InterviewOptimism for nutraceuticals sector despite downturn

21 April 2009 17:54  [Source: ICIS news]

By Andy Brice

LONDON (ICIS news)--Despite the global downturn and reduced consumer spending, there is still cause for optimism in the fast-growing nutraceuticals market, a company executive said on Tuesday.

Demand remains strong for health foods and dietary supplements. And, if anything, products promoting health and well-being are even more of a priority for money-conscious consumers, according to Philipp Siebrecht, global business manager at Swiss-based ingredient supplier DSM Nutritional Products.

A year after the launch of DSM’s ResVida brand in March 2008, the high-purity form of the natural ingredient resveratrol is selling strongly and Siebrecht is optimistic about future growth in the market.

He points specifically to consumers from countries such as the US, who have to pay for healthcare and are concerned by being forced to take time off because of ill health or of losing their jobs and associated healthcare benefits.

A relatively small investment, said Siebrecht, could help them save them money in the longer term.

Resveratrol, a natural ingredient found in red wine, has been lauded as having significant health benefits.

These include helping to minimise the risks of heart disease and improving locomotor skills – the basis of human movement – and preserving learning abilities and endurance.

Resveratrol occurs naturally in a number of plants, including grapes, mulberries, peanuts, a Chinese plant called giant knotweed and white hellebore.

“A lot of people know about the benefits of red wine when drunk in modest quantities,” said Siebrecht. “DSM managed to extract that molecule and we now supply it to the functional food industry, who adds it to their dietary supplements or beverages and food products.”

One way to increase life expectancy is to slightly reduce calorie intake, said Siebrecht. Researchers have found that low doses of resveratrol in the diet of mice mimic this effect.

DSM has enhanced the qualities of resveratrol and provides a 99% pure form. A dose of 30-200mg each day could have a positive effect on health, Siebrecht said, with 30mg as the equivalent of five or six bottles of wine – but without the obvious health implications. 

DSM submitted its novel food application for the EU-wide approval of ResVida in December 2008. The company expected the application to be approved by the end of 2010.

Click here to listen to the full interview with Philipp Siebrecht
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By: Andy Brice
+44 20 8652 3214



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