Functional Ingredient Trends: Restoring Protein, Balancing Gut Health, Boosting Immunity, & Improving Sleep  

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Written by | February 3rd, 2021

 In Part 1 of Functional Ingredients Trends, the focus was on adaptogens more commonly incorporated into food and beverage products for the health benefits they bring. Beyond adaptogens, there are other key functional ingredients that developers are beginning to integrate into their products to meet consumer needs. 

 Calling on Collagen to Restore Protein Levels  

Collagen is the most prominent protein our body produces. It is in our skin, bones, tendons, muscles, and ligaments – even in our teeth! As we get older, our bodies produce less collagen, resulting in rougher skin and weaker joints. The health benefits of taking a collagen supplement or consuming products featuring collagen as an active ingredient are undeniable. These include improving skin hydration and elasticityproviding relief for aching joints, and supporting the development of muscle. 

Probiotics and Prebiotics: The Foundation to a Healthy Gut 

Probiotics: Most consumers are familiar with Probiotics, the live yeasts and bacteria that help maintain and support a healthy gut and aid in digestion. Doctors often recommend a probiotic supplement to restore balance to the body’s bacterial system after taking antibiotics.  They are also used to treat lactose intolerance, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and Diarrhea.  

 Prebiotics: For those of you who have never heard of Prebiotics, you are not alone. Although not as well know, they are just as important. Prebiotics are plant fibers and carbohydrates that the body cannot readily digest. When they move through the lower digestive tract, they feed the healthy bacteria that promote gut health. Prebiotics are found in a variety of different vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, such as bananas, cocoa, garlic, leeks, and flaxseeds. 

Boosting Immunity with Vitamin C (and Zinc!) 

Now more than ever, consumers are hyper-aware of their immune systems and are looking for natural ways to strengthen its ability to fight off illness. Vitamin C, also known as L. ascorbic acid, can be taken in many different forms to ward off the common cold as well as fight infections. Where to get your supply of Vitamin CWhether it be in raw produce such as strawberries, citrus, and spinach or in the plethora of food and beverage products featuring the immunityboosting vitamin, the resources are abundant. When combined, Vitamin C and Zinc are a particularly powerful duo for improving immunity. Grapefruit and elderberry offer high levels of both! 

Improving Sleep Quality with Melatonin 

Most consumers are familiar with Melatonin as supplement used for sleep issues including insomnia. Melatoniis a hormone our brain produces, letting us know when it’s time to go to sleep and when it’s time to wake upTypically, our bodies generate more melatonin at night when the amount of light we are exposed to diminishesMelatonin supplements come in liquid, pill or chewable form and are either natural or synthetic; the natural form sourced from animals or micro-organismsBeyond taking Melatonin for better sleep, consumers also take it to manage jet lag and post-operative pain.  

The Future of CBD = CBD + (Insert Functional Ingredient Here)  

Most consumers want to minimize the number of products in their daily health routine, yet still get the nutritional value of all the vitamins, minerals, supplements, and other functional ingredients. The best way to achieve this is to pair functional ingredients in food or beverage products. In this next wave of infused food and beverage products, CBD will likely share the spotlight with some of the functional ingredients described above, and that ingredient will be dependent on the product’s purpose and the consumer’s needs. 

Combining ingredients is not as simple as it looksThe R&D Team at SōRSE  understands the challenges and nuances of pairing various cannabinoids with other functional ingredientsLeveraging our current CBD emulsion portfolio combined with our formulation and technical expertise, we can create a blended solution tailored to your needs. If you are considering adding another functional ingredient to your product or product line, get in touch with the SōRSE team today!