postbiotics

Exploring the power of postbiotics: benefits and uses

Exploring the power of postbiotics: benefits and uses

October 18th, 2023

Currently, probiotics and prebiotics are widely known for their favorable impact on gut health. More recently, the focus has expanded to include postbiotics, which encompass products or byproducts generated through microbial fermentation and are also acknowledged for their health advantages. Nevertheless, these postbiotics remain unfamiliar to most consumers. Dive into our new blog to find out more!

postbiotics

What are postbiotics?

Gut health is key to your overall well-being and there are many ways to support your gut health. Prebiotics and probiotics are well-known, but what about probiotics?

Postbiotics encompass a class of substances defined as “preparations containing non-living microorganisms or their components, which bring about positive health effects for the host.” In simpler terms, they refer to the byproducts or metabolic products that result from the fermentation processes of bacteria.

This category of postbiotics encompasses various kinds of compounds. Among them are short-chain fatty acids, known for their multiple health advantages, as well as fragments of microbial cells, functional proteins, extracellular polysaccharides, cell lysates, and teichoic acid.

In contrast to probiotics, postbiotics offer health benefits without requiring a live state. This characteristic contributes to their stability compared to the live bacteria they originate from. [1]

Why should I use postbiotics?

A question on your mind might be: why should you consider postbiotics when you’re already using pre- and probiotics?

It’s crucial to recognize that everyone’s gut microbiota composition differs. As a result, the way various components are processed can vary from person to person.

This means that the impact of probiotics and prebiotics on health can differ among individuals. A way to control for this is by consuming postbiotics. You are then directly taking the beneficial components, so differences in microbiota composition don’t have an effect in this case.

If you’re interested in learning more about prebiotics, you can refer to this article. Alternatively, if you’re already familiar with prebiotics, you might find this article on synbiotics to be of interest!

What are the advantages for health that postbiotics offer?

Research indicates that postbiotics can bring forth a range of health benefits, including:

Balancing the microbiota: Elements found in postbiotics, like butyrate, a type of short-chain fatty acid, prove advantageous for maintaining gut health. [2]

Influencing the immune system: Butyrate has the ability to trigger the generation of T cells within the intestinal tract, thereby aiding in the regulation of immune responses. Additional components, such as fragments of microbial cell walls, can enhance the production of cytokines—chemical messengers that mitigate inflammation and bolster immune reactions. [2,3]

Shaping metabolic processes: Short-chain fatty acids such as propionate play a role in enhancing insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. Simultaneously, butyrate spurs the generation of an antioxidant called glutathione. [1,2]

Assisting in weight loss: Short-chain fatty acids could contribute to weight loss by influencing eating behaviors. This is attributed to the release of hormones that induce a sense of fullness. [1]

Easing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): In a study involving 443 individuals with IBS, the administration of orally ingested, heat-inactivated Bifidobacterium bifidum, a postbiotic, notably alleviated IBS-related symptoms such as abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and irregular bowel habits. [4] Curious to read about the effect of pre- and probiotics on IBS symptoms? Read more here!

Potential additional advantages: Administering inactivated lactic acid bacteria orally might aid in eradicating Helicobacter pylori infection, addressing chronic unexplained diarrhea, and mitigating the adverse impacts of stress. [1]

How can I incorporate postbiotics into my diet effectively?

Postbiotics might not be as readily available as probiotics and prebiotics, but you can acquire them from health food stores or online retailers. They are generally regarded as safe and well-tolerated.

Given that postbiotics are a product of bacterial fermentation within your gut, you can enhance their production by consuming foods abundant in probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotic-rich options include fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, tempeh, and kombucha. For prebiotics, focus on incorporating high-fiber foods into your diet, such as vegetables and whole-grain products.


MEET US - November 2023

Meet us in November 2023 at different events across Europe!

November 10th, 2023

The Solabia-BioActor team will be out and in about again in November 2023. Below you will find where you can meet our team in person at multiple international events!

14th European Nutrition Conference FENS in Belgrade, Serbia

14-17 November 2023

Our clinical researcher Sanne Ahles will present at the 14th European Nutrition Conference, at the Sava Center in Belgrade. Her presentation on how Aronia melanocarpa extract (Brainberry®) supplementation could improve cognitive performance will take place on 15 November in Room 9 from 13:30 till 15:00.

In-Vitality, Milan, Italy

22-23 November 2023

Valeria Mastromartino, Account Manager Italy, will be present at In-Vitality in Milan. This is a B2B exhibition and conference for health ingredients, supplements and functional foods in Italy, the biggest European market for supplements. Feel free to reach out to Valeria to arrange a meeting!

Food Ingredients Europe, Frankfurt, Germany

28-30 November, 2023

Hans van der Saag, CEO, and Joris Kretzers, Commercial Director, will visit FI Europe in Frankfurt. FI Europe is a great opportunity to observe market trends in the European markets, and meet with valued customers and business partners. Reach out to either Hans or Joris to arrange a quick get-together in Frankfurt!

