Welcome to the premier issue of Functional Ingredients, which has evolved out of Functional Foods & Nutraceuticals. In this new publication, we aim to offer you the same in-depth, high-quality editorial on the most vital industry issues, but with a close-up focus on ingredients: how and where to source, measure, test and formulate them, as well as tips on branding, marketing and selling your finished goods.
Look for a fresh take on current and future trends, as well as ideas on how to take advantage of opportunities emerging from the latest scientific research, new ingredients and new applications for old ingredients. You will find more analysis and opinon from industry leaders. You will also notice that we are linking our features more closely together to offer you broader and, at the same time, more in-depth coverage of related categories and ingredients.
For example, our main feature this month is "Science Review," on metabolic syndrome, a form of pre-diabetes also known as Syndrome X and insulin resistance. Rapidly becoming a severe global health problem, as an estimated 246 million people suffer from diabetes worldwide, it's a condition that offers many opportunities for ingredients suppliers, dietary supplements and functional-foods manufacturers.
One such ingredient is green tea. In a related "Ingredient Focus" article we examine the emerging science around this hot botanical, which shows promise in helping to control insulin by lowering glucose and insulin concentrations in normal individuals.
With the release of the US GMPs, and growing concerns about ingredients sourced from China, the coming months promise to be a critical time for the industry. The new rule comes with many questions and challenges and, as our story on page seven shows, the implications for supply-chain security are closely related to China, the world's most abundant and cheapest supplier of raw materials. As one industry observer notes, it was the pet-food scare that focused attention on supply-chain security. But although it may be politically expedient to claim a 'China problem,' the reality is that the source — and more significantly, the quality — of all ingredients is everyone's concern. The onus of the GMPs may be on product manufacturers, but both suppliers and manufacturers will be held accountable. Each will need to verify the source, identity and quality of ingredients they supply or purchase if this industry is to avoid any of the recent food-safety scares. See "GMPs show need for strong supplier relationships," "China and GMPs — what's the connection?" and "GMPs — What do they mean for you?" for more on GMPs.
This fall promises to be a very busy season, and here at Functional Ingredients we will be covering all of these issues in great depth to help you navigate the potentially choppy waters ahead. You will see even more new features and columns in the coming months so please drop us a line at the e-mail address below, and let us know how we're doing.