Along with potassium, magnesium is arguably the hottest up-and-coming dietary mineral, recognized for its many health benefits, which continue to be elucidated, according to market research publisher Packaged Facts in the report Functional Foods: Key Trends & Developments in Ingredients. It's expected that certain dairy products and milk and dairy substitutes, cereals, breads, baby food and food supplements, bars and beverages will be at the forefront of this trend.
Products that contain high levels of naturally occurring magnesium, including currently popular nuts and seeds, are good candidates for flagging magnesium content, with nut and seed spreads and butters, cereal bars and whole grain breads and crackers likely targets. Packaged Facts anticipates that increased label visibility for magnesium will cut across benefits and be found on products targeting bone health, cardiovascular health, cognitive and brain health as well as diabetes and blood glucose regulation.
A rough rule of thumb is that foods high in fiber are high in magnesium. Several magnesium-rich foods, including nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes also happen to be getting a lot of attention these days for other nutrition and health benefits, such as being good sources of plant protein and fiber.
While supplements will continue to be part of the equation and foods fortified with magnesium will likely increase in number, today's focus is largely on whole food and natural food sources. Packaged Facts anticipates this will result in product variants and base product line formulations containing foods naturally rich in magnesium highlighting the amount of this dietary mineral contained per serving in accordance with FDA regulations for nutrient content claims. Packaged Facts predicts that discussions about magnesium's benefits, largely relegated to product websites will over time result in more "good source" claims on packaging. Products that already contain added magnesium, such as ready-to-eat breakfast cereals and supplement bars and beverages are likely to be first to do so.
"While magnesium, sometimes termed an orphan mineral, has been quietly added to some breakfast cereals for decades to replace that lost in processing, we see this dietary mineral emerging as an important nutrient for promoting wellness that will experience a noteworthy increase in the number of processors and consumers seeking it out to help them avoid and improve a wide range of health issues," says David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts.