What’s new: Latest launches, business and brand news


Rustic revamp: Easy Bean pot meals set relaunch

Easy Bean is relaunching its chilled one-pot meals in with “new and improved recipes and eye-catching packaging”, according to the company. 

Christina Baskerville, the owner and creator of Easy Bean, said: “We pioneered the concept of a complete meal in a pot in 2008 taking our inspiration from rustic cuisine from around the world and the beans and pulses typical of the region.

“This original range has certainly stood the test of time with very few changes being made. However, as people increasingly have a greater understanding of the health benefits of pulses and demand more plant-based foods we felt that it was the right time to tweak a few recipes and simplify the range to appeal to a broader audience including those following a vegan or vegetarian diet or for those just looking for a more convenient way to enjoy more veg and pulses”

The chilled meals are prepared at the company’s Somerset (UK) production kitchen. Slowly cooked in small batches, chunky veg and nutritious pulses are infused with fresh herbs and spices. The ingredients are 100% natural and all recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free.

Packaging has also been refreshed with new foodie illustrations and product descriptors focusing on the hero ingredients. Serving suggestions are included.

The meals continue to be packed in a microwaveable and recyclable or reusable plastic pot. The sleeve is made from sustainable card and fully recyclable.

Curcugen curcumin formulation attains GRAS status

New Jersey headquartered nutraceuticals specialist DolCas Biotech has announced that its  bioavailability-enhanced, water-dispersible curcuminoid complex, has received Self-Affirmed Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status. This designation was unanimously accorded by an independent panel of scientific experts and based on scientific procedures, concluding that Curcugen meets FDA’s definition of safety when used as an ingredient in yoghurt, nutrition bars, smoothies, and other food and beverage products at levels of 40-60 mg per serving.

“In contrast to certain generic curcumin products currently on the market, our formulation preserves the original complex of curcuminoids, essential oils, and polar resins within the optimized oleoresin matrix,” explains Dr. Shavon Jackson-Michel, director of medical & scientific affairs for DolCas Biotech. “This supports its superior bioactive and holistic qualities— Curcugen is time-tested and its efficacy has been scientifically explored for its positive role in gut health and mood, as well as mitigating inflammation.”

Curcugen’s 98.5% turmeric formulation provides a high concentration of curcuminoids at a 50% standard, without omitting other, well-characterized and functional turmeric actives, including turmeric essential oils and polysaccharides. The company says that this synergism is what elicits the clinical benefits associated with the brand at doses as low as 500 mg/day, and is pivotal in the brand’s novel dispersion

Natracare is first period brand to carry Plastic Free mark

Natracare, which launched the first ever organic cotton tampon in 1989, became the world’s first period brand to be awarded the Plastic Free Mark for its packaging (in 2019) and now for its whole product (applicator tampons and pads, in 2021). Susie Hewson, founder and CEO of Natracare, says the brand is “beyond thrilled” at the accolade.

“The concept of plastic-free periods is nothing new to Natracare, we have been campaigning this for over 30 years. But there is a wonderful wave of cultural change happening right now, where more people are talking about periods and have an environmental drive to reduce plastic consumption. I think more than ever, brands need to be totally transparent with what they are putting into their products – and so this mark is not only a celebration of a more sustainable future, but hopefully a more transparent future in period care,’ says Hewson.

The plastic period problem was highlighted last year when environment activist Ella Daish created a giant tampon applicator as part of a protest against single-use plastic. This was made from 1,200 applicators collected from 15 different locations across the country. Daish’s #EndPeriodPlastic campaign helped to successfully get many shops like Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, Boots, and Superdrug to ditch its own-brand plastic tampon applicators and sell eco-alternatives alongside them. This was a powerful step in the fight against unnecessary plastic applicators.   

Environment activist Ella Daish, whose campaigning has helped highlight the plastic period problem, says: “The introduction of the Plastic Free Logo onto the packaging of Natracare’s period products is absolutely fantastic! This move will help consumers identify eco-friendly choices with confidence and highlight the hidden plastic in mainstream period brands to a wider audience.”

Natracare says the Plastic Free Mark is the first step for more transparency in period products and that it is committed to “driving this narrative forward”.

Lycored enhances natural astaxanthin range

Lycored has increased its range of natural astaxanthin products with the launch of an oleoresin as well as a microencapsulated starch beadlet, rounding out the company’s application capabilities for the antioxidant.

Created from Haematococcus pluvialis algae, the oleoresin product is a wellness extract designed for soft gels, while the starch beadlet is a CWD microencapsulated solution suitable for beverages and dry mixes.

The new products expand the possibilities for astaxanthin applications, with Lycored’s microencapsulation technologies also providing options for tablets, hard-shell capsules, chewable tablets, gummies, nutritional bars and more.

Karin Hermoni, Head of Product and Science at Lycored, said: “Our natural, algae-derived astaxanthin formulations have been developed with quality top of mind. Between the classic soft gel and the richness of possibilities that our unique microencapsulation technologies allow, we can now offer manufacturers a hub for a wide range of finished applications with astaxanthin.”

Algae-derived astaxanthin is a carotenoid that acts as a highly potent antioxidant, balancing oxidative and inflammatory status to support cellular health in general as well as specific health benefits such as skin and immune health.

Lycored’s beadlet microencapsulation techniques, widely utilized in the company’s carotenoid family, enhance the stability of ingredients while minimizing cross-interaction and protecting against oxidation.

Patented for synergy with other ingredients such as Lycomato, Lycored’s astaxanthin solutions represent a natural choice for supporting cellular and immune health.

Zev Ziegler, Vice President of Brand & Marketing at Lycored, said: “Our unique approach to carotenoids has flourished over the years and these latest astaxanthin offerings show how our garden is growing. The new products reflect both our commitment to quality and a firm belief that our delivery systems are engineered to address a wide variety of needs, including supporting the growing demand for vegetarian and vegan products.”

Lycored’s astaxanthin range is GRAS for food and beverage use and Non-GMO Project Verified, with further options including gelatin beadlets and vegetarian beadlets. For more information, visit: https://www.lycored.com/astaxanthin