NutraIngredients-USA Awards: Meet the Ingredients of the Year!

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

NutraIngredients-USA Awards: Meet the Ingredients of the Year!

Related tags NutraIngredients-USA Awards Prebiotic Weight management Cognitive function Dietary ingredient Sports nutrition beauty-from-within healthy aging

The Ingredient of the Year categories honored the best and the brightest across a range of health endpoints, including beauty-from-within, cognition, healthy aging, prebiotic, sports nutrition, and weight management.

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

Read on to meet the winners:


Replenwell by Wellnex, Nitta Gelatin

Rich in functional dipeptides prolinehydroxyproline “PO” and hydroxyprolineglycine “OG,” Wellnex Replenwell collagen peptide ingredients are backed by over a decade of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, human clinical trials, with data supporting their ability to fight the visible signs of skin aging, including dryness, sagging, uneven skin tone, and wrinkles.

Replenwell collagen peptides offer up to 30 times the PO-OG levels of standard collagen ingredients and are shown to significantly improve skin’s appearance with as little as 2.5g daily for 4 weeks.

Our judges were impressed by the well-established mechanism of action and well-researched technology. They also appreciated Replenwell’s work on establishing sustainability and traceability.

“Winning the NutraIngredients-USA award for beauty-from-within is a huge honor for our team, and an ideal platform for sharing Nitta Gelatin's scientific research illuminating Replenwell’s unique mechanisms of action and clinical study results with the North American market,” ​said Liz Clarke, CFS, Technical Marketing Manager , Nitta Gelatin NA.

“Replenwell’s recognition as the most outstanding beauty-from-within ingredient not only within the collagen category, but in the functional ingredient industry as a whole, is an amazing distinction. We’re so thankful to NutraIngredients-USA for the opportunity to participate in these great awards.”

Cognitive Function         

enXtra by OmniActive Health Technologies / ENovate Biolife         

enXtra is a proprietary extract of Alpinia galanga​, a commonly used spice in Asian cooking. The caffeine-free ingredient has been clinically shown to support alertness and help focus by targeting a cognitive process known as “Attention Network Function” (ANF), which is the brain’s ability to allocate processing resources to a specific task.

Out judges said that enXtra had that X-factor they were looking for: A natural, safe and effective alternative to caffeine supported by multiple human studies and demonstrable commercial success in the market. The ingredient is positioned for energy and sports formulations, and our judges highlighted the ingredient’s potential as a game changer in the esports category.

“We are very honored to have received the Nutraingredients-USA award for Ingredient of the Year in Cognitive Function!”​ said Kimberly Smith, Chief Marketing Officer at OmniActive. “Our natural energy ingredient, enXtra, is a caffeine-free alternative and has been clinically shown to support alertness and focus. This prestigious award validates the strength of enXtra’s science as well as the new opportunities it brings to the table in exciting and burgeoning categories like esports.”

Healthy Aging

Levagen+ by Gencor      

Levagen+ is high quality Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), an endogenous endocannabinoid receptor agonist produced as a biological response and repair mechanism, potentiating its actions at cannabinoid CB1, CB2 and GPR55 receptors, and TRPV1 channels. PEA is used for joint pain and inflammation.

Levagen+ has been clinically proven to support those with normal symptoms of mild to moderate osteoarthritis by supporting joint function, reducing joint stiffness and providing joint comfort.

Our judges felt that Levagen+ had scientific backing for the ingredient’s anti-inflammatory/analgesic effects without the adverse effect of NSAIDS which will likely prove to be a boon for the chronic pain treatment sector. The ingredient’s formulation flexibility was seen as adding an important X-factor.

“Gencor is extremely proud and incredibly honored to have won the 2021 NutraIngredients-USA Ingredient of the Year Award for Healthy Aging with our phenomenal ingredient Levagen+,” ​said Maggie McNamara, Marketing Director, Gencor. 

