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Nordic Naturals celebrates 20 years of excellence

Nordic Naturals celebrates 20 years of excellence

Nordic Naturals® is celebrating its 20th anniversary at Natural Products Expo West March 6 to 8. The omega-3 manufacturer is hosting an array of events to show appreciation to all those who’ve helped them reach this milestone. Expo attendees are invited to visit Booth #1628 to join the “Thank You!” celebration.

Taste. Pure. Love.™ New products including Omega Boost™ Junior in paradise punch and Omega Boost in creamy lemon will be featured at the Nordic Naturals Tasting Bars for a delicious boost of bliss. New Baby’s Vitamin D3 will also be showcased.

Party time. What’s an anniversary without a toast? Expo attendees are invited to raise a glass and enjoy organic mini cupcakes at the 20th Anniversary Celebration Mixer from 4 to 6 pm Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7.

Win big. Retailers who join the fun and participate in the in-booth contests will be eligible to enter to win one of three prizes—an iPad Air2, Beats by Dre headphones, or Beats by Dre pill speaker. Winners will be chosen on both Friday and Saturday at 5 pm during the Celebration Mixer. Only natural health retailers who distribute Nordic Naturals products are eligible to participate. Entrants must be present to win.  

Birthday photos. Attendees can dress up in party hats, smile for the camera, and be “seen” streaming onscreen in the booth. A “share” on social media will net participants another entry in the mixer drawing.

Hats are back. By popular demand, gold top hats will again be given away at the Nordic Naturals booth. Attendees who are spotted wearing a Nordic Naturals hat on the show floor by a designated company representative will win one of 125 cash prizes.

Slam dunk. When show-goers get all three mini basketballs through the hoop, they will win a prize. Everyone can be a winner with show specials and new item discounts.




RT Specialty, UNPA to launch new insurance for supplement companies

RT Specialty, UNPA to launch new insurance for supplement companies

The first generation of new, state-of-the-art, best-practices-based liability insurance designed exclusively for the dietary supplement industry, called the Platinum Program, will be introduced at a public session at the upcoming Natural Products Expo West conference and trade show in Anaheim, Calif.
The program launch is Thursday, March 5, from 9 to 9:30 a.m., in the Platinum 4 room at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel. All supplement manufacturers, own-brand holders and ingredient suppliers are invited to learn more about this important program with coverage levels much higher than previously available—up to $20 million.
The first-of-its-kind insurance program is a special project of Chicago-based, wholesale insurance broker RT Specialty in cooperation with the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA).
"RT Specialty and UNPA have collaborated and consulted with industry and insurance thought leaders over the past year to define and deliver this innovative insurance program, which is designed to advance the quality of the dietary supplement industry,” said Michael Garofalo, senior vice president, National Life Science Practice, for RT Specialty.
The Platinum Program is based on four distinct best-practice principles:

  • Insurance risk management
  • Dietary supplement industry organizational, regulatory, compliance and analytical standard-operating procedures
  • External third-party certification
  • Oversight of social media and Internet operations

Complete implementation of and fidelity to the integration of these best practice principles can qualify a dietary supplement company for the Platinum Program.
“UNPA’s mission includes a focus on safety, science and quality—and now best practices—by providing both opportunities and incentives for companies to distinguish themselves as leaders in quality and practices. This, in turn, has resulted in the best insurance product ever available to the U.S. dietary supplement industry,” said Loren Israelsen, UNPA president. “An analogy is the 'good driver' discount: proven competence and a good track record give drivers access to superior insurance coverage. The Platinum Program provides best-in-class companies such insurance, as well as a way for them to be identified as best in class.”
Garofalo, Mark Wood from Life Science Risk and Israelsen will introduce and explain the new program, its benefits to prospective insureds and the strategic value this holds for dietary supplement companies.

CRN welcomes dietary guidelines recommendations

CRN welcomes dietary guidelines recommendations

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, thanks the members of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) for their time, effort and dedication resulting in recommendations to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the government’s cornerstone of nutrition policy. CRN was pleased to participate in the process throughout by submitting written and oral comments and attending public meetings. 

CRN recognizes the importance of good nutrition and supports the objectives of the Dietary Guidelines, which “encourage Americans to focus on eating a healthful diet that focuses on foods and beverages that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight, promote health, and prevent disease.” CRN further believes that dietary supplements have an important role in good nutrition, serving as supplements to, not substitutes for, a healthy diet. In particular, CRN noted that government research demonstrates Americans do not obtain all the nutrients they need from food alone, and that even with the addition of dietary supplements, some people are still not getting all the nutrients they need. Dietary supplements help fill nutritional gaps.

