Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, April 2018

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■ NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK 10 APRIL 2018 Sports Nutrition What Clean Means While such certif cations go far in guiding consumers to supplements that are safe and "dope"-free, a signif cant share of the supplement-using population is less inter- ested in knowing whether or not a protein shake will land them on WADA's blacklist than in how "green" its ingredients are. For while 53% of those consumers partici- pating in the Natural Marketing Institute's SORD survey registered concern over illegal or tainted supplement ingredients, fully 58% look specif cally for non-GMO certif cation. Further, the share of consumers preferring supplements from "natural" and organic sources has grown 39% and 27%, respective- ly, since 2009. "It used to be that 'clean' sports nutrition supplements were those that were unadul- terated or not cut with synthetic ingredi- ents such as steroids," says Annie Eng, CEO, HP Ingredients (Bradenton, FL). "Now, as sports supplements such as proteins and botanicals that allow for extended work- outs are more mainstream for sports en- thusiasts, clean means fewer additives, non- GMO, organic"—the same thing it means everywhere else. And we can credit "mainstream" users for driving that shift. "T e sports nutrition con- sumer now includes thirty-something moms and dads—not just hardcore gym rats—and these are the same consumers who under- stand and demand cleaner products," Eng continues. "Younger men in their teens and twenties who body-build likely don't care as much—until they get older." Barri Sigvertsen, marketing manager, Lonza Consumer Health & Nutrition (Ba- sel, Switzerland), agrees. "Today, there is no typical sports-nutrition consumer," he says. "Marketers say it's quickly evolving into an active-nutrition market fueled by healthy living and f tness trends largely driven by Millennials and GenXers, as well as by seniors bent on maintaining mobility and independence. T e on-the-go demand and lifestyle users who are young and af u- ent but unwilling to sacrif ce health-and- wellness claims such as organic, natural, sustainable, vegan, and non-GMO—even in their sports nutrition products—have also generated interest in new, clean-label, non- animal products." All in Good Taste But as anyone who's struggled with translat- ing "clean" into an actual formulation can at- test, a considerable gulf stands between con- cept and execution. Consider, for example, a task as deceptively simple as choosing a product f avor. Notes Will McCormack, business devel- opment manager, nutrition, Synergy Flavors (Wauconda, IL), there was a time when sports nutrition products didn't even bother with f avor. In the 1980s, a whey-protein drink mix was just that: whey protein. "But that product got less 'clean' from there on because for brands to grow beyond the core user, the product's organoleptic properties had to im- prove. T e addition of a sweetener and f avor system greatly assisted with that, but if you think of that in today's terms, it immediately means that the label was less clean." Now, sports-nutrition products have to be all things to all audiences—virtuous enough for the label-readers and tasty enough for heavy users to keep chugging through the last set. And making that happen, McCormack says, is not easy. "T e 'cleaner' a product is," he says, "the more organoleptic issues you'll have. It's the simple fact that artif cial sweetener systems and natural-and-artif cial f avor systems work really, really well. When you move to- ward all that nature can of er, ingredients tend not to be as potent. So you're trying to f nd that sweet spot between using a natural sweetener and f avor system while still try- ing to maintain a really good organoleptic prof le." T at's why it's so important that formula- tors determine just how adament users are about avoiding "artif cial" f avors, sweeten- ers, and the like. "We always ask that ques- tion when working with our customers," Mc- Cormack says. "What's the end declaration requirement? Is it okay to use an N&A [nat- ural-and -artif cial] f avor system, or does it have to be all natural? And whether it's an ar- tif cial non-caloric sweetener like sucralose or a natural variant like stevia—that's a big product formulation decision." Special Delivery Consumers' perceptions of product cleanliness apply not just to the formulation but—in the case of traditional supplements, as opposed to functional foods and beverages—to the de- livery system, as well. As Sigvertsen says, "To please healthy-lifestyle consumers, including sports-nutrition supplement consumers, the entire dosage form needs to meet their claim requirements." Pointing out that capsules rank tops as a delivery form for the sports-nutrition crowd in the SORD study—beating tablets and soft- gels as well as other novel delivery systems— he notes that suppliers now of er vegetarian capsules that present "the greatest opportu- nity to fulf ll these sports-nutrition consum- er values." Levi Boudreau, Lonza Consumer Health & Nutrition's chemistry laboratory supervi- sor, calls his company's HPMC Vcaps Plus capsule the "cleanest" of the vegetarian poly- mers in its portfolio, with only two ingredi- ents. "In this case," he says, "less is more." T e low-moisture capsules—with a 30-minute release prof le—are ideal for moisture- and acid-sensitive ingredients that can be com- promised before being absorbed in the in- testines—enzymes such as amylase, prote- ase, lipase, alpha-galactosidase, bromelain, Enzidase, and Isolase, and amino acids such as SAMe, L-glutathione, L-carnosine, and betaine hydrochloride, he says. Sigvertsen adds that manufacturers can accelerate production and certif cation by working with capsule suppliers that pro- vide certif cations upfront from organiza- tions like Vegan Action, Vegetarian Society, and the Non-GMO Project. "Savvy sports- nutrition consumers will be sure to scour packaging for the certif cation labels that vouch for authenticity and quality," he says. Which should stand as watchwords for all of us. References 1. Cohen PA et al., "Four experimental stimu- lants found in sports and weight loss supple- ments: 2-amino-6-methylheptane (octo- drine), 1,4-dimethylamylamine (1,4-DMAA), 1,3-dimethylamylamine (1,3-DMAA) and 1,3-dimethylbutylamine (1,3-DMBA)," Clini- cal Toxicology. Published online November 8, 2017. Kimberly J. Decker writes for the food and nutrition industries from her base in the San Francisco area, where she enjoys eating food as much as she does writing about it.

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