NewtritionX Summit 2019: Ample space for ingredient companies in personalized nutrition arena, says GoodMills Innovation exec
09 Oct 2019 --- Personalized nutrition is pushing sales of ingredients that target gut health. This is according to Michael Gusko, Managing Director of GoodMills Innovation, who spoke to NutritionInsight at NewtritionX Summit 2019 in Cologne, Germany. Part one of this special exploration into themes presented at NewtritionX examines the role for ingredients companies and innovation around grains.
Tackling the growing personalized health platform from an interdisciplinary perspective, the summit, held within the Anuga show this week, invited a collection of expert speakers, including Gusko, to consider how different industries can engage with and accelerate the space.
“When we talk about nutrition, the old concept of ‘one diet for everyone’ is not working anymore. Everyone is talking about personalization. Within those realms, we also talk about metabolism, the human microbiome and gut health, which are hugee topics. We, as a milling company, provide ingredients which can influence human metabolism. That is why we are so interested in personalized nutrition, because it is pushing up the sales of our ingredients,” says Gusko.
Indeed, the Hamburg-based company says that it is “seeking to unlock the power of the grain.” In this regard, the company’s R&D investment is substantial, something which sets GoodMills Innovation apart. “In terms of the percentage of our turnover, we invest about 5 percent, in R&D. This is a lot – normally mills do not invest in R&D – but we really believe in furthering innovation and this requires investment.”
Last month, GoodMills Innovation launched High-MAC wheat bran, an ultra-finely ground and stabilized novel wheat ingredient. This allows it to be metabolized optimally by intestinal bacteria, which in turns, boosts gut health and biodiversity. The launch followed the company’s investment of almost €10 million (US$11 million) in expanding its plant for future growth in the area of intestinal health.
Providing ingredients for food companies to utilize in NPD can bring the food industry closer to personalized nutrition, notes Gusko. “The food industry is not close to personalized nutrition. Their first step should be to increase the fiber in their recipes and reduce sugar content. This will improve the overall Nutriscore. The next step will be to have some new health benefits where they can make some added value for the consumer.”
Gusko also highlights how many manufacturers are looking to reduce sugar, using France as an example. “The NutriScore there evaluates products with a point system. But foods that are considered to be unhealthy, such as biscuits, can improve their rating with fiber enrichment. Not only is this an advantage for the product supplier, but it is also beneficial for consumers, who can do something good for their gut health, even while consuming sweet treats.”
Moreover, there is renewed interest in fiber as consumer interest remains strong. The recent industry push for fiber inclusion has been galvanized by the increasing clinical evidence supporting fiber’s efficacy, as well as regulatory greenlights such as those from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June last year.
Consumers are still mainly consuming fiber for digestive health, but newly discovered health benefits are driving applications as well. According to a consumer survey (2018) conducted by Innova Market Insights, 44 percent of US consumers are increasing their consumption of fiber, with 33 percent of UK consumers also doing so. At the same time, 21 percent average annual growth has been reported in new product launches carrying a fiber claim.
Grains that will come under the microscope next include corn fiber, rye fiber, buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa, says Gusko. But he also highlights the potential of tartary buckwheat, a seed that has the functionalities of a cereal, or a so-called “pseudo-cereal.” GoodMills Innovation uses state-of-the-art refinement technology to harness its nutritional value and unique taste properties.
Apart from its nutritional value, rutin is also a known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient and is also rich in the trace element zinc.
“Despite all the health benefits of tartary buckwheat, it also offered us a great challenge: the taste. That’s because the rutin contained in the pseudo-grain causes a very strong bitter note. However, we found the solution in a patented, special fermentation process. This allows us to achieve an optimal sensory profile and, at the same time, maintain the full nutritional benefit and even expand it,” Gusko comments.
The company has already launched items on the buckwheat platform. Earlier this year, it launched RutinX, which is made from the prehistoric tartary buckwheat and is available in the form of flour or crisps. With a dosage of only 5 percent, this ancient grain transforms bread and bread rolls, savory snacks, as well as dips and spreads, into superfoods, according to the company.
As R&D investments continue to flow, more can be expected from GoodMills Innovation on this platform.
Also spotlighted during Anuga 2019 were cannabidiol (CBD)-infused offerings, disruptive protein drinks, lab-grown meat cultivated in outer space, bakery products inspired by millenials and the fusing of beauty from within and on-the-go formats. The full interview with Gusko can be seen here.
By Laxmi Haigh
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