Nestlé files patent for cocoa extract allergy treatment

By Annie Harrison-Dunn

- Last updated on GMT

Nestlé files cocoa flavonoid patent for use in food supplement like infant formula and pharma and pet food
Nestlé files cocoa flavonoid patent for use in food supplement like infant formula and pharma and pet food

Related tags Immune system Asthma functional beverage beverage

Nestlé has filed an international patent for cocoa polyphenols as a treatment or prevention of eosinophilic esophagitis – an allergic reaction of the esophagus.

Eosinophilic esophagitis is an inflammatory condition of the esophagus that can be, but is not always, an allergic reaction to something. It can lead to abdominal pain, vomiting, swallowing difficulty, food blockages and heartburn. The condition is characterised by the existence of the white blood cells eosinophils in the esophageal mucosa, where they would not normally be found.

Currently sufferers must either cut out all potential food allergens or in the case of a reaction take antihistamines, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or the anti-inflammatory steroids corticosteroids or undergo mechanical dilatation of the esophagus if swelling means there is a risk of blockage.

This patent​ – filed by Nestlé’s research arm Nestec – proposed a dietary solution that was both a non-allergen therefore preventative and a treatment due to its procyanidin flavonoid count.

The application cited research in mice to back this claim and stated at least one procyanidin must be present for the effect. 

The invention could be used in used in food supplements, pharma or nutritional pet products. They pointed to applications like beverages, yoghurts, fermented milk, fruit juice and cereal bars and more specifically to infant feeding products like follow-on formula, growing-up milk and infant cereal. 

The extract could take a solid or liquid form, the latter of which could be sprayed directly into the esophagus.


Source: WIPO Patents

Patent Owner: Nestec

Date Filed: 22.09.2014

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