Readers' Choice Awards 2006

Our readers have answered the challenge and made their choices. We present our third annual Readers’ Choice Awards for the best suppliers of nutritional ingredients.

By David Feder, R.D., Editor

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Wellness Foods Readers' Choice Awards: Lycopene from LycoRedCategory: Lycopene
Winner: Tie

  • LycoRed Natural Products, La Crosse, Wis. (12%)
  • DSM Nutritional Products, Parsippany, N.J. (12%)


This year, LycoRed's ( Lycomato brand of naturally derived lycopene shares its first-place position for best lycopene supplier with DSM. The tomato-derived phytonutrient, known for its ability to help prevent certain types of cancer, especially prostate cancer, has seen an increase in studies supporting its healthful benefits. Lycomato is derived from an Israeli-developed variety of hearty, high-lycopene tomatoes and is used to enhance beverages and condiments without affecting flavor.DSM ( points out that research suggests the compound may also prevent oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL cholesterol), and thus atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. The company developed its Redivivo brand of lycopene for use in food and beverage formulations.

Category: Omega-3 Oils
Winner: Omega Protein Corp., Houston (14%)
Second: Tie

  • Ocean Nutrition Corp., Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (8%)
  • DSM Nutritional Products, Parsippany, N.J. (8%)


First-place winner Omega Protein ( is the world's largest manufacturer of fish-oil derived Omega-3 essential fatty acids. The healthy oils are known to help cardiovascular health and also have been studied for their beneficial effects on fetal nerve and brain development, memory, depression and immunity (see cover story, "Target: Immunity").

Tying for second are the Canadian company Ocean Nutrition Corp. ( and DSM.

Wellness Foods Readers' Choice Awards: Polyphenols from ADMCategory: Polyphenols / Green Tea Extracts / Plant Sterols
Winner: Tie

  • ADM Corp., Decatur, Ill. (6%)
  • Cargill Health and Food Technologies Inc., Minneapolis (6%)


Readers responded strongly to our new category of polyphenolic compounds, tea extracts and plant sterols. So much so that voting was spread out among a number of great suppliers, yielding a tie in which the winners garnered a scant 6 percent each of total votes.

ADM ( won for its CardioAid brand of phytosterols and sterol esters, and Cargill ( for its CoroWise plant sterols, which made a big splash a little over a year ago in Minute Maid Premium Heart Wise orange juice.

Category: Soy
Winner: ADM Corp., Decatur, Ill. (31%)
Second: The Solae Co., St. Louis (25%)

Soy is the big dog on the block when it comes to wellness ingredients, and agriculture giant ADM, with nearly one third of the total votes, was a clear winner in the soy category. The company boasts one of the broadest lines of soy products, offering both conventional and non-GM soy as well as USDA organic whole soybean proteins.

Solae ( is an alliance of two industry megastars, DuPont and Bunge International. Solae is a leader in developing multiple lines of soy products, including soy protein, soy isolates, defatted soy flakes and soy oil, allowing it to capture a quarter of the votes for an easy second-place win.

Wellness Foods Readers' Choice Awards: vitamins from DSM Nutritional ProductsCategory: Vitamins and antioxidants
Winner: DSM Nutritional Products, Parsippany, N.J. (25%)
Second: Tie

  • Watson Foods Co., West Haven, Conn. (8%)
  • Fortitech Inc., Schenectady, N.Y. (7%)
  • BASF Corp., Florham Park, N.J.; (6%)


With DSM's ( purchase of vitamin giant Roche, plus its own long history of leadership in vitamin and antioxidant product development, it seems only natural it would capture the most votes in this category. Watson Foods (, provider of every type of food ingredient from emulsifiers to mixes, additives to enzymes; BASF (, a major supplier of vitamins for flour fortification as well as vitamin, amino acid, and carotenoid powders; and fortification experts Fortitech (, who provide products for boosting the nutritional value of everything from baby formulas and sports drinks to breakfast cereals and energy bars, all joined together in a three-way tie for second place.

Category: Whey Protein
Winner: Tie

  • Davisco Foods Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn. (11%)
  • Leprino Foods Co., Denver (9%)


Whey winner Davisco ( is a major innovator of proteins and nutraceutical compounds derived from dairy. Its new Bi-Pro whey protein isolate is produced through a selective ion exchange process and boasts the highest reported Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid score. Also in the winner's circle through a statistical tie is Leprino Foods Co. ( The company is the largest U.S. exporter of whey products, as well as the largest supplier of pizza cheese products. Leprino's premium mozzarella cheese is the uniform source of high-quality sweet whey and whey proteins.

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