Trending in nutrition ingredients: Novel delivery, ingredient origins and ones to watch 

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12 Jul 2018 --- As consumers approach their health with an eye toward what specific ingredient they want for their nutrition purpose, the importance of authenticity, source and varying delivery methods to the end consumer are proving influential. NutritionInsight speaks to key suppliers about their views on these topics.

NutritionInsight has previously reported on supplier trends in the nutrition space. First highlighted was how personalization, protein and genderfication increasingly drive the scope of senior nutrition. Second, vital nutritional influences were noted to be the mainstreaming of supplementation and growing consumer knowledge, and interest, in holistic health. 

Origins of active ingredients
“The origin and processing of the food is playing an increasingly important role, with naturalness, sustainability, organic, clean label and fair trade counting among the most important concepts,” says Dr. Alexander Smerz, Head of Business Unit Health at Dohler.

Click to Enlarge
Dr. Alexander Smerz,
Head of Business Unit Health
at Dohler.

The protein trend exemplifies this move, with many consumers interested in protein turning to plant-based options as a viable, sustainable and “cleaner” alternative. Innova Market Insights data notes how the trend in plant-based foods is not showing signs of stagnation with the CAGR in products featuring a plant-based claim (i.e. “plant-based” “plant-based,” “100 percent plant”) seeing a CAGR of +60 percent between 2012 and 2016.

Alternatively, the rise in interest in plant extracts highlights the consumer demand for such materials to be authentic and “processed directly from the best raw materials.”

“Dohler offers an extensive portfolio of botanical extracts taken directly from these products’ regions of origin. These valuable plant extracts are paving the way for inspirational natural food and beverages with healthy positionings. They can be labeled as extracts and emphasize the authenticity in products, such as herbal & tea drinks, water plus beverages, and many other products,” Smerz adds.

Click to Enlarge
Sally Aaron, Senior VP
Health Ingredients and
Marketing at Evolva

Shifts in delivery forms
Busy lifestyles that require convenience and maximal nutrition have pushed suppliers into thinking about “formats that deliver maximum convenience,” says Barbara McCarthy, Nutrition Research Manager at Carbery, as well as highlighting the importance of “portion sizing.” In this way, consumers can ingest on-the-go, and as more suppliers begin to offer delivery forms suitable for this option, it can be said that it is important for others not to lag behind. 

An example of a health-boosting ingredient being formatted into novel product formats, taking it away from the usual supplement form, is resveratrol. As described by Sally Aaron, Senior VP Health Ingredients and Marketing at Evolva, resveratrol is “a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that helps protect our health as we age by combatting oxidative stress and inflammation.”

“Today, resveratrol is mainly available in supplement form; however, we are starting to see resveratrol appear in many new product formats, from melt-in-your-mouth powder sticks to dissolvable cheek strips to cold-water dispersion technology that enables beverage formulation,” she explains.

A vital way to facilitate such novel innovation in delivery methods is through partnerships with “innovative” companies who can develop and apply new technologies, she adds.

Ones to watch
As individualization and personalization drive the nutrition sector, it can be expected that the number of offerings of ranges will grow, becoming more versatile and specific, as consumers seek out ingredients for their particular nutrition focus.

“Whether lactose-free yogurt, gluten-free beer or vegan ready meals, or foods to meet special nutritional needs, such as allergies and intolerances, or even ethical beliefs and religious reasons, every consumer requirement can be fulfilled,” says Smerz.

Herbal extracts and fruits can make a certain contribution to health and hold specific health benefits. Smerz highlights the potential of the acerola berry, known as a “superfruit due to its high vitamin C content, which contributes to the strengthening of the immune system.” The berry can be used in supplement form as a tablet or powder, but also in products such as shakes, confectionary and cereal bars.

Click to Enlarge
Barbara McCarthy, Nutrition
 Research Manager at Carbery

Furthermore, moringa is highlighted as “one to watch.” “The leaves of the moringa tree can help maintain the normal function of the immune system, as well as enhance cognitive ability. The Dohler’s moringa extract from was specially developed for food and beverage applications and is an ingredient in refreshing energy drinks or various tea drinks, as well as many others,” he says.

Essentially, when it comes to herbal extract and fruits, Smerz notes the importance for consumers that the extracts are taken directly from the products’ region of origin, offering an authentic, and if possible, “fair trade” product.

Indeed, McCarthy adds: “Natural and sustainable ingredients are also of interest to consumers and clean label products with straightforward ingredient listings have widespread appeal.”

This article is based on interviews to appear in the summer edition of The World of Food Ingredients (NutritionInsight).

By Laxmi Haigh

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