1. Sports nutrition and…
The ongoing innovation in sports nutrition ascends to another level as HiE showcased the potential of insect protein as an exercise and sports nutrition supplement.
Initial reactions appeared promising with manufacturers considering this protein source as a viable ingredient in the future recognising its high protein, unsaturated fatty acid and micronutrient content.
As manufacturers look to approaches like insect powder to overcome consumer reservations, the next step now looks to its applications in food, especially important in athletes and other specialised audiences.
Probiotic use in sports nutrition also resonated well with attendees with gut health and sporting performance strongly linked.
The development of probiotics for sports is still developing but is increasingly gaining a band of supporters including Mark Gilbert, vice-chair for European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA),
His presentation at HiE, highlighted probiotic use in relation to enhancing sporting performance was in its 'early days,’ but growing interest meant its adoption was just a matter of time.
2. Regulation and innovation
The question of whether EU food legislation was hindering innovation was a subject of impact at HiE with questions raised as to its influence on future R&D spending.
As main speaker Claudia Mucciardi, Vice-Chair of European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA), pointed to new Novel Foods regulations, that could well benefit innovation, cutting down on red tape that stifles and losses that crucial momentum.
Regulatory harmonisation is also a particular hurdle, particularly between EU countries as a stumbling block to innovation.
Mucciardi pointed out that newer and innovative ingredients have different levels of acceptability across the EU so one ingredient considered acceptable in one country may have the opposite reaction in another.
3. Consumer emphasis on ethics
The Industry Insights Theatre at HiE was the main focus for NutraIngredients’ Innovations and Trends Editor Nikki Cutler.
Here, the subject was new consumer trends and how brands could get ahead with their packaging and marketing techniques over the next few years.
Presentations by Innova Market Insights and Informa Health and Nutrition added to notion that consumers were losing interest in big brands and favouring small companies with ethical background stories.
Research from both the companies concluded that brands should make it easy for their consumers to find out where all their ingredients have come from, how they’ve been sourced, where they’ve been processed and stored.