Cereals offer best potential for US immune-supporting ingredients

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dietary fiber, Cereal, Us

Cereals offer the best potential for growth in the immune-supporting ingredients sector, according to a new report from Danish-based research group Bio2com.

Its report, The daily defense support immune-supporting ingredients for foods and beverages 2010​, focuses on consumer immune supporting nutrition, the role of individual ingredients and claims. The research covered 900 new consumer food and beverage products launched between 2008 and the first quarter of 2010. Included were ingredients with immune health potential such as pro- and prebiotics, flavonoids, carotenes and antioxidants and biotanicials.

Enriched cereals

The company’s executive director Karin Nielsen told NutraIngredients.com: “In the US market, high fibre cereal products, as for instance enriched cereals, dominate immune supporting food. They also show the biggest potential for both probiotic and prebiotic immune-health supporting ingredients​.”

This reflects the work of proactive companies such as Quaker Oats (a division of food and beverage giant PepsiCo), added Nielsen.

The researchers reported surprise that interest in immune-supporting ingredients in the cereal sector did not extend to granola cereal bars.

In addition to cereals, the US fermented drinks sector also showed significant growth opportunities, said Karin.

The growth potential for prebiotic immune-supporting ingredients was identified as exceeding that of probiotic ingredients. That reflects prebiotic’s closer connection with fibres and US consumer’s higher level of recognition of this category.

Although the report identified the US as the primary growth driver of pre and probiotic immune-supporting health ingredients in the short term, in the longer term the focus of growth would switch to India where growth rates are high now but volumes are still low.

The global market for pre and probiotics is forecast to reach $20bn within the next five years with US and European markets claiming 15 per cent of the total market. The pre- and probiotic market is expected to grow about on average by 5%.

Modern probiotics

Meanwhile, Asian immune products are likely to combine modern probiotics with traditional remedies as medicinal herbs.

In the European market, the dairy sector, in the form of yogurt and fermented drinks, is strongest in probiotics immune products.

In the dairy category, colostrums enriched products are part of the claims. Dairy fractions are rich on bovine immunoglobulins and lactoferrin which have potential antibacterial or immune modulating functions and are typically marketed as enriched milks.

Related topics: Suppliers, Immune support

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