Enriched eggs to stabilise human eye disease
The Dutch company Newtricious has been awarded with
the Food Valley Award, which was presented on Thursday 2 October in Ede,
Newtricious B.V. has teamed up with several partners and Maastricht
University to study the effect of lutein and zeaxanthin enriched eggs to prevent
the human eye disease Macula Degeneration (MD). 'The results show that if the
lutein and zeaxanthin are high in the blood, they are also high in the
Because the first results are promising, a follow-up study will be carried
out among 200 people. In the Netherlands, around 100,000 people have the disease
diagnosed. This is around 15% of people older than 65 years old. The actual
number of people with MD is probably higher.
The eggs are being enriched by lutein and zeaxanthin. These ingredients are
present in vegetables among others. However, in vegetables the ingredients are
dissolved in water meaning that the bioavailability is much lower than when the
ingredients are dissolved in fat. Newtricious and partners are therefore trying
to get these ingredients in eggs. To do so, the researchers extract the
ingredients from African Marigolds and added to an oil suspension. That mixture
is then being added to the poultry feed. Via the gastrointestinal system, the
ingredients find their way to the egg yolk By consuming one (enriched) egg a
day, the degeneration process of the eye disease is being stabilised, claims
The product is not yet on the market. There is also no health claim yet.
"At the moment we have to extend the product dossier with more evidence, but
maybe we can already use a food claim, although a health claim remains our
primary focus," according to the company.
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