NutraIngredients Awards 2018: Highlights

MEET THE WINNERS: Ingredients of the Year

By Staff Writer

- Last updated on GMT

MEET THE WINNERS: Ingredients of the Year
With the NutraIngredients Awards over for another year, we take a deeper look at the winners of our Ingredient of the Year category.

The NutraIngredients Awards 2018, in association with Vitafoods Europe 2018, recognise and celebrate the industry’s biggest commercial successes, best product development, and brightest research.

A celebration of all that is great in the nutrition and wellness industry, the awards honoured 11 very deserving winners in key industry categories - from ingredients and finished product innovation in large and small firms, to start-ups, and awards for innovation and cutting edge research.

In this special focus we look at the winners of our Ingredient of the Year categories.

Ingredient of the Year: Infant Nutrition​ – INFAT® OPO by Advanced Lipids 


Advanced Lipids is a joint venture of Frutarom group, a leading biotech company specializing in lipid-based bio-functional ingredients; and AAK, a global provider of value-adding vegetable oil and fats to the infant formula industry and many other industries.

Combining Frutarom's clinical and chemical expertise in lipid technologies with AAK’s international strength in food safety, production and logistics, Advanced Lipids offers a unique package of clinical research, development, flexible blending, quality and logistics.

The company’s INFAT OPO product is a specially structured vegetable oil with high level of SN-2 palmitate, also known as OPO, it mimics the structure of human milk fat, and provides important benefits to the baby.

“It’s an honour to have received this prestigious award and we’re absolutely delighted,”​ commented Ronald van der Knaap, CEO of Advanced Lipids. “Mother’s milk will always be the gold standard of infant nutrition, but OPO ingredients like INFAT® ​help formula manufacturers come as close to mother's milk as possible.”


“Both Frutarom and AAK are extremely proud of the expert team at Advanced Lipids who have contributed so much to scientific and consumer awareness of the benefits of OPO for infants and their parents.”

Advanced Lipids added that its next goal is to increase market share and the ingredient to more infants around the world.

“We believe that the prize will help to increase awareness to INFAT and to sn-2 palmitate in general and have more consumers ask for this ingredient when they choose the best infant formula for their child,”​ said Advanced Lipids.

Ingredient of the Year: Healthy Ageing​ – FORTIBONE® by Gelita


Global collagen supplier took home the prize in the healthy ageing category for its FORTIBONE product. According to Gelita, the specific peptides of FORTIBONE stimulate bone cells to increase the synthesis of bone components such as collagen – which is also an important component of bone structure.

According to Gelita, the awards process was ‘very challenging’ – with very touch competition for the award.

Our judges said FORTIBONE stood out thanks to its sound science and long-term results which were ‘very convincing’.

“We are very proud to win this Award which will give the product a considerable kick,”​ commented Gelita. “This award will be a huge motivation push for the team to make FORTIBONE a great success.


Ingredient of the Year: Weight Management​ – SlimBiome® by OptiBiotix Health


OptiBiotix is a life sciences company which develops compounds to modify the human microbiome in a bid to prevent and manage human disease.

The company’s aim is to discover and develop microbial strains, compounds and formulations which can be used as food ingredients and supplements or active compounds for the prevention and management of human metabolic diseases, examples of which include obesity, cholesterol and lipid distribution and diabetes.

Its SlimBiome®​ ingredient is a healthy, hunger-free system formulated by world experts in satiation and the microbiome.

According to the company, unlike many existing weight management products which typically depend on calorie restriction and willpower alone, the product uses a patented combination of natural ingredients to harness the power of the microbiome and take the hassle out of slimming.

“The awards process was truly refreshing and really helped us to showcase what makes SlimBiome®​ so special,”​ commented OptiBiotix. “The finalists’ presentation stage enabled us to demonstrate its versatility and ease of application across a wide range of everyday foods, rather than the traditional regime of restriction and blandness, and the judges enjoyed our samples of consumer goods.”

The company added that it is ‘thrilled’ to receive the Ingredient of the Year: Weight Management award – adding that next for SlimBiome is its incorporation in the upcoming relaunch of OptiBiotix’s own brand of tasty functional food and beverage products called GoFigure.


“SlimBiome®​ is transforming the way weight management is traditionally approached, offering consumers a healthy, hunger-free system that can deliver real, measurable results,”​ said Christina Wood, Executive Sales & Marketing Director at OptiBiotix. “The potential health benefits of microbiome modulation are abundant and it is extremely rewarding to be recognised by NutraIngredients as forerunners in the field.”

OptiBiotix said it is also working with several global partners to incorporate SlimBiome®​ in an array of everyday foods with a functional benefit, from breads and muesli pots to soups and gummies.

Ingredient of the Year: Sports Nutrition​ – Zynamite® by Nektium Pharma 


Nektium Pharma has undergone some major changes over the past years, and now has a major focus on R&D. The recent launch of its Zynamite® ingredient at the Vitafoods Europe show, after a lengthy research and development phase, is ‘a major achievement for the company.’

The Nektium R&D team spent more than two years investigating caffeine alternatives before launching its clinically-studied ingredient Zynamite® ingredient. The mango leaf extract contains 60% mangiferin – a bioactive compound responsible for the caffeine-like effect, such as mental activation, focus and concentration.

The judges were particularly impressed by the evidence provided to demonstrate Zynamite’s ability to replace caffeine without any of the typical side-effects that caffeine has – such as jitters, high pulse rates and anxiety.

“We had so many ‘first time’ experiences this year and it was challenging and rewarding at the same time,” Deborah Thoma, marketing manager at Nektium told NutraIngredients. “Our booth at Vitafoods was crowded for the entire three days and the interest in Zynamite® was overwhelming, so we are very happy with the results so far.”


“Everybody at Nektium was excited about the Nutraingredients Awards participation since it was another ‘first time’ experience,”​ she added. “The cheering already started in the office when Zynamite® was shortlisted.”

Nektium says it plans to keep the spirit as an innovative ingredient supplier – adding that it has a very active R&D team that is continuously investigating new botanical ingredients backed by science.

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