Consumers continue to show a pronounced interest in foods for beauty and health. Attendees of Prepared Foods’ 2009 R&D Applications Seminars--East heard information on ingredients, such as lycopene, pomegranate extract, collagen, lutein, beta-carotene and polyphenols, which help protect skin from sun damage, water loss, oxidative stress and other damaging environmental factors.

Emerging Ingredients for Beauty
Some types of skin damage can be lessened or prevented with nutrition, and there are several ingredients to consider for fortification in beverages, including lycopene, pomegranate extract and collagen.

Rodger Jonas, director of national sales, PLThomas, explained the benefits of nutritional ingredients for use in clear beverages, their functions and applications, in a presentation titled, “New Emerging Ingredients for Beauty,” at Prepared Foods’ 2009 R&D Applications Seminar-East. “When considering the effects of UV radiation on human health and the environment, the range of UV wavelengths is often subdivided into UVA (380-315nm), also called long wave or ‘blacklight;’ UVB (315-280nm), also called medium wave; and UVC (280-10nm), also called short wave or ‘germicidal,’” explained Jonas.

In general, UVA is the least harmful, but can contribute to the aging of skin, DNA damage and, possibly, skin cancer. It penetrates deeply and does not cause sunburn, but it is important that a sunscreen blocks both UVA and UVB.

High intensities of UVB light are hazardous to the eyes, and exposure can cause welder’s flash (photokeratitis, or arc eye). UVA, UVB and UVC all can damage collagen fibers and, thereby, accelerate aging of the skin. UVA light also penetrates deeper into the skin than UVB light and is thought to be a prime cause of wrinkles.

UVB light, in particular, has been linked to skin cancers, such as melanoma. The radiation ionizes DNA molecules in skin cells, causing covalent bonds to form between adjacent thymine bases, producing thymidine dimers. Thymidine dimers do not form normal base pairs in DNA molecules, which can cause distortion of the DNA helix, stalled replication, gaps and mis-incorporation. These can lead to mutations that, in turn, may result in cancerous growths.

Jonas offers, “Nutrients can protect skin by inhibiting inflammation, as well as cellular and DNA damage caused by excess free radicals (oxidative stress); preferentially absorbing the harmful UV rays, including UVA; and nourishing and strengthening collagen and elastin bonds.”

Lycopene is an antioxidant-rich carotenoid found in tomatoes and other fruits that is often used as a naturally derived source of color. Not only is lycopene a colorant of interest, but it is also an important ingredient for promoting beauty from within, as it has strong clinical support for providing UV protection to the skin.

Pomegranate extract provides UVB protection as one of its health benefits and, therefore, has beauty-from-within potential. Pomegranate extract can be standardized to water-soluble punicalagins, which are the most active constituents. The ratio of phytochemicals is the same as in pomegranate juice, but more concentrated. “The health benefits of this proprietary pomegranate extract are superior to ellagic acid standardized products. Studies indicate benefits from as little as 45-50mg extract per day,” Jonas adds.

Collagen and elastin degenerate with age, setting the stage for the appearance of wrinkles, creases, folds and furrows. In the dermis, UV radiation causes collagen to break down at a higher rate than with just chronologic aging. Sunlight damages collagen fibers and causes the accumulation of abnormal elastin. When this sun-induced elastin accumulates, enzymes called metalloproteinases are produced in large quantities. Normally, metalloproteinases remodel sun-injured skin by manufacturing and reforming collagen. However, this process does not always work well, and some of the metalloproteinases actually break down collagen. This results in the formation of disorganized collagen fibers known as solar scars. When the skin repeats this imperfect rebuilding process, wrinkles develop.

Collagen supplementation can nourish and strengthen collagen and elastin bonds. Collagen has successfully been incorporated into smoothies and

Beauty From Within: Ingredients and Concepts
“Beauty from within is one of the top consumer trends under health and wellness and involves skin care from the inside out, featuring both anti-aging foods and beverages,” shared Sharrann Simmons, senior marketing manager, Cognis Nutrition & Health, during Prepared Foods’ 2009 R&D Applications Seminars-East event. Simmons defined nutricosmetics as beauty foods and beverages aimed at improving external appearance, especially promoting skin health and body-shaping, which also includes oral beauty supplements.

Signs of a growing “beauty foods” market began in April 2005, when Avon moved wellness to the core of its catalog. In September 2008, Nestle launched Glowelle gourmet beauty beverage. In December 2008, Cosmetics journal published an article, “Beauty Isn’t Skin Deep Anymore.” In February 2009, Euromonitor said “beauty from within” was going mainstream. The link for consumers is from food to health to appearance.

Beauty from within is a segment of the functional foods and drinks market called “soft health” sectors, which also includes physical energy, and emotional and relaxational health. The beauty link with self-esteem and general wellness is that feeling good is closely linked with looking good. New product trends are those with zinc, vitamins E, C and A, biotin, collagen, lutein, omega-3, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and hyaluronic acid, lycopene and more. Natural ingredients are more consumer-friendly than synthetic.

There have been several significant new product launches in the beauty category.  Glowelle, the Nestle gourmet beauty drink, contains antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, combined with goji berries, and green and white tea extracts to nourish skin from within. Bio-Synergy is a line of functional beverages in the U.K., leveraging fitness into beauty from within. Containing white grape juice, aloe vera, green tea, and vitamins A, D and E, it claims to maintain a youthful skin glow from the inside out; increase the rate of skin turnover; repair skin; and protect against pollution.

“Skin is constantly exposed to environmental stresses, such as UV light, air pollution, chemical oxidants and ozone, ionizing radiation,” states Simmons. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and prevent harmful effects of these stresses. Diets rich in antioxidants also prevent the formation of age spots. These ingredients, including lutein, natural vitamin E, beta-carotene and mixed carotenoids, are available in a variety of forms to meet many needs. Full scientific and technical support is available for formulation and application assistance.

CLA promotes lean muscle and helps reduce body fat, naturally. CLA, sourced from safflower oil, is a safe, effective and innovative functional ingredient for functional foods and beverages. Extensive human clinical trials have shown its effectiveness and safety in optimizing body composition. CLA is FDA GRAS in multiple food applications at 3g per day and has shown market success globally in orange juice, milks and yogurts. Several potential structure-function claims exist in the U.S. for CLA and body composition.

Beauty-from-within product concepts include a Tropical Skin Smoothie with added benefits of skin hydration, smoothness, suppleness and elasticity. A proprietary blend might contain omega-3, natural vitamin E and natural lutein esters and would target females interested in skin health. A strawberry-orange-mango beauty juice with added beauty benefits of skin smoothness, increased elasticity and enhanced moisture retention might contain 30IU vitamin E, 50mg omega-3 and 6mg lutein esters to provide anti-aging benefits for skin health. A poppy seed beauty muffin might also contain natural vitamin E and natural lutein esters to reduce wrinkles and protect and moisturize skin. Simmons also promoted a body-shaping blueberry muffin concept, with added CLA for body fat reduction. Beauty from within is a major global trend, and a wide variety of ingredients are available with strong scientific backing. pf