A new year, a new outlook

Peter SofroniouAs we start another new year here at Functional Ingredients, we are introducing new writers and columns. Law professor and consultant Lindsay Moore, PhD, will be covering many of the legal and ethical issues around intellectual property to help companies better understand how to conduct in-depth research and still protect their investments. And industry leader Loren Israelsen will offer his thoughts each month on the industry's burning issues.

Israelsen begins with a look at the year ahead, and notes that companies should be paying much more attention to the natural and organic personal-care category. As consumers begin to question the ingredients they put onto their bodies, in addition to those they consume, this will likely become a hot category. But the newest cosmeceuticals paradigm is 'beauty from within,' a trend that originated in Japan and Europe. Our 'Business Strategies' feature discusses how companies are looking at using beauty ingredients for internal consumption, as well as for topical applications.

January is a traditional time for renewal, so with that in mind our 'Science Review' feature is on healthy ageing. Today people are experiencing a longer lifespan than ever before, but now the task is to turn that into a healthier long life. Degenerative diseases of ageing — heart disease, cancer, diabetes and more — invariably manifest as we get older, and oxidation and inflammation appear to be the primary underlying causes. Along these lines, we focus on four age-related health issues — inflammation, hyperglycaemia, osteoarthritis and cognitive decline — and nutritional ingredients that show promise in preventing or even reversing them.

Even as anti-ageing treatments and the quest for energy-boosting ingredients dominate the market, coenzyme Q-10 consumer sales have grown over the past few years and we can expect to see many more food and beverage applications this year. As prices fell and supply stabilised in 2007, we saw some of the most intriguing data on co-Q-10 applications — as co-therapy with statin drugs (which deplete the body of co-Q10); antitoxin and cancer benefits; additional evidence for lowering the risk of the cardiovascular condition myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury; and a decrease in chronic tinnitus expression, a hearing disorder. Our 'Ingredient Focus' on co-Q10 examines the latest research behind one of nature's most exciting natural products.

Finally, another significant experience of ageing is a distinct lack of energy. Beverages top all other delivery systems in filling this consumer need. More than just sugar water with caffeine, more than even amino acids and speciality ingredients such as carnitine and green tea, today's — and tomorrow's — beverages offer a tremendous opportunity to fortify with minerals. The first sports beverage, Gatorade (whose University of Florida inventor, Dr J Robert Cade, passed away last November), launched a multibillion-dollar industry that the beverage still dominates. Its key ingredients are electrolyte minerals, and in our 'Formulations' department, we discuss formulation ideas that integrate a new generation of mineral additives into 'anytime' energy drinks.

Peter Sofroniou
Editorial Director

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