The rise of immune health functional ingredients



Nutritional Excellence Specialist, DöhlerGroup, Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany

Trends in nutrition tend to come and go, some have more staying power than others, with the focus on higher protein being a great example of a trend that has maintained its momentum over time. Whilst other trends can perhaps feel a little more seasonal, like vitamin C. We’re reminded of the power of vitamin C every time winter comes along, thanks to its well-known capabilities in supporting immune function. Numerous fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamin C and so are natural immune boosters that can help fight off those bugs that can slow us down in winter-time. From citrus fruits to broccoli and berries, to the more exotic acerola cherry (one of the richest sources of vitamin C!), the sheer diversity of natural sources of vitamin C is impressive.


The mega-trend of ‘immune health’ appears to be fueled by the sheer numbers of consumers (~60%) who are seeking out foods and beverages that support immune health. Within Europe, the spotlight is on vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D and folate, plus the minerals copper, iron, selenium and zinc, as they are recognized as having sufficient evidence describing their role in supporting the normal function of the ...