Project description

Summary

Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem in the population. There have been several attempts to fortify foods with vitamin D, however, these efforts are hampered by the fact that vitamin D is very unstable and prone to degradation and an efficient uptake is dependent on an effective delivery matrix. In addition, a considerable inter-individual variation in vitamin D uptake further hampers the efficiency of fortification. The present project aims to develop more efficient strategies for vitamin D fortification applicable to a broader range of food categories. This will be achieved through two different approaches in order to solve the two major obstacles for an efficient fortification. Firstly, vitamin D stability will be enhanced through nanoencapsulation in liprotides, and secondly, the reasons for inter-individual variation will be elucidated through metabolic phenotyping and screening of genetic polymorphisms (SNPs). Stabilization will be achieved by exploring the potential of complex formation or nanoencapsulation of vitamin D with a range of different proteins. Complexes will be optimized for stability through spectroscopic and chromatographic studies on the chemical-physical properties of protein-vitamin D complexes. Subsequently, the protein complexes found to exhibit the highest improvement in the stability of vitamin D will be tested in real food systems. The developed strategy will be evaluated in a long-term human intervention study to demonstrate the enhanced bioavailability of a food product fortified with the vitamin complex. The genetic and metabolic phenotypes of the subjects included in the intervention study will be determined in order to elucidate the causes of variability in vitamin D uptake between individuals.

 

Objectives

The main objective of the present project is to develop a highly efficient vitamin D fortification strategy based on a food concept. Since vitamin D is very unstable and prone to degradation, objectives of the project are also to identify if the stability of vitamin D in food systems can be improved through development of efficient complexation strategies and to determine if such a complexation of the vitamin also provides an efficient and improved delivery matrix. The project addresses an important societal challenge, namely vitamin D deficiency, which is recognized to be not only a common problem in the Danish population during the winter half year, but which globally affects over 1 billion people. Recent epidemiological surveys indicate that vitamin D deficiency has substantial impact on the general health status and vitamin D status correlates inversely with mortality (1). Thus, it is anticipated that vitamin D fortification will be implemented in the coming years and expanded further than seen in Sweden and Finland, and therefore knowledge of how to make vitamin D fortification efficient is essential.