Beneficial effects of dietary bioactive peptides and polyphenols on cardiovascular health in humans (BACCHUS)

12th December 2012

Paul Kroon and Paul Finglas from the Institute of Food Research are leading a new collaborative project called BACCHUS, funded by the European Commission, that will help small businesses develop robust scientific evidence to back up health claims for new, innovative food and drink products that will help improve cardiovascular health.

In past years, we have seen a growing occurrence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which currently is responsible for 47% of deaths in Europe. As demonstrated by ever growing healthcare costs, which currently total ca. €195 billion (£157 bn), measures to reverse this trend are essential.

It is essential to focus on developing solutions such as improved dietary habits including increased consumption of foods containing bioactive substances purported to be beneficial for the cardiovascular system. ‘Beneficial effects of dietary bioactive peptides and polyphenols on cardiovascular health in humans’ (BACCHUS) will develop resources facilitating generation of robust and exploitable scientific evidence that supports a cause-and-effect relationship between consumption of bioactive peptides and polyphenols, and beneficial physiological effects related to cardiovascular health in humans (e.g. reducing high blood pressure). BACCHUS will also support European SMEs creating new food products, which boost cardiovascular health, with scientific evidence and tools essential for health claims dossiers seeking a favourable opinion from EFSA.

To achieve this, the BACCHUS has brought together 16 SMEs that are involved in developing food products and pursuing health claims, and 12 leading research organisations with expertise in health claims legislation, and food and health research. BACCHUS is focusing on the action of bioactive substances found in foods that are common in European diets including apple, chokeberry, sweet oranges, pomegranate, cured pork products and wheat. For more information visit: 

BACCHUS is a collaborative project under the 7th Framework Program of the European Commission, funded by Specific Programme ‘Cooperation’ – Research Theme: ‘Food, agriculture and fisheries, and biotechnology’, funded within the FP7-KBBE-2012-6-single-stage, under Grant Agreement no 312090. The €6M accessibility research and development effort funding brings together 28 Beneficiaries, led by the Institute of Food Research (UK).

The Institute of Food Research, which is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), aims to meet the challenges of supplying safe, nutritious food that promotes healthy ageing now and in the future.  Paul Kroon, the coordinator of BACCHUS, leads studies at IFR on the intake, absorption, metabolism and health effects of dietary polyphenols and the impact of polyphenol-rich food and drink on cardiovascular disease risk.

Paul Finglas heads the BBSRC-supported Food Databanks National Capability (FDNC) at IFR. FDNC has considerable experience and skills in developing and maintaining food databases. It is leading further development of eBASIS, a databank developed by the FP6 EU-funded EuroFIR project that brings together data describing putative health benefits of bioactive, non-nutrient, compounds from plant based foods. BACCHUS will extend eBASIS to include polyphenols and bioactive peptides, and work with SMEs to create scientifically-robust health claim dossiers for new products under development.  

The 28 beneficiaries of BACCHUS are: Institute of Food Research (UK), University of Leeds (UK), Turkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Arastirma Kurumu (TR), Agencia estatal consejo superior de investigaciones (ES), NOFIMA (Norway), University College Cork (IE), Institut za Medicinska Istra Ivanja (Serbia), Universita di Bologna (IT), Universiteit Gent (BE), Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek NV (BE), LGC Ltd. (UK), Helsingin Yliopisto (FI), British Nutrition Foundation (UK), EuroFIR AISBL (BE), Pamida International SRO (SK), CREME Software Ltd. (IE), Valdycomer SA (ES), Industrias Carnicas VAQUERO (ES), Wagralim ASBL (BE), Critical Processes Ltd. (UK), Coressence Ltd. (UK), Laboratorios Admira sl. (ES), Bioaesis srl. (IT), Kamut Enterprises of Europe BVBA (BE), Bioactor BV (NL), Prodigest (BE), Nutrika doo (Serbia) and Fundacion Universitaria San Antonio de Cartagena (ES)

Project coordinator: Institute of Food Research

  • Lead researcher(s): Paul Kroon and Paul Finglas
  • European cardiovascular disease statistics 2012:
  • CVD causes 47% of deaths in Europe and 40% in the European Union
  • Overall, CVD is estimated to cost the EU economy €195 billion a year (ca. £157 bn)
  • Of the total cost, 54% are direct medical care, 24% productivity losses (e.g. days off work, medical retirement) and 22% informal care (e.g. relatives and friends caring for patients, transport costs to hospital)


Related People

Related Targets

Targeting Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular Disease

Related Research Groups

Kroon group

Paul Kroon

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