Going the distance: Beneo showcases sportified concepts with mainstream appeal at HiE 2018

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03 Dec 2018 --- Active lifestyle demands continue to dominate the R&D efforts of the industry’s key players. At this year’s Health Ingredients Europe (HiE) in Frankfurt, Germany, Beneo sought to demonstrate how the industry can create innovative, sportified food and beverage products that are relevant and appealing to mainstream consumers. At the show, the company highlighted the myriad possibilities for NPD featuring its range of functional ingredients.

With a 29 percent increase in the number of product launches carrying some kind of sports claim over the past two years, many manufacturers are making moves to help consumers meet their increasing desire to lead healthier, more active lives, the company reports.

“The particular challenge is that sportified products should be for everybody, not just for athletes. Our focus on sportified products for mainstream consumers has shone the light on the growth potential available to manufacturers who are prepared to be innovative. As more products become available to mainstream consumers, the sports market is forecast to reach more than €15 billion in 2021, presenting a significant growth opportunity for food and drink manufacturers around the world,” says Thomas Schmidt, Marketing Director at Beneo.

Click to EnlargeVisitors at HiE could test their stamina by racing against triathlete Marc Rink at the Beneo booth.Active consumers want products that help them to look and feel good, manage their busy day and maintain a healthier weight. This means that blood sugar management, sustained energy and the fat burning impact are of great importance to them.

However, the current sports and fitness-related products offered on the market often contain “fast carbohydrates” such as maltodextrin, glucose syrup and sucrose, which release glucose into the bloodstream very quickly and generally suppress fat oxidation, the company notes.

These high-glycemic carbohydrates are not ideal for consumers looking for endurance in their training, for day-to-day sports activities, or for achieving balanced energy levels throughout the day. 

Speaking to NutritionInsight at the show, Dominique Speleers, Executive Board Member for Sales and Marketing at Beneo, explains that the modern, active consumer is increasingly seeking to emulate professional athletes in terms of nutrition and lifestyle, becoming increasingly interested in the science behind food and beverage offerings.

“In sportification, Beneo observes that more people are seeking a very active lifestyle, which is closer to sports or at least that's the impression people have. So they want to imitate what athletes are doing. Sports people know how important it is to have a continuous supply of energy. In this case, a balanced glucose supply to keep your brain and body going,” he says.

“At Beneo we have a great opportunity because our isomaltulose (commercially named Palatinose) can supply glucose over a longer period while avoiding the peak of insulin which induces the feeling of hunger,” he notes. “With Palatinose, fat is burned easier which contributes to weight management – and even the reduction of obesity. So starting from sports, you can end up with something that is important in the wide area of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, that we observe to be increasing mainly in developed worlds.”

Click to EnlargeBeneo’s Palatinose acts as a necessary energy source for the body during activity. As this carbohydrate is fully, yet slowly released, it provides glucose (the most effective source of energy for the human body) in a sustained manner. This ensures blood sugar levels stay balanced, which helps to support an improved fat burning rate.

“The main applications for Palatinose are drinks and sports gels and everything that is easy to consume on the go, but it can be incorporated in many applications including breakfast cereals or cookies. The variety is big, but we see more and more beverages are incorporating it,” he notes.

HiE visitors could compete or ride alongside professional triathlete, Marc Rink. At Beneo’s stand, Rink demonstrated the endurance potential of Palatinose, as he cycled throughout the event.

At the show, the company showcased a number of prototypes, including:

•          A blackcurrant sports drink with Palatinose, delivering isotonic refreshment and a reduced blood glucose response

•          An energizing pink grapefruit-flavored water containing Palatinose, providing hydration and healthy blood sugar levels at the same time.

•          A breakfast almond chocolate drink with a velvety mouth-feel that is high in fiber and induces a healthy blood glucose response due to Palatinose and the chicory fiberOrafti Inulin.

•          A creamy and indulgent, dairy-free vanilla pudding with rice flour, rice syrup, rice starch and Palatinose, that supports balanced blood sugar levels.

Prebiotic potential
Prebiotics are well represented in Beneo’s portfolio and the company tips this area as particularly fertile for further R&D as consumer interest in gut health continues.

“Beneo has the most well researched natural prebiotic fibers, which was also confirmed by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP), which says that inulin, GOS and oligofructose are the only prebiotics, with inulin and oligofructose being the only natural ones coming from chicory,” Speleers says. “We observe that consumers are increasingly accepting the prebiotic claim, especially in the US. Years ago, gut health was a bit of a taboo topic that nobody really wanted to talk about. That's no longer the case, that is why also prebiotic gets more and more accepted.”

“Beneo has a proprietary health claim accepted in Europe confirming that the company’s prebiotic fibers support regularity and thus digestive health. To underline the message, we have developed a prebiotic logo, for which we make continuous promotion, as it helps to bring the prebiotic message to consumers.”

Beyond gut health, the company believes there are growing opportunities in immunity related to prebiotics, with Speelers highlighting Beneo’s continued commitment to advancing research into this area and prebiotics as a whole.


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