In the immunity space, vitamin and mineral supplements are by far the largest category, followed by dairy products and beverages with immune-boosting micronutrients
SternVitamin has developed various concepts specifically for immune health. With the help of these micronutrient premixes, manufacturers can address the growing demand for products which support immune health.
Vitamins A, C, D, E, B1, B6, B12 and folic acid play a central role in immunity, as do the minerals zinc, iron, copper and selenium. These micronutrients perform many functions that help the immune system, including antioxidative and antimicrobial functions, and they help to neutralise viruses and bacteria. An inadequate supply of them increases the risk and severity of infection. This is especially the case for older people, who often suffer from malnutrition.
In the immunity space, vitamin and mineral supplements are by far the largest category, followed by dairy products and beverages with immune-boosting micronutrients. Sports nutrition is another important category. SternVitamin assists manufacturers with tailor-made concepts for all categories.
One example is the micronutrient premix SternGut, a nutritional supplement that dissolves in water. This premix supports the gut-associated immune system, with a combination of micronutrients for strengthened immunity and fibre with prebiotic and immune-modulating properties, including beta-glucanes from yeast and vitamin D3, which protect the upper respiratory tract. The premix is designed to give manufacturers of oat drinks and other plant-based milk alternatives additional value add potential.
The SternDefence product series addresses several target groups, and these premixes are developed to meet the needs of children and seniors. “Right now parents are looking not only for nutritional supplements, but increasingly also for products that support their children’s immune systems and reduce the risk of infection,” said Dr Christina Mesch, Product Manager at SternVitamin. “Sweet treats are part of children’s diets and so parents are looking for healthier alternatives. We developed the premix SternDefence Kids for ice cream, which supports children’s immune systems with essential micronutrients and protects cells from oxidative stress. In addition, prebiotics contribute to a healthy gut.”
The premix also supports mucous membrane function, the company says, which is very important for immune defence. Plant substances like sea buckthorn and lycopene protect cells from oxidative stress, while green tea extract improves the functioning of immune cells and antibody reactions, especially in seniors.
Dr Mesch said: “This trend has been going on for many years, and will remain important going forward.” Thanks to modern medicine people are getting older. With a good supply of nutrients, they can remain fit and healthy into old age. More and more consumers are aware of this, and so are choosing fortified products and tailored nutritional supplements.