The education system is highly competitive with increasing expectations and aspirations from parents for their children. This is one of the reasons for which there is a great emphasis in cognitive and learning capacities, especially in the Asian continent. That is why this region has the highest percentage of health claims in relation to product launches for the brain and nervous system such as; food, beverages, vitamins and dietary supplements.
Products designed for mental sustenance and to help consumers both reach and maintain optimum cognitive function can be positioned for every stage of a person’s life. In addition to babies, children, adolescents and young professionals, having a sharp mind in later stages of life is also becoming essential requirement.
Worldwide, vitamins and dietary supplements are the main components of most products that offer claims regarding to brain function and the nervous system. Regionally, these components are part of the largest sector in product launches with health claims associated with the brain and nervous system in Europe and the Middle East. In Asia, Latin America and the United States, different types of baby food are the largest segment.
Product claims directed to both the brain and the nervous system can be classified as attending to different functions, including: general brain functions, cognitive processes, nervous system and memory. Thus, the key ingredients that are used for brain health are as follows:
• Vitamins and minerals. They form the most important group of components in products with functional brain and nervous system statements. More than 60% of global product launches with claims to the brain and nervous system use at least one vitamin and mineral component.
• Prebiotics. They can positively alter brain function, they have a major effect on stress and relieve anxiety and depression symptoms.
• Choline fatty acids. It is an important nutrient involved in many biological functions, including optimal brain functions.
• Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). Different studies have shown that it can improve the quality of sleep in children, as well as help them in reading comprehension.
As for the first group, vitamin C is the most common ingredient, it is used in almost a third of the products analyzed. It is safe, inexpensive and is essential in the production of neurotransmitters that can affect the ability to concentrate and remember. B vitamins are known to boost energy levels and increase stress tolerance. Vitamins B6, B12 and B9 (folic acid) are especially vital for a healthy brain. Studies have shown that these vitamins work together to prevent such diseases as dementia or Alzheimer’s.
For their part, minerals are also a major component in products with a health claim aimed at the brain and nervous system. Calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium are important minerals for cognitive brain function. In fact, calcium has been linked to improving memory formation as well as reducing memory loss. Scientists also believe that magnesium helps neurons maintain a state of health and substantial activity.
Therefore, vitamins and nutritional supplements form the most active category in the use of brain and nervous system health claims, accounting for 18% of global releases. For infants and children, food and beverage products that promote cognitive benefits are the most important. In addition, adding functional ingredients to energy drinks is a potential category for manufacturers to explore.
Product opportunities related to brain health and cognitive ability is on the rise. If you are thinking of developing or launching a product aimed at this sector, we encourage you to contact us and follow the Innofood blog to keep up to date with all the trends in food and beverages. For more information, do not hesitate to contact us by phone +34 958 750 607 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.