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Beverages Apply In Booming Functional Food Market

author:Naturalindate:2015-02-25 16:30Click: times
BeveragesIn the universe of foods, beverages offer tremendous opportunities for innovation. A key area of focus for industry today is functional beverages—the fastest-growing sector of the functional food market. These range from drinks that claim to improve athletic endurance, energy, hydration and health; enhance beauty and relaxation and promote weight loss. The wide variety of functional claims appeals across demographic groups, from adolescents to baby boomers. In addition to capitalizing on the trend of functional ingredients, beverages meet the growing demand for convenience foods. As such, companies of all sizes are investing heavily in the area of functional beverages.

Of course, the building blocks for these new functional beverages are their ingredients. Sometimes, functional drinks are fortified with traditional vitamins and minerals. In other cases, manufacturers are looking to novel ingredients, such as Acai berry, pomegranate or the next so-called superberry, or to natural and/or low-calorie sweeteners such as stevia or monk fruit. Other areas of interest include beverages incorporating omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics and dietary fiber. The list is endless.

As manufacturers look for new ways to differentiate their products and appeal to consumers, the demand for novel ingredients and those of proven popularity is unremitting. This draws new ingredient suppliers from all over the world into the market, which food companies rely upon to formulate their new beverage products. However, as manufacturers source raw materials from around the globe, they are challenged to ensure the authenticity—that is, the identity, quality and purity—of what they are purchasing. In considering ingredient suppliers, manufacturers may be presented with less expensive items that claim the same authenticity as a higher-priced one, but how can one ensure it is actually an equivalent ingredient? Standards to establish the identity, quality and purity of food ingredients are necessary to help ensure that the purchaser is acquiring the expected product.

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