Many consumers today skip the supplement aisles when searching for products that claim to prevent specific ailments; often, they find what they need throughout the rest of the supermarket. Condition-specific supplements (products marketed for specific benefits such as weight loss, joint health and other age-related conditions) are the fastest-growing segment in the nutritional supplement market. However, functional foods geared towards a specific therapeutic benefit are growing at an even a faster rate.

According to an article by the International Union of Food Science & Technology (IUFoST), the overall number of new functional food products with condition-specific benefits was up 87% worldwide between 2004 and 2006. Leading the growth in North America were new cardiovascular health products, followed by products focused on improving digestive health. The report also emphasizes that the term “condition-specific” does not necessarily include serious disease prevention. The focus is on “soft” health claims such as stress management, cognitive and mood improvement, and anti-aging products emphasizing the “inside-out” beauty concept. Such products empower consumers, led by the aging Baby Boomer market, to take control of their health.

Making a food product “condition-specific” requires a complex knowledge of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, omega-3s and herbal extracts, coupled with an understanding of how these ingredients work together to improve a particular condition. Unlike simply blending the ingredients and putting them into a capsule or tablet, using food as an alternative delivery system means it is critical to understand how these ingredients will interact in various food matrices.

Seltzer Nutritional Technologies has recognized the need for customizable ingredient premixes by launching a line of condition-specific nutritional blends. “What makes these blends distinctive is that their formulas are not set in stone,” says Holly Petty, Ph.D., senior product innovation scientist at Seltzer. “Our customized premixes are tailored specifically for each client, and we work closely with the customer to meet their particular requirements.”  

Seltzer currently offers a variety of condition-specific premix “templates” containing a comprehensive blend of ingredients for a particular condition. For example, the cardiovascular health premix template includes a blend of heart-healthy vitamins and minerals, plus beta-sitosterol, omega-3s and quercetin. The bone/joint health blend contains omega-3s, chondroitin, glucosamine and green tea, in addition to vitamins and minerals. Seltzer also has premix templates for both male and female health, anti-aging, exercise performance, eye health, immune health, digestive health and beauty. NS

For more information:

Seltzer Nutritional Technologies Inc., Carlsbad, Calif.

Holly Petty, 760-438-0089