Manitoba's Functional Food Industry Leaders Team Up with Australian Scientists to Reduce Global Burden of Chronic Disease

    WINNIPEG, March 6 /CNW/ - Members of Manitoba's vibrant functional food
and nutraceutical cluster have initiated a collaborative research and product
development effort targeting bioactive proteins in dairy and their impact on
chronic disease prevention and management. Lead by The Richardson Centre for
Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals (RCFFN), the global initiative involves
scientists at University of South Australia's Nutritional Physiology Research
Centre, the Centre for Agri-Health in Research & Medicine (CCARM) at
St. Boniface Hospital, and the University of Manitoba Departments of Food
Science and Human Nutritional Sciences, which are affiliated with the RCFFN.
The RCFFN and CCARM are members of the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network
(MAHRN), which promotes Manitoba's unique capacities in the research,
development and commercialization of agri-food products for health. The study
protocols for the first project in the initiative, a joint human clinical
trial to determine whether increased consumption of dairy protein can improve
body composition and counteract disease in at-risk individuals, were finalized
during the Government of Manitoba's recent business mission to Australia.
    According to Dr. Curtis Rempel, Research and Development Manager at the
RCFFN, the collaboration will evaluate the efficacy, structure, and function
of bioactive proteins found in dairy products targeting prevention and
management of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity - a cluster of
disorders associated with metabolic syndrome. "These chronic diseases place a
significant burden on the Canadian and Australian populations, as well as
populations globally. We believe prevention and management using functional
food products will decrease the economic burden and enhance quality of life,"
he explains. Rempel says the collaborative research will focus on
"environmentally friendly" technologies for isolating functional bioactives
from dairy products and evaluate the potential of dairy products, such as
drinkable yogurts, as "carriers" of other bioactive compounds. Longer term,
the research will utilize novel technology at the RCFFN to fractionate the
dairy protein, enabling the bioactive components to be identified and
evaluated in experimental studies at the CCARM and in further human trials in
both Canada and Australia.
    Funding for the research collaboration is being provided by the
Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) "Going
Global" program as well as the Province of Manitoba, Department of Science,
Technology, Energy & Mines. The functional food research initiative parallels
the collaborative research being conducted between South Australia and
Manitoba on adapting canola for climate change and on proteomics of cancer,
particularly with respect to cell recruitment and tumor formation.

For further information:

For further information: on Manitoba's functional food and
nutraceuticals cluster, please visit; For more information about
this initiative, please contact: Curtis Rempel, PhD, RCFFN, (204) 474-6030

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