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21 July, 2020 - 11:30 By Tony Quested

Souper way to fight diabetes

The Smarter Food Company in Norwich has raised £1 million to accelerate the development of food products with health benefits. 

Its first product will be a vegetable-based soup containing glucoraphanin, a naturally occurring compound found in broccoli.

The company was founded on clinical data that suggests that a single weekly portion of such a soup reduces elevated blood glucose, a significant risk factor for the development of Type 2 diabetes. 

It is now carrying out further trials with a view to obtaining European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) approval for a health claim.

“At present, people who are diagnosed as pre-diabetic are advised to modify their diet and to ensure they take regular exercise. Incorporating a tasty soup once per week to help lower blood glucose is an easy addition to this advice,” says Professor Richard Mithen, Inventor and Lead Scientist, The Smarter Food Company.

The Smarter Food Company is a spin-out from the Quadram Institute Bioscience, one of the UK’s leading food and health research organisations, located at the Norwich Research Park. 

The business was formed with support from technology transfer specialists, PBL (Plant Bioscience Ltd), and the seed round was led by specialist investor and NRP partner, UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S), with participation from Cambridge BioMedTech entrepreneur Jonathan Milner and Oxford Technology Management. 

Dr Andrew Muir of UKI2S and director of the company, says: “As a founding investor, UKI2S is delighted to see the company well positioned to translate the extensive research carried out by Professor Mithen into a product which will benefit consumers around the world.”

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