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What is Microencapsulation? Is this innovative technique beneficial?

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Do you think organic products are reliable? How can you check the organic origin of the products we consume?

According to the European Commission, more than 70% of European citizens have confidence in organic products, although almost 60% of these believe that the control system should be improved. Consumer confidence is not only based on quality, it also takes into account environmental protection, good animal living conditions and the promotion of rural development.

When we talk about organic farming and livestock, we are not only talking about growing or feeding without chemical synthesis or antibiotics, we are also taking into account in this type of practices other factors such as carbon footprint, the life cycle of the substances or the environmental impact of the activities. On the other hand, the use of additives and production aids is restricted, and no product is derived from genetically modified organisms.

One of the ways for the consumer population to know that a product has been controlled and meets the appropriate guidelines for organic production is that it is certified.

Eco-labelling of products enables consumers to easily and quickly recognise organic products and also ensures that production is carried out in accordance with the same guidelines. The use of this label in products is controlled by an ecological certification.

organic certification

What exactly is an ecological certification?

Ecological certification is the process in which the producers of food, inputs, and processed or processed products, obtain permission to use the “ecological” rating, always under the development of inspections, controls, audits and desk review. Almost any process related to food production and processing can be certified, but this process is also applied for products, ingredients and cosmetic production.

It is interesting to note that certification is granted for a limited period of time, during which the certifying body will be responsible for its supervision.

Moreover, obtaining certification from a company is a completely voluntary initiative and demonstrates a commitment to its consumers.

Why is it important?

Certification is important as a quality guarantee for customers, which gives them confidence to purchase the products because they know they have been, and will continue to be, subject to controls by authorised bodies.

It is also important for the producer or supplier company as it is a form of recognition of its efforts to offer quality products according to ethical and sustainable environmental ideals.

WHAT IS MICROENCAPSULATION? IS THIS INNOVATIVE TECHNIQUE BENEFICIAL?

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Do you know the techniques of microencapsulation and submicroencapsulation? These are novel technologies that can help us to ensure that the substances we ingest reach our organism with their full potential.

We have all taken medicines or food supplements protected by edible capsules. Can you imagine this technique on a microscopic scale? So micro-encapsulation and encapsulation techniques at smaller scales are presented as a very powerful alternative to achieve maximum effect when we take supplements with substances that will cause us a beneficial effect.

At Q’omer® we have access to these techniques, in our continuous attempt to research and innovate to offer our customers the most advanced technology and with the greatest potential so that our raw materials reach consumers in the most natural way and that our compounds bioassets are as effective as possible.

The techniques of microencapsulation and submicroencapsulation allow to protect the substances of our interest from external agents that can damage them, oxidations, chemicals that can deteriorate them, as well as unfavourable external conditions such as heat or humidity.

Some substances are sensitive to these factors, for example Vitamin C or polyphenols, especially if they are of high purity. Oxidation of these compounds is frequent, as is also the case with unsaturated oils such as Omega 3, Omega 6… and they lose much of their functionality until they are ingested. In order for them to arrive in good condition and our organism to be able to absorb them, it is a good idea to protect them by means of microencapsulation techniques as an alternative to the addition of antioxidants or other compounds for their conservation.

En Q’omer® utilizamos tecnología muy avanzada para su protección y utilizamos materiales encapsulantes muy novedosos o incluso nos aprovechamos de la propia naturaleza de la materia prima para conseguir su microencapsulación.

Esta técnica está siendo muy utilizada en la industria alimentaria, en la industria farmacéutica y es muy interesante su aplicación en productos nutracéuticos y suplementos alimenticios ya que incluso se ha conseguido, en algunos casos, conseguir que las compuestos bioactivos se liberen en el lugar específico del tracto digestivo en el que son más susceptibles de ser absorbidos correctamente.

En Q’omer® nos preocupamos de que los productos que ofrecemos no se deterioren y que sus componentes cumplan su función en el organismo, y continuamos investigando para ofrecer a nuestros clientes nuestros ingredientes y materias primas de la forma más natural posible.

