Today’s consumers are more health-conscious than ever, and the demand for products offering additional functions has been growing strongly in recent years. People want food that doesn’t just taste and look good, but also supports a modern, creative lifestyle. Nutritional ingredient company SternVitamin is at the forefront of market trends, and develops premixes for innovative products including beverages. “Among our interesting product ideas are the so-called ‘love boost’ drinks with plant extracts like damiana extract powder, which is claimed to have a stimulating effect,” said Dr. Sabine Hildebrandt, head of research and development at SternVitamin.
The premix from the SternVit BV series comes in two versions, for women and for men. The women’s mix contains extracts of ginseng and damiana plus L-arginine, magnesium and vitamins B6, B12 and C. “Stimulator” for men has damiana and guarana extract plus vitamins B1, B6, B12 and C. “Plant extracts like damiana and ginseng give trend products a special appeal and increase their potential added value. In combination with our basic compounds for energy drinks, they make it possible to develop completely new product concepts,” said Dr. Hildebrandt.
Guarana has long been known for its stimulating effect, while ginseng is considered a cure-all in Asia where it comes from. The root has also long been trusted as a tonic against fatigue and exhaustion. On the other hand, damiana is still relatively unknown in many countries. It occurs naturally from the U.S. to Argentina, and Mexican physicians and natives use it to treat respiratory cramps, nervous tension, exhaustion and sexual dysfunctions.
When implementing new product ideas SternVitamin works very closely with the customer’s development department As Dr. Hildebrandt said, “While we do offer various standard premixes, as a rule each customer gets their own, customised product. We look closely at their product parameters and processes. This lets us precisely calculate any losses in ingredient effectiveness during manufacture and storage, and compensate by adding more of those ingredients.”
For beverages, micronutrients must be readily soluble. To achieve this, SternVitamin uses modern technologies such as fluidised bed drying. “Our fluidised bed dryer lets us turn poorly soluble powders into porous-structured agglomerates, which dissolve much better in water,” said Dr. Hildebrandt. The machine can also do the drying, agglomeration and coating steps.