Verum Ingredients has just been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research grant (Programa PIPE) by Fapesp (Research Funding Agency of Sao Paulo). The announcement was made during a ceremony at Fapesp headquarters in São Paulo on May 21st, when all 44 grants were announced. The company was represented by the founders Dr. Ricardo L. Araujo Dias and Dr. Luciana Gomides Freitas.
Verum Ingredients is honored to receive this prestigious grant which will further enhance its R&D activities in the field of prebiotic ingredients. The project is a collaboration between the company and Prof. Dr. Luiz Claudio Di Stasi of FitoFarmaTec – Laboratory of Phytomedicine, Pharmacology and Biotechnology – of Sao Paulo State University (Unesp-Botucatu).
The R&D program focuses on agricultural byproducts as sources of potential prebiotics. High-volume agricultural supply chains in Brazil with large availability of byproducts are targeted.
The research activities include the detailed chemical characterization of the selected ingredients, nutritional profiling, physical-chemical analyses, and the monitoring of chemical contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals. The prebiotic activity is indirectly measured by the formation of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in fiber fermentation studies in the presence of gut bacteria. SCFAs are the main metabolites formed during fiber fermentation. The population of gut microorganisms is directly assessed employing Molecular Biology tools such as real-time PCR.
Microbiome modulating ingredients is one of the fastest growing sales categories in the functional ingredients market
Plant-derived functional foods, in particular fruits, can be considered one of the most innovative strategies for health promotion as they provide benefits to body physiology beyond their intrinsic nutrient source. Microbiome modulating ingredients – probiotics and prebiotics – is one of the fastest growing sales categories in the functional ingredients market. Probiotic ingredient global sales reached US$40 billion in 2017, and prebiotic ingredient global sales are expected to reach US$16 billion in 2019.
“We are very excited and motivated with this research grant from Fapesp, as this represents a bold recognition of the innovative nature of our project and its commercial potential. As we receive this very first grant, we look very much forward to both making best use of the funds and making substantial progress to get our added-value product to the marketplace” said Dr. Ricardo Dias, CEO of the company.