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June 2017

Functional ingredients provide benefits, solve clean-label challenges (Snackfood & Wholesale Bakery)

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Functional ingredients provide benefits, solve clean-label challenges (Snackfood & Wholesale Bakery)
(Maxine Weber)

Formulating products with the ever-increasing demands of today’s marketplace is no easy task. Consumers are seeking clean, clear labels and simplified ingredients. Simultaneously, customers are seeking improved sustainability and cost efficiency in the form of less waste and better inventory control—and requiring products with longer shelf life. Still, pressure to maintain cost structure requires equal or better runnability on the line.

It’s extremely difficult to meet all of these consumer and customer demands and still maintain good eating quality with a reasonable cost structure. But it’s possible with today’s range of available, hardworking functional ingredients like enzymes, fats and emulsifiers, dough conditioners, natural preservatives, and more.

Enzymatic improvements

Enzymes provide a multitude of benefits; it’s hard to imagine any baked good that does not rely on enzymatic reactions. They’re responsible for everything from conditioning the dough, to improving the rise, contributing to crumb structure to color development. “All traditional bread-making processes nowadays are unthinkable without the use of enzymes,” says Ralf Neumann, custom solutions director, AB Enzymes, Darmstadt, Germany.

Neumann notes his customers use VERON GMS+ to replace or reduce monoglycerides in yeast-raised baked goods like white pan bread or hamburger buns. VERON GMS+ achieves the same crumb texture properties (softness, resiliency, texture) as monoglycerides, but is more cost-efficient, he says. “And, as a fermented enzyme, VERON GMS+ has a lower carbon footprint than traditional emulsifiers, so it also meets the increasing market demand for sustainability.”

Kathy Sargent, market director of bakery, Corbion, Lenexa, KS, notes that bagels have become increasingly popular with millennials. “With the rise of snacking occasions, consumers are buying bagels in increasing numbers and enjoying them beyond breakfast,” she says. Baked good require peak freshness, which the Ultra Fresh portfolio of enzymes helps bakers attain. “These are enzyme blends specifically designed to extend shelf life while protecting the quality of baked goods,” she says. The enzymes offer a variety of solutions for increased moistness, resilience and softness. “They are versatile and can be used to protect the quality and freshness of bread, buns, bagels, tortillas and flatbreads.”

When it comes to crackers, process optimization is an important concern. Christopher Limmex, technical sales manager, enzymes, Kerry, Beloit, WI, suggests Biobake Flex: “Our Biobake Flex enzyme delivers flexibility to cracker manufacturers in terms of floor time and processing. Decreasing floor time allows for decreased waste and re-work in the event of unexpected downtime. In addition, this product improves the extensibility and sheeting characteristics of the cracker dough while controlling product size and shape by preventing oven shrinkage. It delivers on three pillars of the snack and bakery industry: clean label, process efficiency and product quality.”

Linda Dunning, product manager, systems and texturants, DuPont Nutrition & Health, St. Louis, observes that clean-label efforts mean something different to each food and beverage company, so solutions are rarely one-size-fits-all. She notes that the GRINSTED Freedom range features tailored ingredient systems designed to replace the volume and strength lost when traditional ingredients are removed. “The blends contain an optimized ratio of ingredients, including locust bean gum, SOLEC lecithin and enzymes.” She notes that by replacing lost functionality, GRINSTED Freedom helps reduce production issues, leading to cost savings in bakeries.

Ingredient systems from Delavau Food Partners, Philadelphia inhibit mold and extend shelf life extension, as well as improve doughs. Angie Singer, director of sales and marketing, says: “Customers look at Delavau Food Partners for clean-label ways to improve the eating experience and shelf life of baked goods and snacks. Our recently expanded line of Encore ingredients—Encore Fresh, Encore Plus, Encore Strong, Encore Relax—deliver extended-shelf-life and dough-conditioning solutions that place nothing more than enzymes, ascorbic acid, fibers and gums on the ingredient statement.”

