This is the first of the NEM "Never Stop" videos. These videos highlight individuals who participate in some class of endurance sport and tell their story of never having to stop and why they use NEM. Steve Foster has participated in a range of sports his entire life... Learn more about NEM
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To Our Valued Customers & Partners, At Stratum Nutrition, we value intentionality at every turn and care deeply about the health and well-being of our customers, employees and local communities. With COVID-19 continuing to impact the world, we feel it’s important to update you on the necessary measurements we are proactively taking to ensure the well-being of our employees and protecting our ability to supply safe products during this critical time. As a GMP manufacturing company, our employees are expected to adhere to their training on safety and standard operating procedures to ensure full compliance with all our hygiene and safety protocols. Additional precautions are being taken to further mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission in our workplace: Employees are required to stay home if they show any symptoms of respiratory or flulike illness and will be sent home in accordance to this policy in the event they come to work. As this situation is evolving rapidly, with our team’s safety at the forefront, we are working on staffing rotations that may increase turnaround times but will allow us to continue fulfilling orders short of a state or federally mandated shut down. While we place great value on in-person meetings and industry events, all personnel have been instructed to limit travel unless otherwise necessary. We are utilizing electronic means of communication to fill in the gaps that this virus challenge has brought to face-to-face interactions. Please trust we are taking the threat of COVID-19 very seriously and will continue to do everything we can to minimize any supply disruption. Management has approved a buy-forward (inventory build) on potentially impacted items including ingredients and safety supplies. Current suppliers’ status is being constantly monitored during this pandemic.  As of now, no critical disruptions have been identified.  This includes raw materials, components, packaging and personal protective equipment (PPE).   Our Management team is closely monitoring mission-critical items which, if missing, would shut down production. There is little to no risk currently. We are aware of your health and business concerns and will continue to monitor the situation so that we can adjust plans as necessary. Please work closely with your sales and customer service representatives on any upcoming or open orders. We understand that you may be trying to proactively stock up on inventory. If this is the case, please work with your sales representative to update your forecast. As always, we sincerely appreciate your loyalty and will continue to keep you informed as changes arise. We hope you and everyone around you stay safe and healthy. Thank you, Micah Osborne  
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We're All in This Together
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we thought of no one better to talk about relationships other than our very own Quality Assurance Technician, Zach Shepherd. He sets the bar higher in relationship goals than any Jo Mo Marriage therapist off the street. Seriously, this guy knows more about relationships than app/online dating expert Dr. Jess or even world renowned “Love Doctor” Dr. Terri Orbuch herself.    If you could choose to spend time with a chicken hawk or a beakless duck, which would you choose and why?  This is fully dependent upon which one takes less time to fully cook. Seriously. Which one tends to stay juicy and can feed a family of four?    What takeaways from following company Quality Control procedures can someone implement in their personal relationship with a spouse/loved one/etc?  Quality Control is based on a series of unyielding standards. I would say that a good rule of thumb to start with is to ensure that John Walsh from America’s Most Wanted has never uttered the name of the other half of your relationship in a broadcast. Right? I mean, who wants to start an association by harboring a fugitive? Probably shouldn’t skimp on criminality.     What have you learned in your relationship to help others have the best quality control in theirs?  What I have learned regarding relationships I learned, not in a relationship, but rather from the late, great thespian Patrick Swayze. “Be nice…” is what he said in his Academy shunned, moving and thought-provoking portrayal as a bouncer in Roadhouse. That’s the answer to just about everything. Be nice. Thank you, Pat and I speak on behalf of this nation when I say that you are truly missed. Oh! Also, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” That one seems to work too.     How does accountability in your workplace convert to accountability in a relationship?  This is not really a great thing to fully embrace in a bear hug. There has to be some degree of flexibility in a relationship. Applying the same rigid guidelines in a relationship that you do within a Quality Department does little more than guarantee a slow demise of the coupling. Compromise is not a dirty word. Employ it. Now, at work we simply do not skimp, compromise or negotiate on quality. Bottom line, end of story.     What does good quality control produce in a relationship?  Hopefully, dinner. I have to start eating breakfast, man. My responses are beginning to show a clear bias towards a meal.    What is one thing you do that annoys your spouse and how could good quality control help lighten the situation?   Everything I do annoys my spouse. Seriously, everything. Had she been more selective she could have avoided this. Her lack of ‘…good quality control…’ is a victory for me. Too late now. Lemon law grace period no longer applies. No takesies-backsies!    Is there anything you’d like to add about Quality Control or Quality Relationships/Love?  The two are similar only in the loosest of interpretations. Quality/expectations at home have to be more malleable than the standard set when producing a product. Unyielding is not the approach one needs to take with a significant other. I promise that will get you nowhere. However, at work, I am not interested in brokering a deal when it comes to previously established criteria. 
