Articles from 2014 In March

Nutrition 21, Nature's Products strike Chromax deal

Nutrition 21, Nature's Products strike Chromax deal

Nutrition 21 LLC is pleased to announce that it has entered into a multiyear supply and license agreement with Nature’s Products Inc. for the use of CHROMAX® and CHROMAX ADVANCE™ brands of chromium in product formulations manufactured and sold by Nature’s Products.

Michael Satow, president and chief executive officer of Nutrition 21, stated, “We are delighted to be partnering with Nature’s Products, a recognized industry leader in the manufacture and marketing of nutritional supplements. We believe that our patented chromium compositions and uses fit very well with Nature’s Products core mission of providing innovative, high-quality nutritional products to the marketplace and reaffirm the strength of our strong clinical science and patent portfolio." 



Natural Foods Merchandiser

How can a health food store create a thriving beauty section?

How can a health food store create a thriving beauty section?

A loyal shopper might stop in every other day to pick up produce, kids’ lunch fixings and fresh seafood. But chances are she buys supplements, skin care and shampoo only once, maybe twice, a month—that is, if she even purchases these items at your store. Because health and personal care products tend to move slower than other categories, natural retailers often let their HABA sections slide. It may be time to give it some TLC. Three experts share their top tips for creating an inviting, upscale and profitable HABA department.

Natural Personal Care Consultant

Give PC prominence. Because 90 percent of people are right-handed, most shoppers either go to the right or head straight to the center aisles. They do not go left, so don’t put personal care there, or they may never know you carry it. Help draw people to the section by placing endcaps in prominent spots that feature a range of products and signage saying there’s much more in a specific aisle.

Channel department stores. I like a department-store look in personal care sections, which you can do with almost no money. Glue mirrors to the backs of the shelves. Every time shoppers pass mirrors, they look, so the products will jump out at them. Skin care sells at eye level; merchandise it left to right and in the sequence people use it, such as cleansers before face lotions.

Promote smartly. Rotate your section every three months, moving products up, down and sideways. Feature “staff picks,” since customers already trust your recommendations. Also, I don’t believe in promoting personal care in percentages. Tell shoppers exactly what they’ll save in dollars, such as $6 off, so they don’t have to calculate what 15 percent off means. You’ll be surprised at the impact.

–Michael Hoffman, longtime industry expert based in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Natural Personal Care Manufacturer

Learn from leaders. Take cues from successful personal care retailers such as Sephora, Nordstrom and Pharmaca. These stores have perfected what appeals to consumers: beautiful glass shelving, good lighting, clean testers, clear signage and products merchandised to create banners for brands or lines. Tour these stores to get inspiration for yours.

Turn supplement knowledge into personal care expertise. Supplements and natural personal care go hand-in-hand because many of the same ingredients are used in both. Employees who really get resveratrol, vitamin C and coenzyme Q10 can easily understand and explain personal care. That said, don’t let them get too techy on shoppers. Beyond ingredients, focus on how products work and how they can diminish fine lines or prevent sun damage.

Lean on brand reps. Successful HABA sections are a direct result of good staff training. Andalou does a lot of in-store trainings on how to best sell our line. Many other top brands do too. Everyone’s interest is the same: selling products. Brand representatives can give you lots of useful info and tips on discussing their products with shoppers, so be sure to ask.

–Stacey Egide, co-founder and CEO of Andalou Naturals in Novato, Calif., and SCORE Association volunteer mentor


Make one section. I used to have personal care in different areas, but experts in the field kept telling me to create one section. I finally agreed. Consolidating was a challenge, but once we put everything together in a quiet space where shoppers can take their time and digest what they’re looking at, we saw a 20 percent increase in sales of those items, which continued for six months straight.

Focus on PC, forgo something else. For years, we tried to be everything to everyone and carry all the products that big stores do. But with only about 3,000 square feet and three aisles, that just wasn’t working. We decided to focus on personal care and give it ample aisle space. For instance, we moved away from pet care because we hadn’t been able to carry enough variety to keep people happy.  

Offer various price points. I used to think having one lavender oil and one eucalyptus oil was enough, but I’ve learned it’s better to have variety and different price points. We brought in another essential oil line and went from selling two or three $12 eucalyptus oils a week to four times that many of our new $8 option. Some shoppers will pay more for the bigger name brand; others want value. Cater to both.

