According to Innova Market Insights, “In Tune with Immune” is one of the Top Ten Trends 2021. As this market research institute reports, six out of ten consumers worldwide are looking for foods and beverages that support the immune system. SternVitamin has developed various concepts specifically for immune health. With the help of these micronutrient premixes, manufacturers can address the growing demand.
Vitamins A, C, D, E, B1, B6, B12 and folic acid play a central role in this, 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. A good third of people over 50 years old in Europe, the US and Canada have demonstrable deficiencies in one or more micronutrients.
From individual supplements to fortified milk products and beverages
It’s no wonder that nutritional supplements and fortified products are gaining importance. According to Innova Market Insights, since early 2015 there have been some 8500 new product launches in the immune health space worldwide. 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 the various categories.
One example is the micronutrient premix SternGut, a nutritional supplement that dissolves easily 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 SternGutV premix is a version of this. It gives manufacturers of oat drinks and other plant-based milk alternatives additional value add potential. Whether for stress-plagued people, or athletes or “weekend warriors”, plant-based drinks with SternGutV support the immune defences and overall fitness. At the same time, they feature a delicious taste and pleasant mouthfeel.
The SternDefence product series addresses several target groups. These premixes are specially 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,” reports 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.” Furthermore, the premix supports mucous membrane function, which is very important for immune defence. SternDefence Seniors, meanwhile, is a powdered nutritional supplement that is stirred into water. Many elderly people have clearly diagnosable micronutrient deficiencies, especially of vitamins A, C, D, E, B12, folic acid, iron, zinc and magnesium. These play an important role in the immune system, and by providing them SternDefence Seniors helps improve immune health in seniors. 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.
“With our demand-oriented product concepts for boosting immune health, manufacturers can address an ongoing mega-trend – the rising demand for products with specific health-boosting properties,” says Dr. Mesch. “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.