This year we presented 10 categories for your assessment. In alphabetical order they are: Calcium, Choline, Fiber, Inulin, Lutein, Lycopene, Omega Oils, Soy, Vitamins and Whey Protein. These were the primary ingredient categories featured throughout our 2004 editorial year and are not meant to endorse any particular source in any way.
To maintain the highest level of impartiality, our survey was kept short and sweet, with the concept of "best" left unquantified. Best was what was best to the individual voter — whether efficacy, service, availability or cost. We left it up to you.
The survey form is an unaided recall survey sent by e-mail to 9,100 recipients of Wellness Foods during the month of December. Recipients represent all categories of the food and beverage industry.
We opened the field to a first-, second- and third-place winner for each category. A difference of less than 3 percent was deemed a statistical tie, and for categories in which no single company received at least 5 percent of the votes, the category was simply dropped. (This did, in fact, happen with choline, so nine categories of winners are presented below.) We even had one category — omega oils — blessed with a three-way tie for second place.
â€¢ Purac America Inc., Lincolnshire, Ill. (6%)
â€¢ Specialty Minerals Inc., Bethlehem, Pa. (5%)
Calcium builds strong bones, and both Purac and Specialty Minerals built strong bonds with our readers in a statistical tie among a wide field of contenders with 6 percent and 5 percent of the total votes, respectively. Purac specializes in highly soluble calcium lactate-based formulations and is the world's largest and most experienced producer of natural lactic acid, lactates, gluconates, lactitol, xylitol, lactides and polylactides.
Specialty Minerals provides several food-grade calcium products in a broad range of particle sizes. Its products are used as texturizers and release agents in foods and confections as well as a source of calcium in baking products.
Winner: Archer Daniels Midland Co., Decatur, Ill. (11%)
Second: Sun Opta Ingredients Inc., Bedford, Mass. (8%)
ADM's Alpha Cellulose, Powdered Bh 200 Fibersol-2 soluble fiber is a clear, colorless and concentrated fiber source used as a bulking agent for low-calorie formulations. With no inherent or added flavor, it boasts high solubility, rapid dispersion and very low viscosity, plus it's heat/retort- and freeze/thaw-stable. It meets all criteria for health and safety and is GRAS as maltodextrin, as well as Kosher pareve-certified by the Union of Orthodox rabbis (OU).
Winner: Orafti Active Food Ingredients, Malvern, Pa. (20%)
- Cargill Inc., Minneapolis (9%)
- Sensus Operations CV, The Netherlands (9%)
Winner: Kemin Foods, Des Moines, Iowa (18%)
There were no clear winners for second or third place in this category.
Kemin's FloraGlo brand lutein — derived from a species of high-lutein marigolds cultivated in Thailand — is our readers' favorite source of this powerful antioxidant. Its product is chosen not only for food and beverages but is pure enough for vitamin and dietary supplements, too.
- LycoRed Natural Products, La Crosse, Wis. (11%)
- BASF Corp., Florham Park, N.J. (11%)
For 2005, LycoRed's Lycomato brand of naturally derived lycopene moved up to share first place for best lycopene supplier with BASF. While the evidence continues to mount for the importance of lycopene in helping to prevent prostate cancer, a wealth of new evidence is showing this tomato-derived phytonutrient to have possible benefits in preventing lung, breast and skin cancers as well as aiding in vascular health. Lycomato is derived from an Israeli-developed variety of hearty, high-lycopene tomatoes.
BASF's recently launched LycoVit line includes LycoVit 10%, a lycopene formulation used as a cold water dispersible powder for beverage and food applications, and LycoVit 20% dispersion, an oily dispersion for food fortification and dietary supplements.
Category: Omega Oils
Winner: Omega Protein Corp., Houston (12%)
- BASF Corp., Florham Park, N.J.;
- DSM Nutritional Products, Parsippany, N.J., and
- Martek Biosciences Corp., Columbia, Md.
Omega Protein's OmegaPure line of fish oil and protein products are naturally derived from menhaden, a herring-like fish that is the only marine source of essential long-chain Omega-3 s directly affirmed by the FDA as a GRAS food ingredient for direct human consumption.
Winner: Archer Daniels Midland Co., Decatur, Ill. (26%)
Second: Solae LLC, St. Louis (18%)
Third: Cargill Inc., Minneapolis (8%)
Soy is the archetype of functional foods. It is possibly the most studied food enjoying the longest historical association with good health. Soy is also one of the most versatile foods known.
For the second year in a row ADM, the giant of the soy protein industry, is the company a healthy percentage of our readers turn to for their soy protein product needs.
Winner: DSM Nutritional Products, Parsippany, N.J. (28%)
- Fortitech, Schenectady, N.Y. (12%)
- BASF Corp., Florham Park, N.J. (10%)*
* Although separate companies, BASF and Fortitech are involved in a joint venture of nutritional supplement products.
Category: Whey Protein
- Davisco Foods International Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn. (8%)
- Land O' Lakes Inc., St. Paul (8%)
- Clofine Corp., Linwood, N.J. (5%)
- Main Street Ingredients Corp., La Crosse, Wis. (5%)
Land O' Lakes has been a leading provider of dairy and dairy-derived ingredients for more than 80 years. It has a full line of whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, whey powders and milk powders.