Key UK event for functional foods
NutraFormulate hosted in Birmingham is a key UK event covering the functional foods sector. The show consisting of a small exhibition and a free-to-attend conference, features some of the largest names in functional food ingredients, research and testing. The show has a strong focus on science and analysis and crucial to many is an opportunity to speak to everyone at the show without needing to walk miles of trade show hall or jostle for attention on large elaborate stands. NutraFormulate is a more stripped back affair that we have seen steadily build, not necessarily in scale but rather in the energy on the show floor.
Weight management from beans
Christian Artaria, Marketing Manager for Indena presented Beanblock, a new ingredient designed to suppress appetite. The natural bean extract standardised in a complex protein can be used at one tenth the dosage of other bean extracts on the market. Used as a supplement it has a double mechanism. The first mechanism acts on the alpha-amylase enzyme that is involved in the breakdown of carbohydrate.
The second is to reduce or modulate the hormone ghrelin which regulates appetite. Clinical trials of Beanblock have shown a lower increase in glycemia in human subjects, and in rats lower consumption of their favourite snacks (chocolate and biscuits). Beanblock supplements could be used by healthy people who are slightly overweight to safely and naturally manage weight loss.
Better education needed for a more proactive approach to eye health
Ceferino Pascual, Business Development Manager, OmniActive, discussed what he believes is a need for better education surrounding eye health. In eye health lutein and zeaxanthin cartenoids help to slow the effect of AMD (macular degeneration) which occurs naturally with age. It also improves vision in low light and reduces the effect of glare – described as ‘sunglasses in the eye’.
Having explored intake of these cartenoids in Europe and the United States, OmniActive discovered that there is a common deficiency in our diets. Scientific studies have suggested that to effectively support eye health a daily amount of 10mg is required. However the majority of Europe and America’s population are only consuming as little as 1-2.5mg per day.
Pascual feels that there is a need to educate consumers in order to build awareness that our diets are failing to support our eye health as we age and that supplementation should be a greater consideration. To illustrate this point he drew a stark comparison between eye health and weight management. There is a huge amount of focus placed upon weight management with a vast amounts of information made available but very little regarding eye health. Whilst a more slim phisique is the goal of many consumers, Pascual makes the point that if you were to ask them if they would rather go blind or get fat, they would most probably choose the later.
The issue of healthy ageing is becoming more prevalent as people are now living longer and the planet’s population on the whole is getting older. Many within health and nutrition feel that we should adopt a more gerontological approach to our health, acting when we are young to prevent diseases from developing that we currently attempt to manage geriatrically at old age after the damage has been done.
Ensuring quality to maintain value
Celebrating Croda’s recent Friend of the Sea Certification (read more) was Sarah Chisholm, Marketing Coordinator for Croda Healthcare Europe.
Friend of the Sea is a traceability and sustainability certification that will now play a role in the branding of Puremax – the technology by which croda make the incromedia fish oil range.
In order to attain this certification Croda was required to undergo an independent audit of their production site as well as the supply chain. Sustainability is a big issue in the fish oil industry not to mention the wider fish industry garnering a boat load of mainstream media attention. With this playing upon the minds of consumers an omega-3 product that can display on-pack that it has been produced in a sustainable way makes for a much more compelling proposition. Croda has also be awarded the International Fish Oil Standard 5-Star Supplier Certification. The only fish oil supplier in the world to do so. This quality mark is designed to differentiate truely premium quality fish oil from the lower grade.
Talking at NutraFormulate’s Tech Focus seminar session was Dr Ajax Mohamed, Vice President of Sales for Sabinsa Europe. Speaking on the subject of ‘Nessesary Nutrtion for Digestive Health’ Dr Mohamed presented the technical capabilities of Sabinsa’s natural ingredients derived from Indian plants and spices. Dr Mohamed confirms that the global digestive health market is growing. This he attributes to poor diets in the west which are high in processed & fast food , as well as the associated lifestyles.
Dr Mohamed does feel that consumers are more aware of digestive health now than in the past as there is more information available, but as very few of us eat a perfect diet there remains a need to make it easier for people to maintain their digestive health by putting better ingredients in our food. Dr Mohamed conculded his presentation with 6 lifestyle tips for a better tummy which are:
1. beat stress
2. stop smoking
3. eat properly
4. lose excess weight
5. dont binge drink
6. consider supplements if you cant do 1-5
What’s new in active sports nutrition?
Per Rehne, European Health & Food Business Manager, Cornelius Group presented the latest trends, developments and a few revelations in the world of active sports nutrition. As sports nutrition has expanded beyond its male bodybuilding niche, brands must now cater for a new audience that includes women who can be far more choosy than men. Women also demand more than just protein, leading for new category developments such as protein mixed with whole foods and the ‘slender blend’. One product in particular is the weight loss supplement raspberry ketone which as of March 12th was re-approved.
Allergy free is also a category with masses of potential. Where lactose intolerance is an issue, plant based proteins such as rice, potato and even cranberry protein options are coming onto the market. Also for vegetarians, supplementation with creatine makes up for that which would be available in a diet that includes meat. However with new proteins comes new considerations. For instance some major US rice protein brands have been found to contain levels of metal that far exceed anything that would be permitted in Europe.
One shocking revelation from Rehne was that the sodium levels in most sports drinks is far too low to have any real effect. To truely have an effect would be a drink that would potentially taste too salty for consumers to palate.
Other growth areas include peptides for quick recovery in consumers who can’t make the same allowances as professional athletes to recover. Superfoods, greens as well as probiotics and ingredients for better digestion can all be expected to be included, adding value to the protein category.