Monthly Archives

October 2018

A feed-clean approach to pet diets goes beyond a short ‘clean’ label (Pet Food Processing)

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various dog treats and biscuits by a bowlPet owners want to trust the products they purchase and to believe they are serving their four-legged family members the best food available. “One way to earn consumer trust is to go clean label,” says David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts, Rockville, Maryland. “Clean-label strategies include offering transparency around both ingredients and processing and having a product with a short list of ingredients that are familiar to the pet owner.”


Author: Donna Berry

Clean-eating shoppers are seeking out pet food attributes that they require in their own foods. They are researching brands and their ingredient-sourcing practices. “Stroll down a pet food aisle in a grocery store, and you’ll notice many of the same label callouts you see in other parts of the store, such as contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives; non-GMO; locally sourced; and limited number of simple ingredients,” says Jeannie Swedberg, director of business development, Tree Top Inc., Selah, Washington. “Pet parents apply a human lens when choosing which foods to purchase.”

“There are many parallels between pet foods and the rest of the food industry; in fact, the top trends are identical,” Swedberg says. “This means it’s no surprise that ingredients used in human foods are becoming commonplace in pet foods, including fruits and vegetables.”

John Haen, president and chief executive officer, Fiberstar Inc., River Falls, Wisconsin, says, “The recent humanization trend in pet food is one of the primary market trends driving a plethora of new products. Today, pets are not only part of the family, but in some instances, these furry beings are people’s children.” Pet owners recognize that animals do have different nutritional needs, hence the reason they buy pet food instead of serving table scraps. But, they have become more critical of what goes into the food. Many want to know the purpose of the ingredient and will no longer settle for inexpensive fillers or anything artificial.

“If a pet food does not appear to have a clean label, such as if it contains additives or preservatives, then the manufacturer should explain why those ingredients were added and how they benefit the product,” says Moira Watson, vice-president of marketing and communications, Watson Inc., West Haven, Connecticut. “Even vitamins and minerals can have long, complicated names. But they provide important health benefits and contribute to a higher quality product. Educating pet owners through transparent labeling and science is key to building trust.”

More than half (56%) of pet parents surveyed by Packaged Facts in January and February 2018 said they strongly agree or somewhat agree that they trust pet food formulations backed by scientific research. That figure jumps to 62% when the scientific basis of dietary components is communicated from a veterinarian.

The survey showed that, in general, pet owners have about the same amount of trust in all types of pet food manufacturers, whether they are small regional companies, natural and organic marketers, or mass market brands. It’s less about the brand and company and more about the communication of what’s inside.

Family meal time

“Love them like family. Feed them like family.” That’s the tagline for Blue Buffalo Co., Wilton, Connecticut, an all-natural pet food company founded by pet parents for pet parents. Minneapolis-based General Mills is set to close on the purchase of the company by the end of 2018.

Blue Buffalo is all about wholesome ingredients and the benefits those ingredients provide. The website contains a glossary of every ingredient that can be found in any of its cat and dog foods and explains its function. The brand prides itself on using human-grade ingredients, and its customers are willing to pay a premium.

In addition, all of Blue Buffalo’s foods include LifeSource Bits, a proprietary precise blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists. These include ingredients that help support a pet’s immune system and specific life stage requirement, as well as help maintain a healthy oxidative balance.

“We ‘cold form’ our LifeSource Bits to minimize the loss of potency that occurs in many vitamins and nutrients when exposed to extreme heat. This is an important difference between Blue and other brands because other brands process their food with high heat. Heat can destroy the potency of some nutrients, particularly antioxidants, by up to 75%,” according to the company……………………………….

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Fiberstar Exhibits at the Supplyside West Health & Nutrition Show November 8-9

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Citri-Fi logo, natural water holding & emulsification tag lineFiberstar’s exhibition at the upcoming Supplyside West Show will provide companies a natural, clean label and functional fiber option to use to improve texture, nutrition, quality and ingredient statements of food and beverage products.

