Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA at the recent IFT Annual Meeting and Expo in Chicago, Jandali said: “There is a shocking statistic that US consumers only meet the dietary guidelines for seven days out of 365. Look at the data from CRN, two thirds of US adults are using dietary supplements, and dietary supplement users tend to have healthier lifestyles, but compliance is a problem.”
To solve these problems, there are innovative delivery forms being developed industry-wide, what Jandali calls ‘convenient nutrition’.
“We love convenient nutrition,” he said. “At BASF we are in the unique position to tap into our pharmaceutical solutions to adjust the size of capsules, the choice of excipients, tablets, produce actives that are more soluble, enhance the bioavailability of bioactives.
“This expertise is in-house. They are our resources, our knowledge.”
IFSH & co-opportunities
The company is not keeping all its knowledge to itself, however, having recently joined the Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH) to collaborate on nutrition research and food safety.
IFSH was established in 2011 at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), and builds on the vital work of the National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), a unique research consortium of IIT, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the food industry.
“Both organizations [BASF and IFSH] share a mutual interest in enhancing nutrition and we look forward to a close collaboration,” said Armand Paradis, Director of Business Development, IFSH. “BASF’s health ingredients and network of experts combined with IFSH’s research facilities and scientists make a great recipe for success.”
Jandali added that the company’s Newtrition platform was focused on ‘customer-centric innovation’ or “co-opportunities”.
The company has been investing heavily in people, he said, and has organized its team to be very marketed orientated, with dedicated teams for food, beverage, and dietary supplements.
“We’ve provided dedicated resources for each market sector,” he said. “We’ve been hiring experts from the industry so that they can speak the same language as the customers, and we’ve brought people into the organization who have the right skill-sets to solve our customers’ problems.”
With the organization in place, Jandali said that the company is positioned to tap into the major trends in the industry.
Two trends with the most importance for the supplement sector are weight management and heart health.
“The newest data shows that 67% of Americans are overweight or obese, and the American Medical Association just classified obesity as a disease,” he said.
“Consumers are looking for solutions,” he said. The company’s Tonalin CLA ingredient has been gaining ground in consumer awareness circles, and a recent analysis by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) reported that the Tonalin brand comprises 60% of all CLA sales in the U.S. and Canada.
The first nationwide product launch containing the ingredient hit shelves earlier this year, and Jandali confirmed that BASF is working on several projects now.
Heart health remains a major trend, he said, with plant sterols and omega-3s continuing to lead the way. The IFT show in Chicago was the first show where BASF could bring their enlarged omega-3 portfolio, following the acquisitions and integrations of Pronova and Equateq (now BASF Pharma Callanish).
“The science for these ingredients is very compelling,” he said. “There are not a lot of areas that have this level of science.”