KernAktuell July 2019, News


the new elixir of youth

Spermidine is a naturally occurring polyamine which is obtained mainly from our diet.

Its name reflects the fact that high concentrations of it are found in semen, where spermidine was first identified. It is now known that this molecule also occurs in all other tissues and cells of all living organisms, where it performs important tasks such as protecting against age-related damage.

In 2009 a team of researchers in Graz was able to show that ingesting spermidine stimulates autophagy (a cell self-cleansing process) and hence was able to prolong the life and health of yeast cells, fruit flies and mice. In consequence, research into aging started to focus on spermidine as the new elixir of youth. Since then numerous further studies have described the positive effects of spermidine. For example, an epidemiological study by the University of Innsbruck published in 2016 showed that people who ate a diet rich in spermidine over the 20-year period of the study are fitter in old age, have fewer cardiovascular disorders and live longer.

The amount of spermidine in food varies widely, but the measurements published to date demonstrate that animal products contain little or no spermidine, but foods such as ripened cheese that have been processed by microorganisms contain high quantities of it. Plant-based foods contain moderate to very large amounts. Many different fruits and vegetables, including cauliflower, broccoli, pears, apples, potatoes, pumpkin, salad leaves, soya and in particular pulses are rich in spermidine. The polyamine often occurs in highly concentrated form in particular parts of plants, such as seeds and nuts.

As a result of the above-mentioned study, Estyria has submitted its Styrian foods for testing. The initial results are already available and show that we are producing a miniature “power plant”.

Scientific Consulting: Dr Julia Ring, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Graz University.


KernAktuell Edition July 2019 >>


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Traditional Styrian
stamp press process

While modernity has brought progress in many areas, the traditional Styrian stamp press process is still the best way of making pumpkin seed oil. The main difference between this and other pressing methods is that we work with open roasting pans. At our plant, people check when the pumpkin seeds are perfectly roasted and so will yield the very best oil. This enables our experienced oil millers to produce the pumpkin seed oil that has won more prizes than any other – and which as a result of this type of pressing retains all the natural constituents. The untreated oil is not filtered; the particles that make it cloudy settle naturally when the oil is left to rest.

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