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29th April 2019

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Looking at Enzymes and their Uses in Nutraceuticals Ahead of Vitafoods

Autor: Thomas Parkhill, Business Manager

Vitafoods Europepills 4 is nearly upon us. It is a show I relish attending, partly because it grows in stature every year and partly through the cornucopia of different nutraceutical, botanical extract and nutrition companies all vying for attention. Within the nutraceutical industry, enzymes are frequently used, whether in digestive aid supplements, production of protein peptides or hydrolysates as healthy ingredients and even to produce Omega 3s with greater nutritional content.

Omega 3s are one of the historically bestselling nutraceuticals and are established in the market as one of the best-known health products, having demonstrable health claims associated with them. Particularly of interest for many producers is altering the proportions of bound DHA in their products, which can increase the absorption into the body. Enzymes can play a vital role in altering these proportions.

The simplest application of enzymes within nutraceuticals is the tabletting or capsulation of enzymes to act as digestive aids. They act by breaking down difficult to digest compounds, such as lactose, within the stomach or gut. These can be used either on their own or in combination with other ingredients, such as probiotics, to produce the desired effect.

One difficulty for nutraceutical and contract manufacturing companies using enzymes for capsulation, is that they are often difficult to compare due to the vast array of different activity units used within the industry. To ease this dilemma, Biocatalysts are providing internationally recognised FCC units for enzymes offered to nutraceutical and contract manufacturing companies, enabling them to understand the strength of the enzyme they are buying.

Like much of the food industry, the nutraceutical market has seen an increasing demand for vegetarian and vegan alternatives as consumers look to move away from animal products due to concerns with sustainability. This has meant companies are increasingly looking for alternatives to enzymes, like pepsin and pancreatin, which have traditionally been used as digestive aids.

Boosting protein is still a huge focus within nutraceuticals, with the collagen peptide market seeing huge growth based on demand from Asia. This coupled with a more focussed approach from companies looking to target certain age groups, especially elderly nutrition, where an increased protein intake can help to prevent sarcopenia. The use of enzymes here is very beneficial in improving the functionality of the protein to help with adsorption, structure and flavour of products produced for this market.

If you have an interest in enzymes for the nutraceutical industry and are attending Vitafoods please get in touch to book a meeting.

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