–Tony Bush, owner of a Rainbow Acres Natural Foods Store in Marina Del Ray, Calif.

New breads, snacks, desserts cut calories 70%

New breads, snacks, desserts cut calories 70%

America’s slim-down culture received a big boost from ThinSlim Foods®, a first-of-its-kind specialty baker that will usher in a new category of guilt-free, healthful baked goods, snacks and dessert options this spring. For the first time, people that were restricted from brownies, cookies, breads, and even cheese pizzas, will celebrate ThinSlim Foods’ new line that:

  • Cuts calories up to 70 percent
  • Has 50 to 70 percent less carbs and fat compared to the vast market of options
  • Replaces harsh, artificial sweeteners with all-natural, lowest calorie Erythritol
  • Provides healthful options to sensitive digestives, diabetics and sufferers of celiac disease
  • Conforms to non-GMO and Kosher standards
  • Eliminates artificial flavors, preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup and synthetic colors

The secret to ThinSlim Foods is its proprietary batter that replaces standard cake or wheat flours with custom blends of oat fiber, almond flour and the all-natural sweetener erythritol. Its Master bakers have worked alongside nutritional experts to confirm their baked goods’ safety for gluten-free, hypoglycemia and other digestive and dietary sensitivities.

New snack category improves flavor with healthy eating
“The market for diet foods is great, but the options are not. Shops are stocked with products harboring laundry lists of processed and low quality ingredients, some with sweeteners that cause GI distress, or falsified and misleading nutritionals. Several low carb foods, designed to taste good, have massive amounts of fat. Other low fat options are filled with carbs,” said Andrew Eckhardt, owner and founder of ThinSlim Foods and a veteran diet food consumer. “No company had yet figured out how to make a diet food that was both low fat, low carb and appetizing. Those days are officially over. One bite of ThinSlim Foods’ dense brownies or our delicious muffins, cookies or breads will prove that. We only use the best ingredients available, making it ever more true, 'You get what you pay for’.”

Supermarket distribution expanding nationally
ThinSlim Foods is no longer a secret among dieting circles. To accommodate its growing popularity, the company recently expanded its infrastructure to manage more national wholesale orders. ThinSlim Foods products are sold in many supermarkets nationwide and consumers can continue to order products online at All of its products are sold frozen, a result of the company’s conscious decision to limit unnecessary or unnatural ingredients. The line includes:

  • Blondie Squares 
  • Brownie 
  • Cheese Pizza
  • Cookies
  • Love the Taste Bagels
  • Love the Taste Bread
  • Love your Waist Bagels 
  • Muffins 

Probi Mage to launch in South Korea

Probi Mage to launch in South Korea

Probi has signed a distribution agreement with Dongkook Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. based in Seoul, South Korea, for the distribution of Probi´s gut health product, Probi Mage®. The product will be launched under Probi’s brand in South Korea in the second quarter of 2014.

Established in 1968 and listed in KOSDAQ in 1997, Dongkook is the leading OTC pharmaceutical company in Korea with own research and production facilities. As an R&D and technology innovation focused pharmaceutical company, Dongkook exports their products to more than 50 countries, including 10 countries in the EU. Dongkook will launch Probi Mage as a dietary supplement in department stores and TV/Internet home shopping, one of the largest distribution channels for dietary supplement products in Korea.

“We are looking forward to launch the Swedish brand Probi Mage in Korea. Probi Mage, based on a high-quality probiotic ingredient with good clinical documentation, fits well into our dietary supplement range. This is the start of a long-term relationship with Probi, with the intention to extend the collaboration in the future,” said Hee Sup Kim, vice president at Dongkook Pharmaceutical.

“South Korea is the third largest probiotic supplement market in Asia and we are looking forward to launching Probi Mage together with Dongkook Pharmaceutical in the growing Korean market,” said Peter Nählstedt, CEO of Probi.

The South Korean market for probiotic supplements is estimated to have a value of USD 54 million, and its annual growth rate over the past five years has been on average 15 percent. The increasing health awareness and disposable income are positive factors driving the market growth in Korea.

“Expansion in the highly populated markets in Asia is a key component in Probi’s business strategy and the company is looking at extending its presence further, both in Korea and the rest of the region,” Nählstedt added.

