The unique circumstances of 2020 have led to a renewed emphasis on health and wellness for people of all ages. Functional foods and beverages can be powerful tools for consumers when taking a more proactive approach to physical wellbeing. According to New Hope Network, the functional food and beverage category grew by 5.3% to reach $71.4 billion in 2019, and shows little sign of slowing in our current COVID-19 economy.

It is important to note that health priorities can differ based on age group.  As the first Baby Boomers enter their late 70’s, a considerable number of consumers seek functional foods that address concerns associated with healthy aging, including mobility, metabolic support, heart-health, and cognitive function. Nitta Gelatin offers a diverse portfolio of collagen peptide ingredients under its Wellnex brand, which are specifically tailored to, and clinically proven to support seniors’ unique wellness priorities.

“Many of the conditions associated with aging, such as wrinkles, joint pain, and brittle bones, result from collagen loss,” says Blaine Hicks, director of Research & Development for Nitta Gelatin North America. “A daily regimen of collagen peptides can slow or reverse this breakdown by stimulating new collagen growth. Using high-functioning collagen peptides has been shown to be more effective than standard collagen products.”

Hicks adds, “Our global R&D teams are leading the industry in clinical research to define the mechanism of collagen peptides in the body. When the mechanism is known, collagen can be optimized.  By increasing the bioactive dipeptide content in our collagen, we effectively increase the potency of our products. Nitta’s Wellnex high-functioning offerings are the most effective collagen ingredients available on the market.”

Nitta Gelatin’s clinical research group began exploring collagen’s mechanisms for bioactivity more than a decade ago, with a focus on the absorption of bioactive dipeptides, specifically proline-hydroxyproline and hydroxyproline- glycine, found in abundance in Wellnex collagen peptides. Since then, the team has carried out more than 10 peer-reviewed human clinical studies examining the safety and efficacy of Wellnex collagen peptides for the support of a variety of health concerns associated with aging.

Recently, Nitta published findings of a pilot study examining the effects of its ingredients on cognitive function using magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, paired with standardized memory tests. The promising results of this preliminary study have paved the way for more robust studies in the near future.

“Clinically supported functionality is priority number one,” says Liz Clarke, an IFT certified food scientist and technical marketing manager for Nitta Gelatin North America. “However, teaming with our customers to develop truly convenient and delicious delivery systems is what gets our application scientists really excited. If you have a proven ingredient, but the finished product is difficult to ingest, or lacking in palatability, then that’s a lost opportunity to add value for our consumers.”

She concludes, “Many of the most unique applications for seniors that we’ve seen recently are concentrated formulas, offering a powerful nutritional punch in a miniature serving size. Shot-style beverages, concentrated protein gels, and bite-sized portions all resonate with older populations who may not want to consume large amounts of food or drink at a time.”

The versatility of Wellnex collagen peptides opens the doorway to a diverse array of functional applications. Their superior pH stability, solubility and neutral flavor allow for opportunities in bar, bakery, beverage, and confection applications.

Nitta Gelatin North America
598 Airport Blvd, Suite 900
Morrisville, NC  27560
Toll Free: 1-888-NITTAUS