Book a meeting!



    microbiomex or gut health

    Everything you need to know about MicrobiomeX® and gut health

    Everything you need to know about MicrobiomeX® and gut health

    October 11th, 2023

    The gut microbiome plays a vital role in our digestive system, responsible for digesting nutrients while also serving as a central component of our gut wall and immune system. Maintaining a healthy microbiome profile is of utmost importance and ongoing research continues to shed light on its intricate functions. In this article, we introduce MicrobiomeX®, one of our sustainably sourced, plant-based active ingredients supported by clinical research. Explore the benefits of incorporating MicrobiomeX® into your formulation.

    microbiomex or gut health

    What is gut health and why is the gut microbiome important?

    The gastrointestinal system is often referred to as the ‘gut’, including the stomach, intestines, and colon. Its primary function is to digest and absorb nutrients, essential for meeting our energy needs.

    Within the gut approximately 200 billion species of bacteria reside, collectively known as the gut microbiome. Many of these microorganisms play a vital role in food digestion and are crucial for maintaining a healthy gut and overall well-being.

    It’s important to recognize that the condition of the gut microbiome can significantly impact physical health, but also mental health. Well-established connections exist between the gut microbiome and various aspects such as the immune system, the gut wall, mental health, autoimmune diseases, sleep, skin health etc. (1). Numerous factors, including diet, age, and lifestyle, can influence the gut microbiome. Hence, it is clearly important to maintain and support a healthy gut microbiota through nutritious foods and supplements.

     

    Tips for improving Gut Health

    Enhancing gut health is possible through dietary and lifestyle choices. Certain foods are known for their positive impact on gut health, particularly fermented foods and fiber-rich options. By increasing their intake, we can reduce the risk of developing gut inflammation and metabolic diseases. Incorporating physical activity and using supplements, including prebiotics and probiotics, are additional strategies. Emerging products now focus on non-fermenting plant-based ingredients, such as prebiotics and citrus flavonoids.

    gut health and microbiome

    Exploring Prebiotics, Probiotics and More

     

    • Prebiotics: these non-digestible food ingredients offer health benefits by selectively stimulating the growth and activity of specific intestinal bacteria (2). Foods rich in prebiotics include onions, garlic, greens, cereals and bananas.

     

    • Probiotics: Live microorganisms that benefit the host by reducing harmful bacteria and supporting the gut’s natural flora (3). Consider consuming fermented foods and probiotic supplements, such as yogurt, tempeh, kombucha, and kimchi, to promote good bacteria.

     

    • Postbiotics: the byproducts of digestion (4). vitamins B and K, antimicrobial peptides, amino acids, and short-chain fatty acids, play a role in supporting good bacteria. Some postbiotics, like de-glycosylated ‘active’ flavonoids, are generated by specific beneficial bacteria and are also known as flavobiotics.

     

    • Synbiotics: a powerful combination of probiotics and prebiotics (5). As mentioned above, prebiotics support the function of probiotics, working in synergy to optimize digestive health and bolster the immune system.

    Understanding flavonoids

    What are flavonoids?   Flavonoids are natural substances found in plants, known for their diverse health benefits. They have become an indispensable part of the nutraceutical market, due to their ability to modulate key cellular enzymes and their antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic properties.

     

    Fortunately, sourcing flavonoids is sustainable. They are primarily extracted from immature fruits in an eco-friendly manner. For example, orange and grapefruit trees bloom annually, but not all blossoms can become full grown fruits. The trees undergo a natural selection process called ‘fruit drop,’ shedding immature fruits to conserve their resources.

     

    What are the benefits of using immature fruits?

    After the fruit drop, immature oranges and grapefruits are not suitable for raw consumption. Still, they are full of valuable nutrients. To harness these nutrients, the most practical approach is to process them into a powdered form, which can be easily incorporated into nutritional supplements.

    immature oranges and sweet oranges

    Why do immature oranges and grapefruits matter?

    These immature fruits are particularly rich in a nutrient of interest, hesperidin. By standardizing the extract from immature oranges for hesperidin content, we can create an eco-friendly and sustainable ingredient. As mentioned earlier, fruit drop is a natural occurrence, and these immature oranges become a byproduct that we can utilize. Similarly, another valuable ingredient, naringin, can be extracted from immature grapefruits.

     

    What are hesperidin and naringin?

    Hesperidin and naringin are flavonoids with numerous health benefits. What sets them apart is their unique ability to reach the colon intact, where they directly nourish the gut microbiome. This, in turn, leads to the production of short-chain fatty acids (6, 7), including the vital butyrate, the primary energy source for colon wall cells.

     

    These flavonoids are abundantly found in citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons (8). The extraction of valuable flavonoids from such citrus fruits is a well-established practice. Extensive studies (9) confirm that a combination of hesperidin and naringin positively affects the gut microbiome composition by improving the short-chain fatty acids profile, mainly increasing butyrate content

     

    How can hesperidin and naringin improve gut health?

    The unique chemical structure of hesperidin and naringin allows them to traverse the digestive system, arriving mostly intact in the colon. Here, the gut microbiota breaks them down into their active forms, hesperetin and naringenin, both highly bioavailable and transported to various tissues via the bloodstream.