Probi Mage® is based on Lactobacillus plantarum 299v (DSM 9843), which targets bloating, gas formation and pain, common symptoms that are sometimes mild or temporary but often more severe.


Ashland launches new personal care ingredients

Ashland launches new personal care ingredients

Ashland Specialty Ingredients, a commercial unit of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH), announced new ingredients designed in accordance with consumer preferences around the world and invited the personal care industry to see how the company’s consumer science program helps product formulators tap into consumer needs for distinctive hair styles, lasting impressions of beauty and self-confidence.

Exhibiting under the banner, “Imagine, Collaborate, Succeed,” Ashland explained how new ingredients substantiated by consumers open the door to extraordinary experiences in hair, skin and oral care.

"The designers of personal care ingredients develop new technologies to deliver a key benefit or multiple benefits out of a formulation", said Jim Mish, leader of the Consumer Specialties group at Ashland Specialty Ingredients. "At Ashland, we have invested in capturing the consumer experience as part of the development process in ingredient design. We now have consumer science laboratories around the globe to validate the performance of our innovations."  

At times, a disconnect exists between the performance attributes of new ingredients made available to formulators of personal care products and the final results consumers expect from a formulation.

“We bridged the gap between ingredient design and consumer expectations by making the consumer an integral part of the development process. Now, when we collaborate with manufacturers on hair, skin and oral care projects, we are better able to deliver what consumers want most: Confidence in their hair, their skin, themselves,” he said.

Introducing the N-DurHance™ A-1000 conditioning polymer for hair repair
At the in-cosmetics 2014 trade show in Hamburg, Germany, Ashland unveiled the N-DurHance™ A-1000 conditioning polymer, a new technology demonstrated to restore and improve the look of healthy hair over the course of several wash cycles. Based on a homopolymer of acrylamido-N-propyltrimethylammonium chloride, N-DurHance A-1000 lends hydrophobic properties to hair in a way that affords an enduring conditioning effect. For the first time, consumers may perceive the benefits of softer, smoother, shinier and more manageable hair over the course of successive shampoo applications.

In developing the N-DurHance A-1000 conditioning polymer, Ashland found a symbiotic relationship between conditioner formulations containing the technology and anionic surfactants typically found in shampoo formulations. With very high cationic charge density, N-DurHance polymer fully binds to the negative charges on hair when delivered from conditioner formulations. A number of cationic polymer charge sites remain, however, to flocculate in situ during next-day cleansing with anionic shampoo components.

Accordingly, N-DurHance A-1000 conditioning polymer works differently than other technologies to provide consumer benefits that actually improve through five cleansing cycles.

Introducing AquaStyle™ SH-100 polymer for hair styling
Ashland introduced AquaStyle™ SH-100 polymer, a highly functional technology that brings all-day hold to virtually any hair style, anywhere. With AquaStyle SH-100 polymer, consumers may create individual hair styles with the benefits of long-lasting hold, high humidity curl resistance and style memory delivered from crystal clear formulations. The latest addition to Ashland’s popular line of styling polymers, AquaStyle SH-100 polymer provides the means for a range of consumer preferred benefits, including smooth comb-through, with no flaking. A highly efficient polymer, formulators also benefit from ease of use, cost efficiency, and the ability to achieve the desired clarity in today’s hair gel products. Incorporating a number of formulation capabilities in a highly functional polymer, Ashland opens consumer-identifiable hair styling attributes to a significant and growing segment in the nearly $10 billion styling products market.

Introducing Neomatrix™ biofunctional, the signal for beautiful skin
For skin care applications, Ashland introduced Neomatrix™ biofunctional, a novel pentapeptide inspired by stratifin signaling proteins, an epidermal biomessenger that functions on an intercellular basis to support skin’s own dermal remodeling and repair functions. Designed to help skin optimize cross-talk for dermal remodeling, the pentapeptide has been shown to enhance in vitro expression of epidermal stratifin and to support in vitro production of skin matrix rebuilding components, such as pro-collagen, collagen I, collagen II and hyaluronic acid. In clinical studies, Ashland demonstrated that Neomatrix biofunctional answers a global cosmetic need in wrinkle repair, wherein 12 volunteers aged 41 to 61 years observed highly statistically significant reductions in the total number of “crow’s feet” wrinkles.