Fiberstar, Inc., a global leader manufacturing and selling natural ingredients, such as Citri-Fi® citrus fiber, will exhibit at the upcoming Supplyside West Show Booth #3983 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Fiberstar will be showcasing its sustainable Citri-Fi natural citrus fiber which is a byproduct from the citrus juicing industry. This functional fiber is created using a patented process that mechanically opens the fiber up to provide high surface area. This high surface area and the intrinsic soluble/insoluble fiber composition lends itself to high water holding capacity and emulsification properties which are ideal for a variety of health and nutrition food products.

“Food manufacturers today need to keep pace with the evolving clean label trends, ranging from simple, shorter ingredient label declarations to sustainable sourcing,” says President and CEO John Haen. “The Supplyside West show presents an excellent opportunity for food manufacturers to learn more about natural functional ingredients like Citri-Fi citrus fiber to stay ahead of the curve in clean label formulating.”

Citri-Fi can provide numerous benefits from improving the food product’s nutritional profile to maintaining good texture in challenging free-from foods to cleaning up label declarations. For instance, Citri-Fi’s water holding capacity gives it ability to partially replace eggs and/or oil in baked goods. As a result, it reduces fat and caloric reduction while maintaining a full-fat mouthfeel. This natural fiber’s water holding capacity retains moisture over time in gluten-free bakery products which typically suffer from drying and staling. In beverages, Citri-Fi can replace carrageenan when used in conjunction with gellan gum to improve labeling. This natural ingredient stabilizes oil and improves mouthfeel and clouding of certain drinks as well as extend fruit or vegetable pulp in a variety of beverages.

In nutrition bars, Citri-Fi retains moisture and provides some binding which improves quality over shelf-life. Due to it native pectin content, this fiber can improve fruit prep texture in bars when used at low pH and high Brix conditions which activates its gelling properties. This natural ingredient also maintains texture during freeze/thaw especially in ice cream products and other frozen foods. The fiber reduces ice crystals during the freezing process which prevents larger ice crystals from disrupting the food matrix.

Citri-Fi also serves as an ideal functional plating agent. This natural ingredient turns nutritional or flavor oils into free-flowing powders that have up to 25% oil load. When used in liquid food products, like beverages, the natural fiber provides additional functionality including mouthfeel, texture, stabilization and uniform oil dispersion.

Citri-Fi is plant-based, non-GMO, allergen-free and vegan/vegetarian. This natural ingredient can be labeled as citrus fiber, dried citrus pulp or citrus flour which resonate well in the natural food markets. And Citri-Fi has no e-number which is ideal for the European Union (EU) markets.

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.

Better-for-you Category Offers More Choices in Ingredients, Formats (Snackfood & Wholesale Bakery)

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Consumers search for clean-label ingredients in better-for-you products

As you walk down the aisle of your local grocery store nowadays, you’ll find more better-for-you snack and bakery choices. Companies know that consumers are reading ingredient labels more closely—and even private label is getting in on the game.

Author: Elizabeth Parker
Source: Prepared Foods Article

Clean-label detailed

“When it comes to sourcing, consumers are increasingly more knowledgeable about food ingredients, which influences the products they purchase,” says Frank Flider, oils expert, QUALISOY, Chesterfield, MO. “They are no longer satisfied with merely knowing that a food is nutritionally beneficial—they want to know why.”

In baked goods, shortenings are important ingredients for cakes, cookies, doughnuts, pastries and icings, notes Flider. “Nutritional needs must be balanced with the desired performance of the oil or shortening in question.”

When it comes to fats and oils, the main nutritional attributes that are considered include low saturates and high monounsaturates. High-oleic soybean oil, which can be used as a fat source or a frying oil, contains lower saturated fat and three times the amount of monounsaturated fatty acids compared to conventional and other high-stability oils, explains Flider.

“Oils are typically 20 to 30 percent or more of snack foods and baked goods,” says Mary LaGuardia, Omega-9 Oils market manager, Corteva Agriscience, DowDuPont, Johnston, IA. “Formulating these foods with oils that have a healthier profile—for consumers and the environment—delivers the better-for-you options consumers crave while still providing the functionality and performance producers require.”

