Virtual victories: Lockdown no barrier as NutraIngredients Awards recognise excellence

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Lockdown no barrier as NI Awards recognise excellence

Related tags Awards Increnovo Aquilea Lacprodan Flowens

The NutraIngredients Awards Ceremony took on a virtual existence this year, with proceedings beamed to living rooms across the world on 13 May.

With the traditional gala dinner hosted in Geneva no longer an option, the Awards took inspiration from its own innovative spirit, moving to a live-stream video format and inviting those in lockdown to join NutraIngredients in recognising nutrition’s brightest stars.

But the new format didn’t appear to dampen the anticipation and enthusiasm of this year’s recipients. Increnovo spoke of the firm’s honour as winners of the award for best Nutrition Research Project for its work on plant proteins.

“We are accepting the award on behalf of our research partners on three continents: Europe, North and South America,”​ says Dr Ralf Jaeger, managing member of the Milwaukee-based global consulting company.

“It took 8 years, 5 different clinical studies, to reshape the largest segment in the sports nutrition and weight management market,”​ he adds.

Talking of facts and figures, this year over 270 industry leaders helped 34 finalists in 10 categories achieve the recognition in the fields of personalisation, sports nutrition and probiotics amongst others.

With over 200 applicants entering the awards, the judging process began with our panel of expert judges creating a shortlist of finalists for every category ending with video pitches to the judging panel in the days leading up to the Awards.

Judges this year included Steve Osborn, director and food technology scout at The Aurora Ceres Partnership, Astrid Stuckelberger, scientist, author and inspirational speaker based at the University of Geneva and Lausanne and Joerg Gruenwald, founder and chief scientific advisor at analyze & realize.

Botanical Product

Other winners this year were Uriach, makers of Aquilea Sueño Compact, a tablet containing melatonin and extracts of valerian, passionflower and California poppy, all released as needed thanks to its innovative bilayer design.

The product claimed the Award for Botanical Product of the Year with Anna Fortuny, responsible for portfolio coordination and new product development at the Uriach stating that winning the Nutraingredients Awards, the most important European event of innovation in healthy foods and supplements, is “recognition for our hard work.”

“These awards will create new exciting business opportunities for Uriach, all over the world,”​ she adds.

“For more than 180 years, Uriach has been committed to make the world healthier through innovative solutions, such as Aquilea Sueño Compact.”

Always a hotly contested category, the winner of Ingredient of the Year: Infant Nutrition this year was Lacprodan MFGM-10, who joins a list of previous winners that include CARE4U Human Milk Oligosaccharide 2’-FL by DuPont Nutrition & Health and INFAT OPO by Advanced Lipids.

Remarking on Arla Foods’ Lacprodan, the judges were impressed by the support of ‘truly high-quality scientific evidence,’ ​and the company’s efforts to ‘bring infant formulas ever closer to the gold standard of infant nutrition.’

“Lacprodan MFGM-10 stands out from other infant nutrition ingredients for many reasons,” ​says Arla Foods’ Lars Vesterlykkegaard.

“It was the first milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) ingredient on the market and is backed by a wealth of scientific evidence.

“Infant clinical studies have demonstrated its impact on cognitive development as well as providing benefits within areas of immune and gastrointestinal health. We’re delighted it has received this recognition!”

Healthy Ageing

Equally close were the entries for this year’s Ingredient of the Year: Healthy Ageing, eventually won by Naturex's Flowens, a full spectrum cranberry powder designed to provide relieve from lower urinary tract symptoms typically associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

The judges agreed that Naturex provided, ‘impressive scientific research to back this safe and natural alternative to pharmaceutical remedies which has the potential to help a huge number of consumers across Europe who suffer with bladder issues.’

“We’re delighted that the Nutraingredients Awards judges chose Flowens as Ingredient of Year – Healthy Ageing,”​ says Dan Souza, global product manager for Flowens.

“The likelihood of being affected by urinary symptoms greatly increases as we get older. In fact, for many, suffering from bladder symptoms is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’.

“Flowens is a natural, clean-label solution for urinary symptoms that could improve the quality of life for millions of people worldwide.” 

The recording of the live-stream online awards ceremony can be viewed here​along with the full list of shortlisted finalists and the winners of each award.

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