Posted on: March 19th, 2024

Contract Research Organization Services

Contract Research Organizations (CROs) have emerged as valuable partners offering a range of services to support research and development efforts of nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage applications, cosmetics, and other industries. CROs are staffed with multidisciplinary teams of scientists, researchers, and registered dietitians who collaborate to offer a diverse portfolio of services tailored to their client’s needs. CRO’s scientific consulting and literature assessment services provide insights, guidance, and support to researchers, businesses, manufacturers, and institutions across various fields.

Scientific consulting services provide expert advice in the fields of research and development. The employees providing these services have extensive experience and expertise in a particular scientific discipline. Their expertise allows them to offer valuable insights and solutions on various research topics. These consulting services offer a wide range of areas including experimental design, data analysis, interpretation or results, and literature reviews.

Literature assessment services are focused on evaluating the existing literature relevant to a particular topic. This involves systematic reviews and analyses of published research articles, reports, and other sources to identify key findings and trends for further investigation. Literature assessments allow researchers and manufacturers to stay informed about the latest developments in their field, identify new opportunities, and identify new product innovation opportunities.

Narrative Reviews

Narrative reviews are a type of literature review that provides an overview and analysis of recent or existing research topics. These reviews do not employ a standardized methodology and offer more flexibility in terms of scope, comprehensiveness, and analysis.

A recent review focused on the connection between fiber types and appetite regulation and energy intake through systematic searches of randomized controlled trials in healthy adults.  The review encompassed 136 studies, comprising both acute and chronic interventions. The review concluded that most fibers did not significantly affect appetite ratings and energy intakes. The review highlighted the complexity of research in fiber and appetite and the need for further investigation of evidence on the potential benefits of extracted and isolated fibers in appetite regulation and body weight management.

Evidence Mapping

Evidence mapping is a systematic approach to organizing, mapping, and characterizing the existing literature on a topic to identify gaps. This type of approach is the initial step in the systematic review or meta-analysis process setting the foundation for advanced exploration of research. The term evidence mapping is also used interchangeably with other review methodologies, such as scoping reviews or systematic mapping, each of which has distinct characteristics.

In a evidence mapping study aimed to assess the relationship between intake of industrial trans fatty acids (iTFA) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels, the researchers identified 32 independent clinical trials that included at least one intervention or control group with iTFA at 3% or less.”. The researchers searched relevant databases and identified 32 independent clinical trials that included at least one intervention or control group with iTFA at 3% or less. The findings showed a wide range of interventions were used limiting the ability to determine an isolated effect of iTFA intake. The study highlighted the need for further research to clarify the associations between iTFA intake and coronary heart disease.

Review of Reviews

A review of reviews, also known as an umbrella review, compiles evidence from multiple systematic reviews to identify gaps in the literature, consistency of evidence, and recommendations for future research. By aggregating and synthesizing data from multiple sources, a review of reviews offers a broader perspective, identifies patterns and inconsistencies in the literature, and informs evidence-based decision making. In addition, this type of review includes quality assessment and risk of bias.

In a recent umbrella review on egg consumption and cardiometabolic health, multiple databases were screened in which seven systematic reviews and fifteen meta-analyses were identified. The meta-analyses included were of moderate to high quality, while the systematic reviews were of overall low quality. The findings of the meta-analyses suggested that there was no association between increased egg intake and the risk of heart disease or stroke in the general population. The review suggests that further research is needed to clarify associations between egg consumption and heart failure, T2DM risk, and CVD risk in diabetics before firm conclusion can be drawn.

Systematic Review

A systematic review is a comprehensive search of existing research evidence on a specific research topic in question using explicit methodology. Unlike other types of reviews, a systematic review follows a defined protocol and provides qualitative analytical findings. Systematic reviews provide a transparent and unbiased summary of the available evidence in research, including quality assessment/risk of bias of included articles.

A recent systematic review aimed to evaluate the scope and breadth of publicly available literature on the relationship between 100% fruit juice consumption and tooth erosion in humans. A systematic search was conducted across three databases, resulting in 17 relevant publications representing 14 studies. Both prospective cohort studies and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were included in the search. Evidence from prospective cohort studies found no association between fruit juice intake and tooth erosion, while evidence from RCTs in adults suggests that 100% fruit juice consumption may contribute to tooth erosion and dental caries.  Authors of the review indicate the existing evidence on 100% fruit juice intake and dental caries and tooth erosion are inconclusive due to limitations in sample sizes and short-term study durations.


Meta-analysis is a systematic statistical technique used to synthesize data from multiple studies on a specific topic. By pooling data from various sources, meta-analysis uses statistical methods to calculate an overall effect size of a particular intervention offering insights into patterns and trends across different research settings. Meta-analyses incorporate exhaustive, systematic searching across multiple databases and provide quantitative analysis of measures of effect assuming the absence of heterogeneity.

In a meta-analysis study, the efficacy of cranberry in preventing urinary tract infections (UTI) recurrence among generally healthy women was investigated. The data was analyzed from seven randomized-controlled trials involving 1,498 participants and indicated that cranberry reduced the risk of UTI recurrence by 26%. Additionally, the analysis indicated that some studies showed high risk of bias, particularly in terms of loss to follow-up or selective outcome reporting. While the meta-analysis shows the potential of cranberry as a preventative measure of UTI in women, larger and higher-quality studies are necessary to confirm the results.


Biofortis provides comprehensive scientific consulting and literature assessment that leverages the expertise of multidisciplinary teams to deliver solutions for researchers, businesses, and manufacturers across a multitude of industries.

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