More consumers now look for foods produced in a sustainable way, remarks LaGuardia. She notes that high-performance oils such as high-oleic Omega-9 Canola Oil meet this requirement.

“Omega-9 Canola Oil is naturally stable, so foods stay fresh without additives or artificial preservatives,” adds LaGuardia. “The unique fatty acid profile in Omega-9 Canola Oil was developed through traditional plant breeding, providing manufacturers a Non-GMO Project Verified option.”

Some fibers are more label-friendly than others. FDA announced this past June that chicory root fibers will enter the newly established list of approved dietary fibers, says Jon Peters, president, BENEO, Inc., Parsippany, NJ. This means that BENEO’S ingredients (Orafti inulin and oligofructose) will continue to appear as dietary fibers on the Nutrition Facts panel.

Consumers are largely aware of the beneficial effects of dietary fibers, but the majority of U.S. consumers still have difficulties reaching the recommended daily intake of 25 grams per day, notes Peters.

Cargill’s Oliggo-Fiber chicory root fiber offers a label-friendly option to incorporate more fiber into almost any baked good or snack, without affecting the taste or texture of the final product, says Pam Stauffer, global marketing programs manager, Cargill, Minneapolis.

“Chicory root fiber can aid in sugar reduction. It provides key functional properties, including helping to modulate the flavor of some high-intensity sweeteners and acting as a bulking agent when removing sugar from a formulation,” says Stauffer.

Fiberstar, Inc., River Falls, WI, recommends Citri-Fi to boost the nutritional profile of baked goods, in addition to improving texture and quality over shelf life, says Jennifer Stephens, vice president of marketing.

“Some product developers look to reduce fat or oil within baked goods. Because Citri-Fi holds water tightly, this natural ingredient can be used to replace up to 50 percent fat or oil within bakery items like cakes or muffins,” explains Stephens. “The moisture retention over time improves the fresh keeping over shelf and creates a texture and mouthfeel similar to the full-fat version.”

Added sugar is also seeing increased scrutiny. “To decrease the burden of diseases such as diabetes and tooth decay, the WHO has recommended that the intake of free sugars should not exceed 10 percent of total dietary energy intake,” says Els Vandenberghe, Ph.D., product development technologist, Taura Natural Ingredients, Olen, Belgium. “However, sugar reduction through reformulation is challenging because it can cause changes in flavor and texture balance, food functionality, shelf-life, and cost.”

Taura recently released its JusFruit no-added-sugar fruit pieces, which can be added to cookies and other baked goods. In a blind taste test, 26 panelists tasted a full-sugar cookie, a cookie with 30 percent reduced added sugar, and a cookie with 49 percent reduced added sugar with JusFruit pieces. The cookies with the JusFruit pieces outscored the other two versions on overall taste, says Vandenberghe.

“Not only were the cookies with our pieces perceived as just as sweet as the full-sugar version, they were also liked more, making them an ideal solution for sweet bakery products,” Vandenberghe adds.

Stevia-based ingredients are also creating new opportunities for reduced-sugar baked goods and snacks, says Stauffer. With Cargill’s ViaTech stevia sweetener, snack manufacturers can achieve optimal sweetness and significant sugar reduction, without sacrificing taste, she notes.

Another ingredient that consumers are looking for on the shelves is protein. “Consumers demand for products made with plant protein is here to stay, but uncompromising expectations for great taste and texture come with its mainstream appeal,” says Matthew Jacobs, global product line leader, plant proteins, Cargill. “With that in mind, Cargill recently signed a joint venture agreement with PURIS, the largest North American producer of pea protein.”

Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate also offers customized, protein-fortified products leveraging various protein sources from dairy to plants, says Gretchen Hadden, marketing communications manager. Food manufacturers can leverage these capabilities to maximize great-tasting products, while also creating opportunities for high-impact packaging claims around protein.

Sweet potato ingredients naturally add better-for-you allure. “Shoppers are interested in unique ingredients in unexpected places—especially ingredients that offer nutritive benefits,” says Paul Verderber, vice president of sales, Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients, Inc., Nashville, NC. “Our sweet potato ingredients fall right in line with that trend.”

