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Award winners and innovators spotted at Engredea 2012

There once was a trade show called Engredea,
And no other convention could beat-e-it.

Has a nice meter to it, and when you speak this little limerick it actually rhymes maybe a bit more than when you read it. Click here to see the verse in action.

Last week was the inaugural Engredea trade show—the convention bolted on to Natural Products Expo West that was formerly known as SupplyExpo. But this was no normal supply show.

The energy I felt at the show was palpable. Our new Hosted VIP program resulted in 63 private meetings between leading manufacturers, the likes of Shaklee, Danone, Mix 1 and General Mills, with select suppliers. Intent: make the pipeline to innovate more efficient. For many of these larger multinationals, they never get to meet with second-tier suppliers whom in many cases are the ones with the real new, novel and science-backed ingredients.

I’m thinking suppliers like Helios Corp., which has a handful of clinically validated ingredients that address women’s issues such as menopause and bone health, and which will change categories—if only they can find a manufacturer to take them prime time.

Speaking of innovation, we put it right out there with the Innovation Station, which featured 16 total companies that had something truly unique and compelling to offer the world. One example is BioLumix, which has a desktop ingredient assay machine that helps companies streamline microbiological testing, all without the need for a R&D staffer with a PhD in his pocket (and your budget).

We also tapped eight suppliers with our Editors' Choice Awards.

And that’s not even to mention the big award winners of the show, the NutrAward. The best new ingredient of the year is Zychrome, developed by InterHealth Nutraceuticals, a new form of chromium that addresses blood-sugar management.

The best new product with a functional ingredient went to Dole, which has a Portobello Mushroom Powder that’s a natural source of vitamin D. Both of these offerings are on the bleeding edge of health issues, which means they can improve the health of the most lives.

Everybody I spoke with went home happy—not just personally happy, but also professionally enthused. The state of the industry is decidedly strong.

Who stood out to you during Engredea? Leave a comment.

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