Five companies honored in Ingredient of the Year categories

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

@Getty Images - ptasha
@Getty Images - ptasha

Related tags healthy aging Prebiotic prebiotic fiber saffron Cognitive function cognitive support Weight management

Companies in five categories won Ingredient of the Year honors in NutraIngredients-USA’s 2020 slate of awards.

Independent judges recruited by NutraIngredients-USA scored the entries on five parameters: demand, application and design, scientific merit, commercial success, and innovation and differentiation.  

Cognitive Function

In the Cognitive Function Ingredient of the Year category, Pharmactive Biotech Products in concert with Gencor Pacific took the honors with its affron ingredient, which is a proprietary saffron extract.

Saffron is derived from tendrils taken from the flowers of the Crocus sativus plant.  As a spice, saffron has been in trade and has been used in culinary applications for centuries and has long been considered the world’s most expensive by weight.

More recently extracts of saffron have been investigated for their cognitive benefits in mood, memory and in ameliorating disorders brought on by cognitive decline.

Pharmactive says its affron ingredient is unique in that it is the first saffron extract standardized by HPLC to constituents called Lepticrosalides.  According to Pharmactive, these are the bioactive compounds that help with relaxation, mental and physical balance, and help maintain a positive mood.

The judges lauded Pharmactive for the studies backing the ingredient, with one judge going so far as to say the company had created the category for the use of a saffron extract for cognition and mood.

“We feel so honored to have received this outstanding recognition for affron. We believe this will help our industry and consumers to better understand this top notch and clinically endorsed ingredient and will support our customers to continue improving people’s quality of life and well-being. Especially in the uncertain times we live in, affron could be a good natural solution to manage stress, feel positive, and get more restorative sleep,”​ said Jean-Marie Raymond, CEO & Founder of Pharmactive Biotech Products, S.L.

Healthy Aging

In the Heathy Aging Ingredient of the Year category, the winner was AquaCelle-Q10 from Pharmako Biotechnologies.  This is another company whose products are being marketed by Gencor.

CoQ10 is a molecule found in the walls of human cells and in other animals.  The molecule has a crucial role to play in the energy production machinery of the cell and levels have been shown to decline with age.

The problem with the ingredient is that it is poorly absorbed, something that Pharmako has addressed with the AquaCelle-Q10 delivery system, which increases uptake by as much as three fold.

The judges were impressed with Pharmako’s absorption advantage, its attractive cost basis, and the company’s ability to innovate within a crowded field.

“We are humbled and excited to be announced a winner of the NutraIngredients USA Awards,” ​said Eric Meppem, co-founder at Pharmako Biotechnologies. “Our goal is to provide only validated, premium technologies and ingredients that dramatically increase bioavailability, functionality and efficacy to consumers, and we want to thank NutraIngredients and the judging panel for recognizing AquaCelle-Q10.”


In the prebiotics category, the Ingredient of the Year winner was Livaux, made by Anagenix.  The ingredient is derived from New Zealand gold kiwifruit.

Anagenix says that  Livaux preferentially feeds specific beneficial bacteria – Faecalibacterium prausnitzii​ (F. prau).  This is a species that is a prolific butyrate producer.  Higher levels of butyrate have been shown to benefit gut health.

“I would like to acknowledge the finalists and thank NutraIngredients-USA for the honor of winning Prebiotic of the year, 2020. We are excited that Livaux,  a whole fruit prebiotic is now getting international recognition. The pathway forward for Livaux is an exciting one and we are looking forward to working with brands and sharing the science story behind this New Zealand ingredient,”​ said Chris Johnson, managing director of Anagenix. 

Sports Nutrition

In the Sports Nutrition category, the winner was NooLVL by Nutrition 21.  The ingredient is composed of two components: bonded arginine silicate combined with an additional dose of inositol.

The ingredient was developed with esports gamers in mind.  The ingredient is claimed to be fast-acting, with effects apparent in as little as 15 minutes.  The ingredient has been shown to reduce errors, increase reaction time and motor speed, and boost focus and visual attention.

Joe Weiss, president of Nutrition 21, had this to say:

“The team at Nutrition21 thanks NutraIngredients-USA for recognizing our most recent product launch, nooLVL, for sports nutrition product of the year. NooLVL is an example of Nutrition21 innovation and vision and is the first ingredient to be clinically studied in e-sports gamers and found to improve performance. E-sports is an exciting new consumer market and nooLVL is attracting a lot attention in the space.”

Weight Management

In the Weight Management category the winner was Metabolaid by Monteloeder.  

Metabolaid is a proprietary formula based on hibiscus and lemon verbena extracts, containing highly purified in anthocyanins and verbascoside, respectively.  Monteloeder says the ingredient has been shown to decrease fat accumulation in the adipose tissue and liver, while also increasing energy uptake by the muscles, which overall gives rise to a “fat-burning” effect on the body. Furthermore, the ingredient has been demonstrated to help reduce total cholesterol and LDL, triglycerides, as well as blood pressure. Therefore, it is an ingredient targeted to manage excess body weight/fat and support cardiovascular health.

"Monteloeder is committed to the highest quality standards for all its ingredients, and we are so pleased that Nutraingredients-USA has recognized our significant efforts and innovation, and awarded Metabolaid with top honors. Metabolaid is the result of over 7 years of extensive research to identify and validate the most potent and natural botanical extracts for weight management available. It is patented and backed by 6 clinical trials, and is ideally suited for use in dietary supplement, food and beverage applications. Combined with Monteloeder’s unique approach in linking ingredients with digital tools, Metabolaid is making a big impact in helping consumers address, assess and achieve their weight management goals, with long-lasting effects,”​ said Jonathan Jones, PhD, product development manager and digital health adviser at Monteloeder S.L.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Harness the power of algae for omega-3 innovation

Harness the power of algae for omega-3 innovation

Content provided by dsm-firmenich | 18-Jun-2024 | Insight Guide

Algal-sourced omega-3s have limitless potential, able to scale to meet the needs of our planet’s population with twice the potency – naturally – and all...

Innovate with EpiCor Postbiotic!

Innovate with EpiCor Postbiotic!

Content provided by Cargill | 10-Jun-2024 | White Paper

Upgrade your innovation with EpiCor® Postbiotic! EpiCor® is an innovative, science-backed postbiotic ingredient clinically shown to support immune health....

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more