Personalised nutrition could be key to healthy ageing23 May 2018
One size does not fit all when it comes to nutrition – and it is about to become a lot more targeted, as the industry responds to the shifting health needs of an ageing population.
Personalised nutrition is an alternative to general dietary guidelines, basing recommendations on a person’s own specific needs rather than telling everyone to eat more fruits and vegetables, for example, or to reduce sugar and salt. The European Food4Me project has shown that people find it easier to improve their diet when advice is tailored to reflect their own needs, meaning that such an approach could be a more effective way to tackle chronic health problems.
Companies like Microsoft and Apple are already using technologies to link personal health and fitness data with information on food consumption, and adding in data on disease risk markers like cholesterol, blood sugar and mental wellbeing could raise flags about personal risk levels. This could give a clearer picture of how certain foods affect an individual’s health, and allow people to respond accordingly.
Some major ingredients companies are already active in the sector, including ADM, which partnered with Mayo Clinic in personalised nutrition focused on gut health in September 2017. And DSM collaborated with the University Medical Center Groningen in early 2015 to determine how nutrient status affects health among different populations, such as those with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity. The aim is to provide clues as to why some people develop chronic diseases, while others stay healthy into old age.
As results from this kind of research emerge, food and drink companies will be better placed to respond effectively to individuals’ specific dietary concerns as they get older.
Good nutrition over a lifetime is still the best way to ensure long-term health, but dietary interventions later in life can have a significant effect, to delay the onset of osteoporosis, for example, or to slow the loss of muscle mass.
DSM has also examined how supplementation could tackle a range of conditions associated with ageing, including antioxidants to help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and omega-3 fatty acids to reduce heart attack risk.
However, nutrition is just one part of the picture when it comes to personalising food for better health. Among the elderly, decreased appetite and food intake is common, often leading to malnutrition, weight loss, and a range of poor health outcomes. Personalised food for the elderly must therefore take into account attributes beyond nutrition, such as flavour and food preferences, if it is to be beneficial.
Although personalised nutrition has yet to enter the mainstream, the European Union has signalled that it recognises the sector’s mainstream potential. Last year, it earmarked €2.8 million for small and medium-sized enterprises working on personalised nutrition projects for the elderly under its EU Horizon 2020 Program. SMEs can apply for up to €60,000 each under its INCluSilver project to boost innovation in the sector and help companies scale up their concepts.
Food companies are poised to play an important role in safeguarding European health as the population ages, and as our understanding deepens about the interplay between food and health.
Chickpea revolution? Companies looking to innovate could face higher prices as global shortage hits
5 Aug 2022
From coffee to ice cream, recent product launches demonstrate how companies are betting on chickpea in the plant-based revolution… but could a global shortage scupper innovation?Read more
Swedish food packaging company Tetra Pak exits Russia amid mounting sanction-led supply chain pressures
4 Aug 2022
Tetra Pak has become the latest big company to exit its remaining operations in Russia as the country faces increasing shortages under ongoing sanctions.Read more
European soft drinks industry celebrates sugar reduction milestones as the ‘war on sugar’ continues
3 Aug 2022
The European soft drinks sector has achieved a 17.7% reduction in average added sugars since 2015, says its industry association, UNESDA. However, experts warn that the “war on sugar” will intensify from both consumers and governments in the next few y...Read more
Diageo unveils plans for €200 million carbon-neutral brewery in Ireland
1 Aug 2022
Diageo has unveiled plans for a €200 million carbon-neutral lager and ales brewery in Ireland – the country’s first.Read more
Mexican packaged food companies to feel profit squeeze as inflation continues
29 Jul 2022
Mexican packaged food companies are set to feel bigger profitability pressures over the next year as commodities price inflation and slowed growth continues, said credit rating agency, Fitch Ratings.Read more
Gut health is the biggest growth area for US personalised nutrition brands
28 Jul 2022
Gut health will be a key growth area for personalised nutrition brands in the US throughout 2023, fuelled by the development of more user-friendly microbiome testing kits and the importance of gut health for US consumers, according to the Nutrition Bus...Read more
How (and why) should food brands leverage social media?
27 Jul 2022
Social media is a powerful and far-reaching tool which allows brands to get closer than ever before to their consumers. To reap its value, brands should closely monitor consumer attitudes on social media and proactively engage with them.Read more
Canada rolls out new front-of-pack ‘magnifying glass’ label for high salt, sugar and fat foods
26 Jul 2022
Canadian authorities have launched a new front-of-package nutrition label designed to help shoppers make more informed product selections as they purchase groceries by highlighting foods high in specific ‘unhealthy’ nutrients.Read more
Shifting trends: Analysing the impact of high inflation in India
25 Jul 2022
Despite food and beverage categories in India feeling the pinch of increasing inflation, the overall outlook remains upbeat as governmental support steps in and evolving consumer purchasing patterns shape the sector.Read more
A switch to alternative proteins could be cheapest and highest impact solution to climate crisis – report
22 Jul 2022
Shifting to alternative proteins could be the “most capital-efficient and high-impact” solution to today’s climate crisis, according to a new report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which suggests more than 30% of consumers are willing to fully swap...Read more
Are you a supplier?
Here's what we can do for you
- Generate quality leads for your business
- Stay visible for 365 days of the year
- Receive product inquiries and respond to meeting requests directly
- Improve company online presence through Search Engine Optimisation