Featured: Organic flaxseed

Fabulous flowers and nondescript seeds that pack a punch: Flaxseeds are the food of choice when it comes to unsaturated fatty acids or vitamins. Its little seeds come from the beautiful blue flowers of the flax plant, which is native to Europe and has more to offer than many other plants. To be precise, flaxseeds have the highest content of the polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linolenic acid. The harvested seeds are sold in three variants: whole, broken, and milled.

 

Flaxseeds have a slightly nutty flavor and contain about 40% fat (flaxseed oil). Whole seeds are less beneficial to the body than broken flaxseeds because they usually pass through your gastrointestinal tract unchanged. They need to be broken in order to unlock their full potential in terms of unsaturated fatty acids and vitamins (vitamins B1, B2, B6, and E). The seed coat of flaxseeds contains mucilage, which swell up when combined with enough water and do a good job of regulating the gastrointestinal tract. Flaxseed oil also contributes to a healthy heart and actively protects your cells. This is due to the lignans, which are secondary plant compounds rich in antioxidants. In addition, flaxseeds are said to have anti-inflammatory effects.
Why organic:
The selenium contained in flaxseeds already exhibits its property of binding heavy metals within the plant. That’s why it’s important to eat flaxseed products from certified organic cultivation and less from conventional cultivation in order to avoid plants that absorb potentially harmful substances from the soil along with the selenium contained in it.

How do they end up in the product?
We import our flaxseeds from Kazakhstan, where they are cultivated in certified organic conditions. Usually, manufacturing companies use so-called cold-pressed flaxseed oil cakes, which are a by-product of flaxseed oil production. Our flaxseeds, however, come to us as whole seeds and are broken just before we mix and fill our product. In this way, we protect the valuable fatty acids from oxidation, thus preventing the little seeds from becoming rancid quickly. By grinding the little flaxseeds in BERTRAND, we ensure that its valuable nutrients can then be absorbed optimally by the body.

Featured: organic yeast

Introduced: organic yeast

Yeast – an exciting microorganism that resembles a separate small universe. As a single-celled being it predominantly ferments with sugar and starch to alcohol and carbon dioxide. This results in the soft dough of bread, rolls and other pastries. There are over 700 kinds of yeast, and we decided to choose the nutritional yeast since we are not keen on the alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Though commonly known as raising agent and fermentation assistant in beer and wine, many people don't know that yeast is actually loaded with nutrients. Even the ancient Egyptians used it for their meals without knowing that it is loaded with niacin and B vitamins such as B1, B2 and B6. Important nutrients that ensure a well-balanced metabolism and support muscles and nerves The contained potassium in conjunction with sodium ensures a healthy heart and a well-adjusted fluid balance in the body.

In order to guarantee excellent quality we use organic nutritional yeast powder which we provide with a sugar source made of clean spring water and grain instead of using conventional molasses.

Why organic?

All of our products are organic since we are convinced that good quality already starts with the ingredients. The advantages are easily demonstrated through the example of our organic yeast:

The sugar source of conventional yeast is primarily made of molasses, whereas the sugar source of our organic yeast is made of grain from organic farming.
Ammonia (NH3) or ammonia salts are used in conventional yeast. The nitrogen source of organic yeast is also organic grain.
Acids like sulfuric acid and alkalis like caustic soda are used in conventional yeast in order to regulate the pH value. This regulation is not necessary with organic yeast.
Synthetic vitamins and inorganic salts are needed for conventional yeast. These substances are already sufficiently available in natural mediums.
Conventional yeast is made with synthetic defoaming agents. Organic yeast is made with organic sunflower oil instead.
In the case of conventional yeast, the washing has to be repeated several times in order to eliminate unpleasant flavors and odorants. There is no washing with organic yeast. The sterilization happens through water steam.
With conventional yeast, the waste water is heavily contaminated and hard to clean. But with organic yeast, the fermentation medium provides the basis for further products such as pre-ferment or pre-leaven starters.


How does it get into the product?

Nutritional yeast is a yeast inactivated by heat. The basis is the organic yeast cream which already features the very good nutritional profile but cannot be used yet in our product due to its consistence and activity. In order to obtain the yeast powder used in BERTRAND we need to inactivate the yeast cells first. This happens through brief heating to 55° – 60°. Should there be any surviving yeast cells, they will be subsequently inactivated due to the drying. Drum drying is used in this case. It is particularly gentle and makes the yeast cream into yeast flakes at 130° by putting a thin film of the product on the drum. The contained liquid evaporates thereby. Then the yeast flakes are grounded to a fine yeast powder with the help of a cone crusher. This powder is subsequently mixed with our other ingredients to make BERTRAND.

Moreover, yeast serves as source of protein and is therefore perfectly suited for diets low in protein such as vegetarianism and veganism. Athletes also benefit from proteins since they are responsible for muscle growth, as well.
Annika | Customer Care

Have any questions remain unanswered?

I am happy to answer any questions you might have on this topic. Feel free to write me an e-mail. You will usually receive an answer within 24 hours.