The production and market of ecological foods in Spain

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Did you know that the jungle can provide us with much more than the wood from its trees? The Amazon rainforest has a great diversity of resources that are interesting in economic terms as well as in terms of rural development and environmental protection.

The depth of the Amazon rainforest is an ecosystem that contains a spectacular diversity of fauna and flora. This ecosystem thus contains many plant species that are interesting resources to be incorporated into the food or cosmetics market.

These Amazonian resources can be an interesting option to benefit us as consumers and consumers of the natural diversity and bioactive properties that the Amazon offers us and also, It is very important to bear in mind that these products must be produced in a sustainable way in a way that respects the natural ecosystem in which they grow.

What are the so-called Ntfps?

Non-timber Forest Products (Nwfps) is the name by which FAO refers to goods of biological origin, other than wood, derived from forest, other forest areas and trees outside forests. This type of resource is what we refer to and among which we find raw materials such as camu camu (Myrciaria dubia) fruit with high antioxidant content.

interesting products amazonia

These non-wood forest products have always been a good part of the forest economy in many countries; they have provided income to a large number of rural and urban households for many years.

It is true, however, that these non-wood products have not been given the economic value they have to the detriment of wood; but the recent increase in interest in Ntfps has been a consequence of a number of changes in the approach to development. With the evolution we are witnessing on the importance of rural development and on poverty alleviation, there has been growing interest in studying how forests and forest products contribute to food security and livelihoods of households in entire communities residing in what are known as developing countries.

At the same time, concern that development activities be consistent with environmental integrity, and without prejudice to the future potential of forests and land and resources, have highlighted arguments that their management of Ntfps could be less harmful to the environment than alternative uses of forests.

The study of these forest products that are different from wood are also important for achieving conservation of the native biodiversity of the Amazon.

You are interested in…

As defined by FAO, Ntfps can be harvested in the wild or produced in forest plantations or agroforestry systems We know many examples of non-timber forest products but others are relatively unknown and they need to be disseminated and their biological and chemical properties researched so as to provide them with the economic value from which the communities that directly benefit from their exploitation can benefit. At Q’omeresen we are proud to know the reality of the Amazon and we care about the promotion of its products.

Many of these Ntfps are products used as food and food additives (edible seeds, fungi, fruits, fibers, species and condiments, flavourings) as well as we can also find resins, gums, in addition to other plant and animal products used for medicinal, cosmetic or cultural purposes.

ORGANIC FOOD PRODUCTION AND MARKET IN SPAIN.

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What does it mean if a product comes from organic farming? How important is Spain in organic production? What are the advantages of this alternative form of food production?

Agriculture has been part of the social and economic structure of human beings since we became a species and has evolved over the centuries incorporating new agricultural techniques.

Today, the concern about the products we consume every day through our diet leads us to wonder about the origin of our food and it is very likely that various issues will arise regarding agriculture. At Q’omer® we care about the origins of our products and know well the agricultural practices related to the production of many of them. We also want, from Q’omer® to make known the ecological products and the positive impact they have on the environment compared to conventional methods.

According to the European Commission, organic farming is an agricultural system whose ultimate aim is to provide consumers with fresh, tasty and authentic food, while respecting natural life-cycle systems.

What is organic food production?

Conceptually, organic agriculture and livestock farming is defined as a summary of agricultural techniques that generally exclude artificial synthetic chemicals, which preserve the environment, try to maintain the fertility of the fields and provide us with quality food.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment; organic production in Spain has experienced an important boom since its beginnings in the 1980s and also ranks among the first in the world in terms of cultivated area dedicated to this sector.

Production and market

If we refer to the world market, the intensity with which organic production is developed is also relevant, since in 2010 there were 160 countries with organic production in the world; as well as the continued growth in consumption of organic products, which in 2010 was over EUR 44.5 billion.

Thus, according to the Ministry, organic production is growing strongly in Spain, at all levels of the commercial chain, even if this growth is less marked in terms of consumption in the internal market: But the organic production sector of our country is characterized by its important contribution to the positive trade balance of the Spanish agri-food industry, due to the export activity it demonstrates. However, the presence of organic products from other countries is also noteworthy.