Achieving a cleaner label involves significant technical work. “We spent two years testing and validating a simple solution using premium lecithin products and enzymes to replace four problematic ingredients—azodicarbonamide (ADA), sodium stearoyl lactylate (SSL), DATEM (diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides) and monoglycerides,” says Bill Gilbert, Certified Master Baker and principal food technologist, Cargill, Minneapolis. “In the end, we were able to eliminate the entire dough-conditioning package. Our testing confirms that all three of our premium lecithin options—soy, sunflower and now canola—are equally effective at replacing these dough conditioners. Our new canola lecithin offers some distinct advantages: label-friendly, non-allergenic, non-GMO and an affordable price.”

Clean-label stability also comes in the form of antioxidants. Removing preservatives can significantly impact product sensory attributes—particularly related to degradation of fats and oils—impacting shelf life. Kemin, Des Moines, IA, offers a line of oil-soluble green tea extracts, called GT-FORT.  “These extracts have antioxidant properties that can be used as naturally sourced, clean-label alternatives, replacing conventional synthetic antioxidants such as TBHQ,” says Courtney Schwartz, marketing communications manager.

Better shortenings and oils

Oil, a necessity for frying and other snack and bakery functions, can contribute negatively to a food’s nutritional profile—and traditionally contained preservatives to reduce rancidity. But oil processors are finding ways to modify their products to overcome potential drawbacks.

Mark Stavro, director of marketing, Bunge, St. Louis, discusses the new Whole Harvest line. “This oil is a high-performance, non-GMO sunflower oil and offers the functional benefits of extended fry life and extended shelf life for foodservice and food processing customers. Because it is non-GMO and expeller-pressed, it is more sustainable and gentler on the earth than conventional extraction methods.” He notes that Bunge also offers PhtyoBake shortening, which allows formulators to replace saturated fat with phytosterols, offering up to 50 percent less saturated fat than palm oil.

“According to an IRI Snacking Survey, 56 percent of consumers said ‘no artificial preservatives or additives’ is the top claim consumers are looking for,” notes Mary LaGuardia, marketing manager, Dow AgroSciences, Indianapolis, which offers an oil with an improved fatty acid profile—and a clean label: Omega-9 Canola Oil.

LaGuardia explains that Omega-9 Canola is high in oleic and low in linoleic acids, and it is naturally stable, which eliminates the need for partial hydrogenation—and that means zero trans fat. And, it is also low in saturated fat in comparison to other frying oils. “Through traditional plant breeding, researchers were able to develop an improved fatty acid profile that also offers superior performance. Omega-9 Canola is versatile, cost-effective and naturally stable. It enables the food industry to reduce ‘bad’ fats and increase the ‘good’ fats, without compromising food taste, oil functionality or performance.”

Several different snack and bakery applications, including icings, call for shortening, and the soybean industry offers a drop-in replacement for partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs). Frank Flider, edible oils consultant, Qualisoy, Chesterfield, MO, notes the considerable amount of testing done on enzymatically interesterified (EIE) high-oleic soybean oil shortening. “EIE high-oleic soybean oil shortening can meet specifications, properties and functionalities desired to produce finished baked goods and icings,” he says. It accommodates a wide temperature range, making it readily workable under common temperatures encountered in wholesale and in-store bakeries. “Additionally, it has superior consistency, creaminess, stability and flavor, making it an ideal replacement for PHOs in icings.”

Since icing is such a widely used application, many ingredient companies are tackling the challenge of replacing PHOs in the icing. Icing is perhaps more challenging than most applications, notes John Satumba, food ingredient and analytical chemistry director, Cargill, because of “the complexity of the required performance and indulgent attributes.” Its Regal Icing NH Shortening for icings offers aeration and structuring without hydrogenation. “It’s fully compliant with clean-label initiatives. It has a brilliant white color, achieved without the usage of titanium dioxide, is 20 percent lower in saturated fat and has outstanding creaming properties.”

Multifunctional magic

The tall order of consumer desires for clean labels, simplicity and sustainability gets compounded when factoring gluten-into the mix.

Fiberstar, Inc., River Falls, WI, uses a patented, clean process to manufacture Citri-Fi, a functional fiber derived from orange pulp, says Nesha Zalesny, technical sales manager. “The combination of the physical process and the makeup of the fiber enables it to hold 7 to 10 times its weight in water.”

Amanda Wagner, food technologist, Fiberstar adds that Citri-Fi 200, which is co-processed with guar gum, is recommended for baked goods needing viscosity. “Gluten-free flours tend to produce very little viscosity, which can create issues in dispensing, in the baking process and with texture of the final product.”