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How has a compound originally isolated from a lobster in the 1930s come so far?  Astaxanthin, part of the carotenoid class of antioxidants, originally discovered as the compound that gives lobster its unique red color, is now used in aquaculture, food, cosmetics, and nutraceuticals.  Sometimes referred to as the “king carotenoid”, astaxanthin stands out above other antioxidants, not only due to its deep red color, but also because its antioxidant power is a step above the rest.  Antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and vitamin C, are vital to our health as they help control free radical damage to our cells.  Our body is constantly under assault by free radicals, whether they come from our diet, chemical exposure, or sun exposure.  When our levels of antioxidants are lower than the levels of free radicals in our body, we are in a state of “oxidative stress”.  Not ideal, as this means the insides and outsides of our cells are being damaged when we are in this predicament. Some antioxidants do a great job protecting the outside of our cells (the cellular membrane) from free radical attack, and some antioxidants get inside our cells and stop free radicals there.  Astaxanthin is unique in that the molecule actually links itself through our cell membranes, positioning parts both outside and inside the cell, thus able to squelch free radicals wherever they may be.  This ability to link through our cellular membranes makes astaxanthin a more bioactive antioxidant than zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta-carotene. You can only get astaxanthin through your diet, and it is most commonly found in marine organisms.  We consume moderate levels of astaxanthin when we dine on lobster, salmon, and shrimp.  But, the key to producing high levels of astaxanthin for dietary supplements began by discovering where astaxanthin is created.  Astaxanthin is biosynthesized by marine microalgae as protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation and oxidative stress.  These marine microalgae are then eaten by zooplankton (which accumulate all that beneficial microalgae-created astaxanthin).  The zooplankton are then eaten by crustaceans, which are eaten by fish, and so on.  Astaxanthin gives unique pigmentation to the marine organisms throughout this food chain, while also protecting the creatures from ultraviolet (UV) radiation, protecting from oxidative stress, supporting immunity, and bolstering stress tolerance. The microalgae, Haematococcus pluvialis (H. pluvialis), is considered to have the highest astaxanthin producing ability.  The concentration of astaxanthin in H. pluvialis is 10,000X that of common grocery store salmon.  So, it makes sense that this tiny organism was chosen as the starting point for astaxanthin ingredient production.  H. pluvialis can be grown in open-water “ponds” exposing H. pluvialis to the sun, thus causing the microalgae to produce astaxanthin for protection from UV radiation.  Closed tube systems stationed outdoors also use sunlight to stimulate H. pluvialis astaxanthin production.  Closed tube systems are also used indoors with UV light to stimulate astaxanthin production. NatAxtin™ astaxanthin is extracted from H. pluvialis grown in open-water “race track” ponds (circular ponds of water with a steady current) in the Atacama Desert in Chile.  The environment is pristine, with water sourced directly from the Andes mountains.  In addition, the Atacama is a point of extremely high solar radiation on Earth, so the exposed microalgae are producing astaxanthin at top capacity.  Once the ponds are bright red, teeming with microalgae filled with astaxanthin, the microalgae are harvested.  NatAxtin™ astaxanthin is then extracted from the harvested biomass by a green, low impact, sustainable process called “supercritical CO2 extraction”.  Supercritical CO2 extraction uses a minimal amount of energy and captures atmospheric CO2 while releasing oxygen, all while producing a pure, deep red, astaxanthin rich carotenoid complex for use in nutraceuticals, cosmetics, food, etc. Astaxanthin became very popular in 2011 after it was introduced by Dr. Mercola on the Dr. Oz show as “the number one supplement you’ve never heard of that you should be taking.”  Since then, astaxanthin has been mainly used in dietary supplements as a powerful antioxidant that supports overall health and energy, joint health, exercise and recovery, cardiovascular health, brain and eye health, and skin health.  It makes sense to use astaxanthin in formulations that want to claim antioxidant benefits both inside and outside cells with one single ingredient.  In addition, not every antioxidant can cross the blood-brain-barrier or the retinal-blood barrier.  It takes a special class of molecules to be able to cross these barriers and support brain and eye health, and astaxanthin is one of the few that can. All antioxidants are known as “protectors” of health, and astaxanthin, with its natural ability to link within cell membranes, is the ultimate “protector”.  Research shows that astaxanthin helps protect eyes from light-induced damage and stress while also supporting visual acuity and reducing eye strain.  Astaxanthin research on skin shows that it helps protect skin cell health from outside environmental stress and free radical attack.  