From researchers to start-ups to nutrition heavy weights, our awards sought to reward the companies and organisations shaking up food choices and promoting healthy living.
After receiving 125 qualified entries, the rigorous judging process began with our panel of experts at Food Vision in Cannes back in March and ended yesterday with presentations from the finalists.
The winners were finally announced last night at the Starling Hotel on the evening of the second day of the industry event Vitafoods Europe in Geneva.
And the winners were…
This year the Readers’ Ingredient of the Year Award, in association with Vitafoods Europe 2016, went to Sideral r.m. for its side-effect free iron Sucrosomial Iron, which rivals IV administration.
The company pipped finalists Lesaffre Human Care to the post for its probiotic yeast alternative to IBS drugs ibSium and Phynova for its glucose- and insulin-controlling mulberry extract Reducose.
Rewarding the most innovative firms under four years old, our Start-up Ingredient of the Year this year was Amazing Grains' sustainable, organic ‘super seed’ fruit powder blend.
The company just beat Florida Food Products for its juice waste-stream FiberGel LC and Naturally Splended Enterprises’ Canadian HempOmega powder.
The Healthy Ageing Ingredient of the Year Award went to Marigot’s Aquamin, a seaweed-derived, multi-mineral complex targeting bone, joint and digestive health.
Competition was tough, with the other finalists including Naturex’s COCOActiv for Heart Health and Kyowa Hakko Bio Italia’s brain health Cognizin Citicoline, which recently received EU novel food approval.
In a bloated sector, efficacy and longevity was key for the Ingredient of the Year – Weight Management category.
And the winner was… Hofseth BioCare ASA for its ProGo nutraceutical powder sourced from salmon offcuts.
Also weighing in were finalists Compagnie des Pêches Saint-Malo Santé for its Slimpro fish-sourced amino acid and Symrise’s Symslim flavour compound for energy management.
- Viable Product – Can / does the product stand up to a competitive market and will the user find a value in the concept?
- Emerging Category – How well does this product fit a specific consumer need and is this a unique niche or has it already been done?
- Validated Research – How thoroughly has the product been vetted against market research to validate consumer need?
- True Innovation – What are the product’s attributes that make this product truly unique including ingredients, delivery system, and specialised science?
- Distinct Health / Lifestyle Application – Does this product fill a gap in the healthy product sector and is the science compelling and valid?
- Unique Packaging – How well does the packaging convey the product’s attributes and speak to the consumer?
- Creative Marketing – Has the product been supported by a vibrant and original marketing / promotional strategy with canny product positioning?
- The product must have been commercially introduced after the 1st January, 2014.
The Sport and Energy Ingredient of the Year category proved sprightly this year, with the award going to Roquette’s sport drink pea protein S85PLUS.
Close behind were Arla Foods Ingredients’ for its Lacprodan HYDRO.365 recovery whey protein hydrolysate, Indena for its muscle soreness tackling curcumin Meriva and PINOX for its pine needle, propolis and sage blend for muscle soreness and arthritis pain relief.
About 1,000 NutraIngredient readers voted on the three finalists for the Readers’ Food Supplement of the Year Award, but it was Protein Pow’s all-purpose pea and whey protein cooking mixes that bagged the most votes.
Close behind were Activ’Inside for its Skin Radiance grape extract and Bio-Synergy’s coconut whey protein drink.
Next up was medical foods – so many definitions, so many baffling regulations. But only one winner of our Finished Medical Food Product of the Year Award.
And this year Xymogen’s XaQuil XR -((6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid, glucosamine salt) won out.
Sick bay companion was Chemical Resources for its fenugreek seed extract FUROCYST, which targets Polycystic Ovary Syndrome via insulin sensitisation.
Our Immunity Finished Product of the Year category wasn’t immune to strong competition this year, but it was DuPont-Danisco that took home the award for its HOWARU Protect EarlyLife maternal and infant probiotic product.
Other finalists included Comvita UK for its olive leaf extract capsules and FlapJacked’s high protein probiotic muffins.
The Finished Heart Health Product of the Year category was tomato dominated this year, with Lycored on pulse with its Cardi-O-Mato phytosterol complex.
Also showing heart were fellow finalists Healthy Directions for its Dr Sinatra's MK-7 Artery Circulation and UAS Labs’ cholesterol-managing probiotic blend UP4 Heart Health.
Women ruled our category for Gender-Targeted Health Finished Product of the Year this year and it was Sigma-Tau HealthScience International that proved the fairest for its fertility-boosting supplement ProXeed.
Strong contenders were IOI Maris Omega-3’s Maris Mummy’s Superfruit DHA for expecting and breastfeeding mothers and UAS Labs’ UP4 women's probiotic and cranberry-based supplement for urinary tract issues and vaginal flora imbalance.
All this NPD couldn’t be possible however without the research behind the scenes.
That’s why we chose to reward research that takes the nutrition sector to a new level of understanding – with clear potential for the development of market-changing new products - with the University Research of the Year Award.
This year our winner was the Iranian Mashhad University of Medical Sciences for its study of Sabinsa’s Curcumin C3 Complex and metabolic syndrome.
Equally as bookish were fellow nominees University of California for its POMx pomegranate polyphenols study on the microbiome and the Texas Christian University for its Increnovo research on probiotics and inflammation and performance decrements following strenuous exercise.