The Dutch company Newtricious has been awarded with the Food Valley Award, which was presented on Thursday 2 October in Ede, the Netherlands.
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 macula.’
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 Newtricious.
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.