Editors’ picks: Our favorite articles of 2023

By The NutraIngredients-USA Team

- Last updated on GMT

© oatawa / Getty Images
© oatawa / Getty Images

Related tags Dietary supplements Supply chain Gut health Cbd Upcycling quality standards tiktok berberine taurine

We enjoy writing some articles more than others, whether it’s because of the subject, the impact for industry, the insights from commentators, or other reasons. But which articles did we enjoy writing the most and why?

The end of the year is the ideal time to reflect, and reacquaint ourselves with the many articles that consumed our days in 2023. Each member of the NutraIngredients-USA editorial team picked their favorite articles of the year. We hope you enjoyed reading them as much as we enjoyed writing them!

Asia Sherman, Senior Correspondent, selected:

Researchers explore the pathways to berry health benefits

Asia Sherman
Asia Sherman

Asia said: “The first day of the Berry Health Benefits Symposium was a head-spinning eight hours of microbiota, metabolites, metabolic pathways, anthocyanins, substrates and cognitive, cardiovascular, digestive, exposome, eye and bone health benefits. Halfway through the second day, though, things clicked a bit when Dr. Colin Kay said: 'There seems to be multiple metabolites that have multiple activities on multiple pathways in multiple cell lines'. As someone looking in on the industry, I am grateful to have access to this type of continuing education and will always remember Tampa, FL as the first place I heard of Akkermansia muciniphila​.”

Botanical supply experts call on industry to value the wildcrafters

“This article covered a session from the American Herbal Products Association Botanical Congress that drew attention to the need to conserve wild-grown botanicals and the traditional knowledge necessary to harvest them,” said Asia. “It was nice to have the opportunity to cover a topic like this – that through consideration of a very specialized and relatively obscure profession like wildcrafting raises awareness of our cultural shifts and all the factors that need to be addressed to value where resources come from and 'put hope into a place that is fairly hopeless', particularly if that place is a beautifully pristine misty mountain.”

Claudia Adrien, Senior Correspondent, selected:

Rebalancing the gut: How bioinformatics and fungal research drive Biohm’s commercial future

Claudia Adrien
Claudia Adrien

“Developing supplements is no longer a matter of mastering biology. In this century, more and more emphasis is placed on gathering and managing data to create supplements that are targeted to the individual or groups of people,” said Claudia.

“Microbiome company Biohm Health is leading the way in this regard. The organization focuses just as much on its signature fungal research as it does on its bioinformatics capabilities. Its bioinformatics pipeline is what drew several large companies to team with Biohm, including multinational and nutrition giant ADM. In fact, it’s Biohm’s ability to partner with other groups and pursue its own commercial interests which make the company’s business model unique in the supplement space.”

Charlotte’s Web-Canopy Growth analysis identifies safe CBD intake levels for supplements

“Understanding safe CBD intake levels for supplements may move the legislative needle forward for greater legal acceptance of cannabinoids,” said Claudia. “The article discussed research that appeared in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology​ which stated that upper CBD intake levels ranging from 70 mg to 160 mg per day for dietary supplements are acceptable. However, the US Food and Drug Administration has been steadfast, not intending to pursue rulemaking allowing the use of CBD in dietary supplements or conventional foods.

“This ongoing debate between companies and the federal government will only intensify as CBD research becomes more refined.”

Danielle Masterson, Deputy Editor, selected:

Glass to gut: Using wine leftovers to make healthy ingredients

Danielle Masterson
Danielle Masterson

Danielle said: “On the surface, who wouldn’t love being assigned a story that involves a trip to Sonoma to drink wine and eat chocolate? However, there’s so much more to the story than meets the eye.

“I got a chance to speak with Sonomaceuticals about how they use wine byproducts to develop healthy, sustainable ingredients (over wine of course) and then take a field trip to UC Davis to see the inner workings of Dr Daniela Barile’s lab where I learned how chardonnay marc modulates the gut. 

“This assignment led me to interesting and unexpected discoveries, like how white wine may confer more health benefits than red wine. Gut to Glass was a perfect mix of gut health (a favorite topic of mine), science and real boots-on-the-g̶r̶o̶u̶n̶d̶ vineyard journalism.”

NOW Foods continues to drive industry standards

“When I first joined NutraIngredients-USA in 2019, it was very clear to me that the dietary supplements industry was battling an ongoing crisis: adulteration,” said Danielle.

“For the sake of the industry, this must change. But if Amazon or FDA isn’t going to do anything about it, who will? Enter NOW Foods. With multiple analytical laboratory capabilities in-house to test their own products as well as unfamiliar brands found online, the company is single handedly elevating the industry by keeping standards high and exposing unscrupulous brands. 

“While I certainly valued NOW’s effort before my tour, I wasn’t able to truly appreciate the work there until I walked the hallways of this massive facility, witnessed non-stop testing and saw machines churning out supplements. What NOW’s team is doing is unlike anything I’ve ever seen–and it’s a story I’m so happy to be able to tell.”

Stephen Daniells, Editor-in-Chief, selected:

The long tail of TikTok: What recent history teaches us about berberine & taurine

Stephen D - 300px - 1
Stephen Daniells

Stephen said: “I admit up front that I’m not a TikToker, so why did I select this article? Mainly because, after speaking to multiple sources, it gave me a glimpse of how TikTok is shaking up the supplements industry. This isn’t just the new Dr Oz. This is Oz on steroids.

“I talked to Scott Dicker at SPINS and Jim Emme at NOW about how TikTok-driven interest in Taurine and berberine led to sky-rocketing sales, about why it’s so difficult to predict what will spike next, and with Loren Israelsen about some of the moral questions companies will face: If companies want to ride the TikTok bull, they either have to be super reactive and fast to market (which then leads to questions about quality) or just have a broad and deep portfolio. However, the latter just is not practical for most brands.

“This was a fascinating article to research, and leaves you with much to think about. And Jim’s quote, 'With 1,400 SKUs, we’ll catch the lightning bolt once in a while' was journalistic gold.”

Ayana Bio launches three new plant cell cultivated ingredients

“Every now and again there’s a new ingredient supplier that makes you sit up and say, “now that is truly interesting”,” said Stephen. “Ayana Bio is one such company with its plant cell cultivation that could challenge traditional botanicals in a few years. I picked this video interview with Ayana’s CEO, Frank Jaksch because it’s wide-ranging and candid: Frank didn’t dodge any of the questions, and I think it’s a great overview of where Ayana currently are and where it all could lead.”

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