A rare ancient breed of English apple is the source of a 'secret' food ingredient that could boost the heart health of millions. It has been extracted from Evesse apples because they are a rich source of polyphenols that help increase blood flow and relax the arteries. Just a tumbler full of Evesse juice is the equivalent of eating 30 raw red-fleshed apples, but the effect makes the arteries 10 years younger than their actual age. The ingredient, which has a neutral taste and odour, will be made as a liquid and powder and added to juices, yoghurts and other foods to help consumers maintain a healthy circulation. Scientific studies carried out by the Institute of Food Research, Norwich, show that Evesse works on arterial stiffness with 30 minutes, with the relaxing effect lasting for up to eight hours. Regular consumption over five to six weeks leads to a gradual improvement in the baseline stiffness of the arteries. As people age, their arteries tend to stiffen and blood pressure rises which impedes blood flow around the body and means some people have a 'vascular' age older than their chronological age. Independent trials that used Evesse as part of fresh fruit juices found the relaxing effect on the arteries of both older people and young healthy individuals. Richard Wood, inventor of Evesse and chief executive of Coressence, the UK firm that makes it from apples grown in its own orchards, found historical records showing improved longevity of people living near orchards of Evesse cider apples. It turned out they were regularly drinking the 'leftovers' from cider production which made him investigate the properties of the eight varieties of Evesse apples. They contain a unique epicatechin, a type of flavanol or antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation of the vascular system and liberate nitric oxide within the walls of blood vessels that make them more supple. He calls this epicatechin a 'super-ingredient' because it isn't found in other types of apples and they can't be bought to eat. He said 'Extensive testing has shown that Evesse ingredients can act quickly to significantly reduce the stiffness of arteries and therefore improve vascular age, which is a measure of how old your vascular system appears to be, rather than how old you actually are. 'In one trial, Evesse provided an average reduction of 10 years in vascular age. 'In other tests we observed even greater reductions in vascular age. So long-term consumption of products containing Evesse will make a significant contribution to cardiovascular health, as well as offering other health benefits.' Dr Paul Kroon, research leader of polyphenols and health at the Institute of Food Research, Norwich, who carried out some of the Evesse tests, said it contains a level of polyphenols normally found in dark chocolate which is known for boosting heart health. He said 'By making it into an ingredient, it's more easily absorbed into the gut than from the whole apple itself.' Consultant vascular surgeon Andrew May, president of the Circulation Foundation, said 'Polyphenols are naturally-occurring substances and research suggests they have a role in promoting circulation and to a certain extent helping symptoms in people with vascular disease.         " Daily Mail 'We need more research into how they work but there is good evidence that shows polyphenols are vaso-protective.' Nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton said food ingredients like Evesse help people boost their 5 a day consumption of fruit and vegetables. She said 'It isn't always possible to eat this much if you have a busy life or spend a lot of time travelling and functional foods, with added ingedients, can help. 'Although they may start off costing more, the price usually comes down and many people think an added extra is worth paying for' she added. Under EU laws, products containing Evesse will be allowed to make the health claim that it can help maintain a healthy circulation. At present it is available only in a fruit juice called RDA, which costs 1.99 for 250mls from Waitrose. It is estimated the market for polyphenol ingredients in Europe alone is 80 million, and could rival that of probiotic yoghurts and cholesterol-lowering foods within the next five years. Coressence has signed a long-term cooperation agreement with Danish-based Dansico, a world leader in food ingredients, for exclusive rights to market Evesse apple polyphenols. Fabienne Saadane-Oaks, president of Danisco Bio Actives, said 'Our customers continue to request new ingredients with health claims based on sound science.'