Fortifying food is not straightforward. Premixes must be developed carefully for products to maintain their taste and colour, and for sensitive consumer groups such as infants and the elderly, the production process must live up to the highest hygiene requirements.
Companies therefore have to make very conscious choices when developing new premixes, using only the best ingredients on the market and reliable manufacturers.
Kees Schepers, vice-president of sales at Vitablend, is confident his company is always ahead. "We know that we're at the highest quality level in the food industry," he says.
Vitablend offers a wide range of premixes - covering everything from minerals to amino acids - that contributes to improved health and well-being. This begins at birth; Vitablend's range of infant premixes help young children develop healthily. Its nucleotide premixes, for example, contain some of the same ingredients as breast milk, and help cell growth and energy metabolism.
The company also produces premixes for the elderly. Its clinical nutritional premixes help fight a range of ailments, its multivitamin premixes improve bone health, while another range of premixes helps with digestion.
Apart from these specialist applications, Vitablend also offers premixes and blends for use in sports nutrition, such as energy drinks and glutamine premixes.
Of course, supplying premixes to infants, elderly and the hospitalised - who are more susceptible to illness than the general population - means that hygiene is incredibly important. Whatever the premix, customers can be confident that Vitablend always sticks to EU regulations, Schepers emphasises. "We follow the development of all EU regulations closely and always comply with the standards," he says.
Vitablend manages this through a sophisticated track-andtrace barcode system that enables employees to carefully follow a certain premix through every production stage, and by using a special dry clean room.
Customers can be similarly confident in the quality of Vitablend's raw ingredients. As a member of the Barentz Group, the company can source the best premix ingredients, thanks to that company's wide supplier network. "Barentz group is our global distributor," explains Schepers.
"This enables us to offer package deals to our customers. When we meet customers, we don't just introduce them to our Vitablend range of products, but can also offer them almost any other raw ingredient, like proteins and starches, needed to make the product the customer is looking for.
"We have two production plants, in the Netherlands and Singapore, and serve customers all over the world. Vitablend offers the technology and the know-how, and Barentz has access to all the high-quality ingredients that are needed to make the premixes and blends. This combination is quite unique.. We plan on promoting stronger global coverage and will establish additional production facilities in other parts of the world."
Given the success currently enjoyed by Vitablend, there is every reason to imagine that the company's future ventures will be similarly fruitful.