Home » Blog » Vitafoods Asia 2023: Functional Ingredients, Fortifying Fibers and Plant-powered Offerings Trend in APAC
Asia Featured Food & Drinks Global News News Technology

Vitafoods Asia 2023: Functional Ingredients, Fortifying Fibers and Plant-powered Offerings Trend in APAC

25 Sep 2023 — At Vitafoods Asia in Bangkok, Thailand, multifunctional ingredients with varied applications took center stage. Nutrition Insight speaks with representatives from NutriLeads, Prinova and Kemin about the companies’ latest offerings and the growing Asia-Pacific (APAC) markets and trends they cater to.

“Key trends include the growing demand for plant-based products in APAC, which is linked not just with concerns about health and sustainability, but also rising disposable income,” James Street, the marketing director for EMEA and APAC at Prinova, tells us. 

“Prinova is one of the world’s leading distributors of plant proteins, and with our vegan beverage concept, we’ll be demonstrating how we can help meet the growing demand for high-quality products that support healthy, active vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.”

Annie Binotto, the marketing manager at Kemin Industries, tells us that Kemin collaborates closely with manufacturers and brands in the APAC area to customize its ingredients for precise health and wellness objectives.

“Our team of experts collaborates with our customers to understand their unique needs and develop customized solutions that meet their requirements, offering formulation assistance, technical and regulatory support,” she explains.

Meanwhile, Robin Hesdahl, NutriLeads’ commercial director, reveals that the company has conducted research in the APAC region to determine which ingredients would perform best based on preferences for science-based and natural products.Kemin says its algae-based beta-glucan offering, BetaVia, can enhance immunity and gut health.

The research shows that the majority of APAC customers believe that the digestive system can directly impact immunity and that, following the COVID-19 pandemic, immunity health is now more than just a seasonal consideration.

Functional fibers
NutriLeads highlights that its BeniCaros prebiotic offering employs a two-pronged approach to boosting immunity. First, the company enhances innate immune responses – making them more efficient and resilient.

Second, it consistently and selectively adjusts the structure and operation of the gut microbiota to help foster a resilient gut environment and robust immune system.

“BeniCaros is a pectin-derived polysaccharide scientifically known as rhamnogalacturonan-I – or RG-I – that NutriLeads unlocks from carrot cell walls via a proprietary extraction method,” says Hesdahl. “As BeniCaros passes through the gut, it is fermented – not digested – and creates several beneficial effects.”

“BeniCaros is sensed by innate immune cells in the gut, training them to respond smarter, faster and stronger when challenged. In a randomized clinical study, subjects taking BeniCaros had significant reductions in symptom severity and duration following a controlled exposure to a rhinovirus.”

Furthermore, Hesdahl states that supplementation with the prebiotic has been shown to facilitate a notable rise in the production of short-chain fatty acids, such as acetate, propionate, and butyrate in the gut, while causing less gas production compared to conventional prebiotics.

Additionally, BeniCaros promotes the growth of advantageous gut microorganisms, including Bifidobacterium species like B. longum and B. adolescentis, regardless of the initial composition of the gut microbiota.

At the same time, Kemin spotlights the immunity-enhancing and microbiome-modulating benefits of its algae-derived postbiotic offering, BetaVia.

“BetaVia is a functional ingredient that helps maintain a healthy immune system and respiratory tract health supported by clinical study,” says Binotto. “The critical component, beta-glucan, works by priming key immune cells and protecting the intestinal barrier, which promotes gastrointestinal comfort as demonstrated by in vitro and pre-clinical trials.”

Powerful polyphenols
Kemin also featured the health-boosting effects of its plant polyphenol offerings DailyZz and Neumentix at this year’s trade show. DailyZz, a blend of polyphenol antioxidants, was recently tested in a 30-day trial with 100 healthy adults aged 22 to 50.Prinova says its plant-based, healthy-aging ingredients speak to the several aging populations in the APAC region.

The study, which used a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, involved participants taking DailyZz or a placebo before bedtime. They tracked their sleep habits, used a Fitbit, and completed a computerized daytime function test.

“What they found was that those who took DailyZz compared to the placebo had two times better sleep quality, five times improved concentration, a 20 millisecond faster reaction time in a concentration task, 2.5 times better judgment in risk-taking scenarios and 60% improved visual recall and processing,” explains Binotto.

Moreover, the company highlights that its cognition-enhancing, spearmint-based and high in rosmarinic acid polyphenol ingredient, Neumentix, has also been shown to boost cognition.

“The unique composition of polyphenols in Neumentix can increase certain neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine, essential for cognitive functions such as memory, attention and focus,” Binotto continues.

“Thus, the cognitive enhancements associated with Neumentix supplementation may be attributed to its ability to reduce oxidative stress in the brain and increase the levels of neurotransmitters that play a critical role in cognitive processing.”

Plant-powered benefits
Prinova highlights that its plant-based functional ingredients also speak to many trends in APAC. The company states that the vast potential in the region presents significant opportunities and adds that collaborating with a proficient premix partner is a strategic approach to access these opportunities. 

“A range of factors has combined to increase the focus on wellness through nutrition, and therefore the demand for functional ingredients,” says Street. “One is the pandemic, which has obviously raised awareness of the importance of immune health in particular, but there’s also the growth of a well-informed, health-focused middle class, which is particularly evident in China.”

“Another key trend is the growth of the senior demographic – some of the world’s most rapidly aging populations are in APAC. Our Ginger & Yuzu Healthy Aging beverage concept contains the scientifically researched ingredients Aquamin, Curcumin C3 Reduct and BioPerine, which target common age-related issues, such as loss of bone density.”

Source : Elea