Compelling science & consumer interest in tried-and-true ingredients: Is ginger the next blockbuster botanical?

By Stephen DANIELLS

- Last updated on GMT

Image: © iStockPhoto / Elenathewise
Image: © iStockPhoto / Elenathewise

Related tags: Carbon dioxide

Finished products containing OmniActive’s Gingever ingredient are expected to hit shelves in the later part of 2015, with the company predicting big things for ginger.

“Ginger supplements experienced healthy growth from $39m in 2006 to $64m in 2013, according to NBJ’s Global Business Report released in 2015,”​ said Lynda Doyle, VP of Global Marketing, OmniActive Health Technologies.

“Finished product manufacturers who were looking for a high-potency, supercritical ginger extract have already started the formulating process using Gingever,”​ she told us.

The product, which had its soft launch at SupplySide West last year and the hard launch at Expo West in Anaheim in March, is manufactured using a carbon dioxide extraction process without the use of harsh solvents, non-GMO, allergen-free.

Health benefits

The current mainstream segment for ginger as an ingredient is for nausea and digestive, and OmniActive continues to see interest for Gingever for products positioned in those segments, she said. “But compelling science is expanding the way we think about ginger,” ​added Doyle. “Ginger’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects have been linked to various health benefits such as joint, heart, gut and metabolic health. The potent anti-inflammatory properties in the gingerols in ginger are believed to help provide protection against harmful free radicals.”

The main bioactives in ginger are gingerols and shogoals, she explained. The Gingever ingredient is a high-potency, supercritical ginger extract that provides 30% bioactives including gingerols and shogaols and delivers minimum 25% gingerols. The ingredient is a paste suitable for use in soft-gelatin capsules, she said. It can be used with other ingredients as well as formulated as a stand-alone finished product.

“We are currently looking into the potential for Gingever’s use in a variety of foods and beverages,” ​added Doyle.

The company sources the ingredient’s raw materials in India, said Doyle. “We believe in always having sustainable sources for our supply and work diligently to ensure that these are based on a sound foundation of good agricultural practices.”

The next curcumin?

inflammation
"Ginger’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects have been linked to various benefits such as joint, heart, gut and metabolic health" - Lynda Doyle, OmniActive

Comparisons with curcumin may be premature, but Doyle told us that the success of turmeric/curcumin in the natural products and dietary supplements space has definitely provided lessons for ginger. “Many consumers are interested in tried-and-true ingredients from familiar sources with a long history of use,”​ she said, “and like curcumin, ginger is a popular spice with consumers, and commonly used for its digestive and anti-nausea benefits as well as joint health benefits.

“As scientists now focus on not just the herb, but the bioactive components such as gingerols, the number of studies on various health benefits besides nausea and digestive health have really expanded to cover all kinds of inflammation including joint as well as general metabolic health benefits.

“Continued growth in scientific awareness has sparked sustained market interest and opportunities and our customers can expand their sales in the growing ginger market with a differentiated product.”

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