The health megatrend: Individual concepts for plant-based products

Health is one of the twelve megatrends recently defined by the Future Institute in Frankfurt. It informs all facets of daily life and dominates entire lifestyles. “Physical well-being has grown in importance to be a key resource since the COVID-19 pandemic,” say the futurologists of the institute. Nutrition plays a central role in this. The focus is on plant-based products. “Plant-based alternatives are considered not just good for one’s own personal health, but also for the environment and the entire planet,” according to the researchers.

Various scientific studies have shown that vegetarian and vegan diets offer multiple health benefits. These include less obesity, lower cholesterol, and lower risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, an all-vegan diet brings with it the disadvantage of critical supply of certain micronutrients. Among these are vitamins B12, B2 and D, and calcium, iron, selenium, and zinc, as well as the amino acid lysine and certain omega-3 fatty acids. To prevent deficiencies, many plant-based products are fortified with micronutrients. SternVitamin takes this a step further and develops premixes that not only prevent deficiencies, but also meet certain target-group-specific needs, such as strengthening the bones, the immune system or gut health. “Customer interest in micronutrient premixes for plant-based products is growing,” notes SternVitamin Product Manager Dr Christina Mesch. “So together with our sister company Planteneers we have developed further concepts for plant-based drinks that address the current health trend.”

New oat drinks for mental power and the immune system

SternVitalityV and SternDefenceV are new to the product line. SternVitality is for a coffee oat drink with important micronutrients to support mental performance. The vitamins and minerals of the premix reduce tiredness and fatigue, and provide new energy. SternDefenceV was developed for a fruity oat drink and contains vitamins, minerals, and botanicals. B-vitamins are important for antibody synthesis and can act as immunomodulators. Sea buckthorn, vitamins B2, C and E, and the trace elements selenium and zinc protect the cells from oxidative stress, while vitamin D contributes to the growth, maturation, and activity of immune cells.

Strong bones, healthy heart

In addition to these new premix concepts, SternVitamin has also reviewed its existing premixes SternBonesV and SternHeartV and updated them in accordance with the latest science. SternBonesV is for a vanilla oat drink with a combination of vegan vitamin D3, vitamin K2 and calcium which helps maintain bone health. B-vitamins further protect the bones.

Mental stress can negatively affect vascular function and impact heart health. Since flavanol-rich cocoa has been demonstrated to improve blood flow in stressful situations and helps maintain elasticity of blood vessels, SternHeartV is incorporated into a chocolate oat drink. It contains additional vitamin K1 for vascular health and vitamin C, which improves the elasticity of the aorta and raises “good” HDL cholesterol. Meanwhile, B-vitamins contribute to a normal homocysteine metabolism, the formation of red blood cells, muscle function and a strong nervous system – likewise important for heart health.

Micronutrients for plant-based burger and fish alternatives

There are also new premixes for plant-based meat and fish alternatives. These contain the most important micronutrients found in their animal counterparts. For example, the premix for burger patties contains iron and vitamin B12. The premix for salmon filet supports consumers with B-vitamins, vitamins D and E, selenium, and the omega-3 fatty acid DHA.

Through the close collaboration of SternVitamin and Planteneers in the group’s own Plant Based Competence Center, customers get tailor-made all-in packages for manufacturing a wide array of plant-based products. Planteneers ensures optimum taste and texture, while SternVitamin delivers added health benefits through fortification with individual micronutrient premixes to fit a modern lifestyle.

 

Innovations in Food (& Beverage) Technology is a quarterly magazine distributed globally both in Print and Digital formats. www.innovationsfood.com.  Twitter: @Innovfoodtech.  Instagram: @innovationsinfoodtechnology.  Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/terry-prior52