According to USDA, sweet potato consumption has increased more than 70 percent in the past 12 years, as consumers have grown more aware of the sweet potato’s richness in vitamin A, beta carotene, complex carbohydrates, mineral content, and fiber, adds Verderber. He recommends sweet potato ingredients for products like chips, bars, muffins and cookies.

Sodium reduction is also a priority for manufacturers. “Last year, Cargill invested in a new potassium chloride facility in Watkins Glen, NY,” says Janice Johnson, Ph.D., technical and applications service lead, Cargill Salt. “Potassium chloride can help enable sodium reduction rates of up to 50 percent in a wide range of applications, including baked goods and snacks.”

FDA is enforcing a new Nutrition Facts Panel, starting January 1, 2020, for companies earning $10 million or more in annual food sales. The change requires potassium amounts and percent daily value to be listed, and lowers the daily value of sodium from 2,400 mg to 2,300 mg.

SaltBrite from FlavorHealth, North Brunswick, NJ, helps manufacturers maintain desired salty taste while enabling a 30 to 50 percent reduction in sodium content. “In sensory tasting, consumers preferred a 40 percent reduced sodium cheese sauce made with a SaltBrite natural flavor solution over the control sauce,” says Ryan Loy, Ph.D., assistant director, technical product management.

Some bakers opt to use baking mixes to simplify production, as these are going clean label, as well. Dawn Foods, Jackson, MI, now offers clean-label bases and mixes, including for crème cakes, brownies, and yeast-raised and cake doughnuts, notes Adam Graber, senior director, global innovation. They have no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or sweeteners, and contain no PHOs or HFCS.

In October, Dawn Balance Cleaner Ingredients will be available, a portfolio expansion with 14 new offerings that complement Dawn’s other clean-label products (previously referred to as Bakers Truth).

Forward-trending products

Freshyfare, Union, NJ, creates collagen-infused products. Christie Lombardo, CEO and founder, notes that the company offers BreakFast Bars, a meal-replacement bar that includes collagen, amino acids, grass-fed whey protein, fiber, cocoa nibs and chia seeds. Other protein-focused products include Protein Pound Cake, Rice Christie Treatz and Whey Better Browniez.

NuttZo Bold BiteZ bars, which also include collagen, were released in January 2018. The bites are available in two flavors: Power Fuel + Collagen, and Peanut Pro + Collagen.

“Better-for-you foods also go hand-in-hand with a green lifestyle—sustainability, in particular. Consumers, when given the choice, tend to opt for more-sustainable oils,” says Flider.

TERRA chips made with avocado oil hit shelves in March 2018. The sweet potato chips are available in both TERRA Sweet Chipotle and TERRA Sweets Medley flavors.

A Sweet Sriracha chickpea snack from The Good Bean, Berkley, CA, was released in February 2018, and is cooked in coconut oil. The brand recently released a Grab and Go line. “We are very excited about the Grab and Go line, because we think it is the perfect discovery size. Our category is still emerging, and there is a lot of runway with regard to encouraging awareness and trial with new consumers to the space,” says Sarah Wallace, founder and CEO.

Wallace says people often have the impression that healthy snacks don’t taste good. “Our snacks taste like delicious corn nuts, except lighter and crispier. And our flavors are addictive.”

Ideal Snacks Corp., Liberty, NJ, recently developed a Blueberry Cobbler Breakfast Popper. “Consumers love to snack, and they love to eat their breakfast on-the-go,” says Gunther Brickman, vice president, contract manufacturing. “As we think about this space, we think brands that already have some equity in the breakfast market have a great opportunity to expand their business with on-the-go consumers.”

As long as better-for-you products continue to taste delicious and have clean labels, consumers will continue to flock to the better-for-you aisle.

“Today’s snack and baked goods products are of a much higher quality than those of the past, particularly in terms of flavor and texture,” says Flider. “Many of today’s better-for-you snacks and baked goods are as satisfying as the foods they’re meant to replace.”

