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 four winners of the ingredients of the year categories to get a deeper look at their products and the companies behind them.
Sports Nutrition Ingredient of the Year: ElevATP (VDF FutureCeuticals)
Made out of a proprietary ancient peat (fossilized plant minerals) and apple extract, this ingredient has two clinical, peer-reviewed studies documenting increased mitochondrial ATP post-ingestion, and two peer-reviewed functional studies documenting increased strength, power, and performance in resistance-trained athletes.
It was launched in 2015, with the first peer-reviewed study on its benefits published in 2016.
“The main difference in elevATP in the pre-workout space is that consumers are not ingesting ATP or a precursor,” said Andrew Wheeler, corporate director of marketing at VDF FutureCeuticals, who accepted the award at the event.
“The increase in ATP comes via the body’s own process as impacted by our natural ingredient, in essence helping the body do what it already does, only better. It is non-stimulatory in the realm of a caffeine-type response in the body, but stimulatory in the sense of increased mitochondrial ATP production.”
He added that winning the award was “an incredible honor, for our science team, sales team, and marketing group, but we would not be in this position without the partnership of our customers. The scientific validation of elevATP is our responsibility, but the accolades from the sports nutrition community is solely due to our partner’s products.”
Infant Nutrition Ingredient of the Year: CARE4U (DuPont Nutrition & Health)
“This early win for CARE4U 2’-FL [Human Milk Oligosaccharides] underlines the research which indicates that commercially produced HMOs such as CARE4U can mimic some of the health-promoting effects of the HMOs present in human milk, helping to close an important gap between human milk and infant formula,” said Ratna Mukherjea, technology and innovation leader-HMO, who accepted the award on behalf of DuPont Nutrition & Health.
The ingredient is marketed as “closer to the gold standard of human milk” supporting digestive, immune, and cognitive development in infants.
Steen Lyck, global business development leader, Cultures, HMO, Probiotics and Food Protection, DuPont Nutrition & Health, said, “This award is a validation from independent experts confirming the quality of science, innovation and market potential of HMOs in both the infant and toddler formula market. CARE4U™ is suitable for dietary supplements as well, given that it is the highest-purity and density HMO on the market, allowing for smaller dose size and ability to combine with other ingredients.”
He continued, “In addition, initial research shows support for a healthy microbiome in adults, and DuPont is uncovering ways in which the health benefits of HMOs can be used in dietary supplements, extending the advantages of HMOs from infancy into adulthood. This is just the beginning.”
Healthy Aging Ingredient of the Year: Ceratiq phytoceramides (PLT Health Solutions)
There are many ways to interpret ‘healthy aging.’ This year, the award went to a skin-health supporting ingredient called ceratiq by PLT Health Solutions. The ingredient is a phytoceramide extracted from plant-sources and comes in oil and powder forms.
“Studies on ceratiq support a range of benefits associated with youthful skin – including improved overall skin health, hydration, reduced appearance of wrinkles, increased elasticity, suppleness and a more radiant appearance,” said Dr. Barbara Davis, vice president medical and scientific affairs at PLT Health Solutions.
She added that ceratiq is an ‘ingredient of the moment’ due to the growth of the beauty-from-within segment and the growing number of scientific studies examining ceratiq’s potential benefits for the skin.
“It has been the subject of two open-label proof of concept clinical trials as well as three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies including an exceptional new study expected to be published in 2018. This makes ceratiq one of the most clinically supported branded ingredients in the beauty-from-within category,” she said.
According to Seth Flowerman, president and CEO of PLT Solutions, “One of the most gratifying aspects of being selected for this Award is the recognition it gives to the level of science that characterize PLT Health Solutions ingredients. We are constantly working with our partners to find opportunities to deliver strong, credible claims that address consumer needs and wants – and that help consumer product formulators build trust with their customers.”
Steve Fink, director of marketing at PLT Health Solutions, accepted the award at the event last week.
Weight Management Ingredient of the Year: Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17 (UAS Labs)
The beneficial bacteria (probiotic) Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17 strain was first isolated from human rbeast milk, Jenna Nelson, marketing manager at UAS Labs explained.
“This unique strain meets a growing consumer need by working within the gut microbiome to provide both gastrointestinal and weight management benefits,” she added.
“Winning this award is an amazing accomplishment not only for the individual strain but for UAS Labs as a whole. This award recognizes our commitment to science and our drive to advance the probiotic industry. In addition, this award highlights a one-of-a-kind strain that UAS Labs is proud to both manufacture and sell as we strive to enhance wellness and quality of life through innovative probiotic solutions,” Nelson added.
She accepted the award together with COO Ron Pillsbury and quality manager Jessica Monville.
More from the NutraIngredients-USA awards
Check out a full list of the winners for all 12 categories HERE.
We also spoke with the winners of the three finished product categories to learn more about their products, which you can find HERE.
Sabinsa won the Editor’s Award for Industry Initiative of the Year for its Pterocarpus marsupium reforestation program. Watch our interview with president Shaheen Majeed HERE.