     

    Notably, hesperidin and naringin selectively nourish specific bacteria species, such as Bifidobacterium, Roseburia, and Lactobacilli (10). This promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria, reinforcing the gut’s defense against harmful pathogens. Additionally, these flavonoids play a pivotal role in supporting the immune system by inhibiting oxidative stress and gut inflammation.

     

    In summary, the journey from immature fruits to powdered extracts of hesperidin and naringin offers an eco-friendly and sustainable way to enhance gut health and overall well-being, while also minimizing waste and maximizing the benefits of these valuable compounds.

    microbiomex and immature oranges

    What is MicrobiomeX®?

    MicrobiomeX® is a potent blend of extracts derived from Citrus sinensis (immature oranges) and Citrus paradisi (grapefruit). It stands as a pioneering Flavobiotic®, designed to fortify the gut barrier and unlock the full potential of the gut microbiome. Remarkably, MicrobiomeX® is entirely plant-based and produced sustainably. It adheres to multiple dietary preferences, including vegan, halal, kosher, gluten-free, and hormone-free. Notably, MicrobiomeX® distinguishes itself by being non-fermenting, with its flavonoids activated through a microbiota-driven process known as de-glycosylation.

     

    Extensive research conducted by BioActor, through pre-clinical and clinical trials, has illuminated the remarkable benefits of MicrobiomeX®. Consumption of MicrobiomeX® leads to an enhanced profile of short-chain fatty acids, with a specific increase in butyrate. Additionally, calprotectin levels decrease, signaling a reduction in gut inflammation.

     

    Who can benefit from taking MicrobiomeX®?

    MicrobiomeX® can be beneficial for everyone who wants to immprove their microbiome composition and strengthen their immunity. For a more targeted approach, this blend of sweet orange and pomegranate extracts could help the following groups:

     

    MicrobiomeX® is a promising solution for individuals struggling with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Notably, MicrobiomeX®’ non-fermenting nature reduces the production of gas and intestinal discomfort. Additionally, it fosters the proliferation of Bifidobacterium, a beneficial bacteria associated with improved gastrointestinal symptoms in individuals with IBS.

     

    Another demographic that can find MicrobiomeX® beneficial is athletes, particularly those engaged in endurance sports. Endurance athletes frequently experience gastrointestinal discomfort due to the extended and repetitive nature of activities like running or cycling. MicrobiomeX® offers a potential remedy by reducing gut permeability and bolstering the gut barrier.

    What is our source of citrus flavonoids?

    Nestled in the heart of Spain, at Finca la Gloria, lies a family-run orange plantation. Here, eco-friendly methods are employed to safeguard the trees, eschewing the use of pesticides. Every year, the orange trees burst with blooms. After the natural selection process known as ‘fruit drop,’ immature oranges fall from the trees. Fortunately, they are readily available for us to harvest and extract all benefits they can offer.

    Learn more about MicrobiomeX®

    If you are curious to know more about MicrobiomeX®, you can check out the product page of MicrobiomeX® or its website.


    MEET US - Supply Side West 2023

    Meet us at Supply Side West in Las Vegas, 2023!

    September 29th, 2023

    The Solabia-BioActor team is looking forward to be a part of the premier event for nutraceutical ingredients, Supply Side West in Las Vegas. Mark your calendar for October 25th and 26th, and make sure to visit us at Booth #3544.

    Meet us in Las Vegas!

    As part of Solabia Nutrition, we are presenting our range of clean-label products, amongst which Brainberry®, MicrobiomeX® and Bonolive®. We invite you to drop by our booth and discover our eco-friendly and sustainable product range. All BioActor ingredients are not only patented but also supported by clinical research conducted at Maastricht University, in the Netherlands.

    Additionally, you can explore the active ingredients of Solabia Nutrition and Solabia-Algatech at our booth. We will be displaying a variety of ingredients, like our AstaPure® astaxanthin range, Arava, BioGlena® and BioEcolians®. And there is more!

    Latest publications with Actiful® and MicrobiomeX®

    We are also eager to share the latest publications with Actiful® and MicrobiomeX®.

    The latest publication on, Actiful®demonstrates its ability to support energy and vitality as well as its potential to protect and support the mitochondria.

    For MicrobiomeX®, the latest clinical data confirms its ability to support the gut microbiome and increase butyrate production in an elderly subject population.

    Join us at Booth #3544, and let’s explore the future of nutraceutical ingredients together!

