Expert Insights: how to support immunity through Food and Beverage innovation

By:  Talking Nutrition Editors

  • Today’s consumers are becoming more invested in their health and wellbeing, especially in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic that has made immune health and long-term immunity a top priority for most.
  • One of the most convenient ways for consumers to support their immunity is through food and beverage solutions that are optimized for immune health.
  • In our new ask-the-expert interview, DSM’s Lead Scientist, Dr Maaike Bruins, explains how the increased focus on immunity is creating new opportunities for food and beverage manufacturers, and what steps they can take to tailor their products in line with the latest consumer needs and preferences.

Ask-the-Expert: How Can Fortified Food and Beverages Support Immunity?

DSM’s Lead Scientist, Dr Maaike Bruins, explains how the increased focus on immunity is creating new opportunities for food and beverage manufacturers.

Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no surprise that more consumers are interested in supporting their long-term immunity. In DSM’s September 2020 Immunity Panel, which surveyed 12,000 people across 24 countries, it was revealed that 65% of consumers were concerned about their immune health.1 Optimal nutrition is well-known to play a fundamental role in supporting immunity and recovery from disease or infection. Some nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin D, for example, are closely associated with immune support – 79% and 62% of consumers are aware of the benefits of vitamin C and vitamin D for immunity respectfully.

With immunity likely to be a key consumer focus for some time, food and beverage brands are responding by offering nutritional solutions that include immune-supporting nutrients in formats that appeal to consumers. Our new guide explores everything manufacturers need to know to unlock innovation opportunities in the food and beverage immunity market. Download it now to explore the latest nutritional science and how DSM can support with the development of purpose-led products through customized solutions and expert services at every stage of your product’s journey, from concept to consumption.

Fortified food and beverages offer an effective solution

Despite the benefits of optimal nutrition for immune health, nutrient deficiency is prevalent worldwide. As an example, 88% of the global population is estimated to have an insufficient vitamin D status.2 Where consumers are not getting sufficient nutrients from their diet alone, fortified food and beverages – including cereals, yoghurts, juices or milks – may offer an effective solution. Around 60% of individuals already consume food or drink products with added nutrients, indicating that acceptance of fortified products is already well-established.3 As Dr Bruins explains, the addition of fortified food and beverages into consumer diets is also straightforward, as people can simply replace the products they eat daily with fortified alternatives. This makes fortified products one of the simplest ways for consumers to increase their nutritional intake and, therefore, help support their immune systems.

Three steps to creating science-backed immunity products

At a time when immune health is a priority for consumers, yet busy lifestyles make it difficult to fulfil nutrient requirements, it is important to create solutions that meet individuals’ needs in convenient ways. However, developing purpose-led food and beverage solutions takes more than ingredients. It takes a partner that is inspired by consumers to continuously innovate to meet their needs. When you partner with DSM, you not only get access to our complete portfolio of science-based and high-quality nutritional ingredients, but also our customized solutions and expert services at every stage of your product’s development, so that you can meet consumers’ ever-evolving nutritional needs and preferences. Below, we outline the three key areas where manufacturers need support, to create truly appealing nutrient-rich products for immunity.

1. Ingredients 

The ingredients currently making waves in the immunity market – like vitamin C, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids – can be used to fortify food and beverage products to address the latest consumer health concerns and deliver real immunity benefits. As a leader in vitamin development and manufacturing for more than 70 years, DSM offers the broadest portfolio of fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins in the industry. Our market-leading omega-3s, derived from both fish and algal sources, also make us the global leader in nutritional lipid solutions.

2. Customized solutions

DSM understands that developing and launching products is time-consuming and complex. We also know how to build our people-inspired insights into food and beverage products that consumers will love. Our customized solutions are designed to help bring your products to market faster, more efficiently, and with enduring success. For example, our formulation experts work with you to enable the design of fully customizable, innovative premixes that target specific health concerns – like immunity, – lifestyles, consumer groups or age demographics without compromising your finished product’s taste, texture or appearance.

3. Expert services

Through a broad range of expert services available across a global network, we bring our customers expertise in science, technical formulation and application, innovation, market insight and regulations. For example, we help to provide extensive expertise in the principal behavior and properties of ingredients for even the most challenging food and beverage applications. Whereas our applications and technical services help manufacturers to develop formulas that resonate with the target audience and address real consumer health concerns.

Find out more about how to develop market-leading immunity solutions in the food and beverage industry.

Published on

22 June 2021


  • Optimize your Immunity
  • Vitamins
  • Food and Beverage
  • Health & Nutrition
  • Article
  • R&D


4 min read

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  1. DSM Global Consumer Immunity Panel, September 2020.

  2. Hilger et al., ‘A systematic review of vitamin D status in populations worldwide’, British Journal of Nutrition, 2014. 

  3. DSM Global Health Concerns Survey, 2020.











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