Health-Promoting Ingredients Thrive In The Pandemic

Friday, April 30th, 2021

An interview with Jutta Schock, Head of Marketing, GoodMills Innovation GmbH: “I see great potential for the food industry because the moment a topic becomes uppermost in people’s minds, they start to look for a holistic solution—and that begins with nutrition.”

The immune health market has clearly been a winner during the crisis. Until now, the general population was primarily concerned with getting through seasonal waves of colds and flu—in other words, a classic autumn-winter issue. However, that has changed fundamentally since the outbreak of the pandemic, with immune health now a year-round topic across all age groups. I think strong immune defences will become increasingly important in the future too. Even if we eventually get coronavirus under control through sufficient vaccination and medication, we will be more mindful of how life can change so suddenly. From BSE to bird flu and swine flu, zoonoses are not a new phenomenon but never has one had such a deep impact on our lives, or our previous carefree attitude. I guess face masks will become an accepted utensil during the classic cold and flu season.

The pandemic has caused the demand for immune strengthening solutions to seemingly grow day by day. It is therefore up to the industry to react quickly and commercialize efficiently. Being a solutions provider, customers can rely on our agility and versatility. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel—we have always worked on health-promoting ingredients. With our range of dietary fibres and innovative whole grain solutions, we target the heart of a strong immune system: a healthy gut. Pursuing a value-added approach for our customers, we focus on converting sound science into innovative concepts and easy to implement solutions.

I see great potential for the food industry because the moment a topic becomes uppermost in people’s minds, they start to look for a holistic solution—and that begins with nutrition. During lockdown, consumers have been doing more cooking and baking; in other words, paying closer attention to what they eat. However, this does not mean that the functional food sector is becoming less important—quite the reverse. Foods with health benefits relating to the immune system are a valuable nutritional boost for some and, for others, the ideal way to compensate for dietary deficiencies. After all, not everyone has become a passionate cook, and many people have found themselves turning to comfort food in those challenging times, such as sweets, ice cream and savoury nibbles. 

When it comes to staples such as breakfast products or baked goods, consumers want added benefits in terms of immune health—as shown by a recent survey*. Here, there are numerous possibilities, and we look forward to developing promising concepts and positionings with our customers. It’s also worth considering that so-called “sins” don’t necessarily have to be that bad after all. Just imagine convenience pizza that is additive-free, chips based on legumes that are higher in protein and nutrients, and chocolate cookies with less sugar and more fibre. We can achieve all this with our ingredients and thus contribute to a healthier diet.

In line with that, the portfolio of GoodMills Innovation is based on cereals and legumes, with the following ingredients particularly suitable for positioning in the area of immune health.


Wheat Germ Concentrate SpermidinEVO

SpermidinEVO is rich in spermidine—a natural substance that, according to recent research*, has a positive effect on autophagy, the self-cleaning process of cells. Spermidine thus plays a role in a healthy immune system and a slowing down of the ageing process. With sufficient dosage, health claims (EU) are also possible: folic acid allows a claim regarding the immune system, and vitamin E a claim relating to cell protection.


Rutin X From Tartary buckwheat

The ingredient Rutin X, from the raw material tartary buckwheat, is rich in the trace element zinc and contains the bioflavonoid rutin in a quantity one hundred times higher than the more common buckwheat. Zinc has been proven to contribute to a functioning carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism, protects cells from oxidative stress and is also an important building block of the immune system. Rutin is an effective antioxidant too. In Asian medicine in particular, the secondary plant substance is believed to lower blood pressure and blood sugar. Depending on the dosage of Rutin X in baked goods and confectionery, pasta, dairy products or even fitness drinks, various zinc-related health claims (EU) can be made.


Fibre Concentrate GOOD Fibres 10+1

GOOD Fibres 10+1 is a high-fibre compound from ten different sources, including cereals, vegetables and fruits. It therefore provides valuable food for the intestinal flora, which plays a key role in immune defence. Thanks to the special composition of the innovative product, EU health claims relating to the immune system and intestinal health are possible with sufficient dosage.


At GoodMills Innovation, our overriding goal is to combine health and enjoyment. And wherever possible, we want to enable our customers to make EU health claims. This means we create the opportunity for companies to perfectly position their end products so that consumers can quickly and easily understand the added health benefits. The Health Claims Regulation specifies which ‘immunity’ claims may be made for certain levels of specific ingredients. There are precise regulations and legal requirements as to what we as a company are allowed to say. Scientific recognition is provided by EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority.


*References available upon request


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