NIU’s Global Round-up: UK plans folic acid fortification, Brazil bans Moringa, and more

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / mrhighsky
© Getty Images / mrhighsky
What's happened this week around the Nutra-Verse? Stay on top of things with our weekly round-up of key news from across the globe.


UK Government to press ahead with folic acid flour fortification

The British government has launched a 12-week public consultation over proposals to fortify flour with folic acid.

“We all want to give our children the best start in life and a birth defect diagnosis is devastating for parents,”​ said public health minister Seema Kennedy

“The simple measure of adding folic acid to flour would help spare hundreds of families from such a life-changing event.”

Folic acid or vitamin B deficiency amongst mothers-to-be is strongly linked to ‘neural tube defects’ with babies being born with brain, spine and spinal cord problems.

A 2010 meta-analysis​  showed an overall 46% reduction in neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly in countries where wheat flour was fortified with this B vitamin.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has listed the prevention of neural tube defects through flour fortification amongst its list of 10 great health achievements​ in the US for the last decade.

For more on this, please click HERE​.


Brazil bans foods with Moringa oleifera

ANVISA has announced the prohibition of Moringa oleifera​ for use in food and capsules, claiming that there is no evaluation and proof of safety.

As reported by NutraIngredients-LATAM​, the June 4th​ ban covers the manufacture, importation, marketing, advertising and distribution of all foods containing Moringa oleifera​, including in formats such as tea or capsules.

“The measure was motivated by the fact that there was no evaluation and safety proof of Moringa oleifera use in food,” ​explained ANVISA (translated from Portuguese). “In addition, it has been found that there are numerous products named and / or constituted of Moringa oleifera that have been irregularly marketed and published with several therapeutic claims not allowed for food, such as cancer cure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease treatment among many others.”

According to the American Botanical Council (ABC)​, Moringa trees can be found across a wide geographical and climatic range, from India and Pakistan to Africa, the Philippines, and the Americas. Potential health benefits range from blood pressure control to liver benefits an potential antibacterial activity.


Gut health, Ayurveda, and hemp among top NZ supplement trends

NZ © Getty Images lantapix
© Getty Images / lantapix

According to Kerry Warn, general manager of Natural Health Products NZ, key trends for the New Zealand supplements market include:

Vitamins and minerals: Good growth has been reported for vitamins K and A, albeit from a small base, while vitamin C is booming, she said. On the mineral side, magnesium is increasing in popularity.

Ayurveda: As we’ve seen in the US market, turmeric has been the “blockbuster botanical” growing at a rapid rate in New Zealand over the past three years, said Warn.

Adaptogens: Still niche but showing growth.

Digestive health: Ingredients such as Probiotics and fiber are popular, she said. Interestingly, dosage format in the form of general food, such as kombucha are the preferred choice.

Mind, body and soul: Warn said that there is a move towards fit instead of skinny. Sports nutrition is doing well, but demand for weight loss products is declining. New Zealand consumers are also interested in products that promote relaxation, she said.

Native ingredients: Warn also highlighted some of the interesting local New Zealand ingredients, including horopito, boysenberry, local red grapes, and blackcurrants.

For more on this from NutraIngredients-Asia, please click HERE​.

Related topics: Markets

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