Fibersol, a fiber with multiple benefits, can be used to achieve nutrient content claims (e.g., fiber enrichment) and can also be used to provide perception of moistness, tenderness and texture in sugar-reduced products, notes Doris Dougherty, technical service representative, ADM, Chicago. “In many bakery products, such as icings and chocolate compounds, sugars can be reduced by as much as 25 percent and the product will still taste sweet without added high-intensity sweeteners. In cases where the original product contains substantial sugar for functionality, not solely sweetness, some of the sugar can be replaced by Fibersol.”

When looking to add crispiness to expanded or extruded snack components while lowering the calorie content, consider Fibersym RW, a resistant wheat starch, suggests Ody Maningat, vice president of ingredients research and chief science officer, MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS. Although Fibersym RW can deliver a minimum of 85 percent total dietary fiber, it has a unique functionality to add crispiness. “In a study at the University of Nebraska, when added at the 10 percent level, Fibersym RW enhances crispiness of indirect expanded snacks.”

Demanding processing conditions, such as freeze/ thaw conditions, can challenge the move to clean label. “Working with BENEO’s native rice starch Remypure enables formulators to clean up even these products,” says Jon Peters, president, BENEO, Inc., Morris Plains, NJ. “BENEO uses a new thermal production process, which is entirely natural, enabling this rice starch to achieve performance levels comparable to chemically modified food starches—but without the use of any chemicals.” One suggested application is fruit preps for snack and bakery products.

Malt extracts can also provide a multitude of functional benefits, according to Jim Kappas, vice president of sales and marketing, Malt Products Corp., Dayton, OH. “The enzymes found naturally in malt extracts are known to increase the rate of oven rise and provide a smoother crust.” He points out that malt extracts can also enhance the nutty flavor in a bar application, or used to replace corn syrup or cane sugar. It also provides a notable level of antioxidants.

When select functional ingredients can provide secondary—or even tertiary—benefits beyond their primary function, they help ease the task of solving the challenges of clean label, sugar reduction, fiber enhancement, process optimization and more. With the right research on hand, you can make your ingredients work as hard as you do.

Demand increases for probiotic drinks (Beverage Industry)

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(Barbara Harfmann)
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There’s an idiom that talks about listening to one’s gut as a way to ward off something that doesn’t feel right. After the brain, the gastrointestinal tract, or gut, is the nervous system’s second-biggest network of closely interconnected neurons that greatly impacts overall health and well-being, experts say. This has resulted in an increase of new and more natural approaches to digestive health with beverage-makers adding fiber, probiotics and “good bacteria” to their new products.

Consumers have become increasingly interested in consuming probiotics as a way to boost their gut health, driving interest in probiotic-containing functional beverages. Sales of refrigerated probiotic functional drinks and juices have increased 31.2 percent since 2016, with probiotic plant-based creamers and milks up 269.7 percent during that same period, according to data from Chicago-based SPINS.

Seventy percent of consumers associate probiotics with healthfulness, leading to widespread acceptance of this good bacteria, says Ilana Orlofsky, marketing manager at Niles, Ill.-based Imbibe.

“In terms of trends related to digestive health beverages, we’ve seen a lot of botanical flavors hit the marketplace, such as elderberry, lavender, lemongrass and turmeric. In terms of innovation, I know of one brand — Aspen Pure Probiotic (from New Age Beverages Corp.) that has developed a proprietary production process that allows for a nine-month shelf life without deterioration to more than 2 billion [colony forming units] (CFUs) of live probiotics,” Orlofsky says. “Shelf-stable probiotics or processing that yields shelf-stable probiotic [ready-to-drinks] (RTDs) will be a game changer, since beverages will not have to compete for the refrigerated aisle (or manage a refrigerated supply chain) like they currently do.”

Although probiotics have benefited from digestive health trends, fiber has been more challenged in the branding of its digestive benefits. “Fiber’s biggest challenge is that it doesn’t seem sexy,” Orlofsky says. “Some beverage brands that are high in fiber (often from fruits and vegetables) include a digestive health claim more prominently than a high fiber claim, but I expect this to change as health-and-wellness proponents implement strategies to alter the perception of fiber.”