    Book a meeting!



      gut health or butyrate or short chain fatty acids

      New clinical study: MicrobiomeX® improves microbiota composition and SCFA production

      New clinical study: MicrobiomeX® improves microbiota composition and SCFA production

      Maastricht, The Netherlands, 29th September  2023

      Press release

      New clinical and pre-clinical data from a study with MicrobiomeX® have been published in a peer-reviewed journal. It is a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel study performed by scientists of Maastricht University, the department of Gastro-enterology of Maastricht University Medical Center and BioActor. It shows the potential of MicrobiomeX® to improve short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) profiles in the intestine. After 12 weeks of daily supplementation, there was a significant shift in the SCFA profile (p=0.022) towards butyrate. In addition, a reduction in faecal calprotectin levels was observed, a marker of gut inflammation. Interestingly, a new in-vitro study in the TIM2 model, where faecal samples from volunteers were tested, also showed a strong increase in butyrate production. These new clinical and pre-clinical results highlight MicrobiomeX®’s potential to support intestinal microbiota of subjects with features of metabolic syndrome.

      gut health or butyrate or short chain fatty acids

      MicrobiomeX®: an an active ingredient supporting the gut microbiome, developed by BioActor

      MicrobiomeX® is a clinically validated blend of Citrus sinensis (sweet orange) and Citrus paradisi (grapefruit) extracts. These fruits are naturally rich in flavonoids, known for their anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties (1, 2). MicrobiomeX® already showed promising potential to reduce markers of gut inflammation and increase SCFAs in previous in-vitro and ex-vivo studies conducted with this ingredient (3, 4). Supplement brands all over the world have adopted MicrobiomeX® in their formulations, typically positioned for improving gut microbiome balance and immune system regulation.

      The study: Citrus Extract High in Flavonoids Beneficially Alters Intestinal Metabolic Responses in Subjects with Features of Metabolic Syndrome

       

      Introduction

      This study (5) was published in the international journal “Foods”. The western diet and lifestyle may be the leading causes for the development of various metabolic disorders. An overlooked factor is the gut microbiota composition, which should be considered as a factor determining health status. A healthy gut is related to mental wellbeing and strong immunity. This study aimed to evaluate the benefits of MicrobiomeX® supplementation on the intestinal microbiome of subjects with metabolic disorder traits.

      Methods

      Fifty adult subjects with features of metabolic syndrome took part in the study. They ingested 500mg MicrobiomeX® or placebo daily for 12 weeks. Additionally, seven volunteers provided faecal samples that were introduced into a TIM-2 system for further analysis. The TIM-2 is a computer-controlled model in an anaerobic environment that replicates the appropriate conditions for microbial growth in the human colon and is able to measure microbiota composition and SCFA production.

      Results

      A significant shift in the SCFA profile towards more butyrate (p=0.022) was observed in the MicrobiomeX® group after the 12-week supplementation period. An increase in SCFA production was also found in the TIM-2 model, that was mainly due to an increased production of butyrate, acetate and valerate. Additionally, in the MicrobiomeX® group, a trend in calprotectin reduction was observed, which is a marker of gut inflammation. Both in vivo and in vitro data confirm the benefits of MicrobiomeX on gut health, specifically the increased butyrate production and improved SCFA profile. These findings are in line with previous in vitro results and show that MicrobiomeX® can beneficially modulate the gut microbiome.

      Conclusion

      This study demonstrates the great potential of MicrobiomeX® in playing a role in gut health modulation. This is indicated by the significant increase in SCFAs, mainly butyrate, and a reduction in calprotectin, as found in the present study. By adding MicrobiomeX® to your supplement, you can offer customers a science-based support for gut health. It is an alternative to common prebiotics and an ideal partner for synbiotic formulation targeting gut health and immunity.

      Click here to read the complete publication

      About BioActor

      BioActor, based in Maastricht, Netherlands is part of the Solabia Group and has developed a range of proprietary bioactive ingredients for the nutrition & healthcare industry. We focus on the development of innovative activities that address active living and healthy ageing. Our goal is to provide the nutrition & healthcare industry with science-based innovations that confer a real health benefit to the consumer.

      Feel free to contact via info@bioactor.com for more information on the possibilities MicrobiomeXl® has to offer. Further information can also be found on: https://bioactor.com/products/microbiomex/ and https://microbiomex.com/


      how a healthy microbiome boosts your immune system

      How a healthy microbiome boosts your immune system

      Unlocking the power of your gut: how a healthy microbiome boosts your immune system

      August 18th, 2023

      Did you know that your immune system’s performance is intricately tied to the health of your gut microbiome? In this article, we delve into the fascinating connection between your gut microbiome and immune system. Discover the key role of the gut microbiome in immune function and learn about the dietary components that can nurture a diverse and thriving gut ecosystem.

      how a healthy microbiome boosts your immune system

      A symbiotic relationship: gut microbiome and immune system harmony

      The human body is a bustling ecosystem housing trillions of microorganisms, collectively known as the microbiome. Among these, the gut microbiome stands out as a vibrant community of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites (1).

      This intricate network collaborates to maintain a balanced blend of beneficial microorganisms, protecting us from potential invaders.

      Recent advancements have illuminated the gut microbiome’s dynamic involvement in our well-being, extending beyond passive existence.

      This intricate web of microorganisms actively influences various bodily functions, including bolstering the development and efficacy of the immune system. Our immune system, in turn, maintains a delicate equilibrium, defending against pathogens while avoiding autoimmune responses (2).

