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Jennifer Grebow is editor-in-chief of Nutritional Outlook.
Many turmeric ingredient suppliers report that opportunities for turmeric are especially expanding in food and drinks.
At SupplySide West, turmeric suppliers discussed the benefits of their turmeric ingredients and advancements.
The turmeric plant (Curcuma longa) comprises numerous components, not only curcuminoids-of which curcumin is the most heavily marketed and studied-but also other health-promoting constituents. Natural Remedies (Bangalore, India) is one company focusing on another part of turmeric-namely, its polysaccharides.
“Normal industry is known for curcumin, which is the fat-soluble or solvent-based component of turmeric, which is just 3% of the total turmeric plant; whereas, the water-soluble portion that we are working on, which is our Turmacin ingredient, is the 20% of the total turmeric plant, which are the polysaccharides,” said Suresh Kumar Lakshmikanthan, global head of the company’s Human Health business. The company’s North American distributor for Turmacin is AIDP Inc. (City of Industry, CA).
Lakshmikanthan said that like other polysaccharides, turmeric polysaccharides have been shown to be effective at relieving pain. Natural Remedies, for instance, recently shared results of a new study showing that its Turmacin ingredient helped to relieve exercise-induced pain and discomfort.
“By and large, turmeric is a very exciting product, whether you are taking curcuminoids or a water-soluble polysaccharide,” Lakshmikanthan said. “As a whole, turmeric is a very good ingredient.”
Vidya Herbs Pvt. Ltd. (Red Bank, NJ) highlighted the benefits of its turmeric microbeadlets, which the company touts as non-dusting and non-staining, free flowing, directly compressible, sustainable and clean label, as well as available in organic and conventional versions. These microbeadlets are designed to make turmeric easier for manufacturers to work with on the line, as turmeric powder is famously challenging to handle due to its dusting characteristic.
K Shyam Prasad, Vidya Herbs’ founder and managing director, said response to this ingredient has been very good. “The product attracts many of the customers who want to replace the conventional product in order to save time. Workers find it very convenient to work with the beadlets rather than the powder.” Vidya’s beadlets contain 95% curcuminoids, which Prasad said is high for the industry.
Expanding Demand for Food and Drink Applications
Many turmeric ingredient suppliers said that opportunities for turmeric are especially expanding in food and drinks.
For instance, said Vidya’s Prasad, “People are asking for water-soluble curcumin and using curcumin as food coloring to replace synthetic dyes.”
Liz Smith, marketing director for Sabinsa Corp. (East Windsor, NJ), pointed to Sabinsa’s recent achievement of self-affirmed Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status for its innovative Curcumin C3 Reduct ingredient, affirming its safe use for food and beverages.
Curcumin C3 Reduct is a color-free tetrahydrocurcuminoids ingredient-tetrahydrocurcuminoids are metabolites of curcumin-that makes it especially easy for formulators to work with without having to wrestle with any of the staining challenges associated with standard, yellow curcumin ingredients. (Sabinsa’s flagship Curcumin C3 Complex ingredient, the colored version, has been GRAS affirmed since 2013.)
This summer, Natural Remedies announced self-affirmed GRAS affirmation for its Turmacin ingredient. “The whole idea of getting GRAS for Turmacin was because we see a huge opportunity in the functional food categories,” said Lakshmikanthan at SupplySide West. He added that his company’s water-soluble ingredient makes it easy to formulate in drinks and food.