January 25, 2021
Trehalose is widely used in food production and is well known for a variety of functions, such as suppressing protein denaturation. Research on the health benefits of trehalose were recently featured in "Focal Point on Food Science in Japan" published by the international scientific journal, "Nature" ( Dec 17th, 2020 issue ).
This latest publication in Nature Focal Point focuses on the physiological functions of trehalose and explores the potential preventive effects on metabolic syndrome, such as suppression of adipocyte hypertrophy, insulin resistance, and improvement in glucose tolerance. In addition, the research supports trehalose’s possible role in the removal of certain neurodegenerative disease-causing proteins, like those found to contribute to Huntington’s disease, by way of inducing autophagy. This research offers a new avenue of exploration in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disease. Perhaps the most exciting and timely application of trehalose is its role in vaccine preservation. Trehalose is currently used in the preservation of vaccines and has potential application in solving the problem of low-temperature vaccine transport and preservation.
Trehalose is a naturally occurring sugar found in plants, algae, and fungi. It is used to extend the shelf life of many processed foods; it works by preventing drying out, suppressing aging of starch containing foods, keeping fruits and vegetables fresh, and suppressing ice crystal growth of frozen foods. In recent years, trehalose and its many functions have attracted a lot of attention, it is considered one of the most useful food materials reducing food loss and contributing to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) second goal of zero hunger.
To read the article in ‘Nature’,
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