In the News

Frozen Desserts: Keeping them Creamy (Dairy Foods)

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Citri-Fi natural citrus fiber improves freeze thaw stability and mouth feel of frozen dessertsFrozen dessert is one super star indulgence rising in ranks of popularity. However, creating these frosty treats entails more than just ingredients, a container and a freezer fairy. These frozen delights require ingredient and formulation expertise and processing know-how. However, due to the clean label and health movement, developers expert in the traditional science find themselves scrambling around for new acceptable ingredients. And when there is a new ingredient(s), there is always a new way or process and critical success factors. If you are one of those thrill seekers, you are going to find this article to be a great value. It captures several challenges and solutions when formulating out-of-the-box frozen desserts.

Regardless of the challenge and solution, there is one natural ingredient, Citri-Fi® natural citrus fiber, that deserves a call-out. This natural fiber’s high surface area efficiently holds onto water and oil to improve the freeze/thaw stability and smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Using Citri-Fi at low usage levels provides the emulsification power without the need for shear.

To learn more or need a sample, please contact us!

Frozen Desserts: Keeping them Cream (Dairy Foods):

Cleaning up Clean Label (Natural Products Insider)

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Clean label fruit smoothie s three flavors: strawberry, blueberry and grapeClean label formulating can be confusing due to the lack of definition. This makes it challenging to select ingredients during product development. However, Citri-Fi natural citrus fiber fits most of the criteria. This natural fiber provides high water holding capacity and emulsification properties. These functionalities improve quality of various food products. Citri-Fi may be able to replace multiple ingredients in order to reduce the ingredient deck. This natural ingredient is non-GMO and allergen-free. Citri-Fi can be labeled as citrus fiber, dried citrus pulp or citrus flour which all resonate well in the natural food markets.

Check out the this article to learn more about defining clean label, understanding the challenges and selecting a solution – Cleaning up Clean Label (Natural Products Insider)

Have a question or need to order samples? Click here: Order a sample 

Plant-based egg substitute can help manufacturers cut costs, avoid recalls (Food Dive)

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egg substitute in Bundt cake with icing

Food manufacturers are looking for an egg substitute to improve various food products such as baked goods, spreads and desserts. Fluctuating costs, labeling and/or health lifestyles drive this market need. Citri-Fi natural citrus fiber is one solution that provides water holding and emulsification properties which improve food products quality and labeling.

This natural fiber’s surface area lends itself to its high water holding capacity and emulsification ability. In baked goods, Citri-Fi can be used as an egg substitute to replace up to 25% egg.  In spreads like mayonnaise or dairy desserts, this natural ingredient can replace all of the egg while maintaining quality. Depending on the process, high shear will also provide not only emulsification but additional viscosity.

Learn more about egg alternatives available on the market by clicking here:




New Ingredients Deliver Nutritional and Functional Benefits for Snack and Bakery Products (Snackfood & Wholesale Bakery)

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Nutritional Baked Muffins on a board with mint leavesFiberstar launched Citri-Fi 150 which is a natural citrus fiber ideal for baked goods. This natural fiber provides high water holding capacity which improves baked goods fresh keeping and perception of quality over time.  This cost effective also provides nutritional benefits.

To read more about Citri-Fi and other new ingredient offerings in bakery products and snack items, please click here: Article



A Defining Decision (Baking Business)

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Oat rolled fresh bread after bakingCitri-Fi® natural citrus fiber qualifies under the FDA fiber guidelines.  As a result, this allows food developers to create new and innovative bakery products. Citri-Fi is created by a clean and mechanical process that opens up the fiber to provide high surface area. This surface area creates binding sites for water and oil.  Therefore, using this natural fiber in baked goods binds water to promote fresh keeping and quality over time after baking. Citri-Fi can bind up to 7 to 10 times water by weight. The emulsification properties are ideal when reducing oil and/or egg in bakery products.

To read more about the FDA approved fibers, please click below: A Defining Decision

Citri-Fi in Bakery Products Usage Guide

BLOG: International Citrus and Beverage Conference (ICBC) Insights: Interview

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International Citrus and Beverage Conference Fiberstar speakingThe annual International Citrus and Beverage Conference draws industry leaders together to discuss the latest advances and challenges within the citrus and beverage industry. President & CEO, John Haen of Fiberstar provides some insights about its importance to the industry, Fiberstar’s participation and speaking take-aways.



Q1: What is the International Citrus Beverage Conference (ICBC) and who attends this conference?

This annual conference discusses key topics relative to global juice and beverage technology. This year, the conference focused on updates in quality and consumer testing, FSMA regulations, processing plant technology and market insights regarding the beverage category. The audience is comprised of industry leaders, R&D teams, managerial members and partners who are affiliated with the food, beverage and citrus industries.

Q2: Why is the ICBC important to the industry?

The ICBC is important to the beverage and citrus industry because it is a meeting of the brightest minds from varying disciplines who are intimate with the topics at hand. The conference not only shares up-to-date information and news, but also, gives attendees time to share ideas and experiences among each other. This information sharing keeps the beverage and citrus industry ahead of the curve.

Q3: Why does Fiberstar participate in the ICBC?

Fiberstar, Inc. is an active member of the citrus industry. Fiberstar partners with the citrus juice processors to procure citrus fiber raw material. This raw material is byproduct of the juicing industry. In the past, the byproduct was sent off to animal feed. However, today, Fiberstar uses the byproduct to create higher value products like Citri-Fi® natural citrus fiber for the food and beverage industry.

