The global anti-ageing food market shows huge potential, with an increasing number, size and variety of companies registering an interest in moving into the sector, claims researchers from Leatherhead Food Research.
“Over the past 25 years or so there has been rising interest in the role of diet in this process, and consumers are increasingly trying to manage their health through their eating patterns, increasingly turning to everyday foodstuffs that already contain or can be fortified with the additional nutrients and ingredients that they believe that they need,” states The Market for Anti-Ageing Foods.
The researchers claim that, to date, commercial product activity in food and drinks that prevent or reduce age-related disease has been fairly limited, but they note relatively high levels of activity in biscuits and snacks, even if the market remains small and fragmented.
Japan is proving the biggest player currently in terms of fortified bakery products targeted at age related health categories, they note, but Italy has been quite pioneering in the area with Barilla, one of Europe’s leading bakery and cereal companies, launching an anti-ageing range.
The company’s Alixir Iuvenis anti-ageing range with antioxidants includes a snack bar.
In the US, snack and cereal bars, the report notes, have seen developments in the mental/cognitive health arena and while these developments are mainly in specialist lines, there has been some involvement from multinational companies such as Kellogg’s.
The analysts found that, in the UK, while an increasing number of bakery and snack products are being marketed on a high-in-antioxidants platform, including chocolate and cereal bars, most do not specifically refer to anti-ageing properties but use a more general health platform.
Bakery focused ingredients
The report details a number of patent applications in relation to age related health conditions for ingredients that are suitable for incorporation into bakery and snack products:
An ingredient from Enzymotec consists of edible fats that is claimed to be useful in promoting bone health, while a premix comprising calcium and vitamin D, also targeted at improving bone health, has been developed for use in flour for bread making by Nutraceuticals.
A multiple component food product useful for delivering glucosamine has been designed byCargill, states the report.
“The invention allows the delivery of the cartilage supplements through bakery and pastry products without having to subject the cartilage supplements to excessive heat treatment.”
The report also details a composition that is useful in preventing or treating inflammations in humans that has been developed by Metaproteomics and can be used in snack bars.
The report finds that market development of anti-ageing foods has been inhibited in some instances by legislation restricting fortification of foods and drinks or limiting health claims, and as such has been relying more on a general health positioning in many instances, while also raising general consumer awareness of the benefits of ingredients used.
Therefore, adapting to new legislation changes will be vital for companies wishing to launch products in the anti-ageing sector, the researchers argue.