EFSA greenlights novel foods status for Biova’s egg membrane hydrolysate, amid joint health surge

EFSA greenlights novel foods status for Biova’s egg membrane hydrolysate, amid joint health surge

06 Aug 2018 --- The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) has recognized egg membrane hydrolysate BiovaFlex as novel food pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283. According to the applicant, Biova LLC (the supplier of BiovaFlex), the ingredient holds particular market potential due to its natural sourcing credentials as well as the convenience it brings by being water-soluble.

Bioflex is a water-soluble hydrolysate of egg membrane, produced by alkaline treatment of the thin layer lining the shells of chicken eggs. The ingredient in question is a protein-based, water-soluble, off-white powder. 

“Receiving our novel foods approval provides more opportunities to work with new and existing partners in the EU,” Amanda Orloske, Senior Director of Marketing & International Sales at Biova, tells NutritionInsight. “We are excited to offer unique solutions to formulators in the joint health and beauty from within categories, as well as joint health for pets and topical skin care options. Approval also gives our customers reassurance that shipments will not be held up coming into the member countries.”

“The market trend is towards a holistic approach to wellness, and we think of our ingredient as a more holistic approach to joint care. Naturally occurring in egg membrane is collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid, glycosaminoglycans, a variety of proteins and amino acids. All of these things are well known to support joint function and overall health, and finding them all from one source in nature seems to be all the better,” she adds. “The trend for alternative delivery methods continues to be a strong driver in product development. Our ingredients are water-soluble which makes them very well positioned for growth across all markets.” 

According to EFSA, of the two human studies provided with the ingredient, one study reported on safety-related endpoints. This study, even though not designed for safety but including a number of parameters pertaining to safety, did not raise safety concerns.

Moreover, in its Scientific Opinion, EFSA notes that “even though the alkaline treatment conditions employed during the manufacturing process will result in partial racemization of the amino acids in the [egg membrane hydrolysate] and, thus, their limited digestibility/bioavailability,” the Panel considers that the consumption of the [egg membrane hydrolysate] is not nutritionally disadvantageous considering the proposed conditions of use.

Egg membrane hydrolysate is therefore seen as safe at the proposed conditions of use, i.e., as a food supplement at a dose of 450mg/day, with the target population being the general adult population.

Looking to the future, Orloske tells NutritionInsight that “Biova has always had a strong interest in continuing research on our ingredients. When deciding on study design and claim substantiation, we will continue to take regulations and best practices from as many countries as possible into consideration. With this approval, the European Union's standards will have a bigger influence on our study design.” 

The aging population no longer feels old at sixty. In fact, consumers of this age are keen to do everything in their power to stay mobile and healthy. 

This market environment presents a vast and growing opportunity for nutraceutical and functional foods suppliers, with joint health serving as one of the most lucrative areas for functional food manufacture.

Click to EnlargeInnova Market Insights reports that products featuring mobility claims accounted for almost 17% of all supplements tracked globally in 2017. Mobility includes products that feature a bone health and/or joint health positioning. Mobility is a big topic within healthy aging as it concerns a wide range of consumers, which includes adults and the more senior crowd. For example, a consumer survey from the researcher found that 6 percent of UK consumers used prescription medication for bone health in the past year, while 15 percent of UK consumers have used prescription medication for joint health in the past year. Opportunities for mobility-related ingredients include glucosamine, collagen, calcium, Vitamin D and even protein, the researcher notes.

Joint health remains a key platform for mobility, with glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and chondroitin the top ingredients being applied in products featuring joint health claims. If we take collagen Type 2 as a base for global product launches tracked with a joint health claim in 2017, we can see that 4 times as many products under this positioning featuring chondroitin, just above that was MSM and over 6 times as many launches were reported with glucosamine, which is a well-established compound for joint health products. 

Strong market potential
An article in the July/August nutrition special issue of The World of Food Ingredients (Nutrition Insight) notes how according to the World Health Organization, by 2020 arthritis will become the fourth cause of disability on a global basis. 

Joint pain is one of the most frequent causes for concern among the elderly with many purchasing supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin. 

However, these are expensive to take in the long term and research has shown that consumers would far rather adapt their diet to include natural ingredients with health benefits. 

Vitamins C, D and calcium, have been used for many years to treat joint pain and arthritis while the use of omega 3s in yogurts, spreads, cereals and cheeses is a substantial growth area, with trust and consumer confidence spreading, mainly by word of mouth.

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BioColica ArtiCollagen (Spain)

Many older consumers are upping their intake of oily fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel to improve their consumption of omega 3 but new food ideas are needed to take the boredom out of a repetitious diet but with enough nutrient intake to have the required effect. 

Broccoli is another ingredient known to have anti-inflammatory properties and sulfurophane supplements containing mainly fermented broccoli sprout extract along with gelatin, rice powder and vegetable-based magnesium stearate suggest potential food use. 

Existing food-based joint health products include Mobilee from Spain’s Bioiberica. This is rich in hyaluronic acid comprising 65 to 70 percent collagen and polysaccharides. It is mainly aimed at women going through the menopause and importantly it can be incorporated into functional foods such as yogurts.

Recent launches with the ingredient include BioColica ArtiCollagen (Spain), a specially formulated supplement to prevent joint wear, prevent ailments and nourish cartilage, made from collagen, magnesium andMobilee, a patented complex with a high concentration of hyaluronic acid. 

Product launches include Nutrend Flexit Drink contains glucosamine, proline, chondroitin, MSM and hyaluronic acid. It is a source of collagen protein, enriched with vitamins C, B6, D and magnesium. JointAce Fizz and Elite Active Joint Physio blackcurrant and apple are two flavored effervescent tablet drinks that have also been formulated to meet the joint health needs of sports people and seniors.

By Lucy Gunn & Robin Wyers

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