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December 2017

Blueberry Drinkable Yogurt Smoothie

Citrus, An All Natural Fibre Solution (Asia Pacific Food Industry)

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Citrus, An All Natural Fibre Solution (Asia Pacific Food Industry)

We don’t like to admit it, but sometimes nature outsmarts us humans. Such is the case with citrus fibre, where the intact natural architecture of the fruit cells provides developers with multiple gainful functionalities. Clean label solutions need not be so difficult if one embraces the natural complexity. By Dr Kurt Villwock, director of product development, Fiberstar incorporated

Due to the broad definition of fibre as a substance that resists digestion by the upper human digestive system, a wide variety of fibres with different functionalities are available for use as ingredients. They can exist in purified form, like inulin or fructooligosaccharide (FOS), or be left in its natural botanical form, such as wheat bran or citrus fibre, or perhaps even partially purified.

They can be soluble or insoluble, and quite often they exist in that transition area of solubility known as a colloidal phase, like ?-glucan from oats and barley. Many pure fibre types are large polymers of sugars, such as guar gum or acacia, and some are substantially smaller such as resistant maltodextrins and fructans.



The health benefits of fibre are multifold, but also vary somewhat based on the physio-chemical properties of the fibre, including both the composition and the structural form. Some acknowledged nutritional benefits include: promoting satiety, intestinal bulking, enhancing immune health by promoting growth of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine, the production of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that improve the health of the digestive lining, and increased bioavailability of micronutrients.

It is interesting that the natural form of a fibre impacts the way it is fermented in the gut. For example, resistant starches have plenty of exposure to amylases throughout the digestive track yet they avoid direct contact with the active sites of enzymes by making tight crystalline regions or by surrounding itself with a tight protein matrix.

Another example is pectin. Purified pectin is often reported to result in large amounts of acetate after fermentation in the gut, yet pectin-rich fruit pulps have a SCFA profile that often includes much more propionic and butyric acid.

Fibres are commonly used in various food products including but not limited to bakery, frozen foods, dairy, meats, sauces and beverages. In a beverage system, fibres are most commonly added to either boost the nutritional profile of the product, or to add texture, thickness or bulking to a beverage.

Even dissolved fibres like FOS can enhance the mouthfeel of a beverage to give it some body. Since many fibres are polymeric in nature, their properties are influenced by other beverage conditions such as the sugar content, salt content, acidity, available water, and presence of other fibres.


Citrus fibre contains cellulose and hemicellulose in addition to the native pectin present in orange pulp. The cellulose and hemicellulose act as the backbone of the fibre. This structure forms a very cotton ball-like fibre with the pectin and cellulosics intertwined. This gives the fibre a unique mouthfeel.

The fibre drags across the tongue which can give a creamy texture to milky coffee beverages or with a larger grind size, can give a pulpy texture. The pulp extension can help formulators extend expensive fruit pulp without modifying or changing the mouthfeel of the beverage. It can also extend tomato solids in tomato-based sauces.

Conventional cellulose fibres more often come from dried grains and fibrous plants, which when compared to fruit fibres, often do not have the natural botanical architecture optimised for holding bulk water tightly.

As one might suspect from its name, citrus fibre itself is a good source of dietary fibre (comprising) 70-80 percent. It has been shown to be bifidogenic, meaning that it selectively promotes growth of health-associated Bifidobacterium at the expensive of less desirable bacteria species.

The quality of the citrus fibre depends somewhat on the source of the fibre material. Whole citrus fibre is taken as it is from the pulp or peel of a citrus fruit and is ideally not further processed beyond drying to a powder. Such citrus fibres are usually obtained from excess material in the juice industry and contribute to a very clean label.

This type of fibre has higher levels of soluble fibre, namely pectin. Some citrus fibre is generated from the process of purifying pectin as a separate ingredient so this type of citrus fibre has a much higher proportion of insoluble fibre, namely cellulose and hemicellulose.

Despite the high dietary fibre content, citrus fibre is rarely used at levels above one percent in food products. This is due to its high water holding capacity. High amounts of citrus fibre would eventually cause textural defects because it outcompetes many other ingredients for water.

Nonetheless, citrus fibre can be a valuable tool in high fibre foods and beverages as a complementary fibre that improves the palatability of the food by addressing common problems associated with health foods, such as lack of moistness and mouthfeel.


A Natural Solution With Many Benefits

Whole citrus fibre that has not been chemically modified or stripped of its pectin has many functional properties that make it a great tool for formulators. This fibre is comprised of natural pectin, cellulose and hemicellulose and some residual protein. This chemical make-up of the slightly hydrophobic pectin, plus the physical cellulose framed structure of the fibre, make it able to hold onto not only water, but fats and oil too.

When the particles have been roughened by mechanical input, citrus fibre becomes more porous with a greater surface area which, in turn, makes it a great oil and water binder. Therefore, if you have both oil and water on the same particle, you have succeeded in making a natural emulsion.

In the Asian market, there are emulsion beverages such as milk tea and coconut milk drinks. These will often use chemical emulsifiers such as DMG, and sometimes if there is no hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB), separation will occur after processing.

The strong water holding capacity of citrus fibre makes it a useful tool for preventing freeze/thaw damage to frozen food products. The robust cellulose scaffolding also makes it thermally stable; it will not thin out or break down at high temperatures. These properties make it a great addition to meat products to retain water and fat for juicier meatballs and sausages. They can also help with moisture retention of meat fillings in steamed buns or dim sum type products.

The emulsification and water binding properties also make it a great addition to baked goods where it will help delay staling defects and extend the soft fresh texture over a longer shelf-life. These properties also make it a great addition to sauces where emulsification is desired without the use of chemical emulsifiers.


Due to its natural pectin content, citrus fibres can form gels in high acid, high brix applications like fruit preparations for yoghurt, bakery or spreads. Citrus fibre can replace or extend pectin where it is traditionally used.

Whole citrus fibre contains about 40 percent pectin, so in order to reach gelling conditions, one would need to use roughly twice as much citrus fibre as would be used with pure pectin. Despite this, the ingredient cost in use is often cheaper and arguably provides a cleaner label. The different grind sizes available can also permit the formulator to choose a fine or pulpy texture to suit the target application.

Citrus fibre can help control syneresis in cultured dairy products as well. Low levels of citrus fibre can add a creamy texture to yogurt products and help control syneresis in fresh cheeses such as cream cheese. Citrus fibre can increase yields and help manufacturers make the most of the water and fat in the system.

Working with whole citrus fibre is similar to working with other hydrocolloids. Dispersion and hydration are key to their functionality. For most applications, it is recommended to disperse citrus fibre with other dry ingredients and then add the liquids. For applications where an emulsion is desired, it is recommended to disperse the citrus fibre in oil, before adding the other liquids and shearing to form a stable emulsion.

While high shear is not necessary, it can help accelerate hydration and emulsification. In intermediate moisture foods, additions of small amounts of water may be needed to prevent the citrus fibre from outcompeting other ingredients for water, thus avoiding corresponding textural defects.

Nutritional and functional ingredients for healthy snacks and baked goods (Snackfood & Wholesale Bakery)

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Nutritional and functional ingredients for healthy snacks and baked goods 

(Maxine Weber)
The idea of “better for you” encompasses much of what consumers desire today in many of their snacks and baked goods: clean label, non-GMO, natural and—at its core—solid nutrition to make those foods a healthy part of their daily diet.
But the details are often a moving target. “According to Technomic,” notes Mary LaGuardia, marketing manager, Dow AgroSciences, Indianapolis, “51 percent of consumers 18–34 say their definition of health has changed in the past two years.”

A holistic approach

Every aspect of the food matrix must come under scrutiny. “Fats and oils are 20-30 percent of a typical baked good or fried snack, so if we can improve the nutrition of the oil in snack foods, we can help consumers meet their health goals,” says LaGuardia. Dow AgroSciences has used its plant science expertise to breed a better sunflower seed oil profile. “When it becomes commercially available, Omega-9 Sunflower Oil will have the first saturated-fat-free label claim, along with the highest levels of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats among cooking oils.”

Ricardo Rodriguez, marketing manager, Ingredion, Bridgewater, NJ, admits that it’s hard to interpret what exactly is meant by “better-for-you” food, and this has led to a lot of confusion among consumers. “We know that our customers are asking us for simpler ingredient solutions, such as alternatives to complicated ingredient labels.”

Rodriguez also noted that the 2017 “Food & Health Survey” by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) asked consumers how they defined a healthy food, and nearly 60 percent responded “high in healthy components and nutrients.”

In a study conducted by Ingredion, 79 percent of consumers found it important to recognize product ingredients, and 67 percent found it important to have a short, simple ingredient list, notes Rodriguez.

These demands pose challenges. “There are definitely technical challenges that arise when manufacturers look to clean up their labels and remove a variety of traditional ingredients,” says David Guilfoyle, group manager, DuPont Nutrition & Health, St. Louis. “Not all clean solutions are the same, nor should they be, so identifying the right partner with the right tools and the right expertise to navigate this trend is crucial.”

Clean-label or not, a product must perform to expectations. “Clean-label products must be able to demonstrate performance that matches or exceeds traditional ingredients,” says Matt Patrick, head of research, development and technical services, Delavau Food Partners, Philadelphia. “Our Encore line of products yield bread, doughnuts, rolls and other baked goods that look and taste as good—or ?better—than their conventional counterparts.”

Guilfoyle notes that enzyme systems can go a long way toward achieving better-for-you goals: “We have a wide range of enzymes that address softening, strengthening and dough conditioning. Enzymes are an excellent way to address clean label, but often need other ingredients to address all the functionality required in today’s products. DuPont also offers lecithin, antioxidants and antimicrobial options that can be well received among those looking to address clean label.”

Organic is also on the rise. Solvaira Specialties, Tonawanda, NY, has developed a certified-organic batch pack blend for tortillas, notes Colleen Was, sales coordinator.

Nutritional, clean-label snacks and baked goods also often need help when it comes to extending shelf life. A&B Ingredients, Fairfield, NJ, introduced CytoGuard CDP for just this purpose, notes Joe O’Neill, VP sales and development. CytoGuard CDP is a natural, clean-label shelf-life protection ingredient based on fermented dextrose. “CytoGuard CDP is specifically designed as an extremely cost-effective mold inhibitor and shelf-life extender, primarily focused to prevent mold in low-moisture systems,” he says. “However, it is also effective as part of a natural shelf-life solution for higher-moisture food products.”

Going with the grain

“From our experience, fiber-fortified, protein-enriched and reduced-calorie foods are high on the list of applications and product formats related to the better-for-you trend,” says Steve Pickman, public relations manager at MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS.

“At the 2017 IFT, we launched our clean label Arise 8100 and Arise 8200 wheat protein isolates,” says Ody Maningat, Ph.D., vice president of R&D and chief science officer, MGP. “These two products are Non-GMO Project Verified and do not contain sulfites.” They also help decrease dough mixing time and improve handling. “One of the functions these two ingredients provide is the total replacement in bread products of DATEM and SSL.”

Whole and ancient grains can add significant nutrition to snacks and baked goods. Zachery Sanders, director of marketing, Ardent Mills, Denver, suggests popped or flaked quinoa, barley or even sorghum to boost nutrition in anything from trail mixes to snack crackers. “These grains offer fiber, which when combined with protein, can complement one another in terms of digestion. Our new Nature’s Color Barley line is another means to deliver not only whole-grain nutrition, but unique color and flavor to snack bars and other baked goods.” It’s available in three color varieties, Black Jack, True Blue and Pure Purple, and in seed, flour and flake forms. It also maintains a clean ingredient statement.

Protein power

According to Orlaigh Matthews, strategic marketing manager, Kerry, Beloit, WI, the plant protein market is growing quickly and expected to continue to grow, with a projected value of $14 billion by 2022 (Mordor Intelligence, 2017). She attributes the growth to four consumer drivers: growing interest in health and wellness, a rise in food allergies and intolerances, concern over sustainability, and a growing demand for clean-label solutions.

“Pea protein is one of the hottest ingredients,” says Chris Quevedo, senior product manager, Batory Foods, Des Plaines, IL—but managing flavor can be an issue. “The pea protein we carry has one of the cleanest flavor profiles.” That means a decreased need for masking.

“Pulses add the nutritional benefits of protein and fiber that address the consumer need for protein and fiber-rich, clean-label products,” says Rodriguez. “Ingredion offers a range of pulse-based ingredients, including peas, lentils, fava beans and chickpeas. Just launched this year are PRECISA Crisps, a series of snack texturizers. These allow manufacturer to create baked snacks with enhanced textures, optimal expansion and reduced breakage.” The line offers a range of textures.

