Image: The Vitafoods Europe conference brings together some of the leading names within both academia and industry. Photo: courtesy of ICL.

This year marked the 20th anniversary of Vitafoods Europe. Established in 1997, this conference has been providing the nutrition industry with a platform where they can meet, talk, listen, network and do business with other professionals for two decades.

Inside Food visited the global nutraceutical event where more than 17,500 visiting professionals, 900 exhibiting companies, 160 expert speakers and 22 packed hours of business conversation, education and debate took place.

Show Sectors

At the conference there was a multitude of content, which was conveniently split into four sections. The first of these sections. Ingredients and Raw Materials, showcased the latest in ingredient innovation. With the global nutraceutical ingredients market set to reach €35bn by 2020, this zone allowed suppliers and professionals to demonstrate their products and discover the very best ingredient innovations that are helping to shape the future of the industry.

The Contract Manufacturing and Private Label sector gave brand owners, retailers and manufacturers the opportunity to meet with suppliers to source innovative white-label and private-label products ready for market, as well as bespoke products developed with leading contract manufacturers.

The third section was Finished Products which focused on high-quality, innovative dietary supplements and functional food and beverages. Delegates were able to touch, taste and source the latest retail-ready branded or private label functional food and beverages and dietary supplements dedicated to improving health, wellbeing, physical performance and mental health.

The last section was Services, Equipment and Machinery which delivered a wide-range of service and equipment providers to help businesses develop products that deliver optimal health products, whilst improving production processes to gain a competitive edge.

Power of Proteins

"We further noticed a significant demand for whey proteins"

One trend that was noted at Vitafoods Europe was the demand for high-protein foods and drinks. Together ICL Food Specialties and Prolactal showcased a range of dairy-based ingredient solutions for high protein applications, based on their innovative ingredient systems for effective protein management.

Dr Andrea Maurer, global lead Market Segment Dairy at ICL Food Specialties said: “As a leading manufacturer of dairy proteins in certified organic quality, we sparked the interest of a health-conscious and active clientele, especially in the sports food sector. We further noticed a significant demand for whey proteins. This industry trend not only highlights the high relevance of protein in contemporary diet, it also confirms that our comprehensive ingredient portfolio satisfies ever-changing market demands.” The company extracts dairy proteins directly from milk through advanced membrane filtration. This process ensures that the proteins are not denatured and free from additives or coloring.

Proprietary Preserve Technology

"“Milsing unveiled their new chocolate supplements”"

In the Finished Products section, Milsing unveiled its new chocolate supplements. The supplements, called Chocowise, use a new preserve technology developed by the company. The adapted manufacturing method allows for a high-percentage of active ingredients, even those sensitive to heat, whilst still preserving taste. Chocowise has released five new products, the Biorela Choco; Chocowise Cardio; Chocowise Prenatal; Chocowise Good Mood and Chocowise Up&Sharp. The supplements are said to boost immune health, ease stomach discomfort, restore intestinal microflora and reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels, amongst many other benefits.

Botanical Extracts

In the Contract Manufacturing and Private Label zone we found Anklam Extrakt , which produces high-quality liquid, soft and dry extracts for various branches of the industry. The company uses the latest technology and processes to meet the high demands of the analytics of the extracts. The laboratory uses different chromatographic methods, such as thin layer chromatography (HPTLC), high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and gas chromatography (GC) to achieve this.

The company uses the raw material from a number of plants, such as marshmallow root; artichoke leaf; hibiscus flower; ginseng root; elderberry; pumpkin seeds and fennel fruit, which can then be used in supplements and functional food and beverages.