The Demand For Immune Boosting Foods

Monday, November 14th, 2022

Health and wellness continue to dominate the spotlight in the F&B industry, which is seeing a healthy demand for immune boosting foods. APFI Magazine speaks to Bilva Trivedi, Product Strategic Manager, Bioactives, AsPac for Glanbia, to gain some insights into this matter.


While the focus on physical health is still going strong, the Innova Lifestyle & Attitudes Survey found that consumers are increasingly interested in products for improving mental and emotional functions. With this phenomenon in mind, what are the current health trends that F&B manufacturers should look out for?

With the pandemic, health and wellness are on the forefront of consumers minds. Physical and emotional well being are equally important. Due to COVID-19, reports of anxiety, stress and insomnia have increased globally. Alongside this, trends are also suggesting that the demand for products that contain specific, well studied ingredients that support mental well being are also increasing.


F&B manufactures need to realise the importance of mental health and look into giving consumers what they are looking for. This is the time to invest in research and innovation. For example, the industry should look into ingredients and applications that can help with reducing anxiety, enhancing mood and providing good quality sleep.


At Glanbia, an ingredient we have for improving mental and emotional health is Pepform Tryptophan ™.  This ingredient utilises our inhouse technology through which we combine peptides coming from whey protein to free form of tryptophan. This enables a soluble, highly bioavailable complex. An increase in tryptophan in the bloodstream increases serotonin (the “feel good” hormone) and melatonin (which governs the body’s circadian rhythm and regulates sleep). Pepform Tryptophan ™  can be added into a variety of applications including RTMs, RTDs, supplements and foods and has shown to support and enhance mood, sleep, recovery as well as alertness, going hand in glove with what consumers are seeking.


“The lines are blurring between the supplement and grocery aisles. That means superfoods, probiotics, broths, and sauerkrauts. Suppliers are incorporating functional ingredients like vitamin C, mushrooms, and adaptogens to foster a calm headspace and support the immune system.”

Whole Foods in an interview with Food Industry Executives


What kind of advice or solutions would you offer to manufacturers who are looking to ride on the demand for immune-boosting food?

The demand for immune boosting foods has always been increasing steadily on a year on year basis. With COVID-19, the growth became immense. Immune health is becoming a long term priority for consumers. F&B manufactures need to understand various aspects involved in improving immunity, that it is a combination of boosting physical and mental health.


Ingredients boosting immunity, that are innovative, clinically validated and contribute towards a clean label and good application are highly valued.  At Glanbia, we have clinically validated ingredients with versatile application opportunities like Bioferrin® , Curowhite®  and Neoshield™ that directly boost immunity. We also provide all in one protein solutions like Salibra® that contain a high content of protein with other natural bioactive playing a key role in boosting immunity.


“We aren’t going to back to how it was before. We are going on to the next normal … Consumers will continue to think about healthy choices.”

Lynn Dornblaser, Director of Innovation & Insights at Mintel, in an interview with Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)


How do Glanbia’s innovation strategies address the current demand for clean, nutritional food that not only taste good, but also fulfils the clean label claim?

A key defining trend is increased consumer awareness and demand for clean label products. The general consensus is that label claims are directly related to the quality of the product, and therefore a contributing factor towards their health.  Glanbia is addressing this through its new innovative ingredients for the health and wellness segment.


Recently, an ingredient called Ketosure™ was launched in the region. This ingredient is specifically designed to accommodate the ketogenic (or keto) diet, which has seen steady increase in demand over the years. The characteristics of a keto diet is that it is high-fat, medium-protein and low-carbohydrate. It is reported to have benefits for boosting energy, endurance, and weight management. KetoSure™ is a combination of two ingredients: Bioavailable and efficacious C8 fatty acids derived from coconut oil, which contributes fat content; and whey protein, which is used as a carrier and contributes protein. As these ingredients are derived from natural sources such as coconut oil and diary protein. They are free from additives and carriers, and allow formulations that fit the clean label claim. This aligns perfectly with consumers’ demand for clean nutritional immune-boosting foods.


Asia and Latin America may be the best regions for new product launches. High percentages of consumers there are concerned about immune health, believe in the relationship between functional products and immunity, and perceive that products for immune health are effective.

Innova Market Insights



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