: IRL

IRL hosted a workshop attended by New Zealand and Japanese researchers to investigate the promotion of New Zealand marine lipids as ingredients for functional foods.

International experts gathered in Wellington in November 2010 as part of a new collaboration between Industrial Research Limited (IRL), a New Zealand-based research company, and world-leading Japanese researchers. They want to enable a path to market for high-value New Zealand ingredients for functional foods.

IRL hosted a second workshop entitled ‘Beneficial Marine Lipids as Ingredients for Functional Foods’ arising from a research project. The first workshop, held in Tokyo in April 2010, involved a programme of scientific presentations open to Japanese researchers, and industry and science representatives and media.

Lipids are a large and diverse group of naturally occurring organic compounds. The group includes the highly valued health-improving omega-3 fatty acids.

Research has found that lipids are effective in the treatment of disease. They can also play a role in brain and cardiovascular health, combating the effects of ageing, reducing the impact of dementia, maintaining bone health and helping development and growth in children.

Extracts from New Zealand marine resources are currently being assessed for usability in the treatment of the bone disease osteoporosis, fatigue, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, liver damage and inflammatory disorders.

It is anticipated that the expertise of the Japanese researchers in functional food regulations and links to industry will facilitate the development of commercially successful products.

This workshop provides a unique opportunity for New Zealand industry, researchers, academics and students and leading bioactivity and functional food researchers from Japanese institutes to collaborate to achieve world-class scientific results, leading towards new innovative technologies and new products.


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