Consumer concerns about drug resistance, promising market data and interest from the industry in established, ‘safe’ ingredients with EFSA-approved claims are behind Frutarom’s decision to roll out a range of ingredients addressing immune health.
Zinc, copper, echinacea, pelargonium and sage extract are among the ingredients in the Swiss company’s new immune health portfolio, which officially launches at Vitafoods next week.
The company said it was encouraged by Innova Market Insights data which found immune health to be the second most popular positioning for global supplement launches during 2011.
Adeline Prévost, product manager for Frutarom Health, told Nutraingredients.com: “We have experienced increased interest from our customers which supports the market information.”
Frutarom’s new line is designed to address three areas of immune health: Prevention against infection and re-infection; fighting infection, and recovery and relief of common symptoms of colds and flu.
“We are addressing mostly the prevention and support of winter ailments, in other words daily immunity against colds and flu,” saidPrévost.
“The epidemics of recent years as well as concerns about resistance to costly manmade drugs make natural alternatives and prevention an attractive choice.”
Frutarom’s immune health portfolio includes minerals such as copper and zinc that have already gained European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) claim approval for immune health support, in forms that Frutarom says are ‘highly bioavailable’.
“We perceive that the ingredients that have readily accepted claims will get more interest as they are ‘safe’ choices to design new formulations,” says Prévost.
“We do, however, believe that they will most likely be paired with ‘claim-less’ ingredients that have either a stronger or a complimentary activity in the same field.”
Examples of ‘claim-less’ ingredients in the company’s portfolio include echinacea and pelargonium-based herbal extracts. Echinacea EFLA 894 is a dry-pressed herb juice traditionally used as an immune tonic to treat cough and cold symptoms.
Pelargonium EFLA 956, a root extract from Pelargonium sidoides DC, is believed to help speed recovery from cold and flu while reducing the severity and duration of the associated symptoms.
“Echinacea and pelargonium are much better suited for formulations to be sold as OTC rather than foods in the majority of countries,” says Prévost. “As well as their status being defined differently in various countries, we also find that their efficacy is trusted more by the consumer through an OTC or registered product.”
On the other hand, Frutarom says it expects zinc and copper biglycinates to find their way into many food-based applications, thanks to their low dosage and high solubility.
Frutarom has ten further health and lifestyle platforms in the pipeline, as part of a strategy to offer specific solutions for key health indications, rather than simply selling a catalogue of miscellaneous ingredients.