Beverage-makers also are becoming more creative, leveraging probiotics in dairy, dairy alternatives, fermented beverages, grain-based products, on-the-go snacks and drinks, and fruit- and vegetable-based products, says Satya Jonnalagadda, director of nutrition at Kerry, Beloit, Wis.

Researchers also are working to link the benefits of prebiotics and probiotics and their impact on gut microbiome with the overall focus on health and well-being, she says.

Prebiotics are a non-digestible nutrient naturally found in foods like asparagus, chicory, garlic, wheat and oats that stimulate bacterial growth or activity in the colon, while probiotics are live organisms, typically bacteria, that provide a health benefit when consumed at certain levels, she explains.

A healthy halo
Experts note that nutrient-rich products that provide added value and a stronger health halo have a greater likelihood of finding success on store shelves.

Pavo, Ga.-based Dreaming Cow Creamery recently launched LUSH, a nutrient-dense, grass-fed and 100 percent pasture-raised yogurt drink that blends fruits with more than 20 billion CFUs of Bifidobacterium-12 probiotics in each 12-ounce bottle, the company says.

Although probiotics typically are used in yogurt-based beverages, they’re also becoming more prevalent in fruit and vegetable juices, which also might contain innate and added fibers that complement the probiotics thereby strengthening the digestive health benefits and messaging, notes Nesha Zalesny, technical sales manager at Fiberstar Inc., River Falls, Wis.

“Since digestive health has been on consumers’ radars for the past few years, this area is set to grow significantly in the years to come,” Zalesny says, citing kefir, cold-pressed or high-pressure processed (HPP) fruit smoothies, as well as alcohol and non-alcohol versions of kombucha as trends contributing to this potential growth.

“Most probiotic beverages enhance gut health and are promoted to help a variety of digestive issues and even candida proliferation,” she continues. “Gut health is closely linked to immune health. There is a plethora of studies about gut microflora and fauna such as differences between normal weight versus an obese individual or a normal individual versus [an] autistic individual. These studies are the catalyst driving probiotic health benefit research, which will support new [and] future claims, target consumer marketing, and customized food product trends.”

Supported by science
Research studies also document the importance of fibers such as chicory root fiber (inulin) on digestive health.

“Studies have shown that 5 grams of chicory root fiber per day not only adds fiber to the diet, but can also help feed normal beneficial probiotic bacteria in the gut,” explains Carol Lowry, senior food scientist at Minneapolis-based Cargill. “As a prebiotic, it enhances the growth of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species. Consuming 5 grams of chicory root fiber per day stimulates the microflora in the digestive tract, helping to maintain a neutral balance.”

Suitable for functional and flavored waters, powdered beverages, smoothies, and chilled juice applications, Cargill offers its Oliggo-Fiber, a chicory root fiber.

Quality, science-backed ingredients in applications like kombuchas, HPP juices, sparkling beverages, teas and coffees also can help boost sales, says Cleveland-based Ganeden, makers of the patented GRAS probiotic ingredient GanedenBC30.

Ganeden’s Vice President of Scientific Operation’s David Keller notes that although probiotic strains might look alike, efficacy is strain-dependent and claims need to be supported by strain-specific data.

“Beverage manufacturers that formulate with GanedenBC30 can make claims including supports digestive health, supports immune health, enhances protein utilization and survives 10 times more effectively than yogurt cultures,” Keller explains. “In the past, due to survivability issues, probiotics were restrained to the supplement or refrigerated dairy categories. However, GanedenBC30 can survive almost any manufacturing process … and does not need to be combined with a prebiotic to have beneficial effects on the end-user.”

From a formulation standpoint, probiotics are “quite easy” to incorporate into beverages as they have a fairly neutral taste profile, Imbibe’s Vice President of Research and Development Joe Farinella notes.

Yet, because probiotics are sensitive to high temperatures, he advises beverage formulators to add overage to their formulas and to reduce high-temperature exposure as much as possible throughout the pasteurization and packaging processes.

“These challenges are only applicable to probiotics in the ready-to-drink formats,” Farinella says. “Probiotics in a dry format are highly stable, making powder an appealing vehicle to deliver the health benefits of probiotics.”

Neeraj Sharma, senior research development and applications scientist at Kerry, echoes similar sentiments. “Powdered nutritional and isotonic beverages would capture the benefits of both pre- and probiotics as these categories deliver the health benefits demanded by consumers and there is a lesser chance of cultures degrading over time in powdered beverages.

