As with any major trade fair, new ingredient trends were presented at SSW. These were the highlights and major takeaways:
Ayurveda ingredients are moving mainstream. An Ashwagandha extract by Ixoreal Biomed, incidentally one of the fair’s sponsors, was prominently featured. The Ayurvedic plant is currently the focus of scientific interest. For example, in a recent pilot study, Ashwagandha was found to improve female sexual dysfunction (FSD) in premenopausal women.
Several chocolate formulations were presented in a great number of booths. Cocoa flavanols are increasingly examined for heart health benefits, and that trend was adequately represented at the fair.
Astaxanthin (from Haematococcus pluvialis, an algae) was one the hottest ingredients featured in the trade show, offering a wide range of supplement applications. BGG, one extract manufacturer, emphasized its ingredient’s natural provenance as opposed to the many synthetic variants on the market.
Not so new, but with a strong presence at SSW, were curcumin branded ingredients, with several companies presenting their products.
Glutathione was represented by several companies offering different glutathione-based ingredients. Liposomal gluthatione by Empirical Labs boasted a superior delivery system, while other companies focused on the ingredient’s health benefits such as antioxidant, anti-aging, and liver health through detoxification.
Omega 3, also a familiar ingredient, was represented by a truly massive booth, the Omerga-3 Resource Center sponsored by Catalent. The novelty here seems to be the formulation rather than any new health benefits, with emphasis this year on stability of the delicate fatty acids during their shelf life.
Cannabis products are having a comeback now that studies are increasingly supporting its medical benefits. Among the compounds being studied is Cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis can even be incorporated in food products such as chocolates. Other possibilities are oil concentrates, or tinctures of CBD Hemp oil. The market size for therapeutic cannabis is increasing, having reached a worth of $7.1B (estimated size of the legal U.S. marijuana industry [both medical and recreational]). However, the regulatory situation for this type of product is far from clear at this point, with federal and state laws and policies at odds.
Superfruit products also had a strong presence. One of them is monk fruit, which is set to become the next big natural sugar alternative. Another example is sacha inchi, also called Inca Peanut, whose oil is rich in a variety of nutrients, e.g. unsaturated fatty acids and several vitamins. It can be used in food products such as chocolate, nut bars, or bakery.
Coffeeberry, an ingredient making use of the whole coffee plant fruit rather than just the roasted kernel, claims more health benefits because the nutrients contained in the berry are not discarded. The ingredient has a broad range of applications such as foods, snacks, chews, gummies, energy beverages, and, of course, coffee.
Probiotics are still very prominent, as the SSW demonstrated. Probiotics exhibitors were so numerous that they even had their own exhibitor directory. This year, bacillus subtilis was one of the strains manufacturers focused on, providing clinical trials with health benefit substantiation. Oral and dental health, as well as, ear and throat health were the focus of probiotics this year.
Natural extracts continue to move into the forefront of new product development.