Herbalife overcomes solubility barriers of curcumin to roll out new immune-support supplement

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Herbalife incorporated nanotechnology to develop a new curcumin-based supplement, which recently debuted in Indonesia. ©Getty Images
Herbalife incorporated nanotechnology to develop a new curcumin-based supplement, which recently debuted in Indonesia. ©Getty Images

Related tags Herbalife Curcumin Supplements Indonesia turmeric extract immune support

Herbalife has incorporated nanotechnology to develop a new immune-support supplement, Immunoturmeric, which recently debuted in Indonesia and will soon be available in the other Asia-Pacific markets.

This product adds to Herbalife’s portfolio of supplements that are targeted at strengthening the immune system.

First launched in Indonesia last December, Immunoturmeric is developed with raw materials cultivated by turmeric farmers in the country’s Central Java region.

Its key ingredient, curcumin, is a compound found in the turmeric herb and widely reported to aid in the management of metabolic syndrome and inflammatory conditions.

Despite its myriad benefits, curcumin is challenging to be formulated into commercial products, largely due to its low water solubility, rapid metabolism by enzymes in the body, and poor bioavailability.

In fact, only a fraction of ingested curcumin gets absorbed into the bloodstream.

“To address this, we adopted advanced nanotechnology to convert curcumin extracts into nanoparticles during the manufacturing process, which helped to enhance the solubility and absorption of curcumin into the body,”​ Adam Pineda, Vice President – Marketing, Asia-Pacific and China at Herbalife, told NutraIngredients-Asia​.

In addition, Stephen Conchie, Regional President of Asia Pacific and China of Herbalife Nutrition, noted that consumers are becoming more discerning of product quality and effectiveness.

“The launch of Immunoturmeric reflects our commitment to delivering the highest quality, science-backed nutrition products to meet the evolving demands of consumers today. From sourcing the finest ingredients to the adoption of state-of-the-art technology, we are guided by Seed to Feed, our quality-control programme that involves a comprehensive process to ensure the highest possible standards in product development and manufacturing,” ​Conchie added.

According to Pineda, the time from product development to launch amounted to nearly three years.

“Indonesia is one of our key markets in APAC. It was chosen as the first country to debut Immunoturmeric because turmeric has long been used by the local population for its antioxidant properties, as well as its ability to regulate the immune function,” ​he said.

Herbalife plans to introduce the product in other markets across APAC within the next two years.

Current and emerging trends

Immune health has been a key area of consumer concern since the outbreak of COVID-19, Herbalife observed.

In its Asia Pacific Personal Habits Survey 2022, which involved 5,500 consumers in the region, it was found that close to a quarter of respondents experienced weaker immune systems during the pandemic.

Furthermore, consumers cited “supporting general immunity” as the top reason for increasing their usage of vitamins and supplements over the past few years.

“The development of Immunoturmeric is in line with the amplified demand for immune-related products among our customers,” ​Pineda shared.

On the topic of emerging trends such as personalised nutrition, Pineda said that Herbalife is “still assessing the potential for these new categories” to align their products with consumer demand and local preferences.

“We have a R&D team in APAC that is focused on developing science-backed products to meet consumer needs. Every individual’s needs are different, and certain health conditions, medications and genetic makeup can impact whether a specific nutrient, when consumed in recommended amounts, is needed,”​ he explained.

The company is also planning to build a data-driven capability to gain insights into customers’ goals, behaviours and profiles.

“By understanding each consumer and their product affinities, we can then use artificial intelligence to suggest to our distributors the next steps they should take to build rapport with their customers.

“We can also harness our internal data and combine it with external data to help distributors create customised wellness programmes for individual customers. In the longer term, we will be able to take this data and incorporate it into our R&D process to innovate new products,” ​said Pineda.

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