Why is science so important to the future of the nutrition industry?
June Lin, senior director/head of global marketing, Lonza Consumer Health & Nutrition: Where would the nutrition industry be without science? Demonstrating efficacy through robust science is not only good practice, it is essential to meet the needs of today’s consumers. Lonza’s proprietary research, in partnership with the Natural Marketing Institute, shows that clinical proof of efficacy is very important to 52% of U.S. supplement users in their quest for greater safety and confidence when purchasing supplement products.
Science is also what powers our industry’s growth: Every year, innovation opens up new pathways to support better health and new technologies to deliver it. At Lonza we demonstrate this not only when sourcing and formulating new ingredients to meet consumer health needs, but also while developing our plant-based capsule portfolio and dosage form technologies to enhance ingredient efficacy and delivery. These include Lipid-Multi-Particulates (LMPs), an innovative, proprietary technology which uniquely allows homogeneous material distribution in each droplet for modified release profiles, taste and odor masking and enhanced bioavailability. In summary, a rigorous and robust scientific approach is a core component of consumer-oriented product design, as well as a cornerstone of quality production and engineering, and ultimately success.
How does Lonza approach science and technology?
Shane Durkee, Vice President platform innovations, R&D, Lonza Consumer Health & Nutrition: Science is in our DNA. As such, we continuously look to unlock potential through innovation in both science and technology. Our scientifically backed solutions, industry-leading technical capabilities and boundary-pushing approach to innovation enable our customers to create finished products that meet consumer needs and truly stand out.
We apply science and technology in all our business operations, end-to-end—whether it’s discovering new ingredients and the health benefits they can bring, or innovative capsule and dosage form solutions to deliver those ingredients to the right place and at the right time, through to quality engineering for compliance and machinability, or our technical services team who work with customers to optimize productivity.
Are you investing in new research for 2020—and beyond?
SD: Research and development has always been a cornerstone of our business, and so it will always be a key investment. Recently, we developed MuscleGuard formula—a novel, vegan four-ingredient combination featuring Carnipure tartrate, creatine, leucine and vitamin D, which has been clinically demonstrated to increase muscle mass, strength and activity in healthy adults. While all the components were already commercially available, our clinical research showed that the precise ratio of the four ingredients gave better results than higher doses of each alone, and without creatine loading or exercise.
With our ongoing research, we aim to bring new responses to rising consumer trends and new opportunities to deliver innovation to the market. We’re always moving forward, particularly through our investment in R&D and culture of continuous improvement. For example, using Quality by Design principles and engineering, we’ve recently optimized the machinability of our clean-label Vcaps Plus capsules, to help improve the efficiency and performance of capsule filling for our customers.
What separates good science from “marketing” science?
SD: “Good” science is grounded in robust data. At Lonza, we invest in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials, with statistically relevant trial group sizes, the results of which are published in peer-reviewed, high-impact journals.
What is one emerging ingredient, technology or trend that you believe will have a significant impact on the nutrition world?
JL: The ways in which consumers define and cultivate health is changing, as we at Lonza discovered in our most recent consumer research. There is a rapidly growing group of values-driven consumers, defined by the importance they place on health and natural solutions, and their highly active lifestyles. These so-called “Aspirationals” are the consumers driving major changes in the nutrition industry today, and our customers are increasingly looking to connect with them, both now and in the future.
From an innovation standpoint, developments in capsule technology are pushing the boundaries of efficacy and supplement design—from the enablement of new ingredient combinations, to more options for release profiles and vegan polymers, delivery choice makes a big difference to supplement success.