Natural Products Insider

MAY-JUN 2019

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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38 INSIDER May /June 2019 The intersection of children's health and proper nutrition brings a whole new meaning to the Whitney Houston lyrics "I believe the children are our future." Since 1985—when Houston originally released the song "Greatest Love of All"—the brands, ingredient suppliers and focus surrounding children's health and nutrition have changed dramatically. Children can present similar challenges compared to adults for formulators and brands—the biggest difference being that children's needs are often magnifi ed. For example, if a formulator is working with an ingredient that has an unpleasant taste, then the fl avor-masking employed would need to be even stronger for a child than an adult. The same goes for color. A child might want a brighter, more vibrant color for a beverage compared to an adult. Adults normally have a greater tolerance for the taste and look of a product if they understand it's imparting a benefi t to them. Children generally do not have that same understanding and need to be coaxed in other ways. Visual Appeal "Visual appeal is particularly important when targeting children, so ensuring products look attractive and vibrant and are true to fl avor is key to any coloration strategy," said Christiane Lippert, head of marketing, Lycored. "Categories such as confectionery—hard-coated candies and gummies—have very harsh processing conditions and require colors that can withstand this." Of course, the need for natural food colorings for children has never been higher. In 2008, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) petitioned FDA to ban artifi cial food dyes, citing some alarming studies. One such study found that children with a predisposition to hyperactivity could possibly be triggered by artifi cial food coloring. 1 The effects of the fi ndings and many others like it drove FDA to conduct a study into the six most popular FDA-approved food colorings. The study found a possible link to the consumption of some artifi cial dyes and increased hyperactivity, which prompted further study by FDA. 2 The most popular forms of natural food colorings are carotenoids, chlorophyll, anthocyanin and turmeric. Over time, formulators have started to hone the ability of natural food colorings to withstand the manufacturing processes and the effects of time. It's hard not to imagine natural food colorings standing toe-to-toe with artifi cial colorings soon. Taste The challenge of taste has always been a tough one for formulators and brands. Children tend to be less tolerant of bitter or sour tastes. Why is that? The average infant has roughly 30,000 taste buds. Around the age of adulthood only one-third of those same taste buds are present. This could be one possible explanation as to why taste changes over time. Because of children's heightened sense of taste, formulators and brands face a pickier consumer. "Kids are not as open with texture as adults—if something is too grainy or gritty, rather than smooth and creamy, they are less likely to eat it," explained Leigh Keith, co-founder and president, Perfect Snacks—an organic, snack food company that specializes in refrigerated protein bars. "Additionally, kids have simpler palates than adults. We've had years to refi ne our palates and taste different fl avors, but children don't need snacks with overt fl avor profi les, sweetness or saltiness. We like to keep it simple and straightforward." To her point, fl avor profi les for products geared toward children don't necessarily need to be complex to be a hit. Research has shown that sweet preference is innate in children and that averseness to bitterness starts at an early age. 3 Their unwillingness to eat bitter foods ultimately may stem from a biological impulse to not consume anything potentially poisonous. For formulators, herbal ingredients like curcumin (turmeric) and ginseng tend to have a strong bitter fl avor that is diffi cult to mask. Extra care would need to be taken to ensure herbal ingredients with strong fl avors are adequately masked for children. That being said, many infl uences help shape a child's food preference. "The sense of taste and preferences for certain foods are the result of a multitude of factors," explained Nena Dockery, technical services manager, Stratum Nutrition. "Breastfed babies often have some exposure to the taste of foods that the Formulating and branding products for children presents physical and psychological challenges. Troubling studies on artificial dyes have increased the demand for natural alternatives. Transparency and honesty make all the difference to conscientious parents. Formulating and Branding CPGs for Children by Connor Lovejoy INSIDER's Take Children's Health Looking for more information on children's nutrition? Marked by rapid growth and development milestones, the fi rst fi ve years of a child's life are particularly formative. Read the "Nutrition for the First 5 Years" digital magazine for a rundown on nutrition for infants and toddlers. Vol. 8, No. 11 May 2018 naturalproductsinsider.com US$20.75 west.supplysideshow.com NOVEMBER 6-10 Expo Hall November 8 & 9 Mandalay Bay Las Vegas Nutrition for the First 5 Years Scan Here naturalproductsinsider.com/media-assets/digital-magazines

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