It’s been about five years since collagen burst on the scene as a broad, value-added ingredient in North American food and beverage products.

Let’s count the ways. Collagen peptides hold instant appeal for abilities to support skin and nails, boost bones and joints, help blood sugar metabolism and even promote wound healing. Moreover, with just easy addition of collagen in a morning coffee or other liquid, consumers appreciate this ingredient’s versatility, neutral flavor and ease of use.

Today’s market is even more evolved with greater consumer interest—across all ages—in sports and active nutrition products. Not surprisingly, collagen peptides also play vital roles in these products as well—ranging from basic bars and beverages to new concentrated liquid and gel products such as gummies, chews and even functional dark chocolate. These formats are compact, convenient, and biologically functional (particularly as clinically studied dosages become lower and lower).

To address today’s functional nutrition trends, Nitta Gelatin introduced Wellnex Replenwell™, a premier line of clinically-supported collagen peptide ingredients. Each Replenwell product is clinically studied using “gold standard,” randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, human clinical trials to ensure safety and efficacy. Individual ingredients also are tailored to specific health benefits—including those associated with healthy aging, beauty from within, and sports nutrition.

Replenwell’s sports nutrition product is Collapep JB. The “JB” alludes to joint and bone health, and the product has been clinically tested to support joint comfort and suppress 3-methylhistidine (biomarker for skeletal muscle protein breakdown) and interleukin-6 (inflammatory cytokine associated with joint discomfort) in young, healthy long-distance runners.

How it Works
Compared to other collagen peptides, what distinguishes Collapep JB is its proprietary, concentrated ratio of functional di-peptides proline-hydroxyproline, “PO,” and hydroxyproline-glycine, “OG.” Collapep JB is confirmed to suppress the activity of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), which promotes calcification of joints. Meanwhile, Collapep JB significantly increases production of aggrecan, a lubricant for cartilage, in chondrogenic ATDC5 cells.

The functional dipeptide PO within Collapep JB is absorbed to the bloodstream following ingestion, and it enhances the expression of the gene called Runx2, which promotes calcification and is involved in promoting osteoblast differentiation. Osteoblasts are specialized cells which help make new bones. For bone support, PO activates the enzyme ERK in osteoblasts, and is also considered to have effects on the transcription factor Foxg1.

Neutral flavor and odor, exceptional dissolution, and unsurpassed pH and heat stability make collagen peptides a frustration-free protein for product developers within the functional food and beverage space. Nitta Gelatin North America is proud to offer a full team of technical experts, including IFT-certified food scientists and registered dietitians, to assist customers in recipe development, troubleshooting, label claims, and scale-up.

When looking at pre- or post-workout formulations, whether it be bars, RDTs or powders, Nitta Gelatin’s collagen peptides can fall into either category depending on desired function. For example, Collapep JB would be ideal for both short term (immediate recovery from soreness and improved joint comfort) and longer term (bone support and connective tissue regeneration) post-workout formulations. For pre-workout applications, it’s important to note that all collagen peptide ingredients are more than 90% protein. They provide the amino acids necessary to build lean muscle.

Here are additional details by application:

POWDERS: Powdered applications are a core strength for Nitta Gelatin. Replenwell is available in instantized, agglomerated or granulated versions which dissolve immediately, even in cold water. No shaker bottled required.

BARS: Bar applications also are a fantastic fit for Replenwell collagen peptide ingredients. Before the technology existed to hone in on specific biofunctionality of collagen peptides, these ingredients were added to bars (generally labelled as hydrolyzed gelatin) because of their ability to enhance bar pliability over time—thereby increasing shelf-life and eating experience. Offering targeted, functional protein ingredients that are inherently easy to work with, and improve product performance is a win-win for bar manufacturers.

Additionally, these ingredients “play well” with complementary proteins such as whey in bar and beverage formulations. Because collagen peptides lack the essential amino acid tryptophan, they are considered by some to be incomplete proteins. Pairing with a synergistic protein can easily make up for the lack of tryptophan, and yield a complete PDCAAS score for the finished protein blend.

BEVERAGES: Replenwell collagen peptides are available in various formats to complement different processed liquid beverage formats. For example, for crystal-clear beverage applications, haziness from proteins can be a serious challenge. Nitta Gelatin North America offers specialized products that ensure zero haze for exceptional clarity in these end products. In addition, high pH and temperature stability mean that there are no separation or precipitation issues with finished products during shelf life.

Last but not least. There’s more in store. Nitta Gelatin R&D teams in Osaka and Tokyo are partnering with Japan’s leading universities and professional sports teams to more deeply understand collagen peptide supplementation with athletic performance. Nitta Gelatin has several sports nutrition human clinical studies underway and expects to share results in late 2022. These studies target issues of joint comfort, muscle composition, endurance, anti-inflammatory response and recovery.

Nitta Gelatin North America
598 Airport Blvd, Suite 900
Morrisville, NC 27560
Phone: 1 888 NITTAUS or 919-238-3300