In many cases, these oils don’t do much beyond that — their job is to simply ‘carry’ nutraceutical or botanical actives. However, one brand is utilizing oils that do more than just carry. Andrew Hebard, CEO and founder of Natures Crops International, joined the NutraCast to tell us more about functional carrier oils. The company is a vertically integrated grower and manufacturer of plant-based specialty oils, including Ahiflower.
“If you look at something like Ahiflower that is a multi omega and many people take multiple supplements today, the idea of combining something like an omega with another biological active seems to make a lot of common sense from the consumers’ point of view because you're taking those supplements and you're getting better value for money. It's a simpler overall sort of dietary supplement regime. I think we're seeing that now with many of our brand partners, they can combine a functional carrier oil with functionally sort of biologically active ingredients and enhance the overall consumer value proposition,” explained Hebard.
Hebard added that ingredients such as probiotics, lycopene, astaxanthin and fat soluble vitamins, for example, are often delivered in a functional carrier oil.
CBD and cannabis extracts are also appearing in functional carrier oils. In fact, Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. entered into an agreement with Nature's Crops in 2020. The deal allows Auxly to use Ahiflower in its current portfolio of cannabis products.
Hebard said brands are choosing to use functional carriers for a variety of reasons, whether its stability and compatibility, sustainability and supply chain integrity and mission-based values, each company has a different motive.
“So upgrading from a let's say a neutral carrier oil to a functional carrier oil is actually quite a small incremental added cost and yet in many ways, it doubles the value proposition for consumer, especially if it means that they can stop taking say an omega supplement as a standalone product and combine it with a product that has a multiple other health benefits and I think that's really what's at the heart of this enhanced value proposition,” said Hebard.
To hear more about the added value of functional carrier oils and Nature’s Crops International, listen to the NutraCast.
NutraCast is a podcast that focuses on insights from inside the nutrition industry. It is a production by NutraIngredients-USA. Music by Kevin Macleod.