Portuguese producer Sogrape has partnered with the University of Aveiro to develop a kit that will help rehabilitate patients who have lost their sense of smell due to Covid-19 and other olfactory diseases.
It is well documented that one of the many unpleasant symptoms and side effects of Covid-19 is the reduced or total loss of the sense of smell, and it’s this unhappy reality that has inspired an innovative sensory kit which Portugal’s Sogrape wine group has helped produce.
The people behind brands like Mateus rosé, Marqués de Burgos and Sandeman, have teamed up with a group of scientists from the University of Aveiro (UA) to create a kit to help retrain the sense of smell in patients with olfactory diseases such as Covid-19.
The kit, named Top Covid, was unveiled on 30 June and promises to be 100% all-natural, and contains raw Portuguese materials including aniseeds, ginger powder, oregano leaves rosemary powder, tangerine peel, and pomace powders from local Baga and Touriga Nacional grapes.
Chosen for their sustainability as natural resources and the fact that the Portuguese population is familiar with them, the carefully selected ingredients are more likely to trigger positive olfactory memories.
The Portuguese wine producer supplied the plant materials to UA researchers, who then designed the kit with scientific know-how.
The grapes used in the kit are varieties found in many Portuguese wines. Touriga Nacional, for example, is sourced from the Sogrape’s estates in the Douro Region.
Speaking of the new kit Miguel Pessanha, board member and oenologist at Sogrape said:
“As a longtime partner of the University of Aveiro, Sogrape joined this project right away. Its aim is to create scientific knowledge to support the community… and, more specifically, it benefits the winemaking sector, which has an inextricable relationship with the sense of smell,”
Clinical trials are now underway at the Baixo Vouga Hospital Centre in Aveiro, Portugal to assess the kit’s efficiency in regenerating the olfactory epithelium in those with confirmed loss of smell.
Professor of the chemistry department and team leader of the UA research group, Sílvia M. Rocha added:
“It is crucial to understand what type of molecules released by the aroma discs are most effective in recovering the sense of smell, and whether their impact is the same across the different types of olfactory disorders.”
For more information, head over to Sogrape’s official website.