LISTEN NOW: AI for nutrition, GSK consumer health sale, Swedish supplement ruling ... and targeting holistic health - The Nutra News Review

By Nathan Gray contact

- Last updated on GMT

It's not easy to keep up with the fast pace of the news, but the weekly Nutra News Review is your best shot. Our editors run down their weekly news highlights - giving you the inside track on the top news and analysis from the last seven days.

Listen to Will Chu, Nikki Cutler and Nathan Gray rundown their highlights of the week's news...

On our agenda this week is

1. Supplement ban ‘constitutionally unsupported’

The Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden has reversed the decision made by the National Food Agency that banned the selling of vitamin D supplements at doses deemed a health risk to consumers.

The Supreme Courts declared the ban to be ‘without constitutional support’ as their judgment set a precedent.

However, the decision has another unexpected consequence with municipalities continuing to impose sales bans and submitting reports to the EU’s safety-alert system for hazardous substances in foodstuffs.

The system is normally used to flag up food supplement products, which are suspected of exceeding these so-called upper limit values.

Rolf Forslund of Kenkou Selfcare, one of the companies impacted by the National Food Agency’s instructions said that Swedish municipalities were being encouraged to act arbitrarily, without any legal basis and that the system was being abused, undermining the system’s vital functions. Read more here

2. The intersection between food and health

The launch of PeptAIde, the world's first bioactive ingredient discovered and delivered through artificial intelligence (AI) hints at the impact of AI technology and machine learning, not only on the sports nutrition industry but for medicine, food and health.

Around a week ago, Nuritas struck a deal with the European Investment Bank (EIB) injecting €30m to aid in the use of AI and DNA analysis in the healthcare sector.

Future investment by the bank hopes to scale up development of new therapeutics in anti-aging and anti-inflammatory approaches.

Nuritas’ PeptAIde, created alongside BASF, is intended to regulate sports-related inflammation. However, inflammation is so often a trigger to other conditions that could well benefit from PeptAIde.

For example, the onset of diabetes has been linked to inflammation and vascular complications. Inflammation is also implicated in the progression of various cancers as well as Alzheimer’s disease.

Nutraingredients highlighted a similar deal a few weeks ago between nutrition data firm Medtronic, who bought Nutrino Health combining nutritional intervention knowhow to address the threat of metabolic conditions such as diabetes. Read more here.

3. Inflammation: The next big concern for ageing populations?

This week we published a video of a Dr Sara de Pelsmaeker, products and business development manager for Rousselot, which produces collagen peptides under the Peptan brand. We spoke to her at Health Ingredients Europe (HiE) in Frankfurt last week and asked her what she thinks will be the next big trend in the health industry.

She said she believes that inflammation will be the next big concern for the ageing demographic as senior consumers as they are becoming much more aware of the wide range of impacts of inflammation, particularly how it can lead to isolation and depression. Watch the video here. 

4. Mindful consumers look to boost holistic health

Another story that came from HiE, is a Mintel report revealing that people want food and drink which can improve their holistic health. Emma Schofield, Mintel’s global food science analyst, said people now believe that what they eat has a direct impact on their emotional wellbeing, from helping them to relax and sleep, to boosting their brain health and energy levels. This interest in holistic health has been boosted by the fashion for activities that promote mindfulness, such as yoga and meditation classes. Read more here.

5. Unilever seal €3.3bn deal for GSK consumer health unit

Global FMCG giant Unilever completed the €3.3 billion acquisition GlaxoSmithKline’s Health Food Drinks portfolio in Asia in a move that will boost its presence in the Indian market.

The story started in March when GSK announced a strategic review of its consumer health portfolio as part of a way to fund a €13 billion euro deal for Novartis’ stake in its consumer-healthcare joint-venture (see here​). Since then there have been a huge number of multinational FMCG companies in the food and beverage space linked with the business unit, including Coca-Cola, Kellogg, Nestlé, Unilever and Reckit Benckiser (see here​).

Things started to get more serious in late September, when news emerged suggesting that Coke, Unilever and Nestlé had all submitted bids for the unit, and that a sale should be completed before the end of the year (see here​).

This week, it was announced that Unilever would acquire the consumer health unit as part of a deal that the Anglo-Dutch giant said will help it with two key strategic outcomes; firstly an increase of presence in the healthy food and drinks category, and secondly a firm position in high-growth emerging markets. Read more here.

6. Probiota 2019 - First wave of speakers​, plus Pioneer session announced.

Finally, this week saw the first wave of speakers for the upcoming Probiota event, to be held in Copenhagen this coming February, announced.

The event looks to bridge those gaps between science, regulation, and business strategy. Read more on our first wave of speakers here.

NutraIngredients is also on the hunt for entrepreneurial start-ups to join our Probiota Pioneers session and pitch their company and ideas to a room full of experts and a panel of investment specialists.

You and your company will take centre-stage as part of the Probiota conference programme to share your business with industry leaders.

It’s a great opportunity for start-ups in the probiotic, prebiotic and microbiome spaces to connect with some of the top global experts in science and business, to network with major companies, and most importantly, to pitch and get feedback from a panel of investment and business specialists.

Find out more about the Probiota Pioneers session - and how to apply - here.

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