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November Industry Highlights—podcast

Audio-November Industry Highlights—podcast

Insights from COP26 and sustainability goals, out to SupplySide West for a take on top trends, and into the merging of the pharma and nutra space.

Tune in to hear more about:

Feature voices:

  • Dr. Rupesh Kumar Pati, Professor from the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK)
  • Alex Smolokoff, Editorial Coordinator at Food & Beverage Insider
  • Michael Crabtree, Director of Scientific Affairs and Technology at Bioenergy Life Science, Inc
  • Steve Farrar, Chief Technical Officer and Renowned Mycologist at M2 Ingredients
  • Jackson Zapp, Vice President of Product Innovation at applied food sciences
  • Martin Oxley, the Managing Director for Buzzback

Vitafoods Insights Podcast

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Podcast transcript:

Vitafoods Insights 00:05
Welcome to the Vitafoods Insights Monthly Industry Highlights. Join us as we explore and showcase some of the key highlights across Vitafoods Insights and the nutraceutical industry, offering contexts on how it might accelerate your product ideation and go to market strategy. Today's host is Ajay Paul, graduate fellow.

Ajay 00:29
Today we'll be taking you through how the UN COP26 findings align with our industry sustainability goals, out to Supply Side West for take of top trends, and into the merging of the pharma and nutra space. First up, let's talk sustainability. Here in the UK, we hosted the 26 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Notably 45 governments pledged urgent action and investment to protect nature and transition to more sustainable farming methods. While 95 influential companies from a variety of industries pledged to be nature positive and do something to reverse the decline of nature by 2030. CG IAR, a leading global agricultural scientific and innovation organisation has received new UK funding of £38.5 million pounds to help with the development and implementation of things such as climate resilient crop varieties with increased micronutrient levels, more productive, sustainable and climate resistant agricultural practices, and foresight and tools for resilience to emerging threats, such as antimicrobial resistance, and zoonotic diseases. Additionally, the Gilbert initiative, a new UK scheme aims to coordinate investments in evidence generation, technology development, and delivery to support a food system that, by 2030, feeds 9 billion people with nutritious safe foods, uses environmental resources sustainably, enhances resilience and adaptation to climate change, and generates inclusive growth and jobs. The critical nature of this work was underscored in the vitafoods insights podcast by Dr.  Prof. Rupesh Kumar Pati, professor from the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK). He explores key lessons learned from reviewing a decade worth of information on a nutraceutical industry, specifically noting how economic, environmental and social change are important considerations for creating a sustainable business.

Rupesh 02:17
Many of these nutraceutical products to these developing and underdeveloped economies are being exported from outside. Now there is a huge cost incurred getting a raw material from some other part of the world, making it in developed countries and then sending it back to the developing and underdeveloped economy. And that increases the cost of doing the business very high. If I just move across the developed nations, it's not the issue of undernutrition, which they are facing. It's not the issue of I don't have food. It's an issue of poor dietary habits, where you can see many of the issues which are landing up consuming the nutraceuticals are more concerned about their obesity, heart diseases. Most of these things are nothing to do about lack of food or lack of nutrition. It's not proper balance between the nutritions. Even sometimes I might be over consuming than what my human body has a capacity and does. There is a lots of I'd say day to day day in and day out health issues which we face and that can be seen across the globe happening.

Ajay 03:25
Many underdeveloped and developing nations experience a lack of food and medicines. Most studies are concentrated on the over nutrition or nutrition imbalances, while there was a huge lack of focus on the undernutrition aspects. Next, let's head across the pond for some global nutraceutical insights. After two year pandemic hiatus, Supply Side West returned to Las Vegas in late October. Prime showcase for innovation across the broader healthy ingredients space, Vitafoods Insights Sister publications were on the ground and reporting from the scene. First up, we'll hear from Judie Bizzozero and Alex Smolokoff,  with  Food & Beverage Insider, on key trends impacting the food and beverage market. The first identified trend was for plant based ingredients. The second trend, sugar reduction. The final highlighted trend discussed was CBD due to the high volume of recent launches with this ingredient.

Alex 04:17
Plant based is just obviously huge. Ingredients are getting elevated by the role they can play in plant based formulation. Sugar kind of remains somewhat vilified at times, but not only are we, am I seeing a lot of the natural sweeteners that zero calorie sweeteners, but also some more I guess, quote unquote, natural ingredients that I think are getting like a new life. You know, agave, honey, things that are not artificial, different forms that people are a little bit more comfortable reading on a label. Obviously we see CBD products all over the place. People are already making them. And so, I think what will end up happening is, regulatorily speaking, it'll be easier for companies to start working in that space and we're seeing a lot of folks prepare for that so that when it is time to do so they can go and take off.