Healthy-looking skin is a result of a complex equilibrium of thousands of processes that protect, repair and respond to environmental exposure. Skin reacts in an orchestrated cascade of cellular processes to self-repair and remodel. Dermal remodeling is achieved through turnover, which consists of a fine balance between the synthesis of new skin matrix components, such as neo-collagen, and depletion of old matrix components by specific enzymes, such as metalloproteinase. Neomatrix biofunctional, shown to enhance expression of stratifin signaling proteins in vitro, supports dermal turnover balance, resulting in wrinkle repair, as demonstrated in clinical studies.

Bringing clarity, performance and elegance to rinse-off formulations with SurfaThix™ N polymer
Included among Ashland’s innovations in rinse-off chassis is SurfaThix™ N polymer, an all-in-one solution with applications in shampoo and body wash formulations. Lending clarity, performance and elegance to surfactant-functional systems, the new polymer frees formulators to succeed in delivering clear systems with yield value, stable suspension of particles and beads and elegant sensory attributes without formulation trade-offs.

Creating confidence
Collaborating with manufactures of personal care products to provide new ingredient technologies that capture desired consumer experiences, Ashland is dedicated to bringing more than benefits to finished formulations.

“Working with consumers early in the design phase of new ingredients, we want to bring something to formulations that you may not find on the label: The confidence consumers have when they see healthy-looking skin or hair. We are happy to bring the consumer quotient to personal care,” said Mish.

For more information, visit Ashland at booth 4F30.


Verde makes omega-3s acquisition

Verde makes omega-3s acquisition

Verde Media Group Inc. and its Biotech Division (VMBD) announce they have completed the acquisition of the privately held biotechnology company Butazyme LLC. Under the terms of the agreement, VMGI through its wholly owned subsidiary VMBD, acquired 51 percent equity of Butazyme LLC, valued at $5.0 million USD

William Veve, president of Verde Media Group Inc., stated, "We are very pleased to broaden our portfolio of market-transforming product in omega-3 industry and delighted to join forces with Butazyme, combining the complementary strengths of the two companies. With our internal capabilities in financing and marketing strategies and Butazyme proprietary technologies this transaction should result in the rapid production of omega-3 oils. Butazyme is an important asset to our Biotech Division and will be instrumental in generating significant revenue through its licensable platform technologies." 

Butazyme specializes in the microbial production of an alternative source of omega-3 oils, primarily, DHA and EPA. The global market for omega-3 is expected to reach $34.7 billion in 2016 with a continued accelerated growth rate over the next 5 years. Butazyme's microbial platform technology competes favorably with both traditional and other microbial methods of producing omega-3 oils. Butazyme's competitive advantages include the ability to convert multiple inexpensive feedstocks into omega-3 oils, capability of achieving high yields of DHA oils and the ability to rapidly deploy large scale production to meet growing demands. Butazyme has already achieved semi-pilot scale production of omega-3 oils at 1000-liter scale and is currently scaling to 25,000-liter process.

Dr. Abidi, PhD, chief executive officer of VMBD stated, "We are delighted to complete the acquisition of Butazyme along with its broadly applicable technology platforms, commercialization expertise and proprietary technologies which are highly valuable assets that complement VMBD growth strategy. Moreover, with the wealth of these assets, we will significantly expand our pursuit of collaborations and strategic alliances with production scale-up and purchase contracts globally."


AHPA issues guidance on protein labeling

AHPA issues guidance on protein labeling

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has issued industry guidance for calculating the amount of protein listed on dietary supplement and food labels. The guidance, adopted by the AHPA Board of Trustees at the recommendation of its Sports Nutrition Committee, creates a voluntary standard that will help consumers more easily compare protein levels in different products.

Current Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling regulations allow the amount of protein in foods and supplements to be calculated as a factor of nitrogen content, but do not define the sources of nitrogen that should be included in such calculations. 

The AHPA Guidance on Labeling of Protein in Food and Dietary Supplements creates a standard by establishing that protein is calculated to include only proteins that are chains of amino acids connected by peptide bonds and to exclude any non-protein nitrogen-containing substances from such calculations. AHPA notes that many companies already use this quantification method and encourages others in the industry to adopt this standard.

