Interviews

Alzchem Group: “Creavitalis as a Versatile Ingredient Opens Many Options for the Plant-Based Food Industry”

Alzchem Group AG is the producer of Creavitalis®, the benchmark for a versatile ingredient called creatine monohydrate. Creavitalis® is a fine, tasteless powder that can be incorporated into food products such as meat and fish alternatives.

If just 0.5 grams of the powder is added to 100 grams of plant-based meat, the creatine content will be equivalent to that of animal meat, according to the company. “The recommended daily dose for creatine is 3 grams a day, which corresponds approximately to a 700g steak! So, creatine supplementation makes a lot of sense for all low or no meat diets,” explains Robert Alber VP of Alzchem’s human nutrition unit.

Creatine monohydrate is not classified as a novel food, as confirmed by the European Commission. As such, creatine monohydrate can be used in everyday food products. Last year the first plant-based fillet containing the ingredient was launched on the market and further products are set to follow this year.

Please introduce our readers to the Creavitalis® brand and its positioning.
Creavitalis® is a special product for the use of creatine monohydrate in food and health applications.

“We often compare it to electricity: you can use it for a toaster or a Tesla, it is still the same source of energy”

In the past years, we have seen a high and ever-increasing number of studies showing scientifically proven benefits of creatine in applications beyond sports nutrition. Creavitalis® is tailored to the needs of health and food applications and has been developed together with partners from those markets. It is micronized for optimal mouth feel and taste and is texture-neutral. Above all, Creavitalis ® is produced exclusively in our plant in Germany. We are producing all key raw materials as well here in our plant. Here we are complying with the highest chemical, quality, legal, and sustainability standards.

Healthy eating. Plate with vegan or vegetarian food. Healthy plant based diet. Healthy dinner. Buddha bowl with fresh vegetables.
Image courtesy of Alzchem Group

Can you provide a short explanation of creatine and its mechanisms of action within the human body?
Creatine in the form of creatine phosphate is a key element of cellular energy metabolism. It improves the energy efficiency of the cell and thereby improves the availability of cellular energy. Therefore it matters for all energy-consuming body functions, or in other words: everything we do, from moving, to thinking, and so on needs energy.

“…the longevity community has discovered creatine as a game changer”

We often compare it to electricity: you can use it for a toaster or a Tesla, it is still the same source of energy. The same is true for creatine, and this explains why the fields of applications are so broad. Important to say, that the body is synthesizing creatine on its own. However, in situations of elevated need (e.g. mental stress, disease, sports, …) this natural production might not be sufficient, so additional creatine is helpful. External creatine can come only from bigger quantities of meat, fish, or milk, or simply via supplementation with Creavitalis®.

Regarding the animal-free creatine powder, could you share insights into any of your study results that highlight its positive effects on the body?
We have found a lot of interesting scientific data for topics like the prevention of muscle loss (creatine holds an EU health claim for this), male fertility and special nutrition for the elderly. Based on promising existing results, we are conducting further research on female health, and also for fatigue symptoms for example due to long Covid or dialysis. All this is done together with reputed universities and partners. They publish their study results on www.creatineforhealth.com and www.creatine.global, respectively.

In December we submitted an application for an EU health claim on cognitive function, both for the elderly and under stress situations. Additionally, the longevity community has discovered creatine as a game changer – what could be more essential to cellular health than its energy supply?

Homemade vegan burgers
Image courtesy of Alzchem Group

Could you provide specific examples of how this Creavitalis® is being applied in foods and why plant-based foods should be fortified with creatine?
Creatine is not present in any plant. Nature has opted to use food as an additional source of creatine. The recommended daily dose for creatine is 3 grams a day, which corresponds approximately to a 700g steak! So, creatine supplementation makes a lot of sense for all low- or no-meat diets, including as well flexitarian lifestyles.

“…what could be more essential to cellular health than its energy supply?

Last year the first plant-based fillet containing Creavitalis® was launched on the market and we will see more products coming this year, particularly in dairy products and special nutrition. An interesting effect of creatine is also its role in supporting the build-up of lean mass. High creatine levels can trigger mechanisms for protein biosynthesis and hence it is an interesting partner for high or plant-based protein concepts.

How does Alzchem support clients in integrating Creavitalis® into their product development processes?
We believe in science. We have our own team understanding global research and supporting new projects with Creavitalis®. Our customers are getting access to study results which help them to create products, that really deliver tangible benefits to users.

We are conducting our own stability tests for various meal concepts and consulting customers to make sure that creatine remains stable in their products.

Could you highlight any partnerships or collaborations Alzchem Group has with companies within the plant-based food industry? What role does Alzchem envision playing in the supply chain for plant-based products, and how do you see these relationships evolving in the future?
We are working with startups and with multinational companies alike. Since many of these projects will give these companies an edge over their competitors, we cannot disclose details.

“Creavitalis® is clean label because it is the body’s own substance”

However, we can see from the numbers of news articles, studies, and internet activities, that a new trend around creatine is building up. The mode of action of creatine is well proven, logical, and above all – creatine works! Creavitalis® is clean label because it is the body’s own substance. It supports various body functions and is a joker in the game of fortification. We experience an increasing interest and demand and have massively increased our production capacity to match incoming orders.

What role have industry fairs and conferences played in your business strategy in the plant-based sector? Are there any particular events in the past that were pivotal for your company, and which upcoming event participations do you see as crucial?
Let me be very open on this. After impressive first steps, we feel a certain stagnation in the plant-based food industry. Price and cost pressure is increasing, clean label initiatives are limiting formulation options and it has become very difficult to have a USP over your competitors.

We have seen this in trade shows like Anuga or Plant Based World Expo. Yet, this situation is a chance for truly innovative companies thinking out of the box and finding new responses to real market needs. Food shall be tasty, healthy and affordable. Creavitalis® as a versatile ingredient opens many options for the plant-based food industry.

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