“It can be a struggle to get a formula that meets a customer’s protein goal yet delivers on critical functional benefits,” says Bill Gilbert, principal food technologist, Cargill, Minneapolis. “For example, proteins tend to hydrate and compete for water, increasing the bulk density of puffed cereals, snacks and baked products. All proteins have different water-absorption rates, and we have done extensive testing with a wide range of protein types and blends. We’ve learned how to keep the rheology the same so that formulators don’t have to dramatically change the amount of water in their formula.”

Although coconut and almond flours help create grain-free, high-protein foods, a 1:1 replacement will not always yield a desirable texture. These alternative flours can be tricky to work with, as neither has much binding power, notes Nesha Zalesny, technical sales manager, Fiberstar, Inc., River Falls, WI. “Baked goods with these ingredients tend to shatter after baking, or the products dry out quickly.” Citri-Fi natural citrus fiber can improve texture and quality. “Due to this natural fiber’s high water-holding power, products using non-traditional flours retain moisture, which improves the quality over the shelf life of the product.”

Another ingredient gaining traction is rice protein. According to David Janow, CEO and president, Axiom Foods, Los Angeles, a double-blind study found that rice protein is as effective for building and maintaining muscle as animal-based whey protein. The company’s Oryzatein brown rice protein is extracted using a natural, non-hexane process. “Oryzatein meets the most-stringent quality guidelines from how it’s sourced and naturally manufactured to multi-level testing to ensure safety,” he says. It’s also allergen-free.

Since proteins vary in amino acid content, FDA has adopted the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score system (PDCAAS) to compare, among other factors, essential amino acid content, on a scale from 0 to 1. Kerry has developed ProDiem, an optimized blend of pea, rice and oat protein, to have a perfect PDCAAS score of 1. The line is intended for use in bars and baked goods, among other applications, notes Matthews. “We also use a proprietary processing technique and our flavor masking technology to improve the texture and reduce the off-notes traditionally associated with plant proteins.”

Completing the nutritional puzzle

The U.S. consumer is now more aware of probiotics as a functional ingredient. Michael Bush, president and CEO, Ganeden, Mayfield Heights, OH, sees consumers wanting to take a proactive versus reactive approach to health, with a larger focus on the health of the products and ingredients they are consuming. “Functional snack and bakery items allow consumers to get the health benefits they’re looking for in products they consume daily, even when on the go,” he says.

As most formulators know, the survivability of probiotics in certain applications presents a challenge. Bush explains that Ganeden has introduced GanedenBC30, a patented, spore-forming probiotic that is shelf stable and can be used in snacks and baked goods. “The fortification of snacks and bakery products is only possible due to the development of shelf-stable strains like GanedenBC30, which are able to withstand manufacturing processes, shelf life and gastric transit. These newer, patented strains have opened up endless opportunities for probiotics.”

Many consumers are also increasingly aware of the sugar content of their foods. In the 2017 IFIC “Food & Health Survey,” 76 percent of survey respondents said they were trying to limit or avoid sugars in general, notes Pam Stauffer, global marketing programs manager, Cargill. “The new label changes to the Nutrition Facts panels will put calories in larger, bold font and call out added sugar content.”

To meet reduced-sugar demands, Cargill offers ViaTech stevia, as well as Zerose erythritol. “Erythritol is a natural, zero-calorie bulk sweetener that looks and tastes like sugar,” says Stauffer. “It masks the aftertaste of high-intensity sweeteners and offers significant advantages over other polyols, including a higher digestive tolerance. Our team has had success in reducing sugar up to 50 percent in cookies, cereals and sweet snacks by using ViaTech stevia and Zerose erythritol.”

We’ve reached the point where truly nutritional, better-for-you, clean-label foods are a primary pathway toward relevance with consumers. People will continue to “want it all,” and with the help of some clever nutritional and functional ingredients, the industry can continue to deliver.

Fiberstar Announces Natural, Plant-based Fibers to Improve Clean Label Food Products

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Food companies are looking for alternatives for modified starches, gums, chemical stabilizers and emulsifiers to create natural food products with cleaner labels. In the limelight is Citri-Fi®, a non-GMO citrus fiber that improves food quality and nutrition naturally using its unique holistic composition.

