The awards reception honored 12 winners in key industry categories—from ingredients and finished product innovations to research and industry initiatives—taking place at the rooftop of the Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront.
We spoke with the three winners of the finished product categories to get a deeper look at their products and the companies behind them.
Probiotic product of the year: Jarro-Dophilus Infant (Jarrow Formulas)
The Jarro-Dophilus Infant supplement was formulated using a clinically validated strain, B. infantis M-63, and marketed as a “key colonizer of the gut at this vulnerable stage of life based on its co-evolution with human milk and demonstrated by science,” Anthony Thomas, PhD, director of scientific affairs at Jarrow Formulas, told us.
It is delivered using a convenient MCT oil-dropper. “As a new parent myself, I can see just how important such convenience is for supplementing an infant by adding a few small drops to the breast during a feeding, into a bottle, or directly into the mouth,” Thomas added.
“Colonization of the infant gut by B. infantis is essential to release the full benefits of nature’s perfect nutrition, breast milk, to support infant growth and intestinal, immune, and brain development. Unlike adults, microbial diversity of the microbiota is not desirable for infants, which has historically been dominated by B. infantis in healthy breastfed infants.
“For Jarrow Formulas’ probiotic formulations to represent two of the three finalists in the category, Jarro-Dophilus Women and Jarro-Dophilus Infant, and the latter winning, is recognition of our company’s focus on science first rather than marketing hype,” he added.
Jarrow L. Rogovin, who founded Jarrow Formulas in 1977, attended the event to accept the award.
Botanical product of the year: CurcuFRESH (NOW Foods)
First introduced in 2017, CurcuFRESH by Illinois-based NOW Foods contains solvent-free curcuminoid extract naturally dispersed in its own matrix. According to the company, this preparation could only be obtained from fresh turmeric rhizomes but not dried ones, hence the product name.
There are currently two clinical trials ongoing using CurcuFRESH: One in middle-aged men with low-grade inflammation, and another one in the area of exercise recovery.
“We are very pleased that the panel of independent judges selected CurcuFRESH as the Botanical Product of the Year because we think it’s an outstanding innovation in delivering the benefits of curcumin,” said Leonid Ber, NOW Science & Nutrition Assistant Director, who was instrumental in development of the unique product.
Ber attended the event to accept the award.
“It’s especially meaningful to receive it this year as NOW celebrates the company’s 50th anniversary. As we reflect on what has made NOW successful it’s our commitment to producing quality natural products that benefit people’s health, a mission CurcuFRESH embodies.”
Omega-3 Product of the year: Plant Based Omega-3 (Swanson Health)
Encapsulated in veggie softgels, the Plant Based Omega-3 supplements by Swanson Health delivers the highest concentration of EPA and DHA available in a plant-based product, containing algal oil from Schizochytrium sp. and high oleic sunflower oil.
“Swanson launched its Plant Based Omega-3 in Sept. 2017 as the first-to-market, sustainable omega-3 that offers both EPA and DHA, which is a great alternative for fish oil. It’s also vegan and non-GMO,” said Shane Durkee, chief innovation officer at Swanson Health Products, who came to accept the award.
“I feel we were able to rise above the competition due to our premium quality, price, and by meeting the needs of our existing, loyal customers, and by appealing to new customers looking for clean vitamin and supplement offerings.”
“For the past 49 years, Swanson has strived to be recognized as a trusted source of quality, science-backed vitamins and supplements. It’s an honor to be recognized for these efforts in our Plant-Based Omega-3 by the prestigious team at NutraIngredients-USA.”