      Microbiome’s immune-boosting strategies

      Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs)

      At the heart of the gut microbiota’s influence on immunity lies the production of Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) through dietary fiber fermentation in the large intestine (3).

      These SCFAs, such as acetate, propionate, and butyrate, play a pivotal role in maintaining gut balance and modulating immune responses. They orchestrate immune cell functions, like regulatory T cells and antigen-presenting cells, and stimulate cytokine and chemokine production, bolstering immunity.

      Furthermore, SCFAs can directly quell pathogenic activity by suppressing virulence-related genes, curbing potential threats.

      Fortifying the barricade: tight junctions

      The gut’s tight junctions act as gatekeepers, upholding the integrity of the intestinal barrier (4). Inflammation or infections can disrupt these barriers, allowing undesirable substances to escape into the bloodstream, triggering immune responses (5, 6).

      SCFAs step in as allies here, contributing to the assembly of robust tight junctions within intestinal cell walls. This reinforcement prevents the escape of harmful toxins from the gut, bolstering the gut wall’s ability to shield against infections (5).

      When this symbiotic relationship thrives, the immune system guards us against infections. However, an unbalanced microbiota composition might trigger inflammation, autoimmune disorders, and chronic diseases (1, 5).

      Strategies to help the gut ecosystem flourish

      A diverse and balanced gut microbiome is universally recognized as vital for our health (7). Research highlights that such diversity empowers immune responses against infections while reducing autoimmune responses. Conversely, a low-diversity microbiome is linked to chronic inflammation and an elevated risk of colorectal cancer.

      To nurture a flourishing and diverse gut microbiome, prioritizing a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle is very important.

      Choose for a spectrum of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources. These foods, rich in fiber, prebiotics, and nutrients, provide nourishment for beneficial gut bacteria.

      1. Fiber: the gut’s aid for immunity

      Fiber’s role in gut health is crucial, as it bolsters microbiome diversity. A diet rich in fiber, found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, enhances gut bacteria abundance and diversity. This, in turn, augments immune function, reducing chronic disease risks (8).

      2. Prebiotics: fuel for beneficial bacteria

      Prebiotics, a specific type of fiber, serve as sustenance for our beneficial gut inhabitants. Foods like onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, bananas, and whole grains are brimming with prebiotics, nurturing a thriving microbial community.

      3. Water: hydration and gut motility

      Staying hydrated is crucial for optimal gut function. Drinking plenty of water helps maintain proper gut motility and prevents constipation. Adequate hydration supports the movement of food through the digestive tract, allowing beneficial bacteria to thrive and contribute to a healthier gut.

      4. Probiotics and postbiotics: allies for immunity

      Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi harbor probiotics—live bacteria conferring health benefits. Additionally, postbiotics, metabolic by-products or components produced during fermentation, like SCFAs, amplify the benefits. Consuming these products directly ingests these components, bolstering health.

      5. Synbiotics: Uniting Prebiotics and Probiotics

      Synbiotics, the blend of prebiotics and probiotics, synergistically promote gut health. Examples include yogurt with inulin or fructooligosaccharides (FOS), and kefir with galactooligosaccharides (GOS).

      6. Reducing stress levels

      Besides diet-related strategies, there are other ways to help your gut stay healthy. Stress can negatively impact the gut-brain axis and disrupt gut health. Practicing stress-reduction techniques like meditation or deep breathing can have a positive impact on both your mental well-being and gut health.

      Cultivate your gut for immune resilience

      In summary, the gut microbiome profoundly impacts the immune system’s effectiveness. A thriving and varied gut ecosystem fortifies us against infections and chronic ailments, while an imbalanced one heightens vulnerability. By embracing a well-rounded diet full of fiber, prebiotics, and fermented foods, we can nurture our gut microbiome, bolstering overall health.


      MEET US - Vitafoods Asia 2023

      Visit us at Vitafoods Asia 2023

      August 15th, 2023

      We are happy to announce that BioActor will participate in Vitafoods Asia 2023, the trade show that offers the opportunity to find out the latest trends in the field of dietary supplements, raw materials, and food and to network with other professionals from around the world. Visit us at Booth C41.

      Meet us at Booth C41

      If you’re looking for natural ingredients with verified clinical support to elevate your product development according to consumer needs, make sure to visit our booth! Our nutraceutical solutions guarantee success based on three fundamental principles: clinical efficacy, innovation, and high quality.

      Vitafoods Asia 2023 offers an incredible opportunity to participate in discussions concerning our recently completed clinical trials, consumer studies, and collaborative endeavors!

      New Clinical Data

      Pass by our booth to learn about our recent trials on MicrobiomeX® for gut health, Brainberry® for cognitive performance or Actiful® for mitigating risk caused by harmful AGEs linked to chronic diseases.

      Other than clinical data, we are happy to discuss the outcomes of our recent consumer research that delved into the effects of Bonolive® on postmenopausal symptoms.

      New Collaboration

      Vitafoods Asia also offers us a chance to chat about out new collaboration with PIXIENCE to test and validate an innovative skin imaging and testing technology in the context of a clinical study with a nutritional bioactive.