Specifically, the DGAC identified 10 “shortfall” nutrients—vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, folate, calcium, magnesium, fiber, potassium and iron—indicating that these nutrients are under-consumed relative to recommendations from the Institute of Medicine. Of these nutrients, the DGAC further classified four of them—vitamin D, calcium, fiber and potassium—as “nutrients of public health concern” because getting insufficient amounts of these particular nutrients has been linked in the scientific literature to adverse health outcomes. Additionally, iron was identified as a shortfall nutrient of public health concern specifically for adolescent females and premenopausal adult females due to the increased risk of iron deficiency in these populations. 

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans provide the basis for federal food and nutrition policy and education initiatives. CRN will now closely review the full scientific report and submit its comments to USDA and HHS. 


OmniActive debuts Gingever at Engredea

OmniActive debuts Gingever at Engredea

OmniActive Health Technologies will introduce Gingever™ High Potency Ginger for the first time to Engredea attendees at this year’s show, March 5 to 8, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif., in conjunction with Expo West. 

Non-GMO and allergen-free Gingever is a high-potency super-critical fluid extract with 30% bioactives (min 20% gingerols) made from an FDA-acknowledged GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) source. Gingever is produced without the use of harsh solvents and manufactured under strict quality programs including cGMP and ISO 22000: 2005.

“Ginger is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Increasing evidence shows the vast potential of ginger as an ingredient with benefits for cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and metabolic health as well,” said Lynda Doyle, vice president of global marketing. “We developed Gingever to provide supplement manufacturers with premium, high potency ginger extract to meet consumer demand for premium products.” 

OmniActive will also be showcasing their other innovative ingredients including Lutemax® 2020 Lutein with Enhanced Levels of Zeaxanthin Isomers, Lutemax® Free Lutein and Lutein Esters, OmniXan® RR-Zeaxanthin, Capsimax® Capsicum Extract, and CurcuWIN™ Curcumin With Enhanced Aborption.

For more information on Gingever High Potency Ginger, our other innovative products and ingredient solutions or to schedule an appointment with an OmniActive representative during Engredea/Expo East, contact Lynda Doyle at or visit us at Engredea booth #530.


Experts address the future of business & sustainability

Experts address the future of business & sustainability

Leading experts from the environmental, business and research sectors will come together March 6 to discuss the future of business and sustainability in an exclusive event called "Sustainable Harmony" taking place at the Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim, Calif.

The presenter lineup includes well-known representatives from a cross-section of organizations and companies, including Alan Lewis (Natural Grocers), Mark Epstein (Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition-ASOC), Andre Leu (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements-IFOAM), Michael Griff (Marine Stewardship Council-MSC) and Tom Newmark (Carbon Underground). 

With non-GMO, organic and eco-labels becoming the new normal in many households, it is now imperative for consumers to know more about where their ingredients come from and what certifications they carry. While sustainability is important to many, misconceptions still remain, which means suppliers, retailers and brands have a duty to keep their customers well informed. 

NutriFusion launches vegan protein, meal replacement

NutriFusion launches vegan protein, meal replacement

NutriFusion®, a provider of diverse and complex natural nutrition and phytonutrient products for food manufacturers, announced four new products: GrandFusion® Vegan Protein™, GrandFusion® Complete™, NutriFusion®Lift™, and NutriStix® Antioxidant™. NutriFusion® will introduce its new nutrient rich food and beverage products at the 2015 Natural Products Expo West/Engredea trade show in Anaheim, Calif.

NutriFusion’s GrandFusion Vegan Protein is an all-natural GMO, gluten and lactose free powder. The versatile all-natural powder is as an alternative to anabolic steroids and can be added to drinks, smoothies, sprinkled over food, used in baking or added to nutrition bars for an extra boost of protein.

GrandFusion Complete is a complete package meal replacement powder containing plant-derived omega-3, -6, -9, and Edestin and Albumin proteins. The high fiber, easy to digest, vegan safe and low glycemic load powder is rich in zinc, iron, and magnesium and can be added to juice drinks, milkshakes, soups, and cereals. GrandFusion Complete comes in various flavors – or flavorless for both consumers and food processors. 

