Mars, Incorporated, recently received the 2013 Food Technology Industrial Achievement Award from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), recognizing Mars’ leadership and commitment to research on cocoa flavanols, a plant nutrient shown to have a range of proven benefits for human health. The annual award honors a company or organization for an outstanding development that represents a significant advance in the application of food science and technology to food production and was presented at the IFT 13 Annual Meeting and Food Expo.
Mars has innovated in the field of nutrition science for over 20 years, taking a comprehensive and systematic approach to researching cocoa flavanols’ role in supporting human health, while inspiring others to conduct research that expands the overall scientific understanding of cocoa flavanols. Mars applies gold standard scientific methods to its cocoa flavanol research to achieve a high level of scientific rigor, including a comprehensive scientific program spanning from analytical to human clinical trials, collaboration with leading global scientists and publication in the most prestigious health and science journals. To date, Mars and our collaborators have published more than 140 scientific papers on cocoa flavanols in peer-reviewed journals and Mars holds nearly 100 patents worldwide.
Mars studies show cocoa flavanols have a range of proven health benefits in humans, including improved circulation and cardiovascular health. Specifically, research has demonstrated:
- Improvements in endothelial function, observed in younger and older adults without cardiovascular disease, adults with compromised cardiovascular health including people living with diabetes, smokers, the elderly and adults with coronary artery disease
- Significant improvements in blood pressure and blood pressure measurements
- Cocoa flavanols help support healthy blood vessel function and the overall health of the cardiovascular system by supporting the body’s production of nitric oxide, a molecule important to the health of the cardiovascular system
Preliminary Mars cocoa flavanol research also demonstrates additional health benefits related to cardiovascular health, specifically in cerebrovascular functions like cognition. Potential benefits include:
- Improvements in blood flow and perfusion of the brain
- Significant increase of cerebral blood flow in older, healthy adults
- Potential improvement of working memory and executive function among healthy adults with early memory decline
“At Mars, we’ve demonstrated the potential of cocoa flavanols and we are dedicated to continuing research that will help illuminate their benefits, and today we are proudly applying this research to products that can support cardiovascular health,” said Catherine Kwik-Uribe, Ph.D., director of Research & Development, Mars Symbioscience, in a prepared statement. “We are honored IFT has recognized our passion and dedication to scientific research to improve human health, and we look forward to advancing cocoa flavanol research in the future.”
Dr. Kwik-Uribe and Dr. Rebecca Robbins, senior research scientist, in the science and technology group of Mars, Incorporated, Hackettstown, N.J., who contributed significant advances in the quantitative analyses of cocoa flavanols, jointly accepted the award on behalf of Mars on Saturday, July 13, 2013, at the IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo in Chicago, Ill.