CENIT SENIFOOD (2009-2012)

Producing functional ingredients for use in foods suitable for older persons (CEN-20091006). CDTI

Basic Information

Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) Aid Scheme
Project duration: 4 years (2009-2012)
Total budget: €24.6m
Company participation/investment: €1.8m


The SENIFOOD project was proposed in order to address the challenge of improving the quality of life for older persons by means of food, by formulating balanced diets that see to resolving nutritional deficiencies and illnesses common to those of mature age or brought about by ageing.


Specific objectives:

  • To develop dietetic strategies for older persons that offer them a good quality of life.
  • To develop a greater understanding of the mechanisms of action of various ingredients on the most common metabolic disorders found in older persons, among which feature:
  • To study the composition of foods designed specifically for older persons, which also include functional ingredients that prove satisfying to the senses and nutritionally endowed with the capacity to prevent illnesses common to those of mature age or brought about by ageing.
  • To ensure that the ingredients and product concepts researched fulfil their alleged functions, through carrying out intervention trials in environments of geriatric care


This project was based on research carried out by a collaboration of 4 manufacturers of functional ingredients: NATUREX, BIOPOLIS, BIOIBERICA, NUTRAFUR and 7 food product manufacturers: CAMPOFRIO, CAPSA (Central Lechera Asturiana), TUTTI PASTA, MUGALA INNOVA (Grupo Restaurador Mugaritz), LABORATORIOS ORDESA, BODEGA MATARROMERA and CUSTOMDRINKS (Grupo Hijos de Rivera), supported by a management company that holds several geriatric centres: FUNDACION MATIA is a network of technological centres and universities directed towards the study of diets specific to older persons, which are characterized by their beneficial effects on the following illnesses common to those of mature age: metabolic syndrome, cognitive disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, and problems with muscle, bone, gastrointestinal or visual health.

Both in vitro and in vivo tests were carried out, as well as clinical trials, in order to scientifically validate and verify the alleged functions of the ingredients tested.


The SENIFOOD project has contributed to improving the health of adults of mature age through the means of food and diet. This has been achieved through uncovering new scientific knowledge, as well as developing and approving new ingredients in various food matrices with potential beneficial effects on the metabolic disorders most common to older persons. Similarly, dietetic strategies specifically designed for those of older age have been developed, which see to the particular eating habits, illnesses and other factors that pertain to this specific group of the population.

With regard to Matarromera Winery specifically, this project has improved their filtration and purification techniques used to extract polyphenols from grapes; optimized their drying parameters for deriving grape extracts suitable for use in food products and identified, through use of biomarkers and other genetic markers, functional ingredients found in grapes.