The first-ever pan-European good manufacturing practice (GMP) for sports nutrition is the topic of hot debate as industry weighs up whether it will help enforce quality and weed out bad actors lacing products with doping analogs like steroids and stimulants.
Specialized Nutrition Europe (SNE) and The European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers (EHPM) argue the voluntary GMP will build confidence in the sector among elite and other athletes.
However, the European Specialized Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA), Europe’s largest sports nutrition-focused industry body, says the standard is ill-defined and will sow confusion.
Beetroot shot market leader Beet It is challenging other beetroot players to put up their nitrate (NO3) numbers or ship out of the rising sports nutrition category.
“Athletes are being misled by beetroot products that are not labelled with their nitrate content, or by beetroot products that do not provide an adequate dose of nitrate per serving,” said Beet It brand manager, Jonathan Cartwright.
Cartwright explained this labelling coyness by pointing to a 2018 study that found many beetroot drinks and supplements contained nitrate levels below the 300mg efficacious dose backed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and in some 200+ peer-reviewed studies.
“Our data reveal marked variation between different products and often even between different samples of the same product,” researchers in that study concluded.
Lawrence Mallinson, the managing director of UK-based Beet It owner James White Drinks, added that achieving beetroot nitrate potency and consistency was a supply and formulation chain challenge not paid due respect by many manufacturers in the sector.
“Beetroots have highly variable nitrate content and unless you try very hard – as we do – to ensure the beetroot juice is highly concentrated in a way to protect the nitrate – there is likely to be little there,” Mallinson said, noting a consumer would need, “293 pills of one particular product to get the nitrate equivalent of one of our Beet It shots.”
The IOC in a 2018 consensus statement found nitrate could aid muscle function and athletic performance when consumed at daily doses of 310-560mg.
The International Probiotics Association (IPA) has weighed in on Spain’s recent decision to permit probiotic labelling despite an EU ban, saying an international standard could resolve Europe’s increasingly splintered probiotics position.
“The establishment of global requirements would satisfy the triumvirate of authorities, consumers and, industry and will certainly lead to quality products, better consumer satisfaction, and health and well-being,” IPA executive director George Paraskevakos told NutraIngredients.
Spain’s recent decision to use EU mutual recognition principles to allow the term ‘probiotic’ on-product despite an EU ban on probiotics as an unauthorised health claim, has provoked law experts to question how much longer the EU ban can last.
With the digi-ink still drying on its freshly minted pro cycling sponsorship, nutritionals giant Royal DSM is demonstrating its commitment to sports nutrition and personalised nutrition.
By upping its existing 5-year nutrition partner status with German-based pro outfit Team Sunweb to title sponsor in 2021, DSM aims to give team members a nutritional edge through live biotracking tech and uber-refined supplement-enhanced dietary regimes for each rider in the men’s, women’s and development squads that comprise Team DSM.
DSM will feed the elite athlete level intel it gathers back into its own nutrient programmes to refine developments in omega-3s, tomato extracts, proteins, peptides, lutein and others beyond sports nutrition core markets.
“Pro athletes demand the most from their body and their equipment…The solutions that we provide society at large ultimately benefit from being informed by such proven results,” James Bauly, DSM’s global personalised nutrition chief, told NutraIngredients.
Italy’s primary food supplements group is taking action to protect the EU’s biggest and most dynamic market from a surge in misleading coronavirus-linked immunity claims.
Federsalus, a 230-strong group of institutional and commercial organisations operating in the food supplements sector, told NutraIngredients it was “taking very seriously” the 200+ infringements logged in the country since the pandemic began and was engaging with its members and the broader Italian food supplements sector, as well as regulators and EU law experts to tackle the problem.
The trade group told members to remove any online or offline marketing that suggested any nutrient or supplement could treat or prevent coronavirus or risk expulsion from Federsalus, not to mention penalties that can run to millions of euros from Italy’s Competition and Market Authority (AGCM).
“We are committed to the fight against these kinds of false claims because Italy has the most important supplements market in Europe – we have to protect it,” Federsalus director general Madi Gandolfo said. “In some cases it is companies misinterpreting the health claims law and quickly remedied, in other cases other actions might be required.”
Italy’s €1.6 billion food supplements market dwarfs the next biggest in Europe: Russia at €1.08bn; Germany with €967m and the UK with €755m, according to analyst Statista.