Fiberstar, Inc. offers natural, plant-based fiber product lines to improve quality, texture and health within food products. The push to clean up food label declarations escalated over the past few years. The focus was initially on artificial flavors and colors, however, today, various food ingredients are in question such as starches, gums, chemical emulsifiers and stabilizers. Food companies are quickly reformulating or creating new products using natural ingredients to improve food labeling. The challenge is that foods containing natural ingredients are not as tolerant to food processing conditions, as a result leaving the developers scrambling for alternatives.

“We recognize the growing need for natural, highly functional food ingredients and remain dedicated to providing the global marketplace alternatives to chemical or synthetic ingredients used in food,” says John Haen, CEO & President of Fiberstar, Inc. “We are excited to offer Citri-Fi®, a natural citrus fiber used to improve quality, texture and labeling in foods. No chemicals, alcohols or other processing aides are used in the production of Citri-Fi which differentiates our products from others.”

Citri-Fi, a natural citrus fiber derived from the citrus juicing industry is unique due to its patented, clean process. The process opens up the fiber to create high surface area which lends itself to high water holding capacity and emulsification properties which are key to developing high quality foods. Due to its insoluble and soluble fiber composition, this fiber contains about 40% native pectin which can be activated to produce gelling properties. This unique holistic composition creating multiple functionalities sets Citri-Fi apart from other fibers in the marketplace.

This natural citrus fiber is non-GMO, non-allergenic and gluten-free. Citri-Fi also qualifies under the new FDA dietary fiber guidelines, therefore, it contributes fiber. Citri-Fi can be labeled as citrus fiber, citrus flour or dried citrus fiber or pulp which all resonate well in the natural food markets.

Some of the Citri-Fi’s flagship clean label technologies are in the top food categories including:

Meats & Poultry: Citri-Fi in combination with native starches, like rice starch, can replace 100% phosphate while still maintaining improved yield and juicy texture in injected poultry products. Citri-Fi can be labeled as citrus flour which is preferred amongst natural meat & poultry processors. Other natural ingredients tend to plug up injection nozzles, produce average yield results and/or create unsavory gel pockets or soggy texture.

Dressing & Sauces: Due to Citri-Fi’s tomato-like fiber structure, this natural citrus fiber is ideal to improve quality and/or cost savings in tomato-like products such as sauces, condiments and spreads. When sheared, Citri-Fi produces viscosity which can reduce tomato solids usage in addition to maintaining red tomato color and flavor. And due to the high surface area, this fiber minimizes syneresis. Other ingredients like starches and gums tend to create unnatural slimy textures, lighten the color and produce off-flavors. In oil-based dressings, Citri-Fi provides natural emulsification properties to tightly bind oil and water.

Dairy Products: Citri-Fi can replace chemical stabilizers in frozen dairy products to minimize ice crystal formation and improve smooth mouthfeel. In other dairy products like yogurts and smoothies, this natural fiber can be used to minimize syneresis and create a great mouthfeel while improving the label declaration especially in fruit-based versions.

Plating for Liquid Products: Citri-Fi can be used to turn liquid flavor oils into powders which then can be easily incorporated into food products. Due to the high surface area, Citri-Fi can hold up to 25-30% oil and still be free flowing. This natural functional carrier can be used to deliver flavor oil in beverages or antioxidants like rosemary into meat products to improve shelf-life. Other plating agents are chemical-based, require a costly spray drying process or have limited functionality in the final product. Citri-Fi not only serves as a natural carrier, but also, this natural fiber provides stabilization and improved texture and mouthfeel in food products like beverages.

“The Company has entered in an exciting time. Our global technical service teams are dedicated to supporting our customers during their quest to clean up labels and/or improve texture and quality. R&D continues to pioneer new products from citrus byproduct and find new application uses,” concludes Mr. Haen. “We are positioned to grow with the increasing demand for more natural foods and look forward to expanding our global customer base.”


Fiberstar, Inc. is a privately held innovative biotechnology Company focused on enhancing food performance by manufacturing and marketing value-added food ingredients. Its largest brand, Citri-Fi is an all-natural highly functional fiber produced sustainably from citrus fiber using a patented process. Citri-Fi is GRAS, non-allergenic, neutral in taste & odor and non-GMO. This functional fiber line benefits meat, dairy, bakery, gluten-free, sauce, condiments, frozen food, beverage and health & wellness food products through textural improvements, nutritional enhancements and/or cost savings. Headquartered in River Falls, Wisconsin with manufacturing in Florida and Wisconsin, Fiberstar sells products globally in over 65 countries.