Premixes offer an effective and efficient way for nutrition and supplement manufacturers to formulate their products.
Premixes offer an effective and efficient way for nutrition and supplement manufacturers to formulate their products. What’s trending now in premixes? And do they offer formulators more benefits now than in the past?
What Makes a Premix a Premix?
Premixes, defined by Sam Wright IV, CEO of premix supplier The Wright Group (Lafayette, LA), are “blends of nutrients that are added to final products such as baked goods, breakfast cereals, functional beverages, infant formulas, medical foods, dietary supplements, etc., to achieve the nutritional goals specified by the manufacturers of these products.” He notes, “It is more efficient to add these nutrients in combination than to apply them as single ingredients.”
The benefits of premixes are great, says Jeremiah Yartym, manager of research and development at Prinova USA (Carol Stream, IL). Premixes help brands gain efficiencies in the manufacturing process, eliminating the need to measure out ingredients and instead providing them premeasured in a premix. Easing the supply chain load and minimizing inventory-carrying costs are two other benefits of using premixes, Yartym explains.
Premixes often comprise more than simple vitamins and minerals now, according to Yartym. “With increased consumer demand for functional products, premixes now go beyond the basics to include amino acids, fibers, flavors, herbs and botanicals, nucleotides, prebiotics, and sweeteners,” he notes.
Trending Now in Premixes
While trends are fluid and constantly changing, notes Yartym, three things stand out to him as key trends in premixes now. “We are seeing an increase in materials like choline and vitamin D, which are linked to cognitive health. Also, more customers are adding amino acid formulations into a variety of products.” Another interesting trend? “Recently we have seen an uptick in the number of human-grade pet-food requests along with plant-based meat fortifications,” says Yartym.
The COVID-19 pandemic, the avian flu, and other illnesses like RSV have Americans worried about their immune health, Wright adds. “The most in-demand ingredients as a result are related to immunity, mood, stress, and sleep,” he notes. Vitamin C, zinc, B vitamins, melatonin, and botanicals are the most on-trend now, says Wright.
What Do Premixes Offer Formulators Now More than Ever Before?
Flavor has become more important than ever because the broader active-lifestyle audience has a higher expectation for what a product should taste like, Yartym explains. “Category growth in functional beverages and sports nutrition in ready-to-drink and ready-to-mix is driving the need for great taste as opposed to traditional tablets and capsules,” he says.
In addition, “The popularity of plant-based products and functional ingredients in beverage formats continues to rise,” Yartym notes. “For flavors, natural botanical and fruit extracts are on the top of the list for their clean-label and transparency perception to consumers.”
And Wright notes, “As the number of new SKUs enter the market at an ever-increasing rate, the use of premixes rather than individual nutrients can streamline the new product development process by tapping into the deep knowledge of experienced premix manufacturers. The best premixers can also provide consulting services as these new items are formulated,” he says.
Various value-added microencapsulated components can be used to eliminate taste and odor problems, says Wright, especially as “some nutrients do not play well with others,” such as vitamin C and iron. “The experience of knowledgeable premix producers can be very cost-effective when all the ancillary value-added services are included,” Wright notes.