The added health benefits

I have been reading a lot about how consumers not only want food, but want food with added benefits. So, when ingesting their daily ration of omnivorous delights, they want something that’s good for the environment, but also things that are good for their own health and well-being.

I have been thinking about this as I now ingest my daily 100ml shot of cholesterol lowering plant stanols, in my little dairy drink. My cholesterol levels are a bit higher than recommended, but I do blame my gene pool. My spouse, who happily ingests all kinds of foods generally not considered to be as healthy as vegetables and salmon, has very low cholesterol readings, because that’s his family background. Nevertheless, I have my little drinks and get on with life. They are tasty too.

It is part of a trend and there are all kinds of added benefits to your usual dairy products, in addition to the benefits that dairy itself offers. For example, around 10 per cent of all dairy drink launches in Europe in 2020 featured an immune health claim related to vitamins, according to Mintel. Vitamins A, D and E are gaining popularity for their immunity benefits, but one of the strongest growth areas is in probiotics, according to ingredients supplier DSM.

Another thing people are looking out for as they age, is staying active and independent. The World Health Organisation estimates that, globally, 22 per cent of people will be over 60 by 2050, a rise of 12 per cent from 2015. If we can get added benefits into the older population via food and drink, then a longer and healthier life will be worthwhile for all of us.

There’s a lot of things we can’t do much about – our genetic background for one. But there are options when looking at what we ingest.

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