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Hypotensive peptides from milk proteins

Contract number : QLK1-2000-00043
Contract type : Shared Cost Project
Total cost : € 1.302.936
EC contribution : € 972.781
Starting date : 1/01/2001
Duration : 36 Months
Scientific Officer : Dyanne Bennink
Project website : not yet available
Prof. Dr Richard Fitzgerald
University of Limerick
Department of Life Science
Tel.: +353 61 202598
Fax: +353 61 331490
E-mail: dick.fitzgerald @

Milk protein peptides can inhibit angiotensin-I-converting enzyme (ACE). Drugs which inhibit ACE are in widespread use in cardiovascular medicine. Little or no information is available on the physiological efficacy in man of ingesting natural milk protein peptides/hydrolysates which inhibit ACE in vitro. Therefore, it is proposed to address this European-wide functional food ingredient problem/opportunity. The proposal objectives are to perform a detailed physiological, physicochemical, immunochemical and cytochemical characterisation, in addition to a consumer assessment of these naturally derived inhibitors of ACE. Milk proteins will be hydrolysed using food-grade proteinases. Clinical/bioavailability trials will be performed in human volunteers. Immunochemical studies will use serum samples from humans fed ACE inhibitory hydrolysates. Cytochemical studies will use human cell culture systems. Consumer awareness will be assessed on a global basis. The outcome of this proposal should lead to the development of clinically validated health claims in respect to the physiological efficiency and safety of ingesting milk protein-derived inhibitors of ACE.


The long term future and credibility of functional foods depends on the possession of basic scientific data validating beneficial health effect claims of ingesting specific food/food ingredients. Such information, in the case of angiotensin-I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory peptide-mediated control of blood pressure and prevention/treatment of cardiovascular disease is essentially unavailable for chemically well-defined ACE inhibitory peptides/hydrolysates. Therefore, the objectives of this proposal are: (1) to produce and fully characterise a range of ACE inhibitory peptide preparations from milk proteins; (2) to perform functional, cytochemical and immunochemical characterisation on these preparations; (3) to conduct bioavailability/clinical trials using human volunteers on selected physicochemically well-defined ACE inhibitory preparations and (4) to establish the physiological consequences of ingesting such preparations. Furthermore, an integral part of this project is to assess consumer perception/awareness of the potential health benefits of consuming foods/food ingredients containing peptide sequences capable of inhibiting ACE.

(expected) Results and achievements

The expected results are:

  • The efficient production of peptide/hydrolysate preparations from milk proteins which inhibit ACE.
  • The physicochemical, functional, clinical, immunochemical and cytochemical characterisation of ACE inhibitory preparations, and information on the attitude of consumers to ingesting products containing such preparations.
  • Development of scientifically validated health claims with respect to the application of well characterised peptide/hydrolysate inhibitors of ACE which provide health benefits in reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
  • Increased competitiveness for the European food sector.


  • Potential use of specific milk protein fragments as functional food ingredients to aid in the prevention of specific cardiovascular disease states.


Institute for Chemistry and Physics
Federal Dairy Research Centre
Hermann Weigmann Straße 1
24103 Kiel
Centre de Recherche de Jouy-en-Josas
Laboratoire INRA-CEA-SPI
CEA de Saclay
Bâtiment 136
91191 Gif-Sur-Yvette
Glanbia Food Ingredients Ballyragget Ltd.
Co. Kilkenny
University of Dundee
Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Ninewells Hospital & Medical School
DD1 9SY Dundee
United Kingdom

Fifth Framework Programme

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