Glossary

Anthocyanins
Anthocyanins are water-soluble (vacuolar) (plant) pigments that may appear red, purple, or blue depending on pH. They belong to a parent class of molecules called flavonoids, synthesised via the phenylpropanoid pathway. Although odourless and largely flavourless, they contribute astringency to foods. Anthocyanins occur in all tissues of higher plants, including leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruits.

Bioactive compound
A Bioactive compound is a compound that has a positive effect on a living organism, tissue or cell, which is not an essential nutrients.

Biomarker
Biomarkers are naturally occurring molecules or other biological characteristics by which a pathological or physiological process can be identified or measured.

Double blind
Double blind  is a study in which neither the researchers nor the participants know what treatment/ drug they are getting.

EFSA
EFSA – European Food Safety Authority
http://www.efsa.europa.eu

Flavonol
Flavonol are a class of flavonoids with a 3-hydroxyflavone backbone (3-hydroxy-2-phenylchromen-4-one), the diversity of which arises from the different positions of phenolic -OH groups. They are present in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and daily intake is in the range 20-50 mg per day.

Health claim
A Health claim is any statement about a relationship between food and health. The Commission authorises different health claims provided they are based on scientific evidence and can be easily understood by consumers. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is responsible for evaluating the scientific evidence supporting health claims.

Inulin
Inulins are a group of naturally occurring polysaccharides (sugar) produced by many types of plants, which belong to a class of dietary fibre known as fructans. Inulin is used by some plants as a means of storing energy and is typically found in roots or rhizomes. Most plants that synthesize and store inulin do not store other forms of carbohydrate such as starch. Inulin is used increasingly in processed foods because it has highly adaptable characteristics. For example, its flavour ranges from bland to subtly sweet, and it can be used to replace sugar, fat, and flour because it contains 25-35% of the energy of carbohydrates.

Peptide
Peptides are short chains of amino acids. They are distinguished from proteins on the basis of size, containing approximately 50 or fewer amino acids.

Polyphenol
Polyphenol are a structural class of mainly natural organic chemicals characterised by the presence of phenol structural units (C6H5OH). The number and characteristics of these phenol structures underlie the unique physical, chemical, and biological (metabolic, toxic, therapeutic, etc.) properties of particular members of the class.

Generally, foods contain complex mixtures of polyphenols, but the most important food sources include fruit and vegetables, tea, red wine, coffee, chocolate, olives and extra virgin olive oil, herbs and spices  and nuts.

Some polyphenols are specific to particular food (e.g. flavanones in citrus fruit, isoflavones in soya, phloridzin in apples) whilst others, such as quercetin, are found in most plant foods.

Probiotic
Probiotics are live micro-organisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, may confer a health benefit on the host.

Proprietary data
Proprietary data are technical or other types of information safeguarded to protect competitive edge, which may be subject to copyright, patent or trade secret laws.

Randomized control trial
Randomized control trial is a study in which individuals randomly assigned to two (or more) groups to test a specific drug or treatment. One group (experimental) receives the treatment being tested whilst the other (comparison or control) receives an alternative, a dummy treatment (placebo) or no treatment at all. The groups are followed up to determine the effectiveness of the experimental treatment. Outcomes are measured at specific times and any difference in response between the groups is assessed statistically. Randomisation is usually done by computer to reduce bias.

Scientific evidence
A scientific evidence is an empirical evidence that support or refutes a scientific hypothesis collected in accordance with scientific method including statistical analysis and appropriate controls.