Innovation in a bloom: A new ‘Age of Nature’ based on botanical ingredients arrives

By:  Talking Nutrition Editors



  • dsm-firmenich has entered a new strategic partnership with Indena S.p.A., an Italy-based company with a century of experience developing high-quality botanical ingredients for the pharmaceutical and health industries.
  • The partnership aims to advance scientific evidence behind natural solutions to appeal to evolving human health needs and trends; pioneering a new ‘Age of Nature’ through consumer-inspired botanical solutions.
  • Read on to hear from Martin Dos Ramos, Global Vice President, Dietary Supplements at dsm-firmenich about how this venture is set to transform nutrition in the dietary supplements space across a range of health benefit areas.

dsm-firmenich has recently announced a new strategic collaboration with Indena, a leading identifier, developer and producer of high-quality, innovative and effective active botanical principles for the pharmaceutical and health food sectors. This partnership has blossomed from a shared vision: to discover and deliver natural, next-generation dietary supplement solutions for human health. 

Drawing on our strong scientific backgrounds, innovative natures and combined technical expertise, we are ideally placed to together power the development of botanical solutions and welcome a new ‘Age of Nature’ set to drive the future of nutraceuticals. And with emerging research suggesting that botanicals have many promising benefits for immunity, brain health and more, there’s never been a better time to innovate in this space.

We sat down with Martin Dos Ramos, Global Vice President, Dietary Supplements at dsm-firmenich to discuss how this partnership will elevate our existing capabilities to take customers’ solutions to the next level.

1. Why are botanicals relevant to dsm-firmenich’s customers now?

Phytonutrients such as botanicals are highly appealing to consumers. Consumers are increasingly looking for natural solutions that deliver holistic health benefits, with evidence-based botanical ingredients as a key market segment.1 And as many as 70% of consumers consider natural-related claims important for their supplements2, making new solutions with botanical derived actives highly appealing. 

The growing consumer interest in botanicals coincides with promising emerging research demonstrating their benefits for immunity, digestive health, mental wellbeing, heart health and more. The market is primed for growth, making it the perfect time for us to combine forces with Indena and pioneer a new ‘Age of Nature’ that meets consumer health needs and preferences.  

2. Why did you decide to pursue a partnership with Indena?

Indena has over a century of experience as leaders in the development and production of high-quality, innovative and effective active botanical principles for use in supplements and the health food industry. Like dsm-firmenich, they are a heritage brand which draws on their legacy of expertise to continuously innovate. There’s a clear harmony between us, as we both have a background of excellence and a future-focus.

We also share a common vision to deliver the nutritional solutions of tomorrow with innovations that are sustainable, scientifically-powered and clinically effective while supporting consumer wellbeing in natural ways. Together, we intend to create science-backed product formulations to be delivered via Premixes and Market-ready Solutions, helping our customers to innovate with botanicals faster than ever before and streamline their operations. In addition to bringing together both companies’ scientific expertise, this new partnership will fully leverage dsm-firmenich’s flavor, taste masking and product formulation capabilities to make nutritional science taste better than ever before!  

What’s more, combining botanical extracts with essential nutrients (such as omega-3s, vitamins, carotenoids and pre-, pro- and postbiotics) is a difficult task. Introducing ingredients at the levels required to deliver health benefits usually compromises sensorial experience, therefore limiting applications to traditional capsules and tablets. This new strategic partnership uniquely positions us to challenge this and offer effective solutions with high concentrations of active ingredients in a variety of enjoyable formats (including gummies and powder stick packs) that consumers love.  

3. What health areas will you focus on and why?

We intend to work closely with our customers to develop customized botanical-powered dietary supplements in all parts of the world to support our customers’ innovation efforts, address key health concerns and elevate consumer experience globally. The partnership will initially focus on specific health areas and selected ingredients to support immunity, vision, brain health, women’s health, healthy aging and gut health – with the capability to expand into even more categories in the future. 

Immunity remains a mainstream health concern and is the number one reason customers currently take dietary supplements.3 Strengthening our existing immunity offering with Indena’s botanical ingredients was therefore essential. Our new dietary supplement solution for immunity provides a great example of what’s to come – it contains actives including ampli-D®, Quercefit® and zinc, and comes in a convenient, on-the-go powder stick format. ampli-D® is an innovative and more bioavailable vitamin D shown to increase levels in weeks versus months, while Quercefit® uniquely combines quercetin and Indena's advanced Phytosome® technology for up to 20 times better bioavailability and antioxidant activity, immune support and reduced allergen response.4

As well as categories like immunity, access to Indena’s botanicals portfolio will enable us enrich our portfolio in high-growth categories such as brain health. For example, we have already designed a brain health supplement in a tasty gummy format that delivers fast-acting cognitive support to help optimize cognitive performance. The solution features a potent blend of Virtiva® Plus, life’sDHA®, and vitamin Quali® B12.5

4. How will your combined strengths deliver a new ‘Age of Nature’ with botanical ingredients solutions?

The dsm-firmenich and Indena partnership unites over 150 years of combined expertise. Indena contributes high quality botanical extracts, state-of-the-art extraction technologies and extensive phytonutrient science. This complements our broad portfolio of essential nutrients, flavor and taste masking solutions, and expert services including scientific, regulatory, and technical support. Together, we provide customized nutritional Premixes and Market-ready Solutions to help our customers innovate with botanicals faster and more effectively than ever.

By combining strengths, previously challenging formulations will become achievable through our shared capabilities. 

The initiative marks the emergence of a new era – one we’ve termed the new ‘Age of Nature’. In addition to establishing an end-to-end global partnership for dietary supplement solutions with botanicals, we will also spearhead the development of cutting-edge science endorsing the effectiveness of botanical-based solutions. Both dsm-firmenich and Indena have a strong focus on science and developing evidence-based health benefits for botanical ingredients. This scientific rigor will support us to deliver advanced solutions that resonate with the needs of today’s consumers.

5. When is the timeline to launch products from this partnership?

Immediately! We have already presented some first examples of co-developed botanical solutions. Together with Indena, we'll also be collaborating on research programs that will generate some exciting news insights, so watch this space for updates!

Watch this space for more exciting developments from dsm-firmenich and Indena. In the meantime, get in touch with one of our experts to discover how we can help you develop next-generation dietary supplement solutions.

Published on

25 January 2024


6 min read

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1. FMCG Gurus Proactive Living 2021 survey. 

2. DSM Brain & Vision Health consumer survey, 2023

3. DSM – Global Consumer Immunity Panel, September 2022.

4. Quercefit® and Phytosome® are trademarks of Indena S.p.A., Italy; ampli-D® is a trademark of dsm-firmenich

5. Virtiva® Plus is trademark of Indena S.p.A., Italy; life’s® and Quali® are trademarks of dsm-firmenich