      Solabia Nutrition

      At Vitafoods Asia, we will be present under the flag of Solabia Nutrition, also showcasing our microalgae offering from our sister company Algatech. This includes their Astaxanthin and whole algae ingredients.

      Book a meeting!



        The importance of clinical research: An interview with BioActor's in-house scientists

        The importance of clinical research: An interview with BioActor’s in-house scientists

        Maastricht, The Netherlands, 29th June 2023

        Interview
        In the world of clinical research and scientific exploration, BioActor stands out as a leading company dedicated to the development of health ingredients. At the forefront of BioActor’s research and development (R&D) efforts are Sanne Ahles and Maria Imperatrice, two certified clinical research scientists who play vital roles in the BioActor’s R&D initiatives. In this interview, Sanne and Maria provide insights into their responsibilities, experiences, and the challenges they face in their pursuit of scientific advancement.

        Could you introduce yourself and your role within BioActor?

        Sanne: My name is Sanne Ahles and I am a clinical research scientist at BioActor. In addition, I am a PhD candidate at the Department of Nutrition and Movement Sciences at Maastricht University. I obtained my master’s degree in biomedical sciences after my internship at BioActor, after which I started working as a researcher.

        Within BioActor, I am responsible for the research regarding our product Brainberry®, mainly focused on cognitive performance and vascular function. Over the years, I have designed, performed, analyzed, and reported various clinical studies, as well as written a systematic literature review.

        Maria: My name is Maria Imperatrice and I also work as a clinical research scientist at BioActor. My research focus is Healthy Ageing and I’m currently performing two studies, Actiful2 and FEMMED, on two of our ingredients (Actiful® and Bonolive®) to evaluate their effect on exercise performance and postmenopausal symptoms, respectively.

        I obtained my Bachelor Degree in Biology and my Master in Human Nutrition at the University “Federico II Di Napoli” in Italy, and my second master’s degree in Human Movement Sciences, with a specialisation in Sport and Nutrition, at Maastricht University.

        At BioActor, we highly value clinical research because it plays a crucial role in providing evidence-based ingredients. What does clinical research entail and what do you like about it?

        Sanne: Clinical research entails many different processes. This includes idea formation and initial literature searches, finding collaborations, obtaining ethics approval, practical work, data analyses, writing reports and papers, and communicating our results at national and international conferences.

        Maria: A very interesting part for us is the ideation of the study. At BioActor we highly value innovation, which is why before starting a new clinical trial, we sit in brainstorming sessions with the R&D, marketing and sales teams to try to find white spaces in the current knowledge that can be of interest for the common public and different health domains. Once we find an interesting and never explored topic, the investigation can start.

        Could you briefly take us through the process of a clinical trial?

        Sanne: First, we initiate the idea formation process by brainstorming ideas that are relevant to customer questions or explore new areas of interest. Next, we perform literature searches to look for relevant papers, available data, and discover white space; topics that have not yet been researched.

        Then we reach out to a collaborator, usually a professor at a University, to work with on developing a protocol for ethics review.

        Maria: Once we obtain ethics approval, we dive into the practical phase of the clinical trial. This involves engaging with participants through visits where we collect data. This includes not only traditional data that we can extrapolate by collecting blood samples, but also performing tests to evaluate outcomes like reaction time, exercise capacity and mental flexibility.

        It’s an interactive and rewarding experience that brings our research to life and allows us to better understand how our ingredients contribute to improving human health and develop evidence-based solutions. Afterwards, we analyze the data, draw conclusions, and share our findings through peer-reviewed publications. It’s a cool journey from start to finish!

        Which of the above do you enjoy the most as a scientist?

        Sanne: I enjoy collaborating with other companies or academic institutes! It’s such an incredible opportunity for us to broaden our knowledge and take our research to the next level. The energy and creativity that come from working with diverse teams is truly great.

        Maria: The practical side of our work is always interesting! Collecting data means we get to perform visits with participants, and trust me, it’s never boring when you’re involved in a human study. The hands-on experience and the constant interaction with people make it such an exciting and fulfilling part of our job.

        What is the biggest challenge in designing a study?

        Sanne: In my opinion, the biggest challenge in designing a study is obtaining ethics approval, which is a rigorous and time-consuming process. We meticulously prepare documents explaining our research goals, methodology, and participant recruitment.

        The ethical committee thoroughly reviews these documents, granting final approval for each aspect of our research.

        Maria: I agree! Obtaining ethics approval is a significant challenge. However, this process is crucial for upholding ethical standards and protecting participant rights.

        It also adds credibility to our research, fostering trust and allowing our findings to have a greater impact. Despite the challenges, navigating the ethics approval process is vital for conducting valuable and ethically sound research.

        What is the best part of working at BioActor as a scientist?

        Sanne & Maria: Being a scientist at BioActor is truly rewarding due to the chance to collaborate with a dynamic and passionate team of international colleagues. Within BioActor, we also see other aspects of the company besides R&D.