By participating in the ICBC, Fiberstar increases the awareness about using citrus byproduct for higher value products. The company also stays in tune to the latest news and technology in the citrus processing industry which supports the company’s mission and strategy. And the team networks with other attendees to develop future partnerships.

Q4: Why was Fiberstar chosen to attend and speak at this conference?

Fiberstar was chosen to speak at this conference because of our expertise in citrus byproduct use which is on trend with upcycling and recycling initiatives globally. Our patented process uses citrus byproduct to create a highly functional citrus fiber that provides high water holding and emulsification properties to the food and beverage industry. This natural citrus fiber improves food products quality and nutrition and reduces costs in addition to cleaning up the label declaration. We are also considered innovators as we continue to pioneer new processing methods to create new, functional, clean label, plant-based ingredients which is also trending in the market today.

Q5: What did the audience take away from the Fiberstar talk?

The audience learned how Citri-Fi citrus fiber is produced from citrus byproduct and how the patented process opens up the fibrous matrix to provide high water holding capacity, emulsification and gelling properties.

Citri-Fi’s functionalities are used in food and beverage products to improve quality and texture. This natural fiber benefits the following food products:

  • Beverages: improves mouthfeel, extends pulp, improves stabilization and texture
  • Bakery: retains moisture, improve freshness over time, reduces egg or fat, and prevents blow-outs in bakery fillings
  • Meat, Poultry & Seafood: increase yields, reduces purge, improves juicy texture
  • Dressing & Sauces: extends tomato solids in sauces, reduces syneresis (water separation), emulsifies and improves freeze/thaw stability
  • Dairy: reduces syneresis, extends pectin, emulsifies, thickens and improves texture
  • Pet Food & Treats: strengthens, binds, reduces crumbling and improves texture of biscuits, semi-moist treats and injection molded bones

Citri-Fi citrus fiber is used to clean up labels to improve label declaration. Citri-Fi can be labeled as citrus fiber, citrus flour or dried citrus pulp which resonate well in the natural food markets.

Fiberstar’s business model supports sustainability from origin to end product. Our products are responsibly sourced from citrus byproduct, produced using no chemicals and improves food products nutritional profiles.

Fiberstar continues to work with industry and academia to not only create new processes but also to find new uses for citrus byproduct. Our company is dedicated to increasing citrus fiber awareness and teaching the industry how to use it to improve their products.

BLOG: Natural Nut and Seed Butters – Managing Separation

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Apples with peanut butter or seed butter spreadNatural nut butters entered the market as an alternative to peanut butter. Frequently, the “butter” composition is at risk of separating, which will compromise its perceived quality with consumers. Natural citrus fibers like Citri-Fi can bind oil and water naturally due to its hydrophobic/hydrophilic fibrous composition and high surface area.

Author: Dr. Kurt Villwock, Ph.D.

Despite its reputation for being nutrient dense, peanut butter is a longtime staple in the marketplace as a good source of plant protein and satiety – not to mention it has a satisfying, cravable flavor.  Childhood allergy awareness has spiked in recent times and peanuts are one of the top eight allergens of concern.  As a result, alternative natural seed or nut butter spreads such as sunflower, almond, cashew and hazelnut have emerged to provide consumers with more options.  This along with the protein enrichment craze unlocked new opportunities to spice up the savory and sweet spreads aisle.

Nut and Seed Spread Challenges & Solutions

One of the issues with natural nut or seed butters is that the unsaturated native fat, which is liquid at room temperature, tends to separate from the ground solids easily. As a result, separation in the jar is visible making consumers question the product quality. Forcing the consumer to remix the product before consumption is a messy inconvenience that may negatively impact the consumer experience and therefore sales.

While there are time-tested additives that can prevent oil separation such as lecithins, mono- and diglycerides and other traditional emulsifiers, these ingredients do not currently enjoy a clean label perception from consumers.  In reality, there are precious few options for natural, clean label emulsifiers.  A surprisingly powerful clean label ingredient, Citri-Fi citrus fiber, is one such emulsifier.  It comes from the byproducts of the citrus juicing industry and is both a strong water binder and a strong oil binder.

Ironically, in a high oil containing product, Citri-Fi can bind oil better if it has just a small amount of water present.  As shown in this recent trial, where about 2% water addition on top of 5% Citri-Fi citrus fiber essentially eliminates oil separation without losing that nice peanut butter spreadability and texture.

Different Peanut Butter Spreads at Varying Citri-Fi LevelsWater Activity Effects

Addition of water does negatively affect the water activity (Aw) of the nut butter. The control had an Aw of 0.2, whereas the Aw of the sample with 2% water added was about 0.4.  This is below the threshold for microbial growth, and within ideal range for reduced lipid oxidation as seen in the classic water activity diagram below (Labuza, 1970).  This means, the small amount of water added, along with the Citri-Fi 100FG, may have a positive impact on the shelf-life, flavor, and quality of the finished product.
Water Activity Graph used to reference nut butters

Looking to improve your nut or seed butter? If you have questions or would like further information, please contact

Finding Extra Benefits in Alternatives to Egg Ingredients (Food Business News)

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There is still a demand for alternative ingredients to extend or replace eggs in food products. Drivers include reduced risk in volatile markets, cost incentives and/or formulating for vegan or allergen-free foods. Citri-Fi natural citrus fiber provides high water holding capacity and emulsification properties that can be used to extend or reduce egg in bakery products.

To learn more, please click here:
Finding Extra Benefits in Alternative