Interesting article in English offered by:Ruperto Bermejo Román, Piedad Limón Villarejo, F. Gabriel Acién Fernández, José M. Fernández Sevilla, Manuel Melgosa Latorre.
Currently there is a growing interest in the development of functional foods, which are those able to provide beneficial effects on health, in addition to their nutritional or energetic values. Usually these products are traditional foods enriched with one or several components promoting a beneficial effect on human health. In this sense, the interest in carotenoid lutein has recently increased on the basis of different studies suggesting the protective effect resulting from an adequate intake of this pigment in the prevention and evolution of human-degenerative eye diseases. However, the quantity of lutein recommended for risk groups, is very difficult to be administered by dietary modifications, so it is convenient to manage supplements containing lutein-enriched extracts in their formulations. The aim of this work is the laboratory production and colorimetric characterization of virgin-olive oils enriched in lutein. A new methodology has been developed to obtain lutein extracts from the microalga Scenedesmus almeriensis, which has a high level of this antioxidant compound, to perform a physicochemical and colorimetric characterization of different virgin-olive oils enriched with these extracts, as a suitable conduction medium to provide lutein to human organism. We have added increasing amounts of lutein to different virgin-olive oils, studying how their color parameters change. The results obtained show that virgin-olive oils enriched with lutein to a concentration of 0`21 mg lutein/ml oil, show acceptable physicochemical and colorimetric properties, allowing also to administer the daily-recommended lutein intake (6 mg), taking into account the estimated average consumption of virgin-olive oil per habitant and day in our country (30 ml). In this way, we try to obtain virgin-olive oils with additional health properties, as an alternative way in the fight against human degenerative diseases.