Innovative Nutrition and Communicable Diseases (CINHD)

Research Projects

AICRP- Linseed Value Addition Centre

Funded by : Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR)

Scientist in-charge : Dr. Anand Zanwar

Duration : April-2015 onwards

Current status : Ongoing

AICRP-Linseed Value Addition Centre has been granted to BV (DU) by ICAR in recognition of excellent work done in two major NAIP projects. It has been shown that linseed value addition can provide better price to the farmer and utilization of high yielding linseed varieties developed by different AICRP centres can promote the linseed agriculture. Value addition in linseed will lead to assured a good price to the linseed growing farmers and also high value health products to the consumer.

Nutritionally important linseed value added products developed under AICRP-BV(DU) will result in better returns to linseed growing farmers. The economically viable technologies developed by AICRP-BV(DU) will be implemented at national level with the help of remaining AICRP centres in the country. These technologies are not only valuable to linseed farmers but also to bakery, dairy, pharmaceutical, neutraceutical and poultry industry importantly for human health.

Polyunsaturated fatty acid enriched nano-formulation for diabetes: In vivo efficacy and bioavailability studies

Funded by : Chellaram Diabetes Research Centre, Pune

Principal Investigator : Dr. Anand Zanwar

Duration : July 2022 – June 2025

Current status : Ongoing

In the proposed project, a novel nano-formulations containing poly-unsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) will be developed. Role of PUFA in diabetes is well established. The major issue with PUFA is with regard to its overall bioavailability and stability in any formulation. The key bioactives in PUFA are omega-3 fatty acid (ALA, EPA and DHA) which has immense health benefits. However, omega-3 fatty acids are highly unstable and bioavailability is very poor. Previously we have extensively researched on the medicinal value of flaxseed lignan alone and in combination with omega-3 fatty acid (Zanwar et al., 2011, 2014) and anti-hyperlipidemic (Zanwar et al., 2012, 2014, 2015).

The objective is to develop nano-formulations containing poly-unsaturated fatty acid along with important bio-actives to impart stability and improved bioavailability. Further these formulations will be assessed for stability as per ICH guidelines and its anti-diabetic potential of formulations in streptozotocin-induced diabetes model will be evaluated. Finally, in vivo bioavailability studies will be performed, as poor bioavailability of nutrients is well known in diabetes. So improved bioavailability and stability in nano-formulation will have impact on anti-diabetic potential of nano-formulation.

Extraction of bioactive lignan and development of value added products from flaxseed

Funded by : Dept. of Science and Technology-SERB-IRD

Principal Investigator : Dr. Anand Zanwar

Collaborator : Real World Nutrition Laboratory Foundation, Pune (Mr. M. L. Panse)

Duration : Nov. 2019- Oct. 2022

Current status : Completed

Flaxseed is the richest source of plant lignans. Literature review revealed that flax lignan SDG is the most studied lignan. Flax lignan is over-the-counter product in many countries and has been proved to be useful in prevention and management of many chronic disorders. Lot of research work has been done on lignan; however, in India such a product is not available. After removing lignan and flaxseed oil the left-over presently remains un-utilised currently being used for poultry feed only.


In the present project, indigenous technology for extraction of flaxseed lignan concentrate has been developed using solid-liquid extraction methodology. Additionally following products were developed in this project: omega-3 cookies,Fibre and lignan rich hull powder, Flaxseed mucilage and omega-3 and curcumin-basedemulsion using flaxseed/flaxseed cake.

Developing high oleic safflower genotypes through functional genomics

Funded by : Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR)

Principal Investigator : Dr. Prakash Ghorpade

Collaborator : Biochemistry division, NCL, Pune and NARI, Phaltan

Duration : July 2015- June 2018

Current status : Completed

Indian safflower varieties and hybrids are ‘low in oleic acid’ and ‘high in linoleic acid’ (omega-6 fatty acid with pro-inflammatory properties). The range of oleic acid content of these varieties is 15- 20 % while linoleic acid content is > 70 %. High oleic acid vegetable oils are preferred not only for industrial application but also for domestic usage due to its high oxidative stability with no significant adverse health effect. Therefore aim of the project was to develop high oleic acid genotypes through non-transgenic TILLING approach which would be beneficial to farmers, indian oil industry and consumers. To accomplish this aim, various genotypes were analyzed for ‘ FAD2’ gene mutation and oleic acid content of the seeds. During the project period, one mutant ( AB-1409-2) was found to be promising with 74.84 % oleic acid.The genotype selected during this project is being further cultivated and is now in seventh generation and  it is likely to be released to the farmers in couple of years.