Studies on astaxanthin in athletes demonstrate a considerable effect for helping to support healthy inflammation levels and recovery.  Not only can astaxanthin give many health benefits with one single ingredient, but the small efficacious dose (6 mg-12 mg in most studies) of astaxanthin makes it very easy to formulate with.  There is also potential for inclusion of astaxanthin in food and drink (if stability can be ensured).  Astaxanthin has also been shown to have skin benefits when used as a topical ingredient (but formulators must take into account that there will be some red pigment to contend with). When considering astaxanthin as an ingredient for health, it must be noted that synthetic astaxanthin, produced using petrochemicals, is available and sold on the market.  Synthetic astaxanthin is not in the same molecular form as natural astaxanthin, and thus has an incredibly low level of bioactivity compared to the natural form.  There are many branded astaxanthins on the market, and it is a premium ingredient with a premium cost that can sometimes lead formulators to look for lower cost alternatives.  Only the natural form of astaxanthin has been researched for the myriad of health benefits astaxanthin is known for, so choosing an astaxanthin supplier you can trust is key to creating an efficacious formula.  Astaxanthin has come a long way from being a 1930s laboratory lobster discovery.  This bright red, bioactive antioxidant is now known as being the ultimate protector of health.  You can find it in many dietary supplements for eye health, cardiovascular health, joint health and immune health. Astaxanthin also has a strong place in beauty from within formulations, and we are likely to see more astaxanthin included in exercise/weekend warrior formulations as more research is done to support what this amazing antioxidant can do. Reference:  Davinelli S, Nielsen ME, Scapagnini G. Astaxanthin in Skin Health, Repair, and Disease: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients. 2018;10(4):522. Published 2018 Apr 22. doi:10.3390/nu10040522      
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Atacama Desert
June 26, 2019 (Carthage, MO USA) Stratum Nutrition, (a business of ESM Technologies), the sustainable supplier of world class ingredient solutions for pet and human health, announces the addition of expertise in their Sales Department. Allison Guidry has joined the Stratum Nutrition team as Regional Sales Manager.  She brings with her a wealth of sales expertise and passion for the industry, which will play a huge role in creating new market share through sales.  Before joining the Stratum Nutrition team, she worked at Deerland Probiotics and Enzymes as the Business Development Manager – International.  “With my experience as a domestic and international business development manager in contract manufacturing,” says Allison, “I understand the process of launching a product and what a brand goes through to get to the end goal.  I hope to offer this knowledge to help our customers launch successful products and continue to contribute to a great team here at Stratum!”  “We are very excited to have Allison join the Stratum Team,” says Chris Haynes, Director of Global Sales.  “2019 is going to be a busy year of growth here at Stratum and Allison figures in prominently to be a big part of that growth.  Allison’s experience in the industry will allow her to contribute quickly.” Stratum Nutrition acts as an extension of their brand partners’ teams by being the foundational layer of support and following their 5 Launch Product Development Layers process, including: Efficacy. Quality, Compliance, Story, and Demand. For more information about ESM Technologies (DBA Stratum Nutrition) and its branded ingredients, please contact Stratum Nutrition at www.StratumNutrition.com or email at Info@StratumNutrition.com.
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Allison Guidry joins Stratum team as Regional Sales Manager
June 11th, 2019 (Carthage, MO USA) Stratum Nutrition®, the exclusive North America supplier of the vegan omega ingredient Ahiflower®, in conjunction with Nature’s Crops International, announces the acceptance of Ahiflower into the Plant-Based Foods Association. Plant-Based Foods Association is the only organization taking a public health approach to encourage the consumption of more plant-based foods. Public health research shows that the key to better eating is “changing the food environment”, which means not just educating people about what they should eat but also ensuring that great-tasting plant-based foods are widely available, convenient, and affordable.  The Super Plant, Ahiflower®, is a naturally wild and now cultivated agricultural crop, grown by farmers in the United Kingdom.  Its seeds are pressed to produce a superior omega-rich, healthy oil with a higher quality and higher quantity of omegas than any other seed oil ever discovered.  Ahiflower provides a complete and balanced omega supplement and an unparalleled combination of omega-3-6-9.      Ahiflower® oil is manufactured exclusively by Nature’s Crops and licensed to over 25 brands in the EU and North America.  Ahiflower oil launched into equine supplement markets in the UK, USA, and Canada in 2017. For more information about Stratum Nutrition and its vegan omega ingredient, please visit our website, https://www.stratumnutrition.com/ingredients/human/ahiflower.
