BrainHealthFood Projektbeschreibung

Bioactive compounds from blackcurrant processing waste for brain health

Funding: 7th Framework Program, Research for SME
Project Duration: 01.01.2009 - 31.12.2010
Project Manager: Marie Shrestha
Homepage: -

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder, and one of the most devastating diagnoses that patients and their families can receive. Currently ~ 10 % of those over 65 years old have Alzheimer's disease, and both the direct and indirect cost of Alzheimer's care is estimated at >$100 billion in the US alone and in the UK to be ~€25 million.

Although the precise mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is not yet fully understood, there are considerable scientific data available suggesting that brains suffering from Alzheimer's disease are characterized by intense oxidative stress that is manifested by lipid peroxidation, free radical formation and the generation of amyloid beta-protein (AB) in the AD brains. There are only limited medical ways to delay onset or slow the progression of AD. However, recent epidemiological and experimental data suggest that diets containing various phenolic compounds, with their associated antioxidant capacity, can reduce the risk of the development of AD. This may offer avenues for the development of novel dietary-based means for neuroprotection by exploiting the numerous sources of plant phenolic compounds. The phenolic extract from blackcurrant has recently demonstrated to possess strong neuroprotective activity in vitro.

The objective of this project is to extract bioactive compounds possessing neuroprotective activity from blackcurrant fruit and blackcurrant juice pressing residue, thereby helping SMEs with respect to new product development focused on the area of dietary supplements and other food and non-food products for European and international markets.

The project objectives are

  • to provide research support for SMEs to exploit novel business opportunities in an emerging area of the aging population
  • to identify of bioactive compounds possessing neuroprotection activity from blackcurrant processing waste residues
  • to determine the role of bioactive compounds in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • to develop cost effective methods to extract bioactive compounds from blackcurrant processing waste material at a viable scale (10 kg per hour)


Further information on this project:

Press release: Preventing Alzheimer's with the force of nature.