It is therefore considered essential to improve or improve marketing channels by working towards a more efficient distribution of organic products.

The European background…

In June 2004 the European Commission published the European Action Plan for Organic Food and Organic Farming to support European countries’ initiatives in this area over time, and defined 21 action points among those found; improve knowledge and promote consumption and marketing of organic products.

Q’omer Bioactive Ingredients, the first Spanish company member of the Union for Ethical Biotrade.

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Q’omer® Bioactive Ingredients, a technology-based company established in 2013, works from biotechnology offering natural, healthy and safe ingredients from native Latin American biodiversity for food, pharmacy and cosmetics.

The Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT), a not-for-profit association that promotes the “provision with respect” and supported by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)has included as the first Spanish member the Valencian company Q’omer® (HYPERLINK “http:///www.qomer.eu/”http://www.qomer.eu).

The UEBT promotes the sourcing of ingredients from biodiversity in a respectful, ethical and multi-criteria way that measures sustainability in three dimensions: economic, social and environmental, following the objectives of the CBD Convention on Biological Diversity and promoting sustainable development for poverty alleviation.

Q’omer®, was created last November 2013 and began its activities in January 2014. It was born as a social enterprise where the commitment to the native communities that supply raw materials is an axis of the work itself.

Being part of this Biotrade network at an international level is an achievement but also a challenge for Q’omer®, as acknowledged by Juan David Escobar, founding partner:

“this represents a commitment to gradually ensure that sourcing practices will promote biodiversity conservation, respecting traditional knowledge and ensuring a fair distribution of benefits throughout the supply chain”

The challenge is complex, but since the beginning of Q’omer® we have wanted to work from a responsible and ethical perspective where the native communities are not seen as mere suppliers but as strategic partners and part of the same process.

QMR bioactive ingredients

We speak of raw materials rich in bioactive properties good for health and well-being such as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, digestive health, for the immune system, energy, etc. The aim of these raw materials is to reach the population from food, pharmaceuticals or cosmetics. The process aims at the same time to raise awareness of the importance of consumption of natural products, trying to gradually replace the chemicals to which we are accustomed by more natural and healthy ones.

Working hand in hand with social impacts in origin (Peru, Colombia, Ecuador) and destination (Valencian, Spanish, European context) makes the added value of Q’omeresen wanting to integrate a more productive and valuable way of working for all the parties involved.

The social demand for natural products that also meet equitable and sustainable criteria will be met through these products that include concepts such as: respect for the environment, for biodiversity, equitable treatment with suppliers, respect for traditional knowledge or responsible consumption.

More information:

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD): HYPERLINK “http://www.cbd.int/”http://www.cbd.int/”

Biotrade (UEBT): HYPERLINK “http://ethicalbiotrade.org/”http://ethicalbiotrade.org/”

Q’omer®: HYPERLINK “http://qomer.eu/”http://qomer.eu/”

ANDEAN GRAINS: AN OPTION FOR GLUTEN-FREE DIETS

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Do we dare to introduce new foods into celiac diets? Discover what the Andes offer us.

At Q’omer® we are fortunate to know these crops, Andean cereals, which now present a wide range of possibilities to be introduced in our diet as a cereal, and in special diets such as celiac.

We are talking, of course, about quinoa and amaranth; two pseudo-cereals that grow in Latin America. Quinoa has been growing in the heart of the Andean mountains for thousands of years in the territory now known as Peru and Bolivia. It is also currently cultivated in Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina and Chile. Amaranto, for its part, benefits from this peculiar ecosystem and also grows in Peru and Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Argentina.

The introduction of these cereals in a gluten-free diet for people suffering from celiac disease is one of their most interesting applications, which gives them a little diversity in their diet, sometimes very limited, and allows them to benefit from their nutritional properties.

