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Ancient root for today’s health needs

Source:Food Bev Asia

Date Published:2/12/2019 10:02:51 AM

The use of Ashwagandha in food and beverage and health products is expanding across global markets.

HIGHLY in demand these days, natural functional ingredients are finding their way into sports nutrition products, supplements, and many food and beverages that want a better health appeal. In all these sectors, the ancient medicinal herb, ashwagandha is gaining popularity.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is commonly found in India, and some parts of Asia, where it has always been considered traditional medicine. But recent pharmacological studies and clinical trials on this herb are supporting the extensive therapeutic effects of the roots, most of which are documented in the KSM-66 Ashwagandha website. KSM-66 is a leading ashwagandha product marketed by herbal extracts and pharmaceuticals company, Ixoreal Biomed.

From relieving stress and anxiety to enhancing sports performance and cognitive alertness, to preventing infertility – and more – nutrient-dense ashwagandha has attracted markets in the US and Europe in the last few years; more recently it is being introduced in the Asian market.

Garnering awards for its natural, organic, and sustainable production, KSM-66 in particular has become a popular brand, with claims of the highest concentration full-spectrum root extract and the highest percentage of withanolides of all root-only extracts. The product is certified GRAS, halal, kosher, gluten-free, non-GMO, GMP, USDA Organic, and more. It is also produced vertically, with the manufacturer having its own farms, production facilities, testing laboratories, research centre.

We further asked KSM-66 manufacturers about their product which has become prominent in exhibitions including Vitafoods Asia, Hi Europe, and Supply Side West.

Ashwagandha in cookies (Photo: © Eskymaks | Dreamstime.com)

In what forms is KSM-66 Ashwagandha available?

KSM-66 Ashwagandha is available in a free-flowing powder form. It is the highest concentration full spectrum extract of ashwagandha root which can be readily incorporated in capsules, tablets, softgels, liquids, food and beverages. KSM-66 ashwagandha was developed over 10+ years of R&D, has been on the market for just over six years, but is already in more than 600 products of major supplement companies across the globe like GNC, CVS, Costco, Weider, Thorne, Cellucor, P&G, NBTY, Garden of Life, and bodybuilding.com, to name a few.

How is KSM-66 Ashwagandha applied to food and beverage? When incorporating this ingredient to a F&B product, what should manufacturers bear in mind with formulation? 
Ashwagandha in general, and KSM-66 Ashwagandha specifically is used for an impressively wide breadth of applications, functional areas and delivery formats. The last two years have been amazing in the range of products introduced that contains ashwagandha. As you may know, while Baby Boomers are fine with taking supplements in pills, the younger generations prefer it in their foods and beverages. KSM-66’s neutral taste profile makes it excellently suited for use in powders and foods/beverages more broadly. 

KSM-66 is manufactured using a water-based extraction process without using any alcohol or chemical solvents, on the principles of Green Chemistry. Beyond supplements, we have KSM-66 ashwagandha in delivery forms that includes chocolates, chewing-gums, nutritional bars, burgers, soft chews, gummy bears, juices, RTD beverages, coffee, tea and granola.

What are the health benefits of KSM-66 Ashwagandha, and how much of it must be taken in order for a consumer to gain the benefits? 
Via 24 clinical studies till date (2018), KSM-66 Ashwagandha has been clinically proven to help (1) Reduce stress, anxiety, cortisol levels and stress-related food cravings, (2) Promote enhanced memory and cognitive function, (3) Promote endurance, strength, muscle size and muscle recovery rate and (4) Enhance sexual performance health in both men and women, and testosterone in men. 
Our science team suggests that if KSM-66 Ashwagandha is the only herb/ingredient being used in the product, our recommended dosage would be 600 mg per day (dosage used in our clinical trials).
 
How receptive is the Asian market – particularly Southeast Asia – to a product like KSM-66 Ashwagandha?
KSM-66 Ashwagandha has been gaining immense reception in Asian market and is exported to a lot of countries in Southeast Asia. The foremost justification for this is the cultural similarities between India and the South East Asian countries. We believe that people from these ethnicities have relied upon, trusted and have consumed traditional medicine for centuries, which makes the acceptance towards ashwagandha very easy. Besides, the increased awareness in health education has caused consumers in these countries to gravitate toward ashwagandha, as more and more consumers seek products that are clinically effective, natural, away from substances that are overly chemically synthesized, organic etc.  Ashwagandha extracts like KSM-66 are true to traditional ayurvedic practice and are natural in a way many supplements are not.

Which is the biggest market for Ashwagandha to date?  

The United States till date remains the biggest market for Ashwagandha and KSM-66 in particular, followed by Europe, Canada and Australia. A lot of interest in also now catching up in South America, Asia and Africa for KSM-66 Ashwagandha. 

 

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