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Collagen's Omnipresence in the Food Market Translates to Applications in Nutraceuticals

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Collagen sustains all connective tissues, including tendons, skin and cartilage, thereby supporting integrity, firmness and elasticity of the musculoskeletal system. Reflecting its central role in the body, it is the most abundant and ubiquitous protein in animals and has always been an integral part of our diet.

Food supplements for health and beauty

Until recently, collagen-rich meat preparations (black pudding, pig’s feet, etc.) were popular foods in western countries and appreciated as especially nutritious with descriptions of beneficial effects on health dating back to the 12th century. Nowadays, collagen peptides are commonly used as food supplements to support bone and joint health: in arthritic conditions or in the sports sector, for example. In cosmetics, collagen supplements are marketed to support tissue hydration and suppleness of the dermis, thereby counteracting the effects of ageing. Spiralling health care costs, ageing populations and a global healthy lifestyle trend boost the worldwide demand for collagen peptides. They are universal ingredients in shakes, cereal bars or desserts to promote nutritional value and convey health benefits.

 

In addition to being nutritious, the obvious reason for collagen’s universal use in the food industry is its excellent physico-chemical characteristics that increase product quality. Collagen’s water binding properties for example are used to improve texture and elasticity of meat preparations. As a clarifying, refining agent, collagen is a widely used additive in beverages. In other areas, collagen is used as emulsifying or stabilising agent. With the growing demand for meat-free products, the role of collagen as a possible substitute will increase.

 

Collagen and its breakdown product, gelatine, are not only universal ingredients of many food preparations but are also used in the preparation of pharmaceutical capsules and sausage casings. These organic materials exhibit excellent elasticity and tensile strength and act as a natural barrier that protects products from perishing, thereby prolonging their shelf life.

Type I collagen from bovine hide is prevalent in the food industry. Among the challenges that manufacturing of food grade collagen faces, are the distinctive undesired taste and negative processing properties such as poor solubility.

COLLinstant® is a novel collagen type I hydrolysate of exceptional quality that meets the demands of the health food market. Building on more than 80 years of experience in the production of collagenous sausage casings, Viscofan BioEngineering has developed an advanced collagen for nutraceutical applications: high quality bovine raw material and pure intermediate products are free from flavour-carrying fat, thus enabling a remarkably odour- and taste-free hydrolysate. Moreover, an advanced drying technology generates a dust-free hydrolysate powder that provides excellent free-flowing properties and is quickly soluble—even in cold water.

With its optimal digestibility and bioavailability profile as well as an inherent low allergy potential, COLLinstant is ideal for broad nutraceutical use. The GMO-free and Halal-certified collagen hydrolysate also fulfils regional market requirements.