“… Some probiotic cultures can survive UHT temperatures; however, the cleanliness of processing equipment should always be top of mind from a food safety perspective,” she continues. “Similarly, in high-acid beverages, some types of prebiotic fibers will break down into simple carbohydrates over time through hydrolysis. Therefore, the determination of total dietary fiber in a finished product should be evaluated at the end of the shelf life rather than at the beginning.” BI

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Manufacturing Engineer

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Come Work for a Fast Growing, Global Food Ingredient Company – Engineer Wanted!

Position:  Manufacturing Engineer
Location:  Clewiston, Florida
Manufacturing Engineer Job Description 161111

Company Brief:

Fiberstar, Inc. is a rapidly growing food ingredient company focusing on improving food freshness and nutrition through technological innovation.  Fiberstar’s investment in research has led to the development of unique products that improve the physical and functional characteristics of a wide variety of foods for food manufacturers all over the world.    This engineer position will report directly to the Plant Manager at the Clewiston, FL production facility to develop and maintain a fully functioning maintenance/engineering system. More information on the company and its products can be seen on our website at:  www.fiberstar.net.

Job Description Summary:

  • Apply standard engineering techniques in the analysis of existing production lines from raw materials to finished packages.
  • Initiate, implement, and cost justify modifications to production lines in response to equipment performance, line utilization, and product quality issues.
  • Understand production line capabilities for process operations, identify bottleneck operations, and implement improvements. Interface with logistics, maintenance, engineering, and production to resolve equipment availability issues.
  • As an active member of the process engineering team, continually improve the rates, efficiencies, yields, and costs of manufacturing systems
  • Provide technical resources to all company departments and be an active participant in cross-functional teams.
  • Incorporate safety, sanitation, good manufacturing practices, HACCP, and code requirements into design work.
  • Provide training to production and maintenance personnel.
  • Manage engineering projects to meet performance expectations and cost projections; direct contractors when appropriate.
  • Provide leadership through production line and new product commissioning.
  • Be actively involved in the development and implementation of the long-term improvement programs.
  • Manage engineering projects to meet performance expectations and cost projections.
  • Develop ideas for savings, innovation, and quality improvements that are relevant to the business.
  • Collaborate with business, and technical peers on assigned projects, as well as external partners and resources to meet company milestones.
  • Ensure that adequate Engineering / Maintenance are operating within all Federal, State, Local and Corporate safety guidelines and procedures.
  • Maintain and control the operations of the Engineering / Maintenance ensuring compliance to all standards and specifications while maintaining high standards workmanship.
  • Work closely with Director of Operations and Engineering, Director of Operations –Clewiston, and Plant Engineers to select and manage equipment suppliers and vendors.
  • Select, hire and manage engineering consultants and construction contractors.
  • Perform any other assigned to meet company and business needs


Skills and Abilities:

  • Excellent troubleshooting ability of electrical, mechanical, and automated systems
  • Self-starter; ability to work independently or with minimal direction, and navigate ambiguous situations effectively.
  • Communicate effectively both written and verbal in all directions to multiple levels of experience.
  • Education in a relevant engineering field. Preference given to engineering, reliability, and maintenance experience in the food industry.
  • Experienced in AutoCAD, Microsoft Office, Preventive Maintenance Systems, computer networking
  • Rockwell PLC troubleshooting
  • Electrical installation and troubleshooting knowledge (MCC, Motors, Controls, Ethernet)
  • Knowledgeable in material transfer systems, pumps, piping, powder conveying, and packaging.

Additional Requirements:

  • Must be able to read, write, and communicate in the English language.
  • Willingness to work occasional nights, holidays, and weekends as needed should business conditions require it.
  • Ability to work in articulated man lifts, and high platforms.
  • Due to the need to be able to identify wire colors and LED indicator lights color vision will be required.
  • Ability to lift 60 lbs as need in normal course of job duties.
  • Occasional travel required for project meetings, supplier/consultant meetings, and inspections

In Return:

  • A base salary to commensurate with experience.
  • Benefits package, including medical insurance, flex-plan, & 401(k)
  • Great opportunity to grow with a small company that is well-positioned for continued growth in the global marketplace.