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Not all collagens are alike—podcast

Audio-Not all collagens are alike—podcast

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Consumers are seeking efficacious nutritional products with collagen for skin and joint health.

The collagen ingredient market is growing rapidly, with Grand View Research expecting to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9% through 2028, hitting US$16.7 billion. Growth is driven by increasingly savvy consumers who are attracted to research around collagen’s benefits to joint health and skin health. However, not all collagen ingredients are alike, which can prove challenging to formulators and brand marketers looking to deliver efficacious products to market. In this podcast, sponsored by BioCell Technology, you’ll hear more about:

  • Clinical research studies substantiating the health benefits of collagen for joint and skin health
  • Differences in ingredients comparing individual molecules to the unique BioCell Collagen matrix
  • Developing new formulations with appropriate consumer messaging and claims
  • Whitespace market opportunities around collagen products


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Suhail Ishaq
President of BioCell Technology


Vitafoods Insights Podcast

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Podcast transcript:

Vitafoods Insights 00:02
Hello and welcome. You've tuned into Vitafoods Stories Podcast series, the podcast that explores the latest insights and innovations, helping the global health and nutrition industry connect, develop and progress.

Heather 00:18
Well, hello, I'm Heather Granato and for this Vitafoods Insights Podcast, sponsored by Biocell Technology, I spoke with Suhail Ishaq, the company's president. He has more than 25 years experience in the nutraceutical industry, with in depth knowledge of food, drug and cosmetic research and development, manufacturing, quality assurance and regulatory compliance. Suhail is an anti-ageing pioneer and leading innovator with several patents surrounding hydrolyzed collagen type II, chondroitin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid compositions for health and beauty. Suhail, thank you for joining me today.

Suhail 00:54
Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate you taking the time to interview me.

Heather 00:57
It's a pleasure. So let's start with the topic at hand. Not all collagens are alike. Can you give us your perspective on the collagen ingredient market, and why it's important to understand the differences in what's available?

Suhail 01:10
You know, collagen is a very hot topic right now. So it's really easy to overgeneralize things. But, you know, it's important to recognise that collagen is more of a category. And many different ingredients that range across different applications, even beyond nutrition are manufactured from collagen, being a biological class of proteins, and animals. So many factors can contribute to the efficacy, including collagen type, source, molecular size, composition, and even manufacturing process and the dosage and the final product. BioCell collagen is a branded ingredient that's much more than just isolated or purified collagen protein. BioCell collagen is a clinically proven ingredient that's composed of naturally occurring hydrolyzed collagen type II peptides, and glycosaminoglycans, including chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid. And these are molecules that are components of the extracellular matrix.

Heather 02:05
So what are some of the top line health effects then of BioCell collagen? And how does that unique matrix contribute to its ability to deliver the benefits?

Suhail 02:14
You know, with BioCell collagen, and being the unique matrix, we have clinical studies that substantiate the efficacy of the ingredient. And we have studies that support not only the efficacy, but also the bioavailability and also the safety. And at 1 g per day, the ingredient has been shown to improve skin elasticity and also soften the appearance of wrinkles. And also at 2 g per day, the ingredient is excellent for supporting joint health.

Heather 02:46
Well, it sounds like it has these effects that you've really been able to study in trials. Could you talk a little bit further about the trials, and especially the fact that you've got this combination matrix bringing all of these important compounds together rather than in separate ingredients?

Suhail 03:03
That's correct. These are naturally occurring molecules that are found in our source material. And the studies have been conducted and published in peer reviewed scientific journals over the last almost 15, 20 years or so. And the initial studies were on joint health. And we have two studies on joint health and also regarding skin beauty from within, there was a study that was published leafers in 2012. And then another study that was published, which was basically a confirmatory clinical study that proved the earlier studies results, and that was published in 2019. And then, there was also a lab study that was published in the Journal of Functional Foods in 2020. So it's great to be able to substantiate the effects. And effects that we've really have seen in the market, as you know, BioCell collagen is a branded ingredient that's found in leading consumer products from leading CPG companies, including Solgar, Nature's Way, Vitamin Shoppe, Doctor's Best, some of the leading brands in the industry, used by also collagen and, and they have been for a long time. And the reorder rate, and the success in the market really, is something that, you know, we always knew consumers had a high level of confidence and, and appreciation. This product and the studies are able to demonstrate that as well. So it's just super exciting to see the success in the market.

Heather 04:38
I think that's fantastic. And one of the things I really appreciate is the number of studies, the clinical research that's gone into this as well as, you know, having a branded ingredient. So when you're talking to brand marketers, you know, how important is it that they understand that research behind the ingredients when they're developing messaging for consumers, especially around the types of claims that they're able to make?