New to the beverage space, NutriFusion’s Lift energy drink mix powder and NutriStix Antioxidant™ drink supplement powder both are packaged for ease of transport for active on-the-go consumers. NutriFusion Lift takes an alternative “energy shot” approach working at the cellular level to restore spent energy and renew energy stores via an immune system supportive pre-formulated blend that includes vitamins B6, B12, niacin, folic acid, magnesium, and potassium. NutriStix Antioxidant is a natural nutritional water enhancer that is bio-absorbable, possessing a high ORAC value and enriched with antioxidant-rich vitamins from fruits and vegetables. 

“There is an increased interest among food manufacturers and processors around functional foods, specifically to offer more nutritional and protein rich foods,” said NutriFusion CEO and Founder, William Grand. “During Natural Products Expo West, the NutriFusion team looks forward to showing food manufacturers how easy it is to incorporate our organic blends to significantly boost overall nutritional value of processed food and beverages.”


AHPA-ABC HerbWalk features acclaimed herbalists

AHPA-ABC HerbWalk features acclaimed herbalists

The 2015 HerbWalk, presented by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the American Botanical Council (ABC), features a renowned faculty of herbalists who will lead participants through the grounds of the nearby Fullerton Arboretum's 26-acre botanical garden. HerbWalk faculty will instruct attendees about the collection of plant species from around the globe and their culinary, medicinal, and traditional uses. With ponds, streams and wildlife, this event is sure to be a highlight of your Expo visit—register for the HerbWalk when you register for Expo West.

HerbWalk faculty (to date)

"Herbal Ed" Smith cofounded Herb Pharm and serves on its board of directors. He has worked as a medical herbalist for more than 40 years and is an herbal researcher, teacher, writer, and entrepreneur. Last year, Ed was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Sciences Degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine for his lifetime achievements in herbal medicine and medicinal plant conservation. Ed is a founding member of the American Herbalists Guild and United Plant Savers. He also serves on the Board of Advisors of the American Botanical Council. He has traveled to more than 60 countries worldwide in his constant search for medicinal herbs and herbal knowledge, and he loves to share his botanical adventures in his lectures, classes, and herb walks.

Feather Jones is a Registered Clinical Herbalist in Western Herbalism who integrates herbal remedies, holistic nutrition, flower essences, and stress reduction guidance. Her 30-year career in teaching herbal medicine and clinical practice, coupled with a background in Native American (Mandan) tribal teachings, provides her clients and students with a synergistic approach to health and healing. Presently, she is Adjunct Professor of Botanical Medicine at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. Additionally, Feather has twice served as president of the American Herbalists Guild.

Jane Hawley Stevens has been working with herbs—from starting seeds to creating herbal wellness—since 1981. Jane believes that healing comes from Nature, so she dedicates her power to nurturing healing herbs, both cultivated and wild. These are hand harvested at peak potency to create her unique line of remedies. Jane has contributed her message of honoring Nature to schools, civic groups, and through Four Elements Annual Open House over the past 23 years. Four Elements Organic Herbals is located in the Pristine Baraboo Bluffs, Wisconsin, on a 130-acre certified organic farm, composed of cultivated fields, prairie, and woodland.

Dean G. Morris is a fifth-generation herbalist who has diverse experience in organic horticulture, the natural foods industry, and health care. While attending Brigham Young University in pre-professional nutrition, he worked for a nationally distributed dietary supplement manufacturer. After college, he served as dean of admissions, author, editor, and teacher for John R. Christopher's School of Natural Healing. In 1997, Dean was invited to help form a multi-disciplinary alternative medicine team and was granted full practicing privileges as an herbalist at the Columbia Hospital Miami Heart Institute in Miami Beach, Florida. From there, he was recruited by Nature's Way to be their senior educator, formulator, director of new products, and director of technical services. In 2009, Dean resumed full-time directorship of Nebo Health, a consultancy for the dietary supplement industry. As an independent consultant, he enjoys sharing the benefits of the many products he helped launch in the 11 years he worked for Nature's Way. Dean most enjoys the herb walk presentations he feels fortunate to provide throughout the world. 

Cluster Dextrin's benefits go beyond endurance

Cluster Dextrin's benefits go beyond endurance

In addition to the much talked about benefits of Cluster Dextrin®, the highly branched cyclic dextrin produced exclusively by Glico Nutrition Co. Ltd. of Japan—in aiding endurance and reducing autonomic stress response during strenuous physical activity—the ingredient has an entirely other character, and a world of other applications.

Cluster Dextrin does wonders for the taste of foods it’s added to by masking bitterness, reducing acidity, and helping maintain their aromas longer.

