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FLAVIOLA Partnership

FLAVIOLA was a three-year pan-European research project from 2010-2013, carried out by a consortium of eight national partners from government, academia and industry, each with a specific area of expertise. Through cutting-edge research, FLAVIOLA's aim was to develop innovate and natural food products, better understand how flavanols act in the body and elicit health effects, and to determine sources of flavanols in the diet. FLAVIOLA is funded under the Seventh Framework Programme, the European Union's Research and Innovation funding program the project was completed in February 2013.

Key Outcomes of FLAVIOLA

  • Developed an enhanced food product prototype containing cocoa flavanols to use in subsequent research studies
  • Investigated flavanol absorption, bioavailability, metabolism and excretion
  • Assessed the regular dietary intake of cocoa flavanols and their corresponding nutritional benefits, such as improved cell and organ function
  • Demonstrated that consuming cocoa flavanols improves cardiovascular function and lessens the burden on the heart that comes with the aging and stiffening of arteries. The studies also provide novel data to indicate that intake of cocoa flavanols reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD).

FLAVIOLA Consortium Partners

  • French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA)
    INRA is the largest European Institute for Research in Agriculture, Food and Environment and is involved in characterizing the effects of flavanols on the myocardium proteome.
  • Ghent University (GU)
    GU characterizes selective molecular effects of specific flavanols and their metabolites on gene expression and epigenetic dynamics in in vitro/in vivo models of vascular inflammation and myocyte (patho) physiology.
  • Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf (UD)
    UD performs translational studies to characterize effects of dietary flavanols on cardiovascular function in health and disease using various in-vitro and in-vivo models.
  • Karolinska Institute (KI)
    KI characterizes the interaction between flavanols and the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway with special focus on vascular function and flavanol kinetics and metabolism.
  • Maastricht University
    The Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht (NUTRIM) characterizes the cellular antioxidant effects of flavanols and metabolites.
  • Mars Incorporated
    Mars, Incorporated, a global leader in cocoa science and cocoa flavanol research, brings more than 20 years of expertise in flavanol analytics and chemistry, biomedical research, flavanol-preserving food processing technologies and flavanol-containing food product development.
    SCIPROM is a subject matter expert specialized in the management of European research projects. SCIPROM provides project management and dissemination resources.
  • University of Reading (UR)
    UR applies state-of-the-art analytical techniques for the assessment of effective flavanol delivery to the vascular system, aiding in development of new flavanol-rich foods.

Learn More

Read more about the Flaviola studies in the press release and in the published papers in the British Journal of Nutrition and Age.

To learn more about the FLAVIOLA project visit