Production of Smarter Food’s nutritionally enhanced broccoli GRextra is ramping up after new research shows its soup helps prevent type-2 diabetes

Smarter Food is increasing production of its broccoli variety GRextra for its soup products after research shows one bowl a week can help lower elevated glucose levels, The Guardian reports.

The firm, a spin-out company from the food and health research centre the Quadram Institute, grows and processes GRextra in Scotland for soups sold under the SmarterNaturally brand, according to the paper.

After raising £1.5m since its launch in 2021, Smarter Food hopes to raise a further £500,000 by the end of May to increase its soup range and scale up output,The Guardian reported.

GRextra, developed by Smarter Food’s lead scientist Richard Mithen from a strain he discovered growing in Sicily, contains very high levels of the compound glucoraphanin – which occurs naturally in brassicas.

The company’s trials have shown that eating just one bowl of its broccoli soup a week can help lower elevated blood glucose levels, and maintain these lower levels over time. This is a particular help for people with high blood sugar levels, a key risk factor for developing diabetes, the report said.

Other research has also shown that eating glucoraphanin-rich foods, while also making lifestyle changes, could help other age-related diseases, including supporting those who want to reduce their risk of developing cancer, and could also help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Each portion of SmarterNaturally soup, made from GRextra which is freeze-dried raw, contains as much glucoraphanin as people would get from eating five or more heads of raw broccoli, The Guardian reported.

The company is developing more soup flavours, with the same key ingredients and same associated health benefits, which they are planning to launch by the end of the year, while a smoothie is also in development, the report said.