For patients with renal insufficiency or on dialysis, cheese is almost forbidden for health reasons. They must in fact follow a strict diet, with many deprivations, limiting the intake of potassium and phosphates. But now, their food plan could change, at least in part, thanks to an intuition of a doctor from the Milan Polyclinic and a dairy product entrepreneur. Gianluigi Ardissino, specialist in pediatric Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation, and the entrepreneur Antonio Groppelli have in fact invented and patented the FriP cheese, a new production method that makes these foods finally accessible even to patients with renal insufficiency or on dialysis.
What is it about
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FriP technology makes it possible to produce cheeses whose phosphates are not absorbed by the intestine but are eliminated by the organ itself, and is even able to avoid the absorption of those contained in other foods: in this way the patient can go back to eating products. dairy products and have better control over their health without taking additional medications. The patent, registered by the Polyclinic itself, was granted free of charge to some dairy companies to promote its diffusion throughout the territory.
“Patients on dialysis or who have kidney failure must follow a diet with many deprivations because their kidneys are no longer able to adequately dispose of excess waste. For example, they must pay attention to certain vegetables in order not to accumulate too much potassium, and they must avoid cheeses in order not to take too many phosphates, which if they accumulate in the blood lead to an early atherosclerosis “, explained Ardissino.
The intuition behind the invention
To develop the new technology, the doctor took a cue from a technique used by specialists in the 1990s when milk with a reduced content of phosphates was not yet available for children with kidney problems. As explained in a note from the Policlinico di Milano, doctors added calcium carbonate to milk, a natural food supplement capable of “capturing” phosphates, neutralizing them. The cheese produced with the FriP method works in the same way: it is enriched with calcium carbonate so as to block the phosphates in the food already during production, and to eliminate those possibly contained in other foods, if taken a short distance from the FriP cheese.
“FriP technology could have a significant impact on the quality of life of patients with renal insufficiency – commented Ezio Belleri, general manager of the Policlinico di Milano – a dialysis patient is on average 60-75 years old, and when he returns home in the evening, perhaps exhausted. from a heavy dialysis he must also follow a diet in which many things are forbidden. In the midst of so many deprivations, being able to offer a healthy food instead of an extra pill gives the true meaning of our job: that of doing research, finding new solutions health problems and make them immediately available to people “. The next step, added Marco Giachetti, president of the hospital, “will be to use the milk coming from the hospital farms to start an autonomous production of FriP under the Ca ‘Granda brand, with an organic, short and guaranteed supply chain, further increasing the our support for renal patients in the Milan and Lombardy area “.
At the moment, some cheeses produced with FriP technology are available on an experimental basis, thanks to the interest of patient associations. The doctor’s goal is to be able to make FriP products available on a larger scale, to improve the quality of life of patients with kidney diseases.