        Our weekly company meetings allow us to really understand the bigger picture of the company and understand what each department entails. Consequently, we explore different facets of the company and gain valuable insights beyond our specific research and development focus.

        BioActor: Using clinical science as the key to innovative ingredients

        Sanne Ahles and Maria Imperatrice exemplify the passion and dedication that drive BioActor’s pursuit of finding new health effects of ingredients and advancing scientific innovation. From ideation to practical implementation, data analysis, and knowledge dissemination; they are pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge and embracing the multidisciplinary nature of their work. Sanne and Maria contribute to BioActor’s mission of creating innovative and impactful solutions for a healthier life.


        Immature Oranges

        Why are immature oranges a sustainable source for citrus extracts?

        Why are immature oranges a sustainable source for citrus extracts?

        June 28th, 2023

        Nature is fascinating and citrus trees are no exception. These fruit-bearing trees, known for their refreshing oranges, have a remarkable way of sustaining themselves through a process of natural selection, which is better known as the fruit drop. In this article, we will explore what immature oranges are, shedding light on their origin, the growth process of orange trees, and the sustainable practices employed by nature itself.

        Immature Oranges

        Orange trees grow more oranges than they can sustain

        During the summer, an orange tree bursts into a profusion of flowers, each one holding the promise of an orange. However, the tree faces a conundrum. It cannot possibly sustain all the blossoms it produces, as doing so would drain its resources and hinder its overall health. Consequently, the tree must make a decision regarding the number of oranges it can support adequately.

        This decision is made by looking at which oranges the tree wants to fully grow and dropping the immature oranges that it decides are no longer able to grow.

        Why does an orange tree drop immature oranges?

        As the oranges begin to develop, the tree undergoes a natural selection process. It assesses its capacity to sustain the growing fruits and makes calculated choices to ensure its long-term well-being.
        At this early stage, the tree drops the tiniest, most immature oranges, which are often just a few millimeters in size. This process is called fruit drop.

        Fruit drop occurs when a fruit tree produces more fruits than it can adequately support to maturity. The tree goes through a natural thinning process in which it sheds a certain number of immature or underdeveloped fruits. This thinning is essential for the tree to allocate its resources efficiently and ensure that the remaining fruits have enough nutrients and energy to reach maturity.

        There are several factors that can contribute to fruit drop. Some of the common reasons include:

        1. Limited resources: The tree may not have enough resources, such as water, nutrients, or sunlight, to support the growth of all the fruits it has set.

        2. Competition: When there are too many fruits on a tree, they may compete with each other for resources, leading to the shedding of some fruits.

        3. Pollination and fertilization issues: If pollination or fertilization processes are incomplete or unsuccessful, the tree may drop the unfertilized or poorly developed fruits.

        4. Environmental factors: Adverse weather conditions, such as frost, extreme heat, drought, or strong winds, can also cause fruit drop.

        5. Disease or pest infestation: Certain diseases or pest attacks can result in the dropping of fruits as a defense mechanism by the tree.

        Fruit drop is a natural mechanism that helps the tree optimize its resources and produce healthier fruits. It is a common occurrence in many fruit-bearing trees, and growers often expect some level of fruit drop during the growing season.

        Immature oranges: a sustainable source of citrus extract

        Though the tree drops the immature oranges to sustain other oranges, this does not mean that the immature oranges are not full of nutrients. More specifically, these immature oranges have very high levels of the hero-compound hesperidin that BioActor’s citrus extracts are standardized for.

        To utilize their potential, these immature oranges must undergo a specific drying process. The moisture is carefully removed, transforming them into dried fruits. Once the oranges are fully dried, the extraction process begins, unlocking the hesperidin.
        The process of getting immature oranges is not only sustainable because the fruit drop is a natural process, but also because of the way pests are controlled, namely by biological control.

        How biological control preserves the quality of the immature oranges

        A sustainable practice employed by orange tree farmers is biological control, which involves the deliberate use of natural enemies to combat pests. Instead of relying on harmful pesticides, farmers harness the power of nature’s allies to protect their citrus trees, including the immature oranges.

        Beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings, are introduced into the orchards to prey on pests like aphids and caterpillars that can harm the immature oranges. This method, known as biological control, helps maintain a balance in the ecosystem by reducing pest populations naturally and safeguarding the growth of the immature oranges.

        By embracing this approach, farmers can minimize the use of pesticides, thereby protecting the environment and preserving the health of the citrus trees and their valuable immature oranges.
        This sustainable practice not only ensures the quality of the oranges but also fosters a harmonious relationship between agriculture and nature, promoting a healthier and more environmentally friendly farming system.

        The most interesting part of immature oranges: Hesperidin

        Hesperidin, a bioactive compound found abundantly in citrus fruits like oranges, possesses numerous health benefits. It’s a powerful flavonoid that has been extensively studied by BioActor for its effect on gut health and in its micronized form: its effect on sports performance.

        By utilizing the immature oranges’ dried form, the extraction process harnesses hesperidin’s potency, providing an eco-friendly and sustainable approach to its production.