Ajay 05:05
Nutraceutical innovation also took centre stage at Supply Side West as Todd  Runestad  from Natural Products Insider hosted ‘Ingredient Idol'. Contestants from three leading ingredient suppliers battled it out to determine which ingredient was the best to enhance energy and performance formulations. Judges Mary Mulry, Kenn Israel, and Anthony Almada evaluated three ingredients. First up was Michael Crabtree from Bioenergy Life Science on D-ribose. 

Michael 05:31
What we know about this little sugar is that when you take it, when you ingest it, whether it be through IV intraperitoneal, or using it as an oral dietary supplement, it reconstitutes a very fundamental energy carrier in biology called ATP rapidly. It gives people advantages in recovery from surgery, gives people advantages in sports nutrition that improves performance, and it slows down features of ageing. So most recently, it would be interesting for us if you could have a shooter or you had a dietary supplement that demonstrate the benefits of exercise like the activation of AMK without the exercise involved at all.

Ajay 06:06
The next contestant, Steve Farrar from M2 Ingredients discussed Cordyceps. 

Steve 06:11
It's an excellent mushroom for bioavailable, and like I say, it's not just one a single compound but a multi faceted support of energy levels and recovery, and supportive immune function which can be, definitely interact with high intensity exercise and recovery parts of it.

Ajay 06:29
The final contestant, Jackson Zapp, won the competition with applied food sciences product:  AmaTea. 

Jackson 06:34
So, guayusa is a cousin plants to the Yerba Mati and it is only found in two places in the whole world, Ecuador and Peru. And it grows in the Amazon. And we've created a branded ingredient called AmaTea based on the Amazonian super leaf. So if you think about most coffee, tea, you know, the caffeine in the body will do things that are supposed to do like give you energy, right? But a lot of that is adrenal response to your epinephrine level. So the interesting thing about guayusa is it doesn't have that spike on your epinephrine. It still gives you the serotonin, the dopamine, the other things that caffeine delivers, but it doesn't give you that fight or flight response.

Ajay 07:24
This clear heading into 2022 product formulators have a lot of new options to consider to drive their go to market strategies. November commonly referred to as Men's Health Awareness Month, also includes International Men's Day on November 19. Looking beyond the normal men's health issues, a recent study in China focused on the influence of calcium, magnesium and soy isoflavones on osteoporotic fractures in men. Researchers discovered that dietary calcium consumption was inversely related to a lower risk of osteoporotic fracture, although participants were consuming well below the recommended dose to receive these preventative effects. In contrast, high magnesium consumption was related to an increased risk. The researchers also discovered a new association between soy isoflavone intake and incidences of osteoporotic fractures and men. This novel finding was independent of socio demographic and risk factors including calcium and magnesium intakes. The researchers concluded that all these findings, if confirmed, have a direct impact on development strategies to prevent against osteoporosis and osteoporotic fracture among Chinese men. They also provide novel information regarding the possible role of dietary intake on male bone health in general. Could this be a whitespace opportunity to develop bone health products for the men's market? Finally, let's talk new product positioning. Consumers seeking solutions to health challenges are increasingly willing to explore myriad solutions whatever the market positioning. A recent Vitafoods Insights webinar, exploring the Pharma/Nutra intersection had Martin Oxley, the managing director for Buzzback, Kenn Israel, the founder of Innovation Nutrition Consulting, and Russ Michelson, the global regulatory head, VMS, for Reckitt, discuss how the lines between Nutra, natural and pharma increasingly blur.

Martin 09:09
What really shouted out for me, it's less about what people were saying, but it's more that they're focusing really on fixing a problem typically, rather than maintenance of health. And I think this is intriguing because I think this is an area as this category clearly has some way to go to be 722 billion, but it's an opportunity to make this part of your healthy maintenance rather than fixing a problem. And that's, I think, why people are so open to the ideas, but actually yet, I think really to get the solutions that they're looking for.

Ajay 09:46
As you can see, there's so much happening across the nutraceutical industry. You'll find your stories and much more at

Vitafoods Insights 09:53
Thank you for tuning in and don't forget to check the show notes that will allow you to link to the information discussed in today's podcast, as well as any sponsorship opportunities. The Vitafoods Insights Industry Highlights podcast happens monthly, so be sure to stay tuned, subscribe and even suggest to a friend.


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