Food supplements are a substantially growing sector of the industry.
The majority of supplements are positioned as condition specific (including digestive & liver health, immune health, heart health, weight management, brain & mood health, energy & stamina, joint & bone health, skin health, diabetes, and gut health among others) , while others promote active health or are vitamin supplements. The most common food supplement categories include vitamins & minerals, botanical & herbal supplements, antioxidants, weight loss & satiety enhancers, essential fatty acids, fruit & vegetable concentrates, amino acids, probiotics, glucosamine and meal replacements.
Functional foods, health foods and nutraceuticals cover nearly every food & beverage category. Most common are juice drinks, dairy drinks, soy drinks, sweet biscuits, tea, breakfast cereals, chocolate, yogurt and baby meals & infant formulae, although in recent years nearly every category has functional & healthy brands on supermarket shelves. The most common health claims made include no additives, no preservatives, allergy specific, gluten free, low fat, no trans fats, vitamin fortified, gut health, low calorie, low sodium, sugar free, lactose free and prebiotic; however there are hundreds of other claims made on varying product types. The functional, health & nutraceutical market is dominated by major industry players including Nestle, Unilever, Kraft, Danone and Heinz, although in recent years more and more retailers (including Aldi, Marks & Spencer & Walmart) and smaller manufacturers (including HIPP, Mueller & Birds Eye) have begun aggressively attacking for more functional & health food & nutraceutical market share.
During the world war 2 fodders was in short supply in Europe and French farmers started to add seaweed.. Because of promising results the French Ministry of War started some experimented with regard to the value of seaweed as food supplement for horses.
A batch of twenty fed on the usual ration of oats and fodder gained eleven kilogram's less in two months than a similar number fed on the same weight of seaweed.
Another trial resulted in the cure of some sick horses fed on seaweed, while others fed on oats remained out of health.
Similar test on cattle, pigs and chickens resulted in similar results.
These result were in line with the seaweed grassing of sheep in Iceland. Due to it harsh climate food stock could run out. Farmers would use seaweed to compensate. Seaweed however should be fresh or dried fast to secure the quality.
More recently, Texas Tech University researchers conducted a 2 year research project using seaweed.
The study included more than 1,000 head of cattle. Fed with seaweed or grass sprayed with seaweed.
There conclusion: cattle fed with seaweed meal are more resistant to disease, gain more weight and are more likely to be of a higher grade when meat is processed and sold.
The bio-industry being well aware of the problems and difficulties as result of using anti-biotic started to replace them with certain seaweeds. Now it is hot. Demand for seaweed exploding. The name Nutraceuticals was born. Another advantage of the use of seaweed was that they are generally considered as safe.
Food and Drug Administration ( 1978,1979). Classification as grass, Generally Recognised As Safe). The European Community and FAO. (Food and Agriculture Organisation).
The WHO or World Health Organisation of the United Nations Codex Alimentarius.
Seaweed offer a natural balance between minerals and corresponding vitamins.
The proper balance of vitamins and minerals is also important to the proper functioning of all vitamins.
Properties And Uses
By providing optimum nourishment to the thyroid, helping to regulate metabolism, and increasing the effectiveness of the digestive system, seaweed helps you get in shape and stay that way.
Protective -anti-radiation, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-toxic, anti-rheumatic, antibiotic, antibacterial, alterative.
Nutritive - trace mineral supplement, essential proteins, cardio-tonic, rejuvenate.
Mucilaginous - Emollient, demulcent, aperient's, anti-constipate.
diuretic. Anti-stress, analgesic, calmative, anti-pyretic.