Annika | Customer Careannika@bertrand.bio

High readings in ORAC analysis: The antioxidant effect of BERTRAND

Sea buckthorn is one of the main ingredients in BERTRAND's liquid meals. The high content of ascorbic acid in the fruit is not only important in terms of optimal vitamin supply, but also to the degree that Vitamin C is an important antioxidant in combating free radicals. A current investigation of all three product lines (classic, vegan, active) with regard to their antioxidant capacity showed that the measured value can be considered high for all meal powders.

ORAC values between 26,000 and 41,000 µmol TE/100g

The so-called ORAC analysis (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) was conducted by INTERTEK, an international industry leader in testing and certification procedures, and underscores that the combination of natural ingredients used in BERTRAND makes an important contribution to combating free radicals in the context of a healthy diet.

BERTRAND Classic: 29,000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – classic PDF (118KB)
BERTRAND Vegan: 26.000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – vegan PDF (113KB)
BERTRAND Active: 41.000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – active (113KB)

Free radicals and antioxidants

Free radicals are chemical molecules containing oxygen, but are incomplete in their structure. They lack an electron, which they then remove from intact cells and molecules in the body in order to be complete again. This electron theft is called "oxidation". Since the robbed molecule itself becomes a free radical, a chain reaction occurs. If the degree of oxidation is higher than the body can withstand, we speak of "oxidative stress", which can lead to long-term damage since the deprived molecules are primarily our elementary building blocks of cells, such as fats, proteins or DNA. Examples of how free radicals primarily occur today include, among other things, smoking, air pollution and pollution by exhaust gases, UV radiation, alcohol, fast food, radioactivity and the taking of medicines. Various factors play a role in the extent to which free radicals develop, for example, the combination of individual food components in our gastrointestinal tract or the reaction of sulfur dioxide in exhaust gases and pollutants.
Oxidative stress speeds up the aging process and encourages the onset of disease. Thus, during the course of electron theft by free radicals in our body, there may arise, among other things, skin damage, rheumatism, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, eye and joint problems, stroke or calcification of the arteries (2). As there can also be damage to elementary cell components, additional diseases are facilitated, such as dementia due to brain damage, as well as various cancers due to DNA damage and the concomitant degeneration of cells.

Protection through nutrition with high ORAC value

Drugs cannot specifically combat free radicals. However, since there are foods that are rich in antioxidants, a healthy diet can counteract the damage. Thus, antioxidants are also called "radical scavengers" and are likewise chemical compounds. Unlike the free radicals, they voluntarily relinquish one of their electrons and thus protect the cells before they can be attacked. Since antioxidants themselves are not converted in the process into free radicals, they interrupt the chain reaction and also return immediately to their antioxidant form, so they can act again. Important antioxidants are, above all, the vitamins, especially Vitamins E and C. The Vitamin E radical, for example, is regenerated into its antioxidant form by Vitamin C, But, in addition, enzymes, phytochemicals such as polyphenols, minerals and trace elements function as radical scavengers, either produced by the body itself or absorbed in our diet.

A practical example

A very vivid example of oxidation and the effect of antioxidants is the cut apple. The cut surface inevitably turns brown in the air after a short time: Free radicals have caused the oxidation here. However, if the apple is drizzled with a little lemon juice, its color is preserved. The ascorbic acid in the lemon works as an antioxidant and protects the apple from the attack of the free radicals. In BERTRAND, for example, the sea buckthorn with its high Vitamin C content functions as an antioxidant, but so do the included almonds, flaxseed, sunflower seeds and the walnut meal, which have a high amount of minerals and vitamins.

BERTRAND Classic: 29,000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – classic PDF (118KB)
BERTRAND Vegan: 26.000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – vegan PDF (113KB)
BERTRAND Active: 41.000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – active (113KB)
ORAC = Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity: determines the antioxidant capacity of foods
Unit µmol TE/100g – micromol Trolox Equivalent
The measured value is the relation to the antioxidative effect of the product/food, the higher the value, the better and stronger the antioxidative capacity and the more free radicals can be neutralized.
Write us an email

Carolin | B.Sc. Ecotrophology

Carolin studied ecotrophology at the University of Niederrhein and writes periodic articles about healthy eating. Are you interested in a specific topic?

Write us an emailhey@bertrand.bio

What do lemons and sea buckthorn have in common?

The answer is: vitamin C. Although we associate lemon with this “good mood” vitamin, sea buckthorn—which is a particularly valuable source of vitamin C in BERTRAND’s drinkable meals—contains a considerable amount of it. 100g of lemon contain about 53mg of vitamin C, while sea buckthorn gives us 18 times that amount, about 900mg per 100g.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends a daily vitamin C intake of 80 mg in its reference levels. Thus, about two lemons already cover the daily requirement, as do three Bertrand Classic drinkable meals (made with 167g of powder each), providing almost 90mg of vitamin C in total.

But what makes vitamin C—called ascorbic acid in chemistry—so important and such a crucial component of our nutrition? Why and when should we ensure an adequate intake of vitamin C?

