Importaco, the European leader in the production of nuts and dried fruit, has identified three probiotic bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Pediococuss genus found in nuts, through analysis of native microbiota. This first-of-its-kind discovery within the industry reinforces Importaco’s positioning as a company committed to science-based application to benefit the health of its consumers through the investigation of the beneficial properties of nuts.
Microbiota is the community of microorganisms that live in the digestive tracts of humans and other animals. The main repository of these microorganisms in humans is the intestines. These are collectively called gut microbiota and are the subject of the Importaco research.
The project has been led by Dr Teresa Cercós, Director General of Quality, Environment, and Innovation at Importaco and directed by Dr Amparo Devesa, Importaco’s Director of Investigations, in collaboration with biotechnology company Darwin Bioprospecting Excellence, experts in sampling and analysing microbiota, based at the University of Valencia’s Science Park.
Dr Cercós said that “this progress is key for the development of Importaco’s innovation lines related to the continuous improvement of people’s health. We are committed to this kind of scientific research because it is hands down the best way to find the answers to the challenges that we face as society”.
President of Importaco, Toño Pons, commented that “the immersion in knowledge is the driving force behind our development at Importaco. Using the scientific knowledge within Importaco we are putting value into the healthy characteristics of nuts. This progress will without a doubt mark an inflection point in our drive for innovation”.
The ground-breaking study began in 2020 with the examination of the microbiota of more than 50 different types of nuts, to isolate and characterise the microorganisms containing possible health benefits.
Importaco identified probiotic bacteria with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunostimulating properties based on in vivo and in vitro studies that may help improve the immune system, prevent the ageing of cells, slow down the causes that stimulate neurodegeneration, and will boost the health of people in all age groups. This discovery allows the company to fortify its nuts with their own naturally occurring bacteria, improve their functionality, and enhance their health benefits.
Improving the health of customers is one of the key principles and missions of Importaco. The company is focused on advanced nutrition through the application of scientific knowledge to develop products for consumers of all ages.
Within the exciting new projects currently in development are nutrigenetics, the study of the influence of nut consumption on genetic components. Importaco has carried out analysis of the impact of nut consumption on cardiometabolic risk and biological age. Other projects include the extraction of components with the nutritional potential to enrich products and the elimination of additives and allergens to ensure nuts reach the largest population possible.
The results of this breakthrough research allow Importaco to launch a range of new healthy products adapted to a personalised diet that satisfies the ever-changing needs of consumers.
With the design process at an advanced stage, the company has already secured the industrial conditions and the recommended dosage so that consumers have access to the optimal intake of probiotics within the product.
Importaco will share this project in October at Anuga Cologne, the leading global trade fair for the food and beverage industry. Visitors will be able to taste almonds and walnuts with probiotics, as well as other innovative products, such as coated vegetables and balls of nuts.