Dairy Dialog podcast 85: AAK Kamani, Good Food Institute India, Seraphina Therapeutics, Christeyns Food Hygiene

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dairy, coronavirus, COVID-19, Fatty acid, Fats, Aak, Hygiene

On this week’s Dairy Dialog podcast, we have four guests, in three interviews. We talk to Dheeraj Talreja, president of AAK Kamani and Varun Deshpande, managing director at the Good Food Institute India; Dr Stephanie Venn-Watson, CEO and co-founder of Seraphina Therapeutics; and Graham Hunneman, director at Christeyns Food Hygiene.

We also have our weekly look at the global dairy market with Charlie Hyland, from INTL FCStone.

Pics: Getty Images - jchizhe (plant based products)/Christeyns Food Hygiene/Seraphina Therapeutics

Seraphina Therapeutics introduces newly-discovered potential essential saturated fatty acid in butter

US startup Seraphina Therapeutics, Inc., a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the development of beneficial essential fatty acids and micronutrients, says it is the first company to discover pentadecanoic acid, also referred to as C15:0, as an active dietary saturated fat demonstrating evidence of broad health benefits across multiple studies.

C15:0, a trace odd-chain saturated fatty acid found in butter, is the first potential essential fatty acid to be discovered in 90 years, demonstrating promotion of cellular integrity and function in human cell systems and in vivo models.

The discovery, published in the peer-reviewed Scientific Reports (a Nature research journal), was part of an extensive series of studies conducted over the past three years, led by Dr Stephanie Venn-Watson, CEO and co-founder of Seraphina Therapeutics.

Along with the discovery of the new potential essential fatty acid, Seraphina Therapeutics also announced its Series A fundraise of $5.5m, led by Domain Associates. It plans to use this fundraise to advance C15:0 as dietary supplements and food fortifiers to address C15:0 deficiencies and to strengthen cells, enhance mitochondrial function and nutritionally guard against age-related breakdown.

The company aims to make C15:0 available as a vegan-friendly dietary supplement starting in the fall of 2020 and food fortifiers starting in early 2021.

C15:0, a trace odd-chain saturated fatty acid present in butter and some fish and plants, is the first new potential essential fatty acid discovered in nearly a century to actively foster cardiometabolic and liver fitness.

Daily oral supplementation with pure C15:0 for approximately 12 weeks supported healthier cholesterol and glucose homeostasis in obesity models and advanced hepatic form and vitality in liver disease models. In human cell systems, C15:0 also aided cellular homeostasis, helped mitochondrial function and activated receptors known to orchestrate metabolism and further cellular wellbeing.

Over the past 40 years, whole fat dairy intake has decreased dramatically in an effort to decrease dietary saturated fat intake and associated heart disease. However, during this time, the prevalence of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic liver diseases has increased.

Seraphina Therapeutics' studies on C15:0, along with supporting studies, suggest lowered population-wide dietary intake of whole fat dairy products may be causing C15:0 deficiencies.

"The world is now understanding that not all fats are bad—some are good and some may in fact be essential to optimizing cardiometabolic health,"​ Dr Venn-Watson said.

"By effectively removing whole fat dairy from our diets, a 40-year experiment has been performed, including children who grew up in a fat-free environment. This discovery by Seraphina Therapeutics better enables the larger scientific community to fully understand how essential odd-chain saturated fatty acids may be to sustaining global health.

Dr Eric Venn-Watson, co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics, said, "Our studies support that C15:0 may be a goldilocks dietary odd-chain saturated fatty acid providing broad health benefits expected of an essential fatty acid. We look forward to producing additional groundbreaking discoveries with the help of our recent fundraise."

Hard surface disinfection and hand sanitation crucial after lockdown

UK based Christeyns Food Hygiene, which manufactures specialist hygiene solutions, is stressing the importance of hard surface hygiene in reducing the risks of future coronavirus contamination and protecting staff.

“In the coming months, as the nation goes back to work and a return towards life as normal, there will be a long battle to face and that will be keeping touch points and working spaces as hygienically clean as possible,” ​Graham Hunneman, director at CFH, said.