Celiac disease is a syndrome related to dietary intolerance to gluten, consisting of certain vegetable proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and other cereals. Ingesting these proteins causes inflammation in the intestines of celiac people, but they can also cause damage to the joints, skin, liver, and other organs.

Andean grains

These Andean pseudo-cereals, because it is not botanically related to the plant species that produce these proteins it can serve as a substitute for wheat or rye in the diet and provide flours for cooking and baking ideal for celiacs and people gluten-sensitive.

Nutritional properties

Recently they have been considered for the preparation of gluten-free food products due to the absence of these proteins in the seeds and also have a high nutritional value, thanks to their rich composition in essential amino acids.

Several studies have stated that Amaranto and Quinoa have high quality protein in terms of digestibility, efficiency ratio and nutritional balance, almost equivalent to that of the most abundant protein in milk: casein. In addition, these pseudocereals are also rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids bioactive compounds such as γ- and β-tocopherol, polyphenols and flavonoids.

Amaranth is also a good source of riboflavin, vitamin E, calcium and iron.

Applications

In addition to including them in our daily diet because of the quality of their proteins of plant origin, or their facilitation to combine with other more popular cereals in Europe, It is very interesting to offer intolerant consumers these cereals along with a diet free of other gluten-free products. Both natural grains and flour based on these, are ideal in bakery preparations, snacks, cereal preparations, prepared dishes, etc…

You are interested to know what…

Quinoa has been consumed in South America for thousands of years and was basic in the feeding of the Incas.

At Q’omer® we are very familiar with these grains, which are now very new on the European markets. Surrounded by the beauty of the Andean mountains grow these crops from which we offer you the best grains brought directly from Peru and Bolivia.

In a market where the value of nature, care, health and well-being is increasingly valued, Q’omer continues to work and research on new products that may be purely natural to offer to consumers.

Natural and ethical raw materials: the essence of Q’omer

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We share an interview published by eldiario.es in which they relate how from Q’omer® we combine marketing and development from natural raw material brought from Latinonamérica, with a way of doing and of proceeding ethically and sustainably.

 

We base ourselves on two key pillars that define our raison d’être that are detailed here, biotechnology, because of the scientific basis that sustains us, but also biotrade because of the social commitment that characterizes us, linked to the communities that provide us with raw materials and their native knowledge of indigenous products.

 

Natural and ethical raw materials ( HYPERLINK “http://www.eldiario.es/inspira/Materias-primas-naturales-eticas_6_296130385.html”http://www.eldiario.es/inspira/Materias-primas-naturales-eticas_6_296130385.html)

Camu camu: Amazonian fruit rich in Vitamica C and antioxidants

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Discover Camu camu, an exotic food with many functional properties and surprising vitamin C content

Of all the resources that the Amazon region offers us, in Q’omer® we want to highlight the characteristics and functional properties of the Camu Camu, a shrub that grows in flooded soils of the humid regions of the forest, having its highest concentration in the Peruvian Amazon.

The Camu camu shrub produces orange-red berries about the size of a lime. This product is gaining popularity in the market of food supplements the more information is collected and the more it is influenced in the investigation of the biological properties of its phytochemical profile. Camu camu has been classified as one of the fruits with the highest Vitamin C content compared to the vast majority of fruits that we are used to consuming.

Thus Camu Camu is rich in Vitamin C, but it is also a nutritional source of β-carotenes and polyphenolic compounds. In addition, this antioxidant fruit contains good amounts of potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus and important amino acids such as Serine, Valine and Leucine.

Natural properties.

The Camu camu is a very important fruit for the communities that live in the Peruvian Amazon, maintaining an ethno-medical use in the tradition of these communities for hundreds of years.

The most important property attributed to Camu Camu is the antioxidant, due not only to its content in Vitamin C, but also to its combined action by its natural polyphenols, such as flavanols, flavonols, flavanons, and anthocyans.

Thus, this fruit is very effective against oxidative stress. This term refers to the imbalance that occurs in our body between the amount of free radicals coming from metabolic reactions and the ability of our body to eliminate them.

