Naturally healthy: Companies leverage clean label trends and transparent sourcing in nutrition innovations
13 Apr 2023 --- Natural and sustainable clean label ingredients with science-backed health benefits are experiencing a boom in nutraceuticals and supplements. According to Innova Market Insights, clean and natural claims continue to influence consumer health perceptions and industry is responding.
Innova reports that natural ingredient products are on the rise, with launches of supplements with sports nutrition and other benefits showing a 13% year-over-year growth from 2018 to 2022.
NutritionInsight sits down with leading experts and professionals from De Wit Speciality Oils, Mibelle Biochemistry, Scelta Inside and Cabio Biotech about their innovations in the natural ingredients and clean label space.
“At De Wit Speciality Oils, we put a strong emphasis on maintaining a good relationship with our suppliers,” says Hester Whyte from De Wit Speciality Oils.
Jake Liu, the international business director at Cabio Biotech, underscores the sustainability of the company’s fermentation processes for extracting clean and natural docosahexaenoic (DHA) and sialic acids, noting that it is “more controllable, more economic and more environmentally friendly.”
Scelta Inside’s marketing and NPD manager, Erik Bongers, touts the company’s distribution partnership for MBio’s natural B12 and vitamin D offerings extracted from the common white mushroom, revealing that this cooperation “brings vitamins which are 100% plant-based and minimally processed into the food industry as a natural ingredient, so there is no need to add artificial vitamins.”
De Wit Speciality Oils states that the company stays in communication and often visits suppliers to ensure sustainable practices.
“During a visit last year, we saw first-hand where our organic rosehip seeds grow,” says Whyte. “In the beautiful highlands of Lesotho, South Africa, where our supplier has transformed the local community by providing employment and a sustainable income.”
“Our organic rosehip berries are handpicked and then dried before the seeds are separated from the shells – a slow but worthwhile process, ” she adds. “The seeds are then pressed in our very own European-based facility, New Holland Extraction in the UK, to produce this top-quality organic rosehip seed oil.”
Furthermore, Scelta Inside states that its Scelta Vita D2 and B12 powders are clean label and sourced from vegan wholefood mushrooms.
“The clean and minimally processed production process of vitamin D and B12 is a clear advantage,” Bongers underscores. “Other added vitamins are often found in the form of synthetic vitamins resulting from several chemical processes.”
Meanwhile, Cabio Biotech stresses the sustainability of its fermentation-sourced DHA.
“We usually get it from fish – tuna, krill and other marine animals – but these resources are limited,” Liu explains. “This is why we do it through biotechnology. We have been doing this for more than a decade, in the future we plan to manufacture different types of DHA such as phospholipid and DHA and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) combined together.”
Proven health benefits
All the experts agree that being able to prove the health benefits of natural ingredients is paramount to customers and consumers alike. Alice Olufeso, product manager of food and health at Mibelle Group Biochemistry, elaborates on the science behind the company’s berry extract EnduBerry Nu.
The extract is a natural ingredient made from the haskap berry, or Lonicera caerulea, which was demonstrated in a recent clinical study to significantly improve running endurance by boosting the output in mitochondria – the “powerhouse” of the cell.
Olufeso notes that since the energy for cells are produced in the mitochondria, “protecting them will help to improve physical fitness and endurance.”
“What makes EnduBerry Nu so special is that it is able to upregulate two genes involved in mitochondrial function and cell protection. One of them, Presenilin 2, is involved in the regulation of oxidative stress and is important for mitochondrial function and cellular bioenergetics. It protects cells and mitochondria from the oxidative stress occurring during exercise.”
Cabio Bioscience states that science backs multiple health benefits for its fermented sialic acid, which include positive health effects in three major areas – gut, skin and brain health.
“For the brain, it’s something like a neurotransmitter and one of the key ingredients in neurotransmission processes,” Says Liu. “It can improve the brain development for infants. For senior people – some research has been done and some research is ongoing – the results are very positive that the ingredient could aid in preventing the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The trial is still ongoing, but the preliminary results are very promising.”
De Wit Speciality Oils touts the multifunctionality of its innovative FruitMega Oil and NewMega Oil ranges.
“Our blackcurrant oil is broadly applicable in nutraceutical, cosmetic and food oils as well as in animal nutrition, making it a great all-rounder option,” Whyte comments. “NewMega Blackcurrant Oil contains 12-17% of the scarce but important omega-6 gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). In addition to GLA, the valuable omega 3 stearidonic acid (SDA) is present at a level of 2-4%.”
“SDA is the omega 3 equivalent for GLA. The oil also contains 12-16% omega 3 alpha linolenic acid (ALA). The fruit has an extraordinarily high vitamin C content, good levels of potassium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B5 and a broad range of other essential nutrients.”
Additionally, Mibelle states that its haskap berry extract is a powerful innovation and ingredient for any sports product that aims to improve endurance and fitness as a study revealed that some athletes were able to shave up to 25 seconds off of their 5 km run time.
“With EnduBerry Nu, ambitious recreational athletes have the possibility of improving their endurance training within a very short span of time with the help of a natural active.”
Finally, Scelta Inside holds that its wholefood mushroom powder is a notable addition to plant-based diets as vitamins D2 and B12 are often underrepresented.
“We believe that food can be delicious and healthier at the same time due to the natural umami in our mushrooms and by adding natural mushroom based vitamins, they get even healthier,” Bongers concludes. “Besides these mushroom based vitamins, Scelta Inside will continue to expand its business further in natural umami sources.”
By William Bradford Nichols
To contact our editorial team please email us at email@example.com
Subscribe now to receive the latest news directly into your inbox.