The three members of the SimLeap Consortium (Symrise AG, Charité and Bicoll) are data-mining historical Asian recipes to identify plant derived compounds that function as a tool for sugar reduction.
Planegg / Martinsried (Germany), March 16, 2020 – Bicoll, an expert in providing new and relevant bioactive compounds for accelerated product development, disclosed today the extension of the “SimLeap” research consortium. This initiative will be also partially funded by the German Federal Ministry of Research.
In industrialized countries, the mainstream diet and sedentary lifestyle induce many diseases. One of the root causes is not a shortage of food, but rather, an abundance of inexpensive, convenient, highly processed food with a high proportion of added sweet carbohydrates like sugar.
The basis for this form of malnutrition is often laid early in life, where, for example, children grow up accustomed to excessively (sugar) sweetened foods. Consequently, natural, non-processed and healthier low sugar products often appear tasteless or even with a bitter aftertaste. To increase consumer acceptance of such healthier food choices, the development of ingredients to improve taste perception of low sugar foods is important. Healthcare providers, health insurance companies, patients, consumers and even climate / environmental activists all have the common goal of reducing the sugar levels in food.
Lowering sugar consumption by using naturally occurring plant ingredients can help to establish healthy eating habits early in life. Thereby, it can stimulate reducing widespread diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, by lowering the demand for corn (high-fructose corn syrup) and cane sugar production, the decrease in sugar consumption inevitably decreases the environmental impact, diminishes CO2 emissions and land use.
Promising preliminary data presented at the 32nd “Irseer Naturstofftage” (Poster: # P26) conference combined with significant improvements of the source database used for data mining have led to the extension of the SimLeap project by one year. The additional risk-compensating research funding will allow the consortium to follow up on lead compounds identified so far.
In an attempt to align academic and commercial efforts, “SimLeap” consortium was founded in 2017. It includes three partner organizations: Symrise AG, Charité and Bicoll. The consortium combines knowledge in Chinese historical healthcare practice, data-mining, natural product chemistry and sensory guided analysis.
The goal of the project is to investigate and identify well tasting and/or taste optimizing plant extracts or plant molecules that will allow for healthier re-formulation of foods. This can be achieved by identifying plant extracts or plant derived compounds that either mask bitter off-taste or amplify the natural occurring sweetness. The focus of the study is the unique diversity of Asian plants and the knowledge accumulated over centuries as preserved in historical recipes and prescriptions. Charité has been curating this collection of plant knowledge, which now includes more than 40.000 historical documents serving human well-being. They are the basis of the initiated data mining project to find low-caloric, highly potent sweetness improvers without any metabolic side effects.
The Bicoll Group is a privately-owned biopharmaceutical company which includes Bicoll GmbH headquartered near Munich in Planegg / Martinsried, Germany and its wholly owned subsidiary Bicoll Biotechnology (Shanghai) Co. Ltd., P.R. China.
Bicoll offers pre-clinical support with an efficient, multi-disciplinary approach to drug discovery. Dedicated to the discovery and optimization of highest quality lead compounds, Bicoll provides services to international clients in the pharmaceutical, agrochemical, and related industries. The unique combination of expertise in high-tech natural product chemistry, as well as in medicinal chemistry, enables Bicoll to increase quality and quantity of the drug discovery pipeline of its partner’s candidate portfolios.
For more information, please visit https://bicoll-group.com/.
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