This feature of Cluster Dextrin has actually come to light most vividly through its use in sports nutritional drinks and formulas. The most advanced sports drinks today contain branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) as well as citric acid. BCAAs are essential amino acids and powerful performers due to their beneficial effect on muscle metabolism, protecting against catabolism in the recovery process, as well as contributing to building muscle volume and processing fat. Citric acid decreases physiological stress and physical fatigue. It’s essential to the production of energy, a key part of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, which facilitates the conversion of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to generate energy.

Both impart flavors that, on their own, would make sports drinks unpalatable. Yet their importance as adjuncts to sports performance can’t be underestimated. In Japan, Glico uses Cluster Dextrin in its own Citric Acid & BCAA sports nutrition product to mask the acidity of the former and tame the bitterness of the latter, heightening its flavor appeal.

A great deal of the Cluster Dextrin Glico produces is used in Japan for modifying flavor.  Recently the company convened a panel of 10 respondents to taste test samples containing, in the first case a 1.6% solution of BCAA, in the second the same BCAA with an additional 0.75% of citric acid, and in the third those two ingredients along with a 2% of Cluster Dextrin, and rate them on a five-point scale. The results were clear. The Cluster Dextrin stands head and shoulders above the others in drinkability.

Cluster Dextrin is versatile as well, masking undesirable odors in many varieties of household items. This masking function, because it effectively suppresses the release of fragrance, works to preserve and consistently maintain the familiar scents associated with items such as detergents and personal care products, as well as natural food aromas, for a longer period of time.

Look for Glico Nutrition’s Cluster Dextrin to appear in a wide variety of applications beyond sports nutrition in the months to come.


OptiMSM benefits nasal allergy symptoms

OptiMSM benefits nasal allergy symptoms

Medicus Research recently presented a poster at the Natural Supplement Educational Conference organized by Scripps Hospital. The poster detailed how a recent randomized, controlled study demonstrated that the MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) used in the study (OptiMSM®) provided significant efficacious benefits for nasal allergy systems.

“The OptiMSM product appeared to provide a protective effect against nasal obstruction following standardized allergenic challenge at multiple dose levels,” said Dr. Jay Udani, CEO of Medicus Research.  “The results, as measured both by Peak Nasal Inspiratory Flow and Visual Analog Scale symptom scores, showed that sub-chronic consumption of a dose as low as three grams each day for fourteen days was effective in providing this potentially protective occurrence.”

OptiMSM is manufactured by Bergstrom Nutrition, the world’s leading manufacturer of MSM. An ultra-pure branded ingredient, OptiMSM is the only GRAS-designated MSM in existence. It has earned a reputation as the purest and most trusted MSM worldwide due to its proprietary four-stage distillation process that guarantees optimal purity, quality and consistency.

“This new data is exciting because it suggests OptiMSM may help modulate a healthy immune response in individuals subjected to environmental allergens. It also supports prior data by Barrager et al. (2002) suggesting MSM may help mitigate symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis,” said Rod Benjamin, director of technical development for Bergstrom Nutrition. “The results from these two human studies strongly suggest that MSM has potential to support healthy immune response to environmental allergens and that MSM should be studied further for potential uses in mitigating over active allergic response.”

“This study represents another example of Bergstrom Nutrition’s commitment to research and new applications for MSM. Additional studies extend MSM’s joint support benefits to include even more benefits for skin care, exercise recovery, sports nutrition, support for healthy aging as well as immune response,” said Tim Hammond, vice president of sales and marketing for Bergstrom Nutrition.

The full research manuscript is currently being drafted and will be published approximately in March.



Will Nestle’s move to cut out artificial colors be the tipping point in the U.S. candy market?

Will Nestle’s move to cut out artificial colors be the tipping point in the U.S. candy market?

Something went horribly wrong in the candy aisle somewhere between Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the opening decade of the 21st century.

While the original 1971 movie was selected by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant,” the real story is that since that time, almost all candies in the U.S. market have been artificially colored and maybe artificially flavored as well (as if sugar needs a hand-up).

“Consumers in the U.S. have this notion of something called fun. One of the most absurd statements is it doesn’t look fun enough – fun being artificially colored with extremely vibrant colors,” said Adam Melonas, CEO and founder of Chew, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which works with large food and beverage companies to “make nutritious delicious.” 

For companies to turn to natural colors is not nearly as difficult as it may seem – particularly with health issues starting to be recognized around children who consume artificial colors and flavors.

