Kemin's water-extracted spearmint now ripe for use as a functional ingredient

Dive Brief:

  • Kemin Industries' water-extracted spearmint ingredient, currently used in supplements for cognitive health, memory, and healthy sleep patterns, has self-affirmed generally recognized as safe status, Food Ingredients First reports.

  • The ingredient, which Iowa-based Kemin sells as Neumentix Phenolic Complex K110-42, can now  be used in functional foods and beverages, as well as supplements.  

  • Busy consumers are increasingly interested in improving their performance throughout the day, and Neumentix could help meet this demand, the company claims. It contains more than 50 phenolic components and is sourced from non-GMO polyphenol-rich spearmint developed by Kemin.

Dive Insight:

Spearmint-flavored teas and waters could be logical targets for this ingredient. Functional waters in particular are big business, and a hint of spearmint could add a desirable taste as well as function. Some products, like those containing electrolytes to replenish lost fluids after exercise or illness, are well-established.

The market for functional drinks containing vitamins and herbs also continues to grow, especially as consumers increasingly shun sugary drinks in favor of healthier beverage options. The functional and flavored waters market is forecast to be worth $36.7 billion by the end of 2019, according to a report from Persistence Market Research.

Neumentix could also be used in foods, like candies or chocolate bars. However, when it comes to functional ingredients, drinks still have an edge. Value-added beverages, which often deliver functional ingredients more reliably than foods, tend to be more popular with manufacturers. They are also convenient for shoppers to consume and may allow companies to meet consumer demands for serving size and appearance more easily.

Kemin is targeting younger consumers, and with good reason. Millennials are the biggest consumers of functional beverages across all categories, according to flavor company FONA International.

Filed Under: Ingredients Corporate Policy
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