Do your plant-based products address consumer needs?

Health & Nutrition 01/13/2020

4min read

Talking Nutrition Editors

Sowing the seeds for success

  • Plant-based diets are in the spotlight as a positive dietary choice for consumers, presenting food and beverage manufacturers with an exciting opportunity to deliver nutritious plant-based products.
  • Some plant-based alternative sources of nutrients, such as iron and zinc, are harder for the body to absorb, leading to an increased risk of micronutrient deficiencies for those following elimination diets. Fortification of plant-based food and beverages can help consumers increase their intake of these essential nutrients.
  • In this article, we’ll explore how DSM can support you with fortification solutions and unique premixes for your plant-based offering to ensure it fills the micronutrient gap.
<p><strong>Snackable Plant-Based Guide</strong></p>

Snackable Plant-Based Guide

Plant-based has arrived. Are you ready? From the latest in consumer trends, to tips on how to be an authentic voice in a growing market, this graphic guide will provide you with all the information you need to get started on your next, top-selling plant-based offering. 

 

Watch the gap

Plant-based diets have made it to the mainstream and it’s becoming more important than ever for food and beverage brands to address the risk of micronutrient deficiencies for their customers. Essential vitamins and minerals found in animal products can be more difficult to source from plants, such as vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. But through fortification, nutrient-rich, plant-based products are easily achievable.

Which essential nutrients should you consider for your plant-based products and why?

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
‘Good fats’ are critical nutrients that are important for many aspects of our health, including helping to prevent heart diseases, supporting brain development and healthy vision. Despite being predominantly found in fish and eggs, plant-based eaters don’t need to miss out. Omega-3 fatty acids are available in everything from flax seeds, to walnuts and algae oil. However, plant-based sources are predominantly rich in omega-3 ALA which must be converted into EPH / DHA for the human body to utilize.

Consumers are therefore increasingly looking for ways to boost their intake of essential omega-3s. DSM’s life’sOMEGA goes directly to the source — algae — to deliver vegetarian EPA and DHA omega-3 to support overall health throughout the lifespan. The vegetarian equivalent to fish oil, life’sOMEGA is the first plant-based EPA and DHA combined product that gives consumers an alternative to traditional fish oils.

VITAMIN B12
Vitamin B12 is predominantly found in animal sources, making fortification of products such as cereals, breads and nutritional yeast essential to ensuring consumers have sufficient access. This vitamin supports the body’s circulatory and nervous systems, while also helping to prevent certain kinds of anemia. DSM’s portfolio of fermented B12 and Quali®-B vitamin B12 can be used to fortify your plant-based products with this essential nutrient.

VITAMIN D
Vitamin D is mostly produced through the skin while exposed to the sun, but can also be found in animal-based foods such as dairy, eggs and fish. It plays an important role in the body and is crucial for bone health, immune function, and helping the body absorb calcium. According to the Institute of Medicine’s average daily requirement, 96% of adults (age 19+) in the US do not consume enough vitamin D. For consumers that are pursuing a plant-based lifestyle, there are opportunities for brands to help close this nutrient gap by fortifying products such as plant-based milks, like almond milk, and plant-based meat alternatives.

PROTEIN
This vital diet component isn’t just for athletes and weight lifters; everyone needs sufficient protein to keep their muscles, organs and skin healthy and strong. Plant-based sources include legumes, nuts, seeds and wholegrains, but protein can also be found in fortified meat substitutes such as plant-based burgers. Plant-based proteins can also be fortified with additional micronutrients to further enhance the product’s nutritional status.

Plant-based products can also be fortified with key minerals, including…

IRON
‘When people think of the health benefits of iron, steak, liver and other red meats are the foods that spring to mind. Plant-based foods such as lentils, dark leafy green vegetables and dried fruit are all sources of non-heme iron. However, non-heme iron isn’t as easily absorbed and so must be consumed in much larger amounts for those on a plant-based diet. Natural sources of iron, such as spirulina powder and kale grass powder, present an effective fortification solution for food and beverage products as they are free from any animal-derived products.

CALCIUM
Calcium is key to keeping our bones strong and is traditionally found in dairy products, especially milk. However, calcium can also be sourced from certain plants, such as dark green vegetables (broccoli, for instance), along with fortified products including soy milk and cereals. The plant-based milk market grew by 9% in 2018 in the US, compared to cow’s milk which shrunk by 6%, opening up an opportunity for manufacturers looking to develop their offering in this sector. DSM offers botanical ingredients, such as kale grass powder, to increase levels of this important nutrient in your plant-based food and beverage products.

ZINC
Calcium is key to keeping our bones strong and is traditionally found in dairy products, especially milk. However, calcium can also be sourced from certain plants, such as dark green vegetables (broccoli, for instance), along with fortified products including soy milk and cereals. The plant-based milk market grew by 9% in 2018 in the US, compared to cow’s milk which shrunk by 6%, opening up an opportunity for manufacturers looking to develop their offering in this sector. DSM offers botanical ingredients, such as kale grass powder, to increase levels of this important nutrient in your plant-based food and beverage products.

Zinc is essential for everyday functions within the body, including cell growth and repair, protein metabolism, wound healing and immunity. Similar to iron, the body can struggle to absorb plant-based sources of zinc and so it’s a good idea for people following the diet to consume higher levels of zinc.

The health benefits of plant-based

In addition to addressing micronutrient gaps, to appeal to today’s consumers brands need to consider the health benefits their plant-based products offer. DSM’s plant-based ingredients are designed to deliver a number of health benefits including:

  • Energy: Guarana, green tea extract, Quali®-B vitamin B12 and Quali®-B vitamin B2
  • Immunity: CaroCare® β-Carotene, natural vitamin E, Quali®-C vitamin C and acerola cherry extract
  • Eye health: CaroCare® β-Carotene, OPTISHARP® Zeaxanthin and FloraGLO® Lutein
  • Mental performance and brain health: life’sDHA® and B vitamins
  • Antioxidant function: Pomegranate extract, orange peel powder and apricot powder

Talk to DSM today and discover how we can support your plant-based offering, to ensure your customers are getting the right micronutrients and supplementing their diets effectively.

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Tags: FOOD AND BEVERAGEPROCUREMENTHEALTH & NUTRITIONJUICESENHANCED BEVERAGESARTICLEVITAMINSMARKETING

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