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

By Stephen Daniells

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

Related tags NutraIngredients-USA Awards Beauty from within Sports nutrition Prebiotics healthy aging Weight management Cognitive function Unmetered

Six new “Ingredients of the Year” were announced at the recent NutraIngredients-USA Awards spanning beauty from within, cognitive function, healthy aging, prebiotic, sports nutrition, and weight management. Read on to meet the winners…

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.

Here are the winners:

Beauty from within

Nutroxsun​, Monteloeder USA

Combining extracts from rosemary and grapefruit that act within the body to provide increased protection against sun-induced damage to the skin, Nutroxsun is positioned to provide protection against UV radiation in addition to topical sunscreens.

The ingredient’s phenolic content is reported to work synergistically to scavenge free radicals generated by solar radiation, which can result in inflammation, protein degradation and cellular damage.

Our judges found the fruit-based extracts, small dosage, and vegan claim very appealing.

“The app was an innovative touch and it had strong science,” ​said the judges. “Described as compliment to sunscreen, we could see this on shelves next to topicals, a big trend right now is bi-directional beauty, so this fits right in.”

Cognitive function

VitaCholine​, Balchem

Which much research in the cognitive space has focused on adults, and older adults in particular, Balchem has been methodically supporting research into the value of its VitaCholine during pregnancy and in early life.

Notably, a clinical study recently published by Cornell University researchers showed significant brain benefits for babies born to moms who received supplemental choline during pregnancy. VitaCholine was also featured in a 2022 study, positively impacting the DHA status in pregnant women who supplemented with choline and DHA.

“Vitacholine is a well-known established and successful product, and choline-containing supplements have experienced significant sales growth over the past couple of years showing that awareness around the ingredient is increasing,” ​said our judges. “We commended Balchem’s focus on prenatal and early brain development as a fresh approach to cognition and brain health.”

Healthy Aging

LactoLycopene​, Cambridge Nutraceuticals

Enhancing the bioavailability of lycopene was the focus of our healthy aging ingredient. LactoLycopene is a patented combination of lycopene and whey protein to enhance bioavailability of lycopene.

The enhanced bioavailability is supported by data from a human study that compared the LactoLycopene and tomato paste. After eight weeks of daily supplementation, LactoLycopene increased plasma lycopene concentration by 270%.

One judge called this year’s winner, “A nutraceutical version of creamy tomato soup. Clever use of using whey as a plasticizer to separate lycopene to enhance bioavailability.”


Livaux​, Anagenix

The prebiotic ingredient category saw Anagenix’s Livaux ingredient return to the top spot – the ingredient previously won in this category in 2020.

The patented NZ whole fruit gold kiwifruit powder has been shown to increases Faecalibacterium prausnitzii (F.prau​) levels 2-fold in the gut. Why is this important? F. prau​ is found in low amounts in people with IBS, IBD, Parkinson's, viral respiratory infections and diabetes. F.prau​ supports the growth of butyrate, which can help ameliorate inflammation and support the immune system.

Commenting on their decision, our judges said: “Livaux again put forward a strong application, citing good studies. The ingredient, which is derived from kiwifruit and is effective at 2-3 grams per day, has experienced impressive growth over the 12 months. Livaux’s focus on ​F. prau remains a novel approach and a differentiator in an emerging category.”

Sports Nutrition

HydroCurc​, Pharmako Biotechnologies

This is always a competitive category, and this year the award went to Pharmako Biotechnologies for HydroCurc, a curcumin ingredient with enhanced bioavailability. Curcumin is now recognized as one of the best anti-inflammatory agents. HydroCurc supports both sides of the continuum of boosting performance and improving recovery. Including clinically proven relief from: - joint pain - muscle pain – DOMS.

“Pharmako Biotechnologies really distinguished its ingredient in a crowded category with its ease in formulation application, proof of functional benefit, high bioavailability, and superb research to support all the claims,” ​said our judges.

Weight Management

Slendacor​, PLT Health Solutions

Our judges are always looking for solid scientific substantiation for the entries, and the clinical data was the clincher for this year’s winner: Slendacor from PLT Health Solutions.

The ingredient is a patented, safe, and effective botanical combination of three standardized extracts that has been shown in three clinical trials to significantly reduce body weight, BMI, waist and hip circumference; to improve blood lipids; increase lean body mass; increase resting energy expenditure by up to 15% after just one week of use; and promote the conversion of white to brown adipose.

“The clinical trials for this year’s winner helped put it over the top, showing a nice, multi-factorial mechanism of action, which included both effects on both fat and thermoregulatory factors,” ​said our judges. “The studies covered many bases, including well fed subjects, men and women, and overweight participants.”


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