In spite of the fact that some industry experts criticize the lack of innovation in nutritional supplements, there’s much to look forward to, as innovation is virtually everywhere. Technology empowers innovation and disruption, providing new and better experiences for people. To put it simply, the future looks better than we think. New ingredients, new products, new formats are emerging; it’s all for the better. High-conscious consumers are demanding more from their nutrition products, so manufacturers have no choice but to experiment and innovate. What they want is tastier, more convenient, and more interesting dietary supplements, which fit into their lifestyles.
Trends that are currently shaping product development
Transparency & clean labels
These days, consumers want to know where their products come from. In other words, people are interested in ingredient transparency. At times, manufacturers are tempted to conceal information regarding the identity of their ingredients, although consumers are actively looking for signals of transparency. It’s important to understand that individuals live in a time when they make purchases based on dietary restrictions, ingredient considerations, and health concerns. It’s, therefore, essential that manufacturers and brand owners alike come clean about the ingredients they use. People should get access to information that goes beyond regulatory requirements.
Clean labels are more important than ever to ingredient-savvy shoppers. The focus has shifted from what has to be removed to what should be included on the label. People want to recognize the ingredients used in the nutritional supplements they take. Businesses should create brands based on truth and transparency. They need to be more open about what they do and make changes to the ingredient list. As far as nutritional supplements are concerned, the return to authenticity means using natural, familiar, simple ingredients that are easy to understand and pronounce.
Plant-based vitamins and minerals have witnessed dramatic growth in the past couple of years. People have understood that these supplements help them stay active and healthy, work, play, think, learn, and so on. Fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, seeds, leaves, and other botanical ingredients contain active compounds that undergo extraction because our bodies aren’t always able to break them down. Speaking of which, red pine needle oil enjoys great success. The concentrate has been proved for its safety and functionality. Red Pine Needle Oil health benefits include but aren’t limited to declining blood sugar levels, supporting anti-aging, promoting optimal weight, and helping the body ward off foreign invaders.
Supplement manufacturers use various techniques to extract the desired nutrient and create a supplement that can provide the average daily intake. Since they’re minimally processed, plant-based supplements offer several advantages. The nutrients are more easily absorbed by the body because they come from our ancestors in nature. What is more, they carry a lower risk of mineral toxicity. Plant-based supplements don’t have an adverse effect on health. Last but certainly not least, plants contain plenty of nutrients that work together. When specific compounds are isolated, important nutrients are left behind. Companies are adjusting their formulations to keep up with rising customer demands.
Some dietary supplements do their bit for the environment. More precisely, they’re clean, sustainable, and green. At present, individuals think that it’s essential for companies to implement a program to protect the environment. The burden of environmental damage is obvious and people aren’t willing to settle for half measures. Young consumers, in particular are curious to know how brands represent their level of commitment to social and environmental causes. It’s a huge mistake to think that sustainability isn’t an important consideration for supplement consumers. The production chain must rise to the challenge and take care of the environment, not just the health of consumers.
An ingredient with an organic and sustainable story behind it will undoubtedly add value to a product’s label. The point is that manufacturers should leverage local ingredients to limit their carbon footprint, promote the importance of channels, and set up organic certifications. Equally important is to pay attention to the issue of packaging. It’s necessary to reduce the prevalence of single-use plastic. Tubs, jars, and bottles contribute to the plastic problem. Selecting ethical and sustainable ingredients can go a long way in terms of sustainability. It’s necessary to take into consideration just the environmental aspects, but also the humanitarian ones.
New encapsulation technologies protect key ingredients
Vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients aren’t renowned for their pleasant taste. They have a rather unpleasant taste. The good news is that we can say goodbye to ill-tasting pills. New encapsulation technologies make it possible to mask the flavor of nutrients, mitigate nutrient loss during processing, and helps create supplements with better value. Dietary supplements are being included in gels, ready-to-drink powders, and even liquid shots. There’s demand for new formats in the nutrition space, so new technologies have been developed to add convenience to the consumer. Brands can gain a competitive edge and stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Active compounds can be encapsulated by various chemical and physical techniques, of which mention can be made of spray drying/cooling, extrusion coating, inclusion complexation, and lipid entrapment. No matter how pure or good the ingredients are, they’re effective only if they’re released when the body needs them. A great deal of thought and expertise goes into decisions such as how to formulate a product, how to optimize its absorption, and how to protect it until it gets into the consumer’s hand. Committed companies make great efforts to match the delivery system to consumer preferences.
The bottom line is that encapsulation is an important technology for nutritional applications. Manufacturers are able to control time releases, temperature releases, not to mention the reaction of active ingredients. It’s not just about what’s inside, but about how it’s delivered. With the help of emerging technologies, it’s possible to preserve nutrients over time, besides enhancing their stability, bioavailability, and release of active compounds. Research is necessary to improve microcapsule preparation methods or identify new ones. The goal is to maximize the potential value of ongoing efforts.