“We have always been committed to investing in research and innovation and we are delighted that the judges recognized that and that they felt that Levagen+ had scientific backing for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits. We believe that Levagen+ is a game changer ingredient in the healthy aging sector and this award confirms that Levagen+ does have the important X-factor.”​ 


Bimuno, Clasado Biosciences       

Bimuno’s proprietary galactooligosaccharide (GOS) composition is selectively fermented by bifidobacterial. Supported by over 90 scientific publications, including more than 20 clinical studies, Bimuno is shown to elicit advantageous physiological effects, including supporting gastrointestinal function and symptom relief, contributing to immune defense, including resistance against infection, Immune modulation, mainly anti-inflammatory effects, both at intestinal and systemic level and supporting cognitive health.

Our judges were impressed by Bimuno’s science, with multiple studies showing impressive efficacy for a range of health end-points at low doses, including immune function in healthy elderly people.

After building a solid business in Europe, Bimuno has posted double digit growth in North America in recent years and is perfectly poised with consumer demand growing for microbiome modulators and immune support ingredients, said the judges.

“Our team is delighted to pick up the inaugural Ingredient of the Year: Prebiotic award at the NutraIngredients USA and thrilled that the judging panel has recognized the success of our trailblazing galactooligosaccharide (GOS), Bimuno, on the global stage,” ​said Doug King, Senior Sales Manager North America, at Clasado Biosciences.

“Having also taken top honors at the European counterpart awards, the accolade marks Bimuno out as a great scientifically-supported choice for brands seeking to connect and engage with today’s gut-focused consumer. As we continue to grow our business across North America, we look forward to helping health and nutrition businesses of every size break new ground with new prebiotic products.”

Sports Nutrition

TWK10 Sports Probiotic Lonza​   

TWK10 Sports Probiotic is an innovative form of the probiotic strain L. plantarum​ and is the first probiotic clinically proven to increase exercise endurance by up to 75% in athletes of all levels. Originally sourced from Taiwanese kimchi, TWK10 Sports Probiotic is also supported for improving body composition, reducing exercise fatigue, and enhancing exercise endurance.

Our judges said that the science behind TWK10 Sports Probiotic, which included both performance and health improvements, really stood out for the judges. All boxes checked, with a great story of a “from food” bio culture.

“Overall, TWK10 Sports Probiotic is a truly unique probiotic strain with sport-specific benefits,”​ said the judges.

"We’re honored to be recognized by NutraIngredients-USA for our newest innovative sports nutrition ingredient, TWK10 sports probiotic," ​said Vaughn DuBow, Marketing Manager, Lonza. "This recognition isn’t just for Lonza, but for all the individuals whose hard work and research helped bring this product to life. We’re especially excited to share this award with our customers, helping them reach consumers with this now award-winning ingredient. NutraIngredients really sets the bar high as the go-to source of global nutraceutical news, and we couldn't be more thrilled to be recognized by this industry-leading organization."

Weight Management      

Slimaluma, Gencor​         

Slimaluma, marketed by Gencor, is made from Caralluma fimbriata​, a cactus-like plant traditionally used in India to ward off hunger. Its appetite suppressing qualities make it an ideal addition to modern diets.

Using a patented process for extracting the key constituents of the Caralluma fimbriata​ plant, without chemically altering those constituents, Gencor has developed an effective, safe, and easy-to use ingredient that helps adults maintain and support healthy weight with diet and exercise.

Our judges were swayed by Gencor’s persuasive sheaf of studies on the ingredient that included ‘interesting overlaps of biosystem functions.’

“In keeping with the effects many natural weight management ingredients, the results of the studies were not profound, but the claims that Gencor does make were well supported by the evidence,” ​the judges said.

“Gencor is very proud of winning the NutraIngredients-USA Award for Ingredient of the Year: Weight Management with our well-studied ingredient Slimaluma,” ​said Maggie McNamara, Marketing Director, Gencor. 

“Our focus of science, research and innovation is demonstrated in all of our branded ingredients, we recognize the incredible quality and effectiveness of each of our brands, this NI-USA Award is an fantastic reaffirmation of that.”

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