Evaluation of efficacy of novel stabilized omega-3-fatty acid and antioxidants formulation for the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome

Funded by : Dept. of Science and Technology-SERB)

Principal Investigator : Dr. Anand Zanwar

Duration : June 2017- Sept 2020

Current status : Completed

Metabolic syndrome is the cluster of metabolic complications influenced by environmental factors including lifestyle and diet (Johnson et al., 2013). High prevalence of metabolic syndrome is world health problem. Indian population of 30 and below, the overall prevalence is 25.6 % (Beigh and Jain, 2012). Reports in the literature suggest that human beings evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6: omega-3 of 1:1 (Simopoulos, 2002). Bring back Omega 3 into food chain has been a global cry. Omega-3-fatty acids have favorable effect in several pathological conditions eg. hypertension, arthritis, atherosclerosis, diabetes, myocardial infarction and thrombosis (Horrocks and Yeo, 1999). In the present proposal, omega-3 fatty acid based novel formulation were prepared along with antioxidants and other important essential nutrients. Further pharmacological efficacy study was carried out in animal model of metabolic disorder followed by bioavailability study of the developed formulation.


Emulsified formulation containing ω-3 FA along with co-factors such as vitamin B3, vitamin B6, zinc, vit E and magnesium was developed, characterised and stability study showed stability for 9 months at 4-6°C. High fat high carbohydrate diet induced efficacy study revealed the preventive role of formulation in metabolic syndrome based on biochemical parameters in animal model. RBC fatty acid analysis showed improved content of PUFA in blood and vital organs. The histopathological evaluation showed improvement with respect to fatty changes in liver, heart, kidney and pancreas in experimental animal model of metabolic syndrome. The bioavailability study proved, improved uptake of ω-3 FA which helped in improving the long chain poly-unsaturated fatty acids content in blood and vital organs.

Evaluating effects of linseed oil blends on omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of various tissues in an animal model

Funded by : Bharati Vidyapeeth (deemed to be university)

Principal Investigator: Mrs. Asavari Joshi

Duration : July 2021 – June 2022

Current status : Completed

Omega-3 fatty acid (alpha linolenic acid) and omega-6 fatty acid (linoleic acid) are essential fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids and their mediators are anti-inflammatory while those derived from omega-6 fatty acids are considered to be pro-inflammatory. Unfortunately, today, very high consumption of omega-6 rich food with very little omega-3 fatty acids has resulted into development and progression of various non-communicable diseases. To tackle this situation, intake of omega-3 fatty acids needs to be improved which can be done through vegetable oils which are major source of fatty acids. Earlier we have developed vegetable oil blends with linseed oil to improve the omega-3 content as well as omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of the blended oils. In these studies, palm olein and linseed oil blends and coconut oil and linseed oil blends have shown good storage stability. Additionally, these blends have been shown to improve omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in various cell lines. Palm olein and linseed blends have lowered the levels of inflammatory markers in a cell line based study. Therefore, the aim of the project was to evaluate effects of these blends on omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of various tissues in an animal model.

In the animal study when these blends were supplied to animals for 90 days, it was found that blends were well tolerated by the animals as there were no significant differences in hematological and histopathological evaluations in the supplemented animals compared to control animals.  Interestingly, in the animals supplemented with palm olein blend with 20% FSO, improvement in serum lipid profile was observed.  Most importantly, the blends were able to lower omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in key organs except brain.  Thus, blends were able to modulate omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in various tissues without adverse effects.