Vitafoods Asia: Functional foods, fortification and bioactivity to be key themes

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03 Aug 2018 --- This year’s Vitafoods Asia, to be held in Singapore in September, reports that it will deliver over 300 exhibitors, marking a growth of 40 percent since 2017. This year’s exhibition will cover a range of aspects of the development and application of nutraceuticals, through to product positioning, branding and marketing, inclusive of how to overcome regulatory challenges in various markets, according to the organizers.

Health care spending in the Asia-Pacific region is anticipated to double by 2050, opening opportunities to market alternative remedies and fortified foods. Joint health, gut health, bone health and weight management are expected to be future demand drivers. Some key topics at the exhibition will be functional foods and beverages, addressing malnutrition, food fortification and processing food to protect bioactive ingredients.

Functional foods and beverages
Aside from products developed in Western societies, across the Asian regions consumers are buying products that are enriched with locally-sourced compounds and functional ingredients like probiotics, fiber, calcium or vitamin E; herbs such as tongkat ali and ginseng; along with cultured milk drinks; probiotic yogurts; and cereals that are fortified with fiber; plus, omega 3 fortified eggs.

Addressing malnutrition
In countries like Japan and Thailand, where despite relatively healthy diets, there are mineral and vitamin deficiencies. In Thailand, calcium and vitamin D supplemented due to deficiencies, according to the organizers of the show, while the Japanese lack calcium and iron, leading to a rise in demand for probiotic yogurts and energy drinks.

At the Global Health Theatre at Vitafoods Asia, the impact of the modern lifestyle on nutrition and diseases, and how food fortification is addressing these issues, will be discussed by industry experts, the organizers note. Responsible nutrition, the importance of fortification & fortified foods, impact on the glycaemic index, as well as the packaging of nutraceuticals into functional foods, will be discussed among other topics.

Food fortification
As scientific research continues around issues such as obesity and disease, and as the impact of nutrition on pre-natal and maternal life stages, sports and aging evolves, the way we approach these issues is changing. The show organizers report that visitors can stay abreast of the latest research by attending the Life Stages Theatre at Vitafoods Asia, where they will hear from researchers and functional food developers alike. 

Processing food to protect bioactive ingredients
At the Vitafoods Asia exhibition, visitors can learn how processes such as microencapsulation, enzyme technology, and nanoencapsulation of ingredients are being used to produce functional foods. Of late, microencapsulation technology has been developed to replace cyclodextrin (CD) molecules to protect the bioactive elements in food processing through to the storage and delivery of functional foods.

Notably, product formulation for the delivery of nutraceuticals is changing. For example, Indian consumers are driving change from traditional tablets, or chewable tablets, to capsules, particularly liquid-filled capsules, which are easier to swallow and are believed to work faster and better. At Vitafoods Asia, visitors can discover novel formulations that allow nutraceutical companies to incorporate liquids, pellets, tablets and powders in capsules.

Vitafoods Asia will be held in Singapore from the 11th to the 12th of September, 2018.

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