New opportunity

Functionality is the latest buzzword in nutrition


One of the biggest impacts of Covid-19 was the way it forced consumers to re-evaluate their health. Eight out of ten consumers are now actively improving their diet, whether increasing or meeting their five-a-day, reducing salt and sugar intake, or simply drinking more water. This is according to information released by the International Food Information Council’s (IFIC) 2020 Food and Health Survey.

Some of the biggest product development trends seen during this time, however, lie in adding ingredient functionality to final products, and post-pandemic, this is one trend that will continue to grow.

According to consumer research conducted by taste and nutrition company Kerry1, health concerns have become more widespread since the Covid-19 outbreak, with 59 percent of those surveyed indicating that immunity is a primary concern, while up to 50 percent also felt that mental health is just as important2.

What is certain is that a consumer evolution is underway. The ability to highlight the functionality of a product will go a long way in reassuring consumers that what they are putting into their bodies has a functional benefit. This, coupled to a more integrated approach to food and healthcare, means that brands and companies must ensure that they are studying their products and services from the same viewpoint. Formulators and brand owners must look beyond immediate competitors and product categories as disruption within the health and nutrition industries continues. This is a critical factor in keeping competitive edge.

One way of achieving and communicating a product’s functionality is by highlighting the nutritional information on-pack through ingredient lists. Here, manufacturers can highlight the use of functional ingredients in various food and beverage products and supplements. Globally, 39 percent of consumers surveyed said seeing claims based on research or scientific data would make them more likely to buy a healthy lifestyle product or one containing an ingredient with functional benefits3.

This opens the floor to new and novel functional ingredients such as phospholipids to be better understood in terms of functional advantages. Novastell’s range of highly efficient bioactive ingredients are produced from soya beans and can be combined with numerous nutritional compounds for easy blending during formulation.

“Our nutritional and functional bioactive ingredients include sources of PC, PS, PA and DHA, specialty oils, active molecules, vegetable extracts, natural vitamin E, and mixed tocopherols. They are healthy and efficient molecules used in a variety of products such as pre-natal and women’s health supplements, products for memory and concentration, digestive and skin health, stress management, sports nutrition, inflammation, healthy ageing, brain cognition, liver protection and cardiovascular health,” explains Carla Felgueiras, Global Product Manager Ingredients, Novastell. “While the body can produce some phospholipids naturally, the pace and stress of today’s lifestyle means that consumers must derive the necessary phospholipids from additional dietary sources.”

Phospholipids provide a terrific opportunity for formulators to enhance their product’s bioavailability, and this can be highlighted on pack. Recent studies conducted on bioactive compounds using phospholipid complexes have found that they assist in the provision of higher bioavailability. The phyto-phospholipid complexation technique has emerged as a valuable tool to improve the bioavailability of plant bio actives.

1 https://khni.kerry.com/
2 https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2021/06/24/What-food-trends-will-stick-post-COVID-The-world-s-going-to-become-more-demanding-than-it-was-during-the-pandemic
3 https://www.nutraceuticalsworld.com/ issues/2021-04/view_trendsense/post-covid-19-a-new-world-of-health-nutrition-opportunities/

Novastell
Thanks to its expertise on lipids and phospholipids, Novastell can offer a wide range of ingredients and solutions for your formulations. As a subsidiary of Avril group, the first and unique lecithin producer in France, Novastell proposes several grades, specifications and a complete traceability of sunflower, rapeseed, and soy lecithin to provide its customers with the finest solutions for their process.
For further information, please visit: https://novastell.com/en/