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Vegan Omega Super Plant - Ahiflower
Stratum Nutrition®, the Global Leader of eggshell and eggshell membrane wellness ingredients, announces continued market growth for their triple-action joint health ingredient, NEM®. Eggshell membrane has surpassed 100 licensed natural health products in Canada with the issuance of a new Natural Product Number (NPN) for its flagship ingredient, NEM® brand eggshell membrane.  Director of Global Sales, Chris Haynes, says, “All of us at Stratum Nutrition wish to thank each of our Canadian NEM® customers for their trust, faith and hard work to make NEM the #1 selling eggshell membrane in the Canadian market.  We feel like there is still substantial market shared to be gained in the joint health space for NEM.  Stratum looks forward to helping our Canadian customers continue to grow the market share this year and beyond.” Health Canada performs a pre-market review of the evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of natural health product ingredients and the labeling claims that can be supported by this evidence.  If found acceptable, Health Canada will issue the finished product an NPN with allowed label claims.  Stratum Nutrition, through its ESM Technologies business, received new joint pain & stiffness reduction and cartilage protection claims in its recently issued NPN (#8009138).  Products containing NEM can now claim that it helps to improve recovery from joint pain and stiffness and/or helps reduce levels of CTX-II, a biomarker of joint (cartilage) degradation due to moderate intensity aerobic exercise in post-menopausal women.  These newly allowed claims are in addition to previously allowed claims that NEM helps to reduce pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis and NEM is research-proven to reduce joint pain in 7-10 days. “These new cartilage protection claims approved by Health Canada are based upon our patented healthy population clinical trial design expanding the indications for NEM to healthy exercising individuals and providing label claims that will resonate with consumers“, stated Kevin J. Ruff Ph.D., MBA – Sr. Director of Scientific & Regulatory Affairs for Stratum Nutrition. The unique ingredients and superior formulations we use help people achieve a higher quality of life through health ingredients. For more information about our ingredients, please contact us.
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health-canada-npn
Stratum Nutrition®, the Global Leader of eggshell and eggshell membrane wellness ingredients, announces a progressive joint health clinical trial underway evaluating the triple-action joint health ingredient, NEM®. This trial is being conducted in an exercising, healthy population and is an expanded follow-up trial to Stratum’s 2018 healthy post-menopausal women trial. [Clin Interv Aging. 2018 Feb 19;13:285-295. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S153782] These back-to-back, healthy population studies evaluated whether NEM® supplementation could reduce exercise-induced cartilage turnover and/or alleviate joint pain and stiffness. The previous 2018 study found that a once daily, 500 mg dose of NEM® rapidly reduced discomfort immediately following exercise and improved recovery throughout a 12-hour post-exercise time period. A substantial chondroprotective effect was also demonstrated from NEM® supplementation through a lasting decrease in the cartilage degradation biomarker, CTX-II. This new trial included a larger population, (84 subjects vs 60 in the prior trial), as well as a demographic of both men and women ages 40-75. The women in this study were not required to be post-menopausal, as was the case in the previously published study. As before, subjects were truly healthy and could not have had persistent knee or ankle pain while at rest in order to participate. Both studies utilized a unique, patented trial design that looks at changes in a cartilage degradation biomarker (CTX-II) in healthy exercising individuals. A reduction in urine or serum CTX-II levels provides substantiation for new joint cartilage protection claims on product labels. The design of these two clinical trials marks the first evidence suggesting the biomarker, CTX-II, can be used to evaluate the chondroprotective efficacy of joint therapeutics in healthy individuals, as well as other populations. Kevin J. Ruff Ph.D., MBA, CCRP – Sr. Director of Scientific & Regulatory Affairs for Stratum Nutrition –comments on the new study, “With this ongoing study, we intend to satisfy both FDA’s and FTC’s strong preference for 2 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to substantiate labeling and advertising claims. Both RCTs were conducted in healthy exercising populations, giving brand marketers access to meaningful claims that will resonate with end-consumers.”  The unique ingredients and superior formulations we use help people achieve a higher quality of life through health ingredients. For more information about our ingredients, please contact us.
