Now that Vitafoods 2008 has ended, Claire Phoenix (Managing Editor, Beverage Innovation), Claire Rowan (Managing Editor Food & Beverage International) and Medina Bailey (Features Editor, Beverage Innovation) share their thoughts on this year’s event, which was held in Geneva, Switzerland.
*Claire Phoenix – Managing Editor, Beverage Innovation*
This year, Vitafoods had grown considerably in size, with many more stands than 2007, and was improved substantially by the addition of the Finished Products section. The networking section was constantly full, indicating the level of business taking place.
Rousselot’s stand, which offered attendees the chance to show off their balance and agility with its Wii skiing and fitness game, was probably the most fun! This was heightened by a champagne reception to aid discussion of its hydrolyzed collagen for skin drinks and topical products.
I look forward to seeing more interactive stands next year and even more products to taste at The Tasting Bar.
Guangdong Yifang Pharmaceutical, based in China’s Guandongprovince, specialises in teas and raw ingredients such as cinnamon,ginseng and angelica. Assistant Manager Charlie Cai explained how thecompany has identified 365 chemical ingredients in one tea and it’sthe way these are put together that provides various health benefits toaid sleep, beauty and digestion for instance.
Pu-Erh tea,designed to improve brain function, is very expensive and apparentlyimproves with age – “The greater the age, the wider the smile,” heexplained – with teas from five years old to those having as much as 80years in storage being sold for the highest price.
Sabinsa– which has offices in Bangalore and Utah – sells a wide variety ofingredients, including curcumin (the antioxidant) and bioperine (blackpepper), which is said to reduce cancerous tumours. Citrine K BG(beverage grade) is one of the company’s biggest sellers and used forweight management and sports drinks. Already present in the UK, France,Holland and Scandinavia the company is looking to expand in Germany.
CampbellBerry-Kilgow of New Zealand Extracts Ltd explained how SauvignonBlanc grapes grown in New Zealand has been discovered to have twice theantioxidant level when grown here due to plants evolving to grow indifficult conditions. The grape extract is freeze dried and somaintains its ORAC content for two years. It is 100% water extractedusing the Aqua Pure process, which means only water is involved, nosolvents.
The grape extract product is particularly suited tobeverages – teas, carbonates, fruit juices – “with completetraceability even down to the row of the vineyard on which the grapegrew,” he laughed. “It’s grown under New Zealand’s ‘SustainableViticulture’ Programme’ whereby waste, water and irrigation are allunder scrutiny. Campbell was also interested to hear more about ourBeverage Innovation awards and is already thinking of entering nextyear. The company is already looking good for the sustainability andingredient categories.
OmniActiveof India highlighted its new UltraSol Nutrient Systems, which is basedon the company’s patent-pending delivery technology said to enhance thebioavailability and/or aqueous solubility of nutrients, extracts andflavourings.
UltraSol Liquid Nutrient System is designed for usewith fruit and dairy beverages, nutritional drinks and near water typedrinks to deliver nutrients/extracts or flavourings. UltraSol DryNutrient Systems can be used for the effective blending of lipophilicnutrients and active nutraceutical ingredients in dry blends.
Anew concept for busy young women who are unable to eat ‘five a day’ offruit and vegetables was unveiled by Val de Vie on its stand. AppleActive Skin is a powder sachet that can contribute a person’s naturalskin beauty. Available in a Winter and a Summer version, it is designedto be dissolved in a glass of hot water or cold water respectively. Thepowder contains quercetin in addition to vitamin E and C for naturalskin protection.
Claire Rowan – Managing Editor, Food & Beverage International ***
Vitafoods in Geneva was once again the centre of activity for the functional foods, nutraceutical and food supplement industry this year. Collaboration was a noticeable theme punctuating conversations in the aisles, with companies discussing how to work together to foster innovation and bring solutions.
Although significant collaborative work with universities and academia has always been typical of the sector due to the wide-ranging clinical trials and specialist studies required to support claims and prove the efficacy and bioavailability of ingredients, combined activities have now gone one step further.
In order to ensure the best flavour and consistency in the end products, Lipid Nutrition worked with Tate & Lyle to perfect its tasty dip concept containing the slimming agent, Pinnothin, and with Doehler to perfect the fruitmix juice drinks that were available on the stand. The company is also adopting a supportive role in directly educating consumers and is readily collaborating with its customers to communicate the benefits of Pinnothin through dedicated articles in the consumer press, among other initiatives.
As consumers become more aware of their personal health requirements, and more interested in targeted products with specific health benefits, so the need for companies to join forces and communicate becomes greater.
Croda Health Care has linked up with Neptune Technologies & Bioresources for a strategic commercialisation alliance for the USA and Europe. Following the initial joint research and development phase, both companies are now launching the Essentially brand of clinically proven ingredients, which contain Croda Health Care’s omega-3 products and Neptune’s bioactive ingredients.
“We work closely with our partners through R&D to develop optimised products that are meeting our partners’ and Neptune’s rigorous quality standards,” said Dr Tina Sampalis, chief scientific officer of Neptune, which has also recently signed agreements with Nestlé and Yoplait to look at developments in functional foods.
Similarly, sustainability is noticeably driving the agenda for many ingredients suppliers and food & beverage manufacturers alike. To this end, companies are actively joining forces with experts to help them underpin their own ‘green’ credentials.
Aker BioMarine and Aker Seafoods have entered into a formal cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund in order to work together on the sustainable harvesting of fish and krill (which contains high levels of phospholipids), combating illegal fishing and the traceability of fishery products.
Collaboration on all fronts is sure to underpin developments over the next year and Vitafoods should once again be bubbling with the results of this joint activity in 2009. Keep clicking on FoodBev.com to keep abreast of news in the interim!
*Medina Bailey – Features Writer, Beverage Innovation*
The annual Vitafoods event provides the ideal platform for the functional ingredients and beverage industries, which thrive on innovation and forward thinking.
This year, visitors were greeted by a plethora of audience-specific, niche concepts, from teenagers looking to improve their concentration at exam time to young professionals wanting to pep up their diets, and women seeking a natural solution for symptoms of the menopause.
Anti-ageing seemed to be a major focus, with ingredients such as omega-3 offering benefits to brain, eye and heart health, and collagen drinks promising more youthful skin without the need for braving the needle. Other trends included solutions for appetite suppression and weight loss, lowering blood pressure, encouraging relaxation and well-being, and detoxing.
The Finished Products area highlighted the key advantage of great-tasting functional drinks, which enables them to be easily slotted into consumers’ daily diets with barely any effort on their part to alter their usual routine. Products that offer convenience, as well as perceived functional benefits, are proving to be an appealing prospect for busy, health-conscious consumers.
Exhibitors also showed off their green policies by emphasising the sustainability and environmental friendliness of their solutions, from the sourcing of raw materials to the production of the final products. Passing on these credentials to beverage manufacturers is enabling them to make ethical declarations about their products, in addition to health claims on-pack.
All in all, the products that really stood out recognised that, as consumers are increasingly addressing their health concerns and putting preventative measures in place, they’re also taking more care of what they’re putting into their bodies by assessing efficacy, safety and provenance before they buy. It’s the ingredients companies that bear these factors in mind as they develop their next novel concepts and new product lines that are most likely to shine again at the show in 2009.
*****Read more about this year’s Vitafoods event in the next issues of Beverage Innovation and Food & Beverage International (the June issue of Food & Beverage International will include a dedicated Sustainability Supplement, distributed with every copy). [Subscribe today!]
The next issue of Beverage Innovation (June) contains a Functional Ingredients mini magazine in which companies present at Vitafoods may wish to advertise. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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