        During BioActor’s visit to the orange fields in Spain that are the source of the immature oranges for our extracts, we had the privilege of learning about the orange trees’ natural fruit drop from our orange farmer.

        The dried immature oranges, sourced from these carefully selected fields, serve as the foundation for our citrus extracts. By partnering with nature and respecting its processes, we strive to provide ingredients that are not only of the highest quality but also sustainably produced.


        making-a-gummy-supplement

        Why should you consider making a gummy supplement?

        Why should you consider making a gummy supplement?

        June 14th, 2023

        Gummy supplements are on the rise as people look for a convenient and tasty way to add essential nutrients to their diet. Gummies are a great alternative to capsules and pills for individuals looking for supplements that are not hard to swallow. In this article, we will discuss the advantages of gummy supplements over traditional supplement formats and the factors to consider when choosing a gummy as a supplement.

        making-a-gummy-supplement

        Tablets as dietary supplements

        Recently, there has been a rise in people’s interest in their well-being by using nutritional supplements. This has resulted in a 12% increase in the production of supplements in 2020.

        The most common forms of supplements are tablets and capsules, which are convenient, easy to use, and widely available.

        Tablets are a solid form of supplement that is typically round or long in shape and can range in size from small and easy to swallow to larger and more difficult to swallow.

        Tablets are made by compressing the active ingredients together with other inactive ingredients such as fillers, binders, and lubricants. These ingredients help to give the tablet its shape, size, and consistency and may also affect how the supplement is absorbed and used by the body.

        Capsulated supplements

        Capsules are another common form of supplement that is made by enclosing the active ingredients in a gelatin or vegetarian shell. Capsules can be filled with powders, liquids, or oils and come in a variety of sizes and shapes.

        Both tablets and capsules have advantages and disadvantages depending on the individual and their needs. Tablets are often preferred by people who prefer a solid form of supplement and are more affordable than capsules.

        However, what both forms of supplements have in common is that they are generally not liked for their taste. The demand for supplements that are nice to take is growing, which is why gummy supplements are on the rise.

        The rise of gummy supplements

        Gummies are a type of food supplement that provides essential nutrients that might be lacking in one’s regular diet. They are becoming increasingly popular in the food supplement industry due to their combination of health benefits and sweetness. Gummies are also a great option for individuals looking for vegan, gluten-free, or lactose-free products.

        Manufacturers of functional gummies use natural and organic raw materials in their production, making them more appealing to quality-conscious consumers. These gummies typically contain gelatin, corn starch, water, sugar, and added colorings.

        Gummies contain active ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, probiotics, antioxidants, and amino acids that can have positive effects on various aspects of health, including digestion, immune system function, cardiovascular health, and mental well-being.

        Why choose gummies over pills?

        Gummies are a versatile form of supplement that can be used for many different purposes. They can help prevent digestive, sleep, and skin problems, treat vitamin deficiencies, and boost the immune system.

        – Studies have shown that gummies are more effective than pills or tablets at delivering nutrients to the body. This is because the nutrients in gummies are dissolved in a liquid gelatin base, which makes them more easily absorbed by the body. As a result, gummies can be a more efficient way of supplying essential nutrients and provide a significant advantage over traditional supplement formats (1).

        Gummies are a convenient and tasty way to add vitamins and minerals to your diet. They’re becoming increasingly popular as a simple and easy way to supplement your diet with micronutrients, offering an enjoyable alternative to traditional supplements.

        – The soft and chewy textures of gummies make them a great option for people who struggle with swallowing pills or capsules.

        – Unlike traditional tablets or pills, gummies come in a variety of delicious flavors that can make taking supplements a more enjoyable experience. By taking vitamin gummies formulated with essential nutrients, individuals can avoid vitamin deficiencies and supplement their diet.

        – Incorporating gummies into your brand can help you stand out from traditional supplement companies and offer consumers a unique and enjoyable option for improving their health.

        Factors to consider when creating a gummy supplement

        Creating high-quality gummy supplements requires careful consideration of the ingredients used. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

        – Look for ingredient suppliers that provide options with minimal sugar content or natural sweeteners as alternatives. This ensures that the final gummy product aligns with consumer preferences for reduced sugar intake.

        – Prioritize sourcing pure and natural ingredients for your gummy supplements. Consider using natural sources for colors and flavors to enhance the appeal and marketability of the product.

        – Incorporate ingredients that offer a significant amount of dietary fiber per serving. Fiber not only adds nutritional value but also promotes digestive health and supports a strong immune system, making your gummies more appealing to health-conscious consumers.

        In conclusion, it is important to look for gummies with natural and pure ingredients, as well as sweeteners or with a minimal amount of sugar. Having these factors in mind, consumers can find gummies that not only taste good but also provide essential nutrients and health benefits.

        Creating a gummy supplement for focus and brain health

        BioActor’s Brainberry® is a great example of an ingredient that can be used in a gummy. It has a low daily dose of only 65mg and has been clinically validated for cognitive performance, focus and hand-eye coordination.

        It’s an extract from Aronia berries and if you want to find out more: Here’s everything you need to know about Brainberry® and brain health.

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