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Stratum Nutrition® announces they have been accepted as a Preferred Supplier by the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) for their NEM® brand eggshell membrane, organic ESC® brand eggshell calcium, Curcumin 95, and eggshell collagen ingredients. The NASC is a nonprofit industry organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing the health of companion animals and horses throughout the United States.  Ingredients that tout viagrageneriquefr24.com/sildenafil the NASC Preferred Supplier Seal must adhere to NASC quality standards, as well as have multiple batches of the ingredients tested by an NASC-approved laboratory to ensure the ingredients’ compliance to their rigorous quality standards.   NASC-approved Preferred Suppliers are pre-qualified companies that can supply ingredients or other supporting products or services to NASC Primary Suppliers (of finished products) who are also required to uphold strict requirements for the NASC Quality Seal.  Currently, only about 80 companies have been accepted as a Preferred Supplier and can now serve as a pre-qualified supplier to the almost 170 Primary Suppliers. Stratum’s manufactured ingredients, such as its flagship ingredient NEM® eggshell membrane for joint health, are produced in NSF-certified GMP facilities and are Kosher and Halal certified. NEM is supported by an impressive published research portfolio, including a multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled canine study, as well as other animal studies.  Chris Haynes, Director of global sales for Stratum Nutrition comments: “We are excited to be approved as a Preferred Supplier by NASC. Our ingredients are tested, validated, safe and effective for animals.  Stratum has a keen focus to extend our very successful ingredient offerings into the pet health supplement and pet food market and NASC’s assent is a key first step.” The unique ingredients and superior formulations we use help people achieve a higher quality of life through health ingredients. For more information about our ingredients, please contact us.
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Stratum Nutrition® - NASC Preferred Ingredients Supplier
At the SupplySide West show which took place in Las Vegas in early November, we were excited to announce the winner of the Mission Zero Contest. Mission Zero was a product concept competition, and the mission was to submit a truly earth-shattering product concept supernova combining one, several, or all of Stratum's ingredients with other standard ingredients. We had some fantastic entries and some truly unique product concepts. Our expert judges, President of The Trust Transparency Center Scott Steinford, best-selling author, M.D. and lecturer, Jason Theodosakis, and Founder & CEO of Pure Branding, Yadim Medore, were overwhelmed by the quality of submissions. But there can only be one winner… We are delighted to announce that Mary Todd, Senior Brand Manager from Healthy Directions is the winner of a trip to London for two. Congratulations, Mary! 5 layers of product development At Stratum, we partner with brands to successfully launch new products under a layered approach consisting of Efficacy, Quality, Compliance, Story, and Demand. Mission Zero contest submissions had to comply with these five layers, and be both creative and innovative. The Mission Zero winning submission Mary’s product concept, DigitALL, is a unique combination of ingredients designed to combat the negative effects of daily digital stressors and increase reaction time for serious video game players. DigitALL’s ingredients include: Ahiflower® and Curcumin 95, both of which support a healthy inflammatory response to the phalanges flare-ups from tip-tapping on digital devices. Curcumin 95 also supports brain health and cognitive function. Organic ESC® and NEM® to support bone health and the skeletal core of gamers’ digits. Lutemax 2020 to support the critical aspects of eye health, shield gamers from some of the negative effects of blue light damage, and to support reaction time and cognition. As well as telling this product story, Mary’s winning submission also highlighted the quality of the ingredients. She desired each ingredient to come from the cleanest source and contain the least amount of allergens. This includes organic ESC® calcium, non-GMO Curcumin 95, eco-friendly Ahiflower®, non-GMO and ovo-vegetarian NEM®, and non-GMO Lutemax 2020. In addition, she elected that a veggie cap and clean source excipients should be used. Mary’s outline marketing strategy for DigitALL focuses on the channels her target audience of video gamers would respond to. To create demand for the product, she recommends seeking endorsements from the Video Game Trade Association, sponsoring the World Video Game Competition, and print advertising in Muse and Game Informer magazines. The Mission Zero prize Mary’s superstellar concept has won her a trip for two to London, including flights, a four-night hotel stay, and some exciting activities including a sight-seeing tour of the city and a trip to see the omega-rich Ahiflower fields courtesy of Nature's Corps International. Once again, congratulations Mary! Your innovative product idea and well-rounded concept was a firm favorite for the judges. If you weren’t lucky enough to win the Mission Zero Contest but would like to discuss a new product launch idea, please contact us.
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