Vitamins are not replaceable

Vitamins are vital to our health because our bodies cannot produce them on their own. Therefore, they have to be absorbed from food. Since each vitamin has a different function in our metabolism, they are not interchangeable or replaceable. While many vitamins are found in animal products, vitamin C is only found in plant foods and has several important functions in our body and health, and is involved in many metabolic processes. On one hand, vitamin C is involved in the formation of collagen, a protein that makes up our connective and supporting tissue and which helps to optimally build up and maintain our skin, bones, and teeth. Furthermore, vitamin C plays an important role in wound healing and scar formation, e.g., after injuries and burns. Vitamin C is also involved in cell growth.

Especially important for vegetarians and vegans

Two other main functions of vitamin C are the protection of our body against free radicals and its effect as an antioxidant as well as its role in immune protection. Free radicals are compounds that can lead to cell damage and cell degeneration. These lead to diseases such as cancer, cataracts, or arteriosclerosis. Vitamin C, absorbed through nutrition, acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants react with the free radicals, making them slower or harmless. In addition, vitamin C supports the work of white blood cells in our immune system, helping to fight off pathogens and produce antibodies. Other functions include the breakdown of medicine in our body and iron absorption in the intestine. This is particularly important for people on a vegetarian or vegan diet who do not get enough iron through meat and meat products. Consuming products rich in vitamin C helps our bodies better absorb and utilize the iron from plant-based foods.

Anti-scurvy acid

But can a diet with too much vitamin C also have negative effects? And is vitamin C deficiency still possible in today’s world? A vitamin-rich diet that contains more vitamin C than the recommended daily dose of 80mg usually has no side effects. Ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin, thus, an overdose above 200 mg is usually excreted in the urine. A significantly higher intake than needed will only lead to diarrhea or abdominal pain. However, such a high overdose of vitamin C almost never occurs due to a vitamin-rich diet alone, but usually due to the additional intake of high-dose vitamin preparations and dietary supplements. And vitamin C deficiency is also rare given our modern food supply and nutrition. While scurvy, a common seafaring disease caused by vitamin C deficiency (hence its former name anti-scurvy acid), was still widespread in the 16th and 17th centuries given the lack of vitamin-rich foods on board, only a few populations are at risk of deficiency today.

So vitamin C is not merely the “good mood” vitamin, but also one of the most valuable vitamins in terms of a healthy and balanced diet, and it can be obtained from many different plant-based foods to contribute to our health and vitality.  Right at the forefront: Sea buckthorn!

In this blog post, we talk about the sea buckthorn we use in our drinkable meal in more detail: Featured – Sea Buckthorn in BERTRAND

Write us an email

Carolin | B.Sc. Ecotrophology

Carolin studied ecotrophology at the University of Niederrhein and writes periodic articles about healthy eating. Are you interested in a specific topic?

Write us an emailhey@bertrand.bio

Alkaline Diet with BERTRAND

Due to the many requests we’ve gotten in Support, we’ve looked into whether BERTRAND is suitable in alkaline diets. Here we’ll take a look at the individual ingredients and testing at our INTERTEK laboratory for food technology.

What is an alkaline diet?

An alkaline diet supplies humans with easily absorbed basic minerals as well as all the body’s required nutrients and vital substances. At the same time, it should spare the body from acid metabolic residue resulting from digestion. This brings the acid-alkaline ratio into balance for a proper and healthy pH value in all areas of the body. There is, however, as of yet no scientifically recognized proof of hyperacidity.

Laboratory tests for pH values

Laboratory tests on our products have determined them largely to have neutral pH values.

Laboratory test at INTERTEK – pH value of vegan variety
Laboratory test at INTERTEK – pH value of classic variety
Laboratory test at INTERTEK – pH value of active variety

In an alkaline diet, however, the pH values of foods are mostly excluded. You’ll find more on that in this article.

Is BERTRAND suitable for an alkaline diet?

In an alkaline diet, food is divided into categories based on whether they are more alkaline-forming or acid-forming. In addition, there is a division between good and bad acid-forming foods. Our ingredients fall into these categories as follows:

Almonds, walnuts, locust bean gum, sea buckthron berries, nutritional yeast, algae (porphyra, chlorella, lithothamnium), mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus), lemon peel extract, guava extract, basil leaf extract
Whole oats, flax seed, sunflower seeds, agave powder, coconut, rice protein
Powdered milk, milk protein powder

Conclusion

The ingredients in our vegan variety make our product highly suitable for integration into an alkaline diet. It is also possible to integrate our classic and active varieties, however these should be limited to individual meals due to the milk products they contain.

Peter | Customer Care

Have any questions remain unanswered?

I am happy to answer any questions you might have on this topic. Feel free to write me an e-mail. You will usually receive an answer within 48 hours.

Peter | Customer Carepeter@bertrand.bio

Get in touch with us!

Please use the contact form for questions about BERTRAND or write an e-mail to hey@bertrand.bio
You will find all points of contact on the Meet the Team page.
Many questions were already answered in the FAQ-section.