OUR MAIN RAW MATERIALS
Ewe-goat milk whey protein
The main ingredient of bio-functional food is WHEY PRO (ewe-goat milk whey protein), a product derived from ewe-goat milk whey obtained in cheese production in Greek traditional farms.
Recent studies revealed both the nutritional and the value for health improvement of this raw material, with respect to human metabolism. Comparing whey from different animals (e.g. cows, etc.), the benefits are manifold:
At the level of composition, WHEY PRO was compared with commercially available WPC of bovine origin and benchmarked against breast milk. Whey Pro is 100-1000 times richer in bioactive nutrient nucleotide components [a very important factor to promote intestinal development and maturation, reinforce intestinal healing after injury (e.g. diarrhoea) and with beneficial effects on the immune system] and oligosaccharides similar to those present in human milk compared to bovine WPC (Kerasioti, Stagos, Tzimi, & Kouretas, Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2016).
Human milk oligosaccharides are important bioactive nutrients and they have been proven to have many beneficial effects on health, including a probiotic activity and stimulation of the immune system (Espinosa, Temez & Prieto, 2007). The levels and the composition of human milk oligosaccharides are unique and milk contain more than 130 different oligosaccharides. Moreover, the levels of oligosaccharides in human milk are 10-100 times higher than in the milk of any other species. From a commercial standpoint, sources that are rich in oligosaccharides similar to those in human milk can be used as important components for biofunctional food, such as hospital and baby food. The study of the oligosaccharides profile revealed that
Whey Pro snacks are quite similar to human milk, compared to bovine WPC80.
Organic coconut blossom sugar
Organic coconut sugar is derived from the nectar of the Gula java coconut blossoms. It does not undergo any processing, filtering, contains no preservatives and is unbleached.
It can be used anywhere, as an alternative to sugar. It is considered one of the healthiest forms of sweetener since it has naturally a low glycaemic index (GI). The low glycaemic index releases glucose more slowly and steadily and thus, it is better absorbed by the body to control blood sugar levels.
Coconut sugar scores GI 35. By comparison, most sugar products produced from cane have a GI of about 68. This makes coconut sugar a better choice for diabetics who need to follow a diet low in a glycaemic index and furthermore, gradual and controlled release of the energy levels between meals helps maintain a healthy weight.
With an abundance of vitamins and 16 amino acids, the “coconut sugar” product has a nutritional value far richer than all other commercially available sweeteners.
Resistant starch contains the same calories as digestible starch, namely about 4 calories/g, but it cannot be absorbed. It is a low viscosity, highly fermentable dietary fibre which is resistant in both humans and animals. Starch consists of amylose and amylopectin, which affect the quality of the texture of processed foods. Resistant starch having high amylose content in comparison with commercial flours that are low in amylose. Unlike amylopectin, amylose is practically insoluble in water. This causes the content of the starch in amylose to determine the total solubility of the starch.
Resistant starch does not release glucose into the small intestine, but on the contrary, it reaches the large intestine, where it is consumed or fermented by colon bacteria (intestine microflora). The fermentation of resistant starch produces short-chain fatty acids, including acetic, propionic, butyric acids and increases bacterial cell mass.
The short-chain fatty acids produced in the colon, where they are rapidly absorbed from the colon, then metabolised in the epithelial cells of the colon, liver or other tissues. Fermentation of resistant starch produces more butyric acid than other types of dietary fibre. Butyric acid does far more than nourish intestinal cells. It controls inflammation and inhibits the growth of cancer (Jakobsdottir, Xu, Molin, Ahrne, & Nyman, 2013; Thomas, Ockhuizen, & Suzuki, 2014).
Resistant starch reduces glycaemia when it replaces the available quantity of carbohydrate in a meal. This formed the basis of a recent health claim by EFSA (Robert-son, 2012).
In 2016, the U.S. FDA approved a qualified health claim stating that resistant starch might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, although the FDA requires specific labelling language, such as the guideline concerning resistant starch: “High-amylose maize resistant starch may reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. FDA contacts special research for the evidence of this health claim.
Extracts from Greek medicinal herbs, plants and oils
There have been recorded more than 6,500 Greek species of medicinal and aromatic plants, of which 1,500 are endemic. In comparison, Germany, with an area three times that of Greece has 2,700 species, of which 6 are endemic. Namely, Greece has a comparative advantage in growing medicinal plants.
IMON, in collaboration with special bodies and certification authorities, prepares Greek medicinal plant blends (sage, thyme, mint, rosemary, mountain tea, etc.) to enrich its bio-functional food with unique recipes.