What’s next in nutrition? Industry leaders explore innovation highlights and new year trends
05 Jan 2023 --- Over the last few years, the nutrition industry has been challenged to meet increasing demands in several areas. From immunity to brain and mood health and their interactions with the microbiome, consumer demand has intensified and the crucial role of nutrition has stepped into the spotlight.
NutritionInsight speaks with industry experts from Kappa Bioscience, Kerry, Gelita AG, Gnosis by Lesaffre and PharmaLinea about the companies’ latest innovations, inspirations and insights, as well as what we can expect from the industry in 2023 and beyond.
Healthier food to come
Therese O’Rourke, chief technology officer at Kerry Europe, touts the company’s salt reduction and plant-based innovations.
“Leveraging innovations within our TasteSense portfolio, we have worked with our customers to reduce the salt content of their products by up to 60% without compromising on taste,” she explains. “In plant-based, we developed KerryMaid Vegan Slice, a plant-based alternative to the traditional cheese slice.”
“Leveraging our dairy heritage, plant protein technology expertise, processing capability, taste and food protection and preservation as well as our chefs, we created a product that tastes great, melts like the original and, in the quick service restaurant (QSR) environment, comes in easy to separate slices,” O’Rourke continues.
Advances in K2
Meanwhile, Dominik Mattern, EVP of marketing at Kappa Bioscience, hails the company’s vitamin K2 offering as a “first of its kind” innovation.
“In 2022, we launched the first USDA organic-certified all-trans and all-bioactive vitamin K2 solution to the US market, enabling health supplement manufacturers to enter the growing organic space,” he says.
Gnosis by Lesaffre launched innovative vitamin K2 solutions such as its Vitamin K2 Matrix – a proprietary technology that protects the particles of K2 as MK-7 with no coating, additives or additional ingredients.
Changes in biotics
Gnosis by Lesaffre also unveiled two offerings in the biotics space – a prebiotic yeast and immunity-supporting prebiotic that utilizes a specific strain of the bacterium Bacillus subtilis CNCM I-2745.
“The LynsideÒ Immunity Prebiotic, the first patented prebiotic yeast on the immunity market that can improve the diversity of the microbiome with low gas production. Made through the gentle extraction of yeast cell walls from Saccharomyces cerevisiae,” explains Philippe Caillat, global marketing manager with Gnosis by Lesaffre.
“Furthermore, our LifeinU BSCU1 – a probiotic dedicated to immune health – is associated with a reduction in the frequency of upper respiratory tract infections and a reduction in the number of days of an infectious episode.”
Matevž Ambrožič, the marketing and PR director at PharmaLinea, said that the company went in a few different directions this year, noting that it expanded some existing lines such as the Your Iron line and Your UTI Free line.
At the same time, the company ventured into the prebiotics space, where it was not formally present with Your Prebiotiq capsules and launched its Your Menopause capsule line.
“Multiple products are being launched in the women’s health space, prebiotics and iron supplements across the globe,” says Ambrožič. “What separates us is that we continuously try to provide clinically substantiated solutions with at least clinically studied branded ingredients, if not clinical data on the finished formulation.”
Focus on format
Gelita focused on gummy innovations with two new offerings, according to Gelita’s head of global B2B marketing, Oliver Wolf.
“With Confixx – an innovative gelatin – we can produce fortified gummies with a gentle treatment of the sensitive actives in a starch – creating a dust-free process while completely avoiding the risk of cross-contamination,” Wolf explains. “With Confixx, we can also realize this in a fraction of time and maintain the beloved texture and mouthfeel of gelatin gummies.”
PharmaLinea also looked for new forms of delivery for its orodispersible iron powder. Ambrožič says this can be very challenging for manufacturers as the powders need to be easy to swallow with the right amount of powder, no stickiness, no teeth or tongue staining, a pleasant taste and be sugar-free – which he says is a common requirement these days.
“We are very limited with the amount of powder that is pleasant to consume in this way and, therefore, there is little space for actives and excipients. Additionally, taste buds are in direct contact with very concentrated ingredients.”
“Direct sticks are a great format for consumers, particularly for women and children, who are especially vulnerable to iron deficiency and therefore an excellent alternative to the prevailing pill format,” Ambrožič elaborates. “They can use them on-the-go, and without water, so there’s less chance of spilling or wrong measurements.”
Kappa Bioscience said its format innovation challenge came as consumer demand for more “bespoke” formats. Mattern states that in order to help customers meet this demand, the company launched K2Vital Alpha, which he says is a pure, concentrated and active MK-7 substance in a powder form that offers customers greater formulation flexibility.
However, the company also got positive feedback on its patented vitamin K2 MK-7 microencapsulation technology from the scientific community this year.
“K2Vital Delta was used in a cardiovascular research study carried out by the Odense University Hospital in Denmark, revealing a link between vitamin K2 MK-7 and vitamin D supplementation and coronary artery calcification (CAC) development – a strong predictor of heart attacks and cardiovascular mortality,” Mattern explains. “These initial findings are promising and pave the way for future innovation and research in the cardiovascular space.”
2023 and beyond
Moving forward, innovation will be the key factor driving many companies’ future goals.
“Innovation is at the heart of our success and core to our future,” O’Rourke emphasizes. “Our vision is to be our customers’ most valued partner creating a world of sustainable nutrition. Linked to this, we have an exciting goal to reach two billion consumers with sustainable nutrition solutions by 2030.”
Gnosis by Lesaffre states that it will continue investing in clinical studies to validate the benefits of its ingredients and look for other areas the company’s ingredients can support.
“A lot of effort will be dedicated to the development of the mood and cognitive health market, being one of the most dynamic subsegments of the supplement market, by enlarging our portfolio and expanding our solutions,” Caillat reveals.
“A greater space will be occupied by Adonat. This resonates with the fact that consumers are embracing a more proactive approach to health and especially to their mental and cognitive health.”
Kappa Bioscience states that it will continue harnessing science-based nutrition solutions to improve consumers’ quality of life and producing its recently expanded ingredients list.
“In 2022, Kappa Bioscience was acquired by Balchem Corporation, opening up a huge opportunity to accelerate international growth of our vitamin K2 platform and Balchem’s branded ingredients such as Albion chelated minerals, OptiMSM, Ferrochel, Creatine Magnapower and Vitacholine,” says Mattern.
Ambrožič states that PharmaLinea “will continue to develop our areas of expertise which are women’s health and children’s health.”
“We also have ongoing clinical research on our finished formulations and upcoming publications of clinical research, which is very important to us and to our clients who launch our products. And as for new health areas, we are looking to develop credible solutions in the areas of pain management and pre-diabetes.”
Finally, Gelita holds that some of its main innovations for 2023 and beyond is the company’s commitment to sustainability.
“Gelita develops solutions at all levels to meet its responsibilities to the environment, its employees and society and documents the success of its sustainability commitment every year,” says Wolf.
“Gelita has set the goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, focusing on reducing CO2 emissions. The Group aims to halve its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 compared with 2020,” he concludes.
By William Bradford Nichols
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