Xangold 8% WDP, which was introduced at the IFT show this month, can be used in food and beverage products, and in two-piece capsules, said the firm. Lutein, a nutrient found in various foods including green leafy vegetables and egg yolk, is primarily targeted towards the eye health market. However, skin health is another area of potential for the ingredient, supported by "compelling scientific research", said the firm. "Consumers want skincare products that deliver beauty benefits through nutrition fueling one of the hottest trends in the market. Lutein is a powerful beauty booster and Cognis is working diligently with our customers so this message resonates with consumers," said Cognis Nutrition & Health marketing manager Rob Bailey. Lutein and skin Cognis said lutein improves skin hydration and elasticity, boosts skin moisture and enhances the skin's ability to protect itself from the sun. A paper published last year in the Journal of Skin Pharmacology and Physiology supports these claims, stating that lutein increases photoprotective activity, hydration, elasticity and lipid levels of the skin. The randomized study, conducted by the University of Naples, Italy, also said that FloraGlo Lutein, manufactured by Kemin Health, works best when topical and oral applications are combined. The conclusion suggests that companies may be advised to offer edible beauty products containing the ingredient alongside topical alternatives, tapping into the growing cosmeceutical market. Xangold Cognis' entire Xangold portfolio holds generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status for a wide range of food categories. The lutein esters are obtained from marigold flowers using a "mild extraction process", meaning that products made with these can carry a 'natural' label claim, said the firm. Xangold 8% WDP is a water-dispersible powder. The firm claims it has "superior bioavailability and stability" and can be used for quick blending into food and beverage applications and in two-piece capsules. Lutein market According to a report published last year by Frost & Sullivan, the global lutein market is set to hit $124.5m in 2013, with skin health offering a major new avenue for the carotenoid. The Global Markets for Lutein in Human Nutrition report valued the market at $105.1m in 2006, but the growing maturity of dietary supplements, its key end-user application segment, represents a challenge to the market. According to the report, manufacturers need to address this growing maturity in dietary supplements by identifying new and potentially lucrative application segments that offer opportunities for the continued growth of the lutein market. "Recent research into new application segments for lutein, such as skin health, is creating a lot of excitement in this industry," said Ashwin Sukumaran from Frost & Sullivan's North American food and beverage ingredients practice. "Building a strong scientific case for lutein's benefits in skin health would allow it to break into the lucrative, high-growth cosmeceutical application segment and help boost the market." Dietary supplements currently account for more than 90 per cent of lutein volumes, but its major markets, Europe and the United States, are exhibiting limited annual growth rates of two to three per cent. Opportunities for beauty from within Increasingly, companies already involved in the functional food market have been looking to spread into the cosmeceutical arena. Global cosmetic and food companies are playing an active role in the growth of the 'beauty from within' trend. In 2002 Nestle and L'Oreal, the world's largest companies in food and cosmetics respectively, joined forces to create Inneov, a creator of nutritional supplements with cosmetic applications. Among an array of small- and medium- sized companies exploiting the trend, is another global giant, Coca Cola, which developed Yokuasa Purun for the Asian market. Fortified with cysteine, hyaluronic acid, ceramide, vitamin C and biotin, the milk-based beverage should be drunk last thing at night to promote beauty during sleep.