“For many industry sectors the, often overlooked, area of contact point hygiene will need to be addressed differently than it was prior to the pandemic.  In order to help avoid a second wave, hygiene and cleaning routines need to be enhanced across the board.”

There are multiple touch points people encounter during a ‘normal’ working day, such as door handles and buttons, escalator handrails, touch screens and vending machines, as we travel to work and move around the work environment.

The role played by cleaning staff will need to take on a more comprehensive function, to include regular, effective sanitization on multiple hard surfaces, Christeyns Food Hygiene said.

Research is ongoing into Covid-19, but evidence has shown infectivity on hard surfaces can remain for up to several days in the right conditions. It is worth noting that according to the WHO, the advice given is on cleaning and disinfection and not disinfection alone.  The use of a product that combines the best attributes of both a detergent and a disinfectant, or sanitizer, would be the best choice.

Christeyns said its products Bacticlense, Mida San 311 KZ or HuwaSan TR3 enable users to both clean and disinfect surfaces, maximizing the removal of contaminants and the safety of operatives and members of the public.

All products have demonstrated virucidal efficacy under BS EN 14476 conditions and are safe to handle and suitable for use on all common hard surfaces.

Hand hygiene is the second area of focus, the company said.  Much emphasis has been on the use of alcohol hand-sanitizers, however, if incorrectly used these products can provide a false sense of security.

A recent WHO report stated the importance of hand washing, using soap and water, noting, “handwashing is a greater protective barrier to infection than wearing disposable gloves.”

The report goes on to comment that, “Hand sanitizers can be used as an additional measure but should not replace handwashing.”

AAK joins Good Food Institute India to drive innovation in India’s plant-based foods category

AAK Kamani, AAK’s majority-owned Indian joint venture, has partnered with the Good Food Institute India to collaborate on research and business promotion aimed at advancing India’s market for plant-based dairy and meat alternatives.

Through the partnership, AAK’s Customer Innovation Center in Mumbai will host AAK Kamani Academy sessions designed to help businesses and entrepreneurs take advantage of opportunities in India’s plant-based foods category.

The Good Food Institute (GFI) is a global network of non-profits that helps accelerate the sector of plant-based, cultivated, and fermentation-based meat, eggs, and dairy.  GFI India works with corporations, entrepreneurs, government agencies, investors, philanthropists, and other stakeholders to build a better protein supply in the region.

With support from GFI India, Swedish-headquartered AAK will also provide co-development expertise on how companies can accelerate the formulation of new products, with a particular focus on achieving optimal texture and appealing to local tastes. The collaboration is linked to AAK’s global AkoPlanet initiative, which provides a platform for plant-based food innovations.

Dheeraj Talreja, president of AAK Kamani, said, “This collaboration means we can provide more support to both established food producers and start-ups, promoting the fast-track development of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives for the Indian market.

“We are particularly excited to work with the Good Food Institute India. As a non-profit organization, it is globally recognized for supporting the development of sustainable and healthy plant-based foods.”

Niall Sands, president plant-based foods at AAK, said, “Developing great-tasting plant-based foods is one of the main challenges today. There are a lot of good products on the market already. However, to maintain the growing interest in plant-based foods we must continue to improve the sensory experience. From a global perspective we also need to be mindful of the need to adapt to regional taste preferences. This is why I’m so pleased to start our collaboration with the Good Food Institute in India.”

Varun Deshpande, managing director at the Good Food Institute India, said the challenges of climate change, antimicrobial resistance and food insecurity presented by the world’s reliance on animal protein supply chains have been underscored by the coronavirus crisis.

“Accelerating the development of the plant-based meat, egg and dairy sector is therefore imperative to building a more secure and resilient protein supply,”​ Deshpande said.

“Indian businesses and scientists have immense potential to be at the center of this development, driving affordability and sensory experiences as well as cultural appeal in transformative plant-based foods – but they need support on their journey.

“We’re delighted to have pioneering corporate partners like AAK Kamani in our mission for smart protein. Their ingredients and co-development expertise will be integral to building a more healthy, sustainable and just global food system.”

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