"This guidance highlights the industry's ability to identify an issue and collaborate to develop an effective solution," said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. "Members of AHPA's Sports Nutrition Committee have committed to adopting this guidance to help ensure food and supplement labels provide consumers with comparable information needed to make informed purchasing decisions."

Polyphenolics launches MegaNatural-GL

Polyphenolics launches MegaNatural-GL

Americans may be trying to get into better shape but let’s face it, they aren’t there yet. Polyphenolics is introducing its newest condition-specific grape seed extract ingredient, MegaNatural-GL. It will give an additional advantage to people trying to improve their physical condition by helping them to manage their blood sugar after meals and reducing their oxidative stress.

While hard-core exercise enthusiasts are unlikely to have problems optimizing their blood sugar levels, those trying to lose weight and just starting to get more exercise are likely to need help. “MegaNatural-GL is ideal for people who are on the boundaries of sports nutrition—those who aspire to get healthier. It is synergistic with lifestyle modifications and healthy diet improvements,” confirmed Polyphenolics President Anil Shrikhande, Ph.D.

Pilot studies confirm MegaNatural-GL’s benefits
Preliminary studies conducted at University of California, Davis examined the relationship between MegaNatural-GL and concentrations of blood glucose and insulin after meals. Study participants included both healthy individuals and those diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.

“Our findings suggest that this grape seed extract has the ability to support insulin and glucose metabolism,” commented lead investigator C. Tissa Kappagoda, MD., emeritus professor of medicine at UC Davis, whose area of interest is preventive medicine.

Kappagoda explained that the body’s ability to manage glucose is best in the mornings. The pilot studies indicated that those subjects who took MegaNatural-GL showed an improvement in glucose management after dinner, when their bodies needed it most. “We feel these grape seed polyphenols merit further investigation as a part of a lifestyle management program for patients with a variety of conditions related to obesity.”

Why MegaNatural-GL has a unique function
Grape seed polyphenols are the active compounds in each of Polyphenolics’ MegaNatural products. However, each ingredient functions differently. “MegaNatural-BP, for example, has a molecular structure which enters the bloodstream quickly. MegaNatural-GL, on the other hand, maintains its characteristics in the digestive tract, where it can have the greatest benefit,” Shrikhande explained. MegaNatural-GL can be used in powders and capsules, at dosage levels as low as 300 mg. It is also very water soluble, and can be added to beverages without impacting taste, consistency or color.

He adds that, “While we are not trying to make athletes out of people, we have designed MegaNatural-GL to help people get a jump start on a healthier lifestyle. It is an adjunct to helping with weight loss and better blood glucose management.”

A number of dietary supplement companies are actively testing MegaNatural-GL for maintenance of healthy glucose levels.



DuPont introduces BAX System Real-Time

DuPont introduces BAX System RealTime

Food processors and service labs who need a fast, accurate test for Listeria can now use the latest BAX® System assay from DuPont Nutrition & Health to enhance their food protection programs. This next-generation test, which combines shorter, simpler sample preparation and faster real-time processing without sacrificing accuracy or reliability, will be introduced at the Food Safety Summit in Baltimore, Md., April 8 to 10.

“Listeria species can be an indicator that harmful Listeria monocytogenes is present, which can cause serious illness, particularly for persons with heightened susceptibility,” said Rob McPheeters, Diagnostics leader, DuPont Nutrition & Health. “This new assay demonstrates our commitment to providing the best value in science-based solutions for evolving food protection needs to help producers and manufacturers significantly reduce this risk.”

The DuPont BAX System Real-Time PCR Assay for genus Listeria can be used as a quick and reliable method for detecting Listeria in a variety of products and has been validated on frankfurters, cooked shrimp, spinach, queso fresco cheese and environmental surfaces. Furthermore, the assay provides additional flexibility by allowing customers to test for both Listeria and Salmonella in the same batch, with results for both organisms in a little over an hour. 

Food processing companies around the world rely on the BAX System to detect pathogens or other organisms in raw ingredients, finished products and environmental samples. The automated system uses leading-edge technology, including PCR assays with tableted reagents and optimized media, to detect Salmonella, Listeria species, Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli O157:H7 and STEC, Campylobacter, Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio, and yeast and mold.  Many of these tests have been certified by AOAC and AFNOR and/or approved by government agencies in the Americas, Asia and Europe.  For more information about the BAX System, one of the most advanced pathogen detection systems available to food companies, please visit