It is interesting to know that Camu camu vitamin C also contributes to the correct absorption of a certain type of iron. In addition, Vitamin C is decisive in the reactions of collagen production, fibrous protein that is part of our joints and the skin, it is also part of the tissue of our blood vessels and contributes to their good condition, modulating blood pressure in some cases.

Scientific studies have focused on analyzing the anti-inflammatory power of Camu camu supplements and together with the antioxidant properties and the impact on the endothelium of the circulatory system has been proposed as a very interesting for preventing atherosclerosis.

On the other hand, antigenotoxic properties of Camu camu are also being studied.

 

Applications.

Due to the interesting functional properties of the bioactive compounds of Camu Camu in the human organism this product is very susceptible to be used as a food supplement alone or in combination with other compounds potentially antioxidant.

 

It is also very appropriate to enjoy these antioxidant properties through cosmetic products to which you can incorporate your Vitamin C and polyphenols.

 

It is used in the manufacture of soft drinks, ice cream, jams and vinegar. Having high concentrations of ascorbic acid, pulp and shell are also used for the preparation of pharmaceutical products rich in vitamin C.

 

On the other hand, there are also experiences of using Camu camu compounds as whiteners for the cosmetic industry.

 

You are interested to know what…

Camu camu

The indigenous peoples of the Peruvian Amazon manually collect the fruit of natural plantations, which are usually located on the banks of the river and transport it in canoes or small boats for storage.

Camu Camu has approximately 40 times more Viamine C than orange, therefore its high degree of acidity and antioxidant capacity.

We offer Camu camu powder, obtained by several of the best raw material drying techniques. We offer Camu camu powder.

We work to promote the consumption of natural products and to introduce them in a market with consumers and consumers increasingly concerned with the origin of the products they buy and where they increasingly recognize the value of the natural, of care, health and well-being.

CURIOSITIES OF THE AMAZON REGION

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A natural wonder of Latin America that offers us its essence

 

The Amazon is an ecological region characterized by its tropical rainforest, dense and humid, and by the intricate water system that has the axis of the Amazon River, the most plentiful and extensive in the world. It covers a very wide area, including Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru.

Feel like discovering more? We tell you little anecdotes of this green giant of the American continent.

The first European to reach the mouth of the Amazon was Vicente Yáñez Pinzón in 1500. Deceived by the amplitude of it, he thought it was a sea and he named it “Sweet sea”.

Traditionally the Amazon is assigned the second place in total length, behind the Nile, although there has never been a general consensus on what are the acceptable measuring points.

The Amazon carries more water than the Mississippi, Nile and Yangtze rivers combined. Its drainage area or basin is also the largest in the world. The Amazon is responsible for one-fifth of all freshwater incorporated into the Earth’s oceans. Such is the force with which the river discharges its waters to the Atlantic Ocean, being able to find fresh water at a distance where the coast is no longer visible.

Qomer amazonia

In most of the lowlands of the Amazon basin, forests remain flooded half the year. These floods are fundamental to the ecology of Amazonian ecosystems, as they increase the amount of habitat available for numerous species of aquatic plants and animals from the lower plains.

The effect of the Atlantic tides at the mouth of the Amazon reaches its highest level with the phenomenon called Pororoca which means “great noise”. This term is used to denote the penetration of Atlantic waters into the Amazon river bed during the high water season. The freshwater of the Amazon River causes the sea water to break, forming waves over them, which translates into a strong opposition between the two, which is the cause of the crash and the name of the phenomenon.

The Amazon area is still largely unexplored where you can find many native species, both flora and fauna. Its native populations have known how to live and live in this natural environment, and to extract from Mother Nature a great wealth of products and essences that today are being studied and discovered their great healthy properties and good for health and natural care.

Q’omer® was born to a great extent from an experience lived in this Amazonian reality, where its human team learned the importance of living in harmony with nature and the value of its natural products.

This information is compiled from the publication “Amazonía”, of the Spanish-Peruvian Cooperation Program of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation.

