The vegetalization of nutraceuticals: the new axes of innovation

In recent years, there has been a vegetation of the nutraceutical market. Cela est notamment dû à l’augmentation de la demande en produits de santé naturelle. As a proof, the market of food supplements has increased by 2%, reaching a turnover of 2.1 billion euros in 2020 1. 90% of food supplements are based on active ingredients of natural origin and plants constitute 40% of the ingredients used2.


This demand arises in response to an evolution of consumer expectations in favor of the environment. An evolution driven by ethical considerations and an ecological dimension. In this context, we are witnessing a rise in the use of plants. In addition to this, today's consumers are more and more aware, and the promises are more and more technical. The need for technical and innovative plant-based ingredients and products continues to grow.


As a result, ingredient and supplement suppliers are looking for plant-based alternatives to synthetic and animal-based ingredients.



Plants, a trend that concerns the entire nutraceutical industry


Today, plants inspire consumer confidence. Indeed, they are synonymous with naturalness and their effectiveness is often proven.


We then put aside what is of animal or chemical origin to privilege the vegetable. Consumers are motivated by ethical and environmental reasons. Ingredient suppliers are adapting and sometimes even turning away from high-profile active ingredients to focus on plant-based products.


This greening of the nutraceutical industry affects every step of the production chain:

  • The selection of raw materials
  • The extraction of the active ingredients with the choice of the solvents used
  • The realization of the galenic and the packaging.


However, manufacturers face certain challenges in their plant-based formulations, such as loss of effectiveness and lack of innovation. To ensure the effectiveness of plant-based dietary supplements, they mix extracts with recognized benefits with others less popular. This also allows to vary the promises within the same range of products.


And to give a new lease on life to plant-based products, manufacturers are banking on new formats such as drinks, infusions, and even gummies.



Innovating in the plant industry by focusing on renewal

Reinventing the classics

In order to innovate on the market of food supplements based on plants, manufacturers use new ingredients.


First of all, microalgae are becoming more and more attractive. They have many organoleptic and technical qualities and are therefore different from the classic algae already known on the market.


An ingredient that continues to intrigue: biotics. There are probiotics, living microorganisms that confer health benefits to their host. To do this, they contribute to improving the composition of the intestinal flora. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are found in foods rich in fiber, and feed the probiotics. Recently, a new type of microorganism has been discovered: the post-biotic. The definition of this biotic dates back to 2021. According to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP), it is "a preparation of inanimate microorganisms and/or their components that confers a health benefit to its host". The integration of post-biotics is therefore a new way to propose innovative nutraceutical formulations, providing scientifically proven health benefits.


In terms of galenics, finally the chocolate enters nutra! This ingredient is proving itself in dietary supplements, thanks to its notoriety among consumers and its known health benefits.


Bioprocessing: a new way of producing plants


Beyond the formulation of food supplements, it is possible to reinvent oneself by using new techniques for the production of molecules of interest. Among them we can mention cell culture, fermentation or hydroponics. These methods have a strong potential because they ensure a real control of the production with standardized ingredients. They also allow to gain in sustainability, while increasing the potential of the product.


[1] Synadiet, The food supplements market, 2021.

[2] Synadiet, according to IQVIA, Synadiet General Assembly, Presentation of food supplements market trends, 2020.

Unipex is deepening its plant offering through various partnerships.


Unipex is deepening its plant offering through various partnerships.



First of all, we are now collaborating with ABResearch, a supplier of biologically active ingredients from plants. Ingredients that are produced from a plant cell culture, using biotechnologies. Thanks to a standardized process, ABResearch has the ability to produce only the cells that produce the botanical active of interest. The company can then use rare or protected species, such as Echinacea angustifolia, without affecting the species itself. All this gives the opportunity to reduce the environmental impact by saving water resources, cultivated surfaces and energy.


We have also signed a distribution agreement in France with Gnosis by Lesaffre, a leader in the development of nutritional actives. These actives are obtained from a biotransformation process, which enables the development of sustainable, natural and effective solutions in the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical markets.

We distribute the following ranges:

  • Quatrefolic®: an active form of folate (5-MTHF Glucosamine-salt) that is suitable for all stages of life and especially during fertility and pregnancy ;
  • Extrafolate-S®: a calcium salt of (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate that is an alternative to folic acid in nutritional supplements ;
  • VitaMK7®: vitamin K2 in the form of MK7, produced by fermentation and involved in strengthening bones ;
  • Lynside® Pro SCB: a probiotic yeast (boulardii strain) to restore the balance of the intestinal microbiota and support the immune system
  • Mythocondro®: chondroitin sulfate produced by fermentation with benefits focused on joint health ;
  • Adonat®: a brand of S-Adenosyl-L-methionine, which contributes to normal brain function with mood, liver and joint benefits.



With these partnerships, Unipex offers new perspectives for innovation in the plant industry. Manufacturers will be able to meet the expectations of consumers looking for sustainable ingredients and solutions for health and well-being.


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