Eating habits and consumption trends are in a continuous process of transformation. In recent years, the food industry, aware of resource scarcity, is looking for nutritional alternatives, including functional foods, that promote optimal health and help reduce the risk of disease. However, it’s important to know which will be the food of the future and to remember the changes that the industry has undergone in recent times.
Not so many years ago, the only concern of the governments of the so-called first world countries was to provide a variety of food for the population. Once this provision was secured, after some serious food safety scandals and serious food security events, a new concern arose: certify quality and add value to the food industry, through regulatory and legislative level protocols that are continually reviewed. The food industry is one of the most controlled, standardized and intervened sectors. In this sense, PREVENTOMICS’ partner Grupo Carinsa has the ISO 9001: 2015 quality management and the FSSC 22,000 food safety.
Governments have secured the provision of a variety of foods for the population and ensured its quality certification for avoiding serious food safety scandals.
Overcome the fear for the quality and safety of food, the ‘boom’ of functional foods began. They not only had to provide the necessary nutrients, both in quantity and quality, but also new functions on health were also sought and offered. And to avoid excessive marketing practices, the functional benefits of food has also been regulated. For this reason, Grupo Carinsa works intensively for innovation and development of new foods that benefit our health, such as the Lp3547 probiotic, a proprietary patent, with excellent immunomodulatory results.
Functional foods provide not only the necessary nutrients but also new functions targeted to people woth specific-needs such as low salt, sugar, lactose and gluten free alternatives.
It is not surprising that in a few years it has gone through foods free of lactose, gluten, low salt, sugar, fat, carbohydrates or no preservatives; or those tailored for groups with needs such as the elderly, babies, athletes, weight control, allergens… but it is still underway and Grupo Carinsa is and will continue to be in the development of these foods. The company already has several patents as a low-energy sausage, with lipid profile adjusted to the recommendations, lactose-free and gluten-free and progresses in satiating soups, allergen-free products, sugar substitute aromas and alternative sources to animal proteins, among other lines of research at the service of health and the circular economy.
Grupo Carinsa owns several functional foods’ patents such as a low-energy sausage, sugar substitute aromas or alternative sources to animal proteins.
Where are we now? With the latest advances in omic sciences, from our genetics to our microbiota: those microscopic living things that live in our intestines, our skin, our mouth, and in many other places of our body, with many benefits and without those that we could not live. In this sense, the advances that occur in nutrition and food are spectacular in scope and speed. Not only because of the lowering of these techniques, but because they open a new world of precision to us. Now specific foods can be designed for groups of people with specific biomarkers for the prevention of certain diseases, taking into account their genetic predisposition and their microbiota, with great health benefits. We are moving towards precision nutrition, as is also done in other fields such as pharmacology with exclusive drugs, according to our genetic and microbiological endowment.
Thanks to the latest advances in omics sciences now foods can be designed for groups of people with specific biomarkers for the prevention of certain diseases
Grupo Carinsa, through its participation in the PREVENTOMICS project, maintains, precisely, this way of research for the adaptation of food to the individual needs of people in their nutrition, through the development of foods that help consumers with risks of suffering from metabolic diseases.
For this, resources and avant-garde advances in omic sciences and also in ICTs are used, developing computer tools and applications that help to the shopping experience, the choice of menus and the diet of these people at the individual level, for being fully satisfactory for your health and enjoying the food.
Alfonso Perote Alejandre
Alfonso Perote Alejandre is R&D Project Director of food division in Grupo Carinsa. Bachelor of Food Science and Technology and Biological Sciences at the Complutense University, he directs several initiatives looking for healthier and eco-efficient food solutions. In addition to Preventomics, he participates supervising different projects such as Satisfood whose line of research is to develop products with fewer calories and satiating effect; Progreso whose purpouse is to find alternative proteins that reduce meat consumption; Conoce through neuroscience and Big Data is intended to develop products in anticipation of the consumer response; and Revalue and Neomeat where the circular economy is encouraged, through a better use of fishery products that allow obtaining alternatives to protein.
Alfonso Perote has also written several books related to nutrition and health, and has coordinated the edition of more than 50 publications.