Sauvignon Blanc grapes hold a lot more secrets than just being an important wine ingredient, according to preliminary results of a scientific investigation on UV rays and skin.

Sauvignon Blanc grapes hold a lot more secrets than just being an important wine ingredient, according to preliminary results of a scientific investigation. The AgResearch study looked at the benefits of an extract from Sauvignon Blanc grape seeds, a by-product from wine production, manufactured by Marlborough-based company, New Zealand Extracts Limited. 

New Zealand Extracts was able to leverage world-leading capability developed in AgResearch studying oxidative damage to food and fibre proteins. In particular, technologies developed for mapping UV damage in wool keratins and meat collagens were utilised to evaluate the protective effect of the grape seed extract on skin keratins and collagens.

“We were surprised by how effective grape seed extracts are at combating protein damage from UV rays on skin. A protective effect was observed right down at the protein level, with mitigation of oxidative damage. This significant discovery is likely to have a huge benefit particularly given increasing concerns around UV rays,” says AgResearch Senior Scientist Dr Jolon Dyer. 

“The AgResearch results concluded that damage at the molecular level was reduced or lessened when the grape seed extract from New Zealand Extracts was applied to the skin. We were able to look at oxidative damage across the skin proteins including amino acids that are particularly sensitive to UV damage. Importantly, the preliminary results indicate a significant reduction in the level of oxidation in the skin proteins,” said Dr Dyer.

New Zealand Extracts Ltd commissioned AgResearch to investigate. Dr Glenn Vile, General Manager of New Zealand Extracts, says “Scientific validation of the health benefits of our products is a cornerstone of our business. AgResearch had previously demonstrated in a clinical trial that our Oxifend grape seed extract can provide anti-ageing benefits to the skin and the study by Dr Dyer considerably strengthens this story by clearly demonstrating the benefit of the extract against UV radiation-dependant damage to the skin”.

“Dr Dyer’s results provide powerful justification for the inclusion of our Oxifend grape seed extract in skin care formulations, and we expect considerable interest in this product from skin care companies. What is important is we’re talking here about Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown in Marlborough New Zealand. These grape seeds and other matter were discarded in the past and all the properties and benefits of the seeds weren’t being captured,” said Dr Vile.

“Our Oxifend grape seed extract from Marlborough’s Sauvignon Blanc grape seeds contains some of the highest levels of bioactives in the world, and we are demonstrating that the extract has a number of important health benefits ranging from protecting athletes during exercise to providing anti-ageing benefits to the skin,” said Dr Vile. 

New Zealand Extracts use a unique water-based extraction process that maximises the beneficial properties of the grape seed ensuring no chemicals or other agents affect the properties of the extract.

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