December 2011/NutraSolutions -- Specialized sports nutrition products are increasingly finding their way into the hands of mainstream consumers; conversely, manufacturers are incorporating specific ingredients beneficial for sports performance into mainstream products. Protein is one of the latest hot health ingredient trends which has been traditionally reserved for sports nutrition products. It is being more readily applied and claimed in a range of mainstream products--from smoothies to savory snacks. Global product launch activity with protein claims tracked by Innova Market Insights

Energy

 demonstrated 11% growth from 2009-2010, and further significant growth is predicted in the future. Nutritional powders & drinks (11.3%), cereal & energy bars (6.8%), dairy drinks (4.1%), meat substitutes (3.9%) and breakfast cereals were the leading market categories for protein claims in 2010.
* Percentage of all products carrying a protein claim.
-- Lu Ann Williams, Innova Market Insights, helpdesk@innovami.com, www.innovadatabase.com

 Effective Sports Recovery
If carbohydrates are necessary to restore energy levels in sports recovery to refuel muscles, numerous scientific papers have underlined that proteins are the key ingredient of sports nutrition products. With previous research demonstrating low-fat milk containing proteins has brought about better fluid retention than either a carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink or water, it was reported that milk proteins could be more effective than carbohydrates at aiding fluid retention after exercise, according to new research. Besides, an adapted protein intake after physical activity promotes muscle building, thus counteracting muscle damage that occurs during exercising. Refuel&Repair, from Ingredia Nutritional, is a high-protein drink with preserved texture and taste; it features the Nutritional Solutions range Prodiet FLUID protein. Prodiet FLUID technology provides the opportunity to incorporate higher levels of protein in a drink, without increasing its viscosity. In fact, Refuel&Repair is reported to provide 30g of protein in a 250ml bottle, and it retains its fluidity. Ingredia Nutritional, 419-738-4060, www.ingredia-nutritional.com
 
 Reduce or Eliminate Aftertaste
Masking flavors from Virginia Dare are designed to reduce or eliminate the aftertaste of whey and soy proteins, vitamins and minerals, amino acids, caffeine, herbal extracts, non-nutritive sweeteners, omega-3s and pharmaceutical ingredients. Virginia Dare has also developed a range of masking flavors to optimize the taste profile of foods and beverages sweetened with stevia. Custom-formulated for applications such as beverages and dairy-based foods, these ingredients effectively mask the bitter, licorice-like and astringent notes often associated with the sweetener. The end-results are very pleasing flavor profiles, in a wide array of food and beverage products. These multi-functional blends are available in a variety of forms, including liquid, dry, natural, natural and artificial, and organic-compliant. Virginia Dare, Anton Angelich, 718-788-1776, flavorinfo@virginiadare.com, www.virginiadare.com 
 
 Sustained and Balanced Energy
Palatinose™, from BENEO, is a new carbohydrate that provides the body with balanced and sustained energy. Completely (yet slowly) digested, it delivers the full energy of available carbohydrates over a longer period of time. Occurring naturally in honey and derived from the sugar beet, Palatinose tastes like sugar and is labeled as “isomaltulose” on products. A nutritious carbohydrate, it provides 4Kcal/g; is fully available and well-tolerated; has slow glucose release; is a balanced and sustained energy supply; and is kind to the teeth. BENEO Inc., 973-867-2140, www.beneo.com 

 Targeted Performance
Hormel’s FUXIONS™ line of ingredients provides formulators with a one-stop solution for their value-added functional ingredient needs. Its proprietary processes improve delivery systems and make lipid-soluble ingredients easier to incorporate. Overall product taste and functionality are improved. All ingredients are allergen-free, GMO-free, GRAS and kosher. Encapsulated emulsions and dry powders are cold water-soluble and do not require additional thickening agents. A number of formulations are ideal for sports performance, including FFI-VO5503, clear water-soluble omega-3 EPA & DHA plus vitamin D3 for shelf-stable, refrigerated and frozen applications; and FFI-VO2601 clear water-soluble omega-3 ALA/EPA/DHA. Hormel Foods Specialty Products, www.hormelingredients.com   NS