“From a sourcing perspective, natural is the most readily available,” said Melonas. “Technically, it’s more difficult to apply and to keep natural colors as vibrant because they don’t settle into place as easily as artificial colors. But Nestlé in Europe has been making candy with natural colors for a long time.”

And that’s likely where the motivation for Nestlé came from bringing European sensibilities to the U.S. market; why bother with two different formulations?

Take, for example, Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain cereal bars. The U.S. version contains Red No. 40, Yellow. 6 and Blue No. 1. The U.K. version contains beetroot red, annatto and paprika.

Another example: Fanta orange soda. The U.S. version is colored with Red No. 40 and Yellow No. 6. In the U.K., it's pumpkin and carrot extract.

By the end of 2015, more than 250 Nestlé products, 10 brands and 75 recipes including Butterfinger, Crunch and Baby Ruth will be free of artificial flavors and colors. In the Butterfinger bar, the golden crunch center, now colored with Red No. 40 and Yellow No. 5, will be colored with annatto, which comes from the seeds found in the fruit from the achiote tree. In the Crunch bar, natural vanilla flavor will replace artificial vanillin.

“Our commitment to remove artificial flavors and certified colors in our chocolate candy brands is an important milestone,” said Doreen Ida, president, Nestlé USA Confections & Snacks. “We know that candy consumers are interested in broader food trends around fewer artificial ingredients. As we thought about what this means for our candy brands, our first step has been to remove artificial flavors and colors without affecting taste or increasing the price. We’re excited to be the first major U.S. candy manufacturer to make this commitment.”

Of course, while Nestlé is the first major candy maker to make the move, it is hardly the only one.

"Nestle's move may prompt other confectioners to follow, but the progressive brands are already in this space for first-mover advantage and the wallets of parents who trust them," said Kantha Shelke, principal of food innovation consultancy Corvus Blue, based in Chicago.

Health concerns

The U.S. government, through the National Institutes of Health and the FDA, assessed whether artificial food colors – Red 40, Red No. 2, Yellow 5, Yellow 6 – were having effects on children. In their assessment, some studies showed a correlation, while others did not.

Based on equivocal results, the FDA concluded that artificial colors resulted in limited “behavioral changes in a small subgroup of children with hyperactivity or other problem behaviors” in groups other than ADHD kids. Notably, the agencies said it was more the “result from a unique intolerance exhibited by certain predisposed children to a variety of food items and color additives.”

Hence, with U.S. regulatory agencies seeing the problem as being with the children and not the artificial colors, per se, the FDA merely suggested labeling the presence of colors – not an outright ban – so that consumers can make an informed choice. 

Not so the Europeans.

In 2010, the European Food Safety Authority required food manufacturers to put warning labels on foods using artificial colors. EFSA noted the use of six artificial colors “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” 

In England, the government asked food companies to voluntarily remove artificial dyes by the end of 2009. All companies complied.

Notably, there is a greater incidence of ADHD in American children than Europeans.

The upshot has been that there is now more use of natural colors than artificial colors in the European market.

In related news, a study published Feb. 20 by researchers at John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health said that cola-style carbonated beverages contain caramel coloring, sometimes at rates far above those requiring a warning label per California’s Prop. 65.

And all it takes to hit the threshold of carcinogenic activity is a single can per day of cola. But it depends on whose cola.

In the manufacture of caramel, colors III and IV produces 4-MEI. According to California’s Prop 65, the threshold for a warning label is 29 micrograms per day. Consumer Reports toxicologist Dr. Urvashi Rangan said the limit should be about 3 micrograms/day, based on a 2-year study showing every dosage level tested on rodents caused cancer.

Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero are in the 3.6 – 4.3 mcg range.

Dr. Pepper Snapple products have around 10 mcg per serving.

Pepsi and Diet Pepsi have 24-31 mcg per serving. Pepsi in New York state had been 174-195 in early 2013 testing but down to 32-160 in December 2013 testing. Not so in soft drinks sold in CA where Prop 65 rules – all were 24-43 mcg per serving range.

Malta Goya has more than 300 mcg per serving. 

"Soft drink consumers are being exposed to an avoidable and unnecessary cancer risk from an ingredient that is being added to these beverages simply for aesthetic purposes," says Keeve Nachman, PhD, senior author of the study and director of the Food Production and Public Health Program at the Center for a Livable Future and an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "This unnecessary exposure poses a threat to public health and raises questions about the continued use of caramel coloring in soda."

Seems as if the future is truly coming up natural. Willy Wonka would be pleased.