Project duration: 15 months
Accelerate partner(s): Adwell Foods (Welsh Brew Tea) Cardiff University School of Pharmacy
Aim: To develop a honey-based health tea enriched in natural polyphenols and salicylates
Adwell Foods Limited is a family owned company established in 1993, located on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales. Their core product, Welsh Brew Tea, is an iconic Welsh brand, uniquely blended with African and Indian teas to complement Welsh water.
For nearly 30 years Adwell have continuously diversified and expanded their product lines. Recently, they teamed up with Cardiff University’s award winning Pharmabees Project and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to develop a novel health-promoting green tea augmented with Welsh honey, wildflowers and blackberries, due for launch in autumn 2020. Their ambitious and innovative development pipeline includes optimally formulated honey teas with clinically proven health benefits.
Common age-related diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes are more prevalent in western countries compared to Southeast Asia. Higher relative risks for these major causes of morbidity and mortality have been attributed to dietary differences between the East and the West.
Evidence suggests that naturally occurring bioactive phytonutrients (beneficial plant-derived molecules) including polyphenols and salicylates have wide-ranging health benefits, reducing risks for diseases more commonly associated with Western diets.
Hypothetically, increasing consumption of polyphenols and salicylates will contribute to reduced incidences of major categories of human disease, particularly cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disease and recurrent bacterial infections. Numerous dietary components such as berries, cacao, honey and tea are particularly rich in risk-reducing polyphenols (PP) and salicylates (SC). However, more research is needed to improve evidence of their health benefits and the development of evidence-based natural foodstuffs containing augmented levels of risk-reducing compounds.
Accelerate supports this project as an extension of Cardiff University’s on going research and innovation relationship with Adwell Foods. The project undertakes an intensive programme of research and development, building on Adwell’s new health promoting honey tea.
A new enhanced blend of tea will be developed with physiologically optimised polyphenol and salicylate contents, enabling consumers to augment their intake of prophylactic compounds. The blend will be underpinned by evidence from a pre-clinical validation trial, incorporating assays to monitor changes in PP and SC levels in healthy volunteer subjects.
Evidence from the trial will inform the design, development and eventual implementation of full-scale clinical intervention trials of PP/SC optimised teas in patients with high risks of target pathologies.
Ultimately this novel tea product will be a unique addition to the retail market, demonstrating strong potential for novel evidence-based prophylactic food products in niche sectors of health and social care.