Healthy Ingredients EU New Products and Research Highlights

Editorial Director Kimberly Lord Stewart scoured the Healthy Ingredients Europe show floor in Paris last week and found a host of new research and new product introductions. Here is a quick look at what she found.

BENEO-Orafti preliminary research shows that health benefits generate added value. The company looked into shopping behaviour related to ingredients and perceived benefits, using a representative sample of adults in both Spain and the UK (results covering further European countries and the US will be released shortly). The research shows that existing consumers and new consumers are interested in paying a premium for Oraft ingredients; one example was Spanish fruit juice. Apart from demonstrating the worth consumers place on health benefits in terms of monetary value, the study also found that there is a gap between interest levels in ingredients and the health benefits they offer.? Although consumers might know the names of key ingredients such as vitamin C, calcium, wholegrain or prebiotics, they do not necessarily equate these with the key health benefits these ingredients provide.? By communicating the health benefits over and above the ingredients included in the product, manufacturers can add significant value to already premium brands.

Carbery unveiled its new advanced whey protein isolate for beverage applications at Health Ingredients Europe 2008. The new ingredient can be used to fortify ready-to-drink products and is ideal for functional waters and sports drinks. A whey protein hydrolysate, Optipep is easily absorbed by the body, making it ideal for infant, clinical and sports nutrition applications.

Whey protein offers a vegetarian source of the important nutrients that aid recovery after exercise and increase muscle bulk for the professional and amateur athlete alike.

Danisco announced a study regarding its HOWARU™ Premium Probiotic, which has been shown clinically shown to reduce eczema in infants. HOWARU™ Rhamnosus, one of Danisco's premium probiotics, has been shown to reduce by half the occurrence of eczema in young children.The two-year trial of Fonterra's probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001, licensed by Danisco and sold as HOWARU™ Rhamnosus was conducted by the University of Otago's Wellington School of Medicine and Auckland University, New Zealand. The study was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand and Fonterra. In addition to reducing the occurrence of eczema, HOWARU™ Rhamnosus was also shown to reduce the severity of symptoms for those infants who, by the age of two, had been given HOWARU™ Rhamnosus but who contracted eczema.

Also, Danisco research revealed the strong consumer appeal of everyday products which enable the control of blood glucose levels through diet thanks to the addition of its InsuVital ingredient.? With an estimated 6% of the global adult population suffering from type 2 diabetes, these findings indicate clear market potential for food and beverage based solutions and highlight the significant opportunities available to manufacturers.

Carried out in collaboration with key customers, the tests assessed the consumer appeal of market-leading products enriched with DSM's InsuVital.? Derived from milk protein, InsuVital is clinically proven to control blood glucose levels after meals.? During the research in the UK, Russia, Spain and Germany, 200 - 500 consumers were offered product concepts which included beverages and supplements. When asked about future buying intentions, consumers responded positively, with a high percentage claiming the concepts were an attractive proposition and would definitely purchase the products if they became available.

Horphag Research and Natural Health Science Inc. released a new study published in the journal of Minerva Cardioangiologica showing that Pycnogenol, pine bark extract from the French maritime pine tree, reduces jetlag in passengers by nearly 50 percent. The two-part study, consisting of a brain CT scan and a scoring system, showed Pycnogenol lowered symptoms of jetlag such as fatigue, headaches, insomnia and brain edema (swelling) in both healthy individuals and hypertensive patients. Passengers also experienced minimal lower leg edema, a common condition associated with long flights.

Lipogen and Hankintatukku launched a new phosphatidylserine supplement for mental stress control in Finland and Scandinavia. Lipogen PS-Plus (PAS)™ is a patented vegetarian complex of soy lecithin phosphatidic acid and phosphatidylserine clinically proven to help manage mental, psychological and physical stress. Lipogen PS-Plus attained GRAS status in the USA, and may be applied to a wide range of nutritional products (capsules and tablets), functional foods, nutritional beverages, nutrition bars and dairy products. Hankintatukku Oy has marketed Lipogen's phosphatidylserine product under the brand name 'Fosfoser Memory' for more than 15 years.

LycoRed Ltd. recently completed double blind, placebo controlled study yielded surprising results which have prompted a move by the Israeli firm to file for patent protection on this new invention. The study has demonstrated that supplementation with LycoRed's Lyc-O-Mato? tomato extract helps protect the skin against damage from UV radiation by reducing sunburn cell formation and protecting the skin immune system by slowing down the depletion of Langerhans cells, following exposure to UVB/UVA solar simulator.

Subjects in this study consumed their normal diet, supplemented by either Lyc-O-Mato capsules providing 10mg lycopene per day, or a placebo, for ten weeks. At the end of the study period, subjects were exposed to UV radiation from a solar simulator, following which, skin cells were sampled and assessed.? The Lyc-O-Mato group showed a sunburn cell count that was six times lower than in the placebo group, and showed evidence of reduced depletion of Langerhans cells.

Marigot's multi-mineral ingredient, Aquamin™, can reduce bone damage caused by high impact exercise. The study, carried out at the University of Colorado, measured both the effect of Aquamin Soluble on levels of the parathyroid hormone, a potent stimulator of bone resorption, and loss of bone mineral density. These latest results show that a dose of Aquamin before exercise is an effective method of reducing PTH hormone and maintaining bone mineral density.

Exercise is known to have a positive effect on bone health, but high impact sports, such as long distance cycling. This is thought to be due to an increase in hormones, such as parathyroid hormone, which leeches calcium from the bone. These recent trials involved 20 competitive male cyclists, who took Aquamin either before or during three 35km time trials or placebo. Aquamin Soluble, when taken before exercise, caused a statistically significant reduction of PTH to 55.8 ? 67.2 pg/mL compared with 74.0 ? 63.6 pg/mL for placebo. The participants who took Aquamin during the time trial also experienced a reduction in PTH, to 58.0 ? 77.9 pg/mL. Aquamin is a natural multi-mineral ingredient derived from the red seaweed Lithothamnium Calcareum can be incorporated into many applications and its unique, porous honeycomb structure means Aquamin does not impact on the taste or texture of the final product.

Ocean Spray research suggests that cranberry juice can be as effective as probiotics in maintaining good digestive health. The double-blind trial at the University of Chile found a regular 6.8 oz. serving of 25% cranberry juice was as effective as the probiotic studied in suppressing growth of H. pylori among asymptomatic children. This research is the latest in a large bank of clinical evidence to uncover positive health benefits for the North American cranberry.

H. Pylori is thought to be present in up to 75% of the world's population. As probiotics and cranberry inhibit H. pylori with natural mechanisms, they reduce the risk of the side effects linked to antibiotics and help support a healthy balance of bacteria.? The unique A-type proanthocyanidins found in cranberries help stop bad bacteria from sticking to cells in the body. This anti-adhesion effect may allow the cranberry to help prevent urinary tract infections, gastro-intestinal infections, gum disease and stomach ulcers formed by various pathogenic (or harmful) bacteria, including H. Pylori.

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