Researchers in Italy Investigate Adding CBD Antioxidant Properties to Protein Bars

  • Updated November 8, 2023

  • Published November 8, 2023

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Researchers in Italy Investigate Adding CBD Antioxidant Properties to Protein Bars

Researchers at the University of Calabria in Cosenza, Italy, focused a project on investigating the ability of CBD to increase antioxidants in protein bars. The hypothesis was that adding CBD to the protein dough bar may increase the dough’s antioxidant properties after baking. The dough was made with Greek yogurt, protein hemp flour and oil enriched with CBD. The result was that CBD extract retained antioxidant power after the protein bars were baked, which suggests the bars could be an excellent source of antioxidants.

To determine how CBD impacts the dough used for making protein bars, the researchers first investigated the best way to increase CBD yield through an extraction process using hemp, stalks and inflorescences. Inflorescence is the whole flower head, including the stem, bract, stalk, and flower. Different extraction CBD methods were tested, and the conventional solid-lipid extraction process was the most productive and efficient.

In this procedure, hemp plant material is soaked in organic solvent and agitated to separate the essential oils and various bioactive compounds. The CBD extract was added to hemp oil, and that was used in the protein bar dough. The antioxidant power of the CBD was measured before and after baking the dough. Before the dough was cooked, the antioxidant power was .36+/-0.01 mg of CBD/g snack. After the dough was cooked, the concentration was .36+/-0.01 mg CBD/g snack.

Also noted was that adding Greek yogurt to the dough increased the gelatinization point to a higher temperature. The researchers concluded,

“Resuming, this research highlights the possibility of recovering CBD from hemp, inflorescences, and stalks for its use in the food industry, particularly for the production of high-protein bars. However, since the mechanical and sensorial properties have not yet been studied in this work, the link between the structure and acceptability by the consumer deserves to be fully explored, possibly by adding other ingredients to the formulation, such as dried fruit/chocolate and so on.”

The results of the research project were published in the Antioxidants journal and point to the possibility that CBD may become an important natural nutrient in foods in the future. More research is needed on food formulas with CBD as an ingredient and making them taste good so people will accept them as a source of nutrition. This is an unlimited area of research that could have a significant impact on the ability to provide high-nutrition, affordable foods to people with inadequate access to healthy foods.


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