“Dark chocolate is good for your heart! It’s good for your brain! It energizes you!” Too often we hear about the health benefits of dark chocolate without much explanation of why it is good. These reports are not just a way to make us feel better about the sweets we ingest. So, what is it about dark chocolate that has nutrition enthusiasts so excited? It turns out it is not the sugary milk chocolate bar we can thank; it’s cocoa.

Last month, we discussed with Dr. Robert Smith how the media distorted a questionable observational study with multivitamins. Just as scientists were setting the record straight about that study, a vitamin E study captured headlines. Fortunately, Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D., quickly distributed accurate information through the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service (OMNS). Dr. Saul was kind enough to further discuss vitamin E and the recent report with us.

Giving seminars around the country, I ask natural products retailers to tell me why they think it is important to tell the story of their store. “Because we care,” says one. “Because we’re knowledgeable,” answers another. “Because we help,” offers yet a third. All true. But the most important reason in my view is, if you don’t tell the story of your store—what you do, and why and how you do it—the world will gladly fill in the vacuum left by your silence.

In July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made public a proposed guidance for new dietary ingredients (NDIs) that are included in supplements. Though the document is aimed at finished product manufacturers, it could have a profound affect on raw materials suppliers.

The mark of a first-rate contract manufacturer is a unique flexibility in fulfilling client needs. Beyond the basic capability to churn out products from an assembly line, true manufacturing partners are well-positioned to make a product run work for you.

With all of the effort and investment that goes into developing a product, it may be easy to become excited at the end of the process and say, “Let’s throw it on the shelf, already!” But for any product or product line, from dietary supplements to cosmetics, manufacturers would do well not to overlook the crucial last step in bringing something to market: designing the product’s home, its packaging.

WILD Flavors, Inc. launched Vegeceuticals, made with a proprietary technology that extracts key phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables. Two varieties are available: Orange powder or liquid contain beta-carotene from vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins and paprika, while the red powder or liquid provides anthocyanins from beets, rhubarb, tomatoes and other purple fruits.

Columbia Phytotechnology developed the PowderPure line, which uses RZD technology to keep powders fresh and nutritious. The drying process divides fruits/vegetables into “zones” to ensure the highest quality of powders. Core powders come in flavors such as raspberry, pineapple and açai. Beverage blends of PowderPure come in flavors like raspberry-açai.

Frutarom USA has launched Beneolea (EFLA943), an olive-leaf extract that promotes cardiovascular health. The extract is made with the patented Hyperpure technology and has been tested to support blood pressure and manage blood-sugar levels with positive results. Frutarom also claims that the ingredient acts as an antioxidant and helps support healthy cholesterol levels.