Industry leverages functional changes to simpler, more natural reformulations

November 02, 2022 — Faced with the task of reformulating to keep pace with ever-changing appetites, it remains essential for food producers to maintain functionality when replacing obsolete “bad guys”.

At the top of minds of suppliers and brands, the industry as a whole must now make the critical shift from harmful dyes in line with evolving regulatory policies, while savory manufacturers now seek to amplify the profile of umami base of their flavors using all-natural and minimally processed raw materials.

FoodIngredientsFirst talks to leading ingredient suppliers about their latest R&D highlights that bridge the gap between the no-artificial-additives agenda and recipes that look, smell and taste exactly what consumers expect.

Cleaner white pigments
Most are aware that the age-old sentiment that “you are what you eat” continues to hold sway among today’s most pronounced purchase drivers.

With the new app titanium dioxide ban (TiO2) in Europe and growing consumer concerns about adverse health effects, food producers are looking for TiO2 substitutes to give their products an appealing white color in a more natural and safer profile.

There are a growing number of companies innovating alternatives to TiO2 as the industry accepts the EU ban.

One example is Blue California’s patent-pending alternatives, touted as natural options to replace titanium dioxide (E171) with its “brilliant whitening power”.

“Whitening agents are ideal in many applications including chewing gum, tablets, confectionery, dairy products, plant-based meat substitutes, protein foods, beverages, condiments, sauces and the bakery,” said David Tetzlaf, director of marketing at Blue California. FoodIngredientsFirst.

“Brands can achieve a whiter solution in food with Blue California’s non-GMO food grade whiteners. They are natural, safe, vegan and formulation friendly. Under heat and pressure, our whitening alternatives are pH stable.

Natural preservation
Blue California’s nature conservation product portfolio has grown rapidly over the past year, he continues.

“To date, we have launched several ingredients produced by enzymatic fermentation or bioconversion with our biotechnology innovation partner, Conagen, to address the natural preservation market, which includes Rosavel rosmarinic acid and Taxifolin BC-DHQ. “

“We have expanded our portfolio with p-coumaric acid and hydroxytyrosol,” adds Tetzlaf. “We also have botanically extracted ferulic acid in our portfolio.”

“These compounds are powerful antioxidants found naturally in nature, such as in fruits, vegetables and grains. They can be a great alternative to synthetic preservatives like BHA, BHT, and synthetic nitrates.

France recently led the charge in approve a new bill with the aim of gradually reducing the use of nitrates in charcuterie. Taste and nutrition giant Kerry has previously highlighted that nitrates are increasingly seen as a “no-no” ingredient.

Earlier this year, researchers from the American Chemical Society developed a color changing film that consumers can stick on food and quickly analyze nitrite levels by taking a photo with a smartphone.

Meanwhile, Dutch meat brand Vaess removed nitrite from its bacon products with a brine compound, while Japanese researchers found that resveratrol from knotweed has the potential to replace nitrate-based preservatives.

Craving natural umami hits
Clearly evident in the market, the demand for umami clean label raw materials and sweeteners is increasingly highlighted.

“Meanwhile, some natural extracts or fermented raw materials – such as eryrobitol – are attracting more attention,” says Li Pei, general manager of Protein Nutrition and Flavoring Technical Center at Angel Yeast.

Eric Ao, General Manager of Angel Yeast Europe Division, explains that the supplier recently increased the production scale and improved the fermentation technology of its high nucleotide yeast extract products at the factories in Xiaoting and Binzhou. to meet the growing demand for clean labels in umami flavors.

“Additionally, we launched a yeast protein, AngeoPro F80, which contains more than 75% protein,” adds Ao. “As a sustainable source of microbial protein, it has complete nutrition, minimizes environmental impact, requires limited land use for cultivation, and is less affected by harvest and seasonality to which plant protein production is submitted.”

Other clean label products newly launched by Angel Yeast include umami-rich yeast extract, launched under the Angeoboost KU series.

“Yeast extract is recognized as a natural substitute for artificial umami agents that meet the need for ‘no MSG,'” says Ao. “In addition, we are launching compound-flavored peptide products with better umami taste.”

In addition to yeast extract, umami substances are also obtained from natural raw materials of plant origin such as soybeans and wheat, to provide a cleaner umami alternative to food seasonings, he notes. .

The hydrosol cleans children’s favorites
Earlier this year, stabilizer specialist Hydrosol launched a range of healthier foods and drinks for children. Formulations range from reduced-sugar and reduced-fat sauces to novel milk-juice hybrids and vitamin-enriched ice cream.

The new range of product concepts marks the first major campaign that Hydrosol, SternVitamin and OlbrichtArom have run together as sister companies.

“In clean label systems, we have eliminated E-numbers and used various plant fibers instead. This is how we were able to significantly reduce the fat content of the sauce for fries,” explains Katharina Schäfer, Product Manager for Dairy and Charcuterie.

According to Innova Market Insights, healthier sauces made with organic vegetables and spices, choices mixed with anti-inflammatory ingredients such as turmeric, sauces mixed with fruit puree and wine are driving NPD in South America North.

Market research highlights that positionings that are gaining popularity during the period April 2021 to March 2022 in North America include: “organic, natural, indulgent and premium, no added sugar, plant-based, low /free/reduced fat, low/free/reduced sodium and sugar free.

The expanding range of functionalities of natural ingredients is a testament to the continued diversification of the clean label sector, and it is clear that this theme will not slow down.

By Benjamin Ferrer

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