Qomer amazonia

The Star Polyphenolic Compound of Olive Oil: HYDROXYTYROSOL

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Hydroxytyrosol: extensively related to antioxidant capacities, antievenjecimiento, antiiflamatoria and prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

 

The consumption of olive oil is very characteristic of the Mediterranean culture and is an indispensable element in its culinary culture. In major producing countries, such as Italy, Greece and Spain, it is widely preferred not only as salad dressing, but also as cooking fat, or in the preparation of vegetables and fish preserves; among other food applications.

The olive tree is considered as the main tree of the Mediterranean area, since it offers us a basic food, olives, which produce olive oil, food with excellent therapeutic properties. The first olive oil production took place around 6000 years ago on the Mediterranean coast. Since then, olive oil has been consumed for the beneficial properties it provides.

Unlike other vegetable oils, Oliva contains numerous phenolic substances, derived from olives during oil production and characterized by healthy properties and antioxidants. In addition, this is a much more chemically stable oil compared to other vegetable oils.

Qomer olive natural ingredients Hidroxitirosol

The molecules responsible for these healthy and antioxidant properties can now be isolated. In particular, hydroxytyrosol, which is present in olive oil, is responsible for its high stability due to its high antioxidant capacity, making it the most important polyphenolic compound.

Natural properties

Polyphenols are a heterogeneous group of molecules that share certain characteristics in their chemical structure, including benzene rings.

On the properties and mechanisms of hydroxytyrosol in human health there are many publications, in vitro and in vivo, which are added to the ability to provide stability to the oil against oxidation.

Its high antioxidant capacity in the prevention of various diseases, as demonstrated in numerous studies, is due to its great ability to neutralize free radicals, since these are the precursors of many health problems.

The main properties attributed to it are:

 

Prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

Hydroxytyrosol has been shown to be effective as an antioxidant and antithrombotic agent in in vitro and in vivo studies. It possesses cardioprotective capacity because it inhibits the oxidation of LDL (or cholesterol, or “bad”), prior to atherosclerosis. It also inhibits platelet aggregation that occurs in thrombosis.

Anti-inflammatory.

It has a significant anti-inflammatory effect since it inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory compounds by human leukocytes such as leukotrienes.

Anti-aging.

It has a high antioxidant capacity that destroys free radicals and inhibits their chain reactions (scavengers). The excess of free radicals creates a favorable balance of oxidants against antioxidants, which implies the appearance of oxidative stress and cellular damage. Hydroxytyrosol plays an important role in delaying the aging processes caused by free radicals, thus blocking the appearance of external signs such as wrinkles, flaccidity and stains.

Anti-cancer activity.

It prevents the proliferation of cancer cells, especially breast and colon cancers.

Protection against UV radiation.

Hydroxytyrosol prevents damage to melanoma cells when exposed to harmful UV radiation.

 

Qomer olive oil ingredients Hidroxitirosol

Applications

 

The powerful effect that Hydroxytyrosol has on human health, makes it interesting to include it in nutritional supplements for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, especially for its cardioprotective capacity. It is a very relevant application since cardiovascular diseases are one of the main causes of mortality in the West.

In addition, it is very competent to give stability to oils and fats; and also because of its high antioxidant capacity can be included in food applications to protect other bioactive compounds from oxidation reactive chains.

In cosmetic applications, Q’omer® offers this interesting compound to include in creams and soothing lotions, for its anti-inflammatory properties.

You are interested to know what…

 

The fact that hydroxytyrosol has been consumed throughout history through olives and olive oil confirms that it is a safe and nutritious substance.

Olives, because of their composition, can be considered as such, because they open or promote appetite.

Its digestive properties can even be increased if mixed with other products such as aromatic herbs and can be a complementary ingredient in a wide variety of dishes, widely used in the Mediterranean diet.

Olive oil and in particular its compound Hydroxytyrosol is another of the flagship products promoted by Q’omer®, all from its philosophy of promoting the consumption of merely natural, healthy and healthy products. Q’omer therefore continues to search for and investigate new traditional applications and products, such as olive oil, in order to offer them to consumers.