BASF: ‘Brand Value Insurance’ for Dietary Supplements & Functional Foods
With a long history in the nutrition market as a supplier of vitamins and other health ingredients, quality and evidence-based nutritional ingredients remain the core philosophy at BASF, Florham Park, NJ.
In 2007, the company launched a global advertising campaign: “We add Quality to the World of Nutrition.” Following that introduction, the company renamed its nutrition business unit “Nutrition Ingredients” in 2008.
“BASF’s nutrition ingredients are subject to extremely strict official requirements and meet the highest safety standards,” said Ute Obermueller-Jevic, PhD, head of communication, BASF Nutrition Ingredients. “These extend to all areas of the manufacturing process, from the raw materials employed, to production and quality control, to package, storage and transport. As a trustworthy supplier, BASF’s Nutrition Ingredients business provides exactly the kind of ‘brand value insurance’ the food and dietary supplement industry is looking for.”
BASF offers vitamins A, C, E, D, B2 and K, carotenoids (nature-identical beta-carotene and lycopene, as well as lutein from marigold), omega 3s from marine sources, caffeine and excipients. The company also recently launched a portfolio of vegetarian and allergen-free universal formulations, including beta-carotene and vitamins A, E, D3 and K1.
According to Ms. Obermueller-Jevic, vitamins, carotenoids and omega 3s are currently the most popular health ingredients—alongside other essential nutrients such as minerals and trace elements—and demand will likely rise as the global population ages.
Product safety and traceability have become critical issues in the nutrition market, she added. “The latest food scandals (e.g. the melamine case) have provided clear evidence that sustainable success can only be achieved with excellent quality products and reliable traceability on a global scale. Eco-efficient and sustainable production of health ingredients is another area of growing importance. In the future, excellent product features (premium formulations, high stability, scientifically proven health benefits) and guaranteed compliance with the highest safety and transparency standards will be crucial for the success of any player in this global market.”
Recognizing such standards, BASF launched the Sustainability, Eco-Efficiency, Traceablity (SET) Initiative in 2008. According to Ms. Obermueller-Jevic, “With this initiative, BASF’s Nutrition Ingredients business is the first and so far only supplier of nutritional ingredients, who makes sustainability quantifiable and traceability transparent—for all customers at any time and anywhere in the world.”
SET utilizes an eco-efficiency analysis tool, which measures sustainability, and a global traceability network to enable transparency. “The SET initiative allows food and dietary supplement manufacturers to trace exactly what materials were used and which conditions were applied in the manufacturing process of BASF’s ingredients and feed additives,” said Ms. Obermueller-Jevic. “SET is based on BASF’s certified and highly recognized eco-efficiency analysis. BASF customers can see any time whether, and to what extent, the starting materials they use to manufacture their products are sustainable. Data are accessible to all customers anywhere in the world via GTNet (Global Traceability Network), a global platform used in the feed and food industries for targeted sharing of product information material.”
BASF has also shown a commitment to developing countries in Central America, Africa and Asia, developing special vitamin A formulations for the fortification of staple foods like oil, sugar, flour and rice to help protect millions of people from blindness.
In 2008, the company also established a beverage development center in Shanghai, China, offering customers from the beverage industry a range of technical services and solutions.
“The last few years have been marked by specific product launches to target market needs (e.g. allergen-free and vegetarian universal product line), through production streamlining,” said Ms. Obermueller-Jevic. “Restructuring and divestiture of less attractive business segments (lysine, premixes) have also taken place. With these moves, BASF has responded to market change and is set up well to remain a leading, reliable global leader in the nutritional ingredients market.”—S.M.
Nutrition Ingredients, North America
100 Campus Drive
Florham Park, NJ 07932