BLOG: The Magic of Turning Liquid Oils into Natural Flowable Powders

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Heap of white powder isolated on white.The Magic in Turning Liquid Oils into Natural Flow-able Powders

Oil delivery systems are commonplace when using flavors and nutrients within the food and beverage industry. However, the growing need for natural solutions is moving the conventional systems aside for more label friendly options such as Citri-Fi® citrus fiber. Not only do these consumer friendly fibers turn liquids to powder but they also improve the quality of the final food product.

Author: Nesha Zalesny (Technical Sales Manager)

The day Whole Foods publicly released a list of unacceptable food ingredients was the day when the clean label movement was born.  A very common phrase within this movement states “if it is not found in your grandmother’s pantry, you should not eat it.”  Targeted food ingredients include ingredients containing chemical sounding names or use the letter “x” in it.  For instance, xanthan gum, xeoxanthin and maltodextrin bear the brunt of this clean trend. Other examples include maltodextrin which is associated to  genetically modified corn (GMO).  Though non-corn and/or non-GMO sources of maltodextrin are available, they still must be labeled as maltodextrin. This movement affects most segments including oil delivery systems for food.

Oil Delivery System Types

The food industry uses maltodextrin, including the flavor industry which is one of the biggest advocates. Maltodextrins are a very soluble, non-sweet source of carbohydrate that also does not impart a great deal of viscosity.  Low viscosity is important in spray drying systems that turn liquid flavor or nutrient oils into powder.  Typically, to turn a fat or oil to a powder, the oil would need to be emulsified in a solution of gum Arabic.  This solution uses maltodextrin to increase solids without increasing the viscosity. Increased solids and low viscosity makes spray drying easier and more efficient. As a result, the maltodextrin becomes the carrier in the finished powder.  This entire process is energy intensive and uses ingredients that are no longer considered clean label.

Clean Label Oil Delivery System: Citri-Fi

A great alternative to spray drying is plating the flavor or nutrient oil directly onto the carrier.  There are a few carriers such as silicates that have a high surface area and can carry a significantly high oil load. Because of the clean label movement, these food ingredients fell out of favor.  Citri-Fi® 100M40 is a great alternative to chemical carriers for plating oils.  Citri-Fi is made from the fibrous material leftover from juiced citrus fruit.  This material is run through a washing process to remove flavor, and then run through a physical process that opens up the fiber.  This physical process plus milling the fiber increases the surface area.  This fiber’s natural affinity for oil makes it an ideal carrier for oil-based ingredients.  Citri-Fi 100M40 holds a 15-25% oil load depending on the oil.  On the other hand, maltodextrin can only hold about 4% when plating oils.

One of the major advantages of plating oils directly on to Citri-Fi is that this natural fiber will not only deliver the oil, but also, it will provide additional functional benefits. Citri-Fi holds 7-10 times its weight in water and stabilizes emulsions. This natural ingredient is non-GMO and non-allergenic and contributes fiber under the new FDA guidelines. Citri-Fi can be labeled as citrus fiber, dried citrus pulp or citrus flour which resonate well with the natural markets.

Coconut Fruit Smoothie plated Citri-Fi vs. Control

After 30 minutes: The control separates. The coconut oil plated Citri-Fi stays uniform with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

Natural Functional Plating: From Poultry to Fruit Smoothies

One ideal application is plating rosemary oil directly onto Citri-Fi 100M40 and using the blend in an injection marinade for poultry or pork.  Citri-Fi emulsifies and stabilizes the rosemary oil within the marinade. And the this natural ingredient will hold onto the water in the meat product which increases yield and decreases drip loss.  These functional benefits create a succulent cooked product that consumers expect.

Another great example of Citri-Fi’s multiple functionality is in a smoothie beverage. In this example, the end user needed to use coconut fat in a fruit smoothie. The coconut fat was not only to provide flavor but also known health benefits of the medium chain triglycerides common in coconut fat.  For this application, coconut oil was plated directly onto Citri-Fi 200FG. The plated fiber was then blended with protein, sweeteners and flavors to make a powdered smoothie base. Lastly, this base was added to juice and blended with ice to create a creamy, nutritious smoothie.  The Citri-Fi 200FG delivered the coconut oil, imparted a nice creamy mouthfeel and increased the stability of the smoothie. (Figure 1)