Suhail 05:02
Absolutely, I think that's extremely important regulatory compliance. And, you know, being able to substantiate the claims, right? Because especially in a category like collagen when there's so much diversity, but I think it's important for brands not to like borrow research by overgeneralizing, and then, that's not right. I mean, we know for example, a lot of collagen one ingredients are in the market. And most of the studies show those ingredients are effective, depending on the specific ingredient at doses between 2.5 g all the way up to 15 g. So I really give credit to a lot of the companies that are doing the right thing, that are producing quality ingredients, also investing in the research. So I'm excited to see the innovation around this space. And, but I do recognise that more stewardship needs to be done in this category. And when it comes to developing products and the consumer messaging, I know, the responsible players are doing it the right way. And they're also looking at it from the lens of regulatory compliance within jurisdiction, because as we know, different countries have different regulations. So it's important to look at it from that lens. And with BioCell collagen, because we are heavily invested in research and development activities. We've done an excellent job working in different jurisdictions, for example, Health Canada has approved claims, as I described earlier, for products that contain BioCell collagen, and  we have successfully submitted a master file that Health Canada has, and then companies that produce products at Health Canada, and bring them to market through a product licence application, can basically substantiate their claims by accessing our master file under our permission. And we also have regulatory approvals in Australia as well, that we just got recently. And, you know, every jurisdiction is different, and the responsible CPG brands know how to navigate the regulatory environment. And they really value our ingredient because of the data that we have.

Heather 07:05
You've done a lot of work, obviously, around this joint health category. And that's been on the radar for a long while. But this additional issue, you brought up the idea of skin health and beauty from within, that really seems to be trending. I'd love your thoughts on how the pandemic has really accelerated business opportunities in that space.

Suhail 07:24
Sure, of course, everybody wants to, you know, look their best and be their best, and, and we all know, nutrition and beauty are converging is something that was really well known and established in the far East, is becoming more mainstream in the US now. And, and I think that trend is gonna continue. And the pandemic, of course, is massive shifts in consumer behaviour. I mean, we're all in front of the screen a lot more on Zoom calls and whatnot. So, you know, we're looking at our faces zoomed in. And this is just another beauty from within products are also another way of approaching skincare as becoming more popular these days.

Heather 08:08
We're all trying to look great and feel great. So you have an ingredient that can support that. So for our formulators in the listening audience, what are some of their considerations when they're looking at unique applications, perhaps with BioCell collagen?

Suhail 08:22
Definitely, I think for formulators, it's really, you know, I think they have a lot to work with because the dosage are quite low. You know, 1 g for beauty from within, ingestible beauty is another way of calling it, or nutra cosmetic, and 2 g for joint health. So it makes it easier to use in different finished product applications. And you know, we have different grades of the BioCell collagen ingredient that can lend itself for different applications. For example, we produce a FG grade, which has better sensory characteristics, so it could be incorporated into gummies, for example, or chewable type products. And we also have a HD grade, which is has a higher density, which lends itself into tablet applications quite well. But I would say most often, you find products in the market meant to fit hard gel capsules.

Heather 09:19
Well, summing up, then what do you see is the biggest opportunity for brand marketers looking to deliver efficacious collagen products to consumers, as well as the unique value of BioCell collagen as a partner?

Suhail 09:32
Absolutely. You know, I think it's important to mention that since BioCell collagen is a branded ingredient, and the company that I'm the president of, is the exclusive supplier of the ingredient and we have a licencing and distribution model and network that we partner with CPG brands and manufacturers to be able to bring efficacious products to market. That model is not new in the indusustry. It's really good, because allows us to ensure that the products in the market have integrity. And so, you know, as I look at the opportunity for brand marketers, I see that, there's so much more opportunity for companies to bring products to consumers, you know, through different formulations. You know, really unique thing about BioCell collagen,  it can be positioned in many different ways. It doesn't have to be necessarily the featured ingredient on the front of the label, but it could be one of the ingredients in a multi ingredient formulation combined with other ingredients such as vitamin C and antioxidants, whatnot, to create a formulation, or it could be a standalone. So you know, formulators have a lot of options to be innovative and bring unique products to the consumer, I would say particularly in personalised nutrition, because that is an area with advancements in nutrigenomics, where companies, I see there's a lot of innovation being done. And I think BioCell collagen and is an excellent option for formulators.

Heather 11:06
Excellent. Certainly sounds like companies that you work with are really getting a very strong partnership experience, not just, please send me X amount of ingredients, but you really do look to have a relationship and a partnership with those companies.

Suhail 11:20
Absolutely. Relationships are so important. And that's what we tried to deliver as value because consumers are very intelligent, and they know how to find information in the modern internet era. And so, you know, we really work with our, not only our customers, but also our supply chain, to really bring a lot of value ultimately, to make a consumer happy, you know, which is the most important goal.

Heather 11:47
It certainly is. Anything else you'd like to share with our listeners today Suhail?

Suhail 11:52
Well, I just like to invite everybody that's listening if they'd like to learn more about BioCell Technology to visit our website, Feel free to even send us an email if you have any inquiry through our website. You can easily get in touch with us, and our team will be very happy to support you.

Heather 12:13
Wonderful. Well, it's been an absolute pleasure having you here today. Thank you for taking the time out and to our listeners at home. Again. That's Thanks for joining us for this vitafoods insights podcast sponsored by BioCell Technology.

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