Comments from attendees:

  • “it has given me new opportunities to consider’
  • ‘made some interesting connections’

The first meeting of the Food Supplement Special Interest Group of 2018, focussed on how to make a food supplement, held in the Discovery building at Biocity Nottingham.

The scene was set by Janet Worrell, consult2deliver limited; looking at Novel foods and the introduction of the new regulation in Europe (and UK) in Feb 2018. An overview of the process, advantages and examples from the newly created Union List were shared with the audience. An insight to the Traditional food process (for foods not originated from Europe –Baobob fruit) was included, along with the revised UK position on insects –whole insects are now considered to be novel foods and have two years to transition to achieve the correct status. Finally, a forward view was shared on the future of this new legislation following UK exit from Europe.

Rebecca Taylor, IVC Brunel Healthcare, looked at Raw materials: What is required for approval for use in food supplements?  Rebecca’s view shaped from her time in the analytical labs, on average for a new supplier/new material will take 12 weeks and involved at least six departments to gain acceptance on to the approved supplier list. Rebecca shared ideal scenarios –short supply chain, but reflected that this is not possible all the time in the real world. She covered a variety of ‘hurdles’ that need to be cleared to gain assurance a raw material is safe to use within a food supplement.

After the break, Nick Bennett, IVC Brunel Healthcare gave an overview of Food supplement manufacture, focusing on solid dose manufacture. IVC Brunel healthcare make over 70 million dose forms annually. A brief summary of the prevailing legislation along with examples of machinery, capacity and technology required to make a variety of different solid dose products was presented. The extent of the specialist capability of IVC Brunel Healthcare was demonstrated.

So,having found the ingredients, approved them and made them into a food supplement, consideration needs to be given to releasing them for sale on the market. Julie Walker of JW Quality Consulting Limited, provided a view on how a product can be safe, fit for purpose and consistent to ensure it can be safely sold and distributed. Whilst seeming to be common sense, a carefully executed quality triangle of procedures and purpose would result in a quality outcome.

Finally, to conclude the day, Elin Traustadottir, Wellness Labs Ltd, shared her personal experience of creating her first food supplement and the lessons learnt along the way. Elin used information from google trends, trade trends, feedback from customers, Facebook groups and believes in creating a customer base through telling a story. Elin, has been recently awarded a Medilink EM innovation grant to develop her concept of providing probiotics via a tea format. Her can do attitude in the face of many technical challenges provided a fitting end to meeting, showing that hurdles can be overcome and success achieved.

This meeting was supported by the INSTILs project funded by D2N2.

The presenters and meeting were very well received by the audience on the day, with feedback scores >90%. Our next Food Supplement Special Interest Group meeting will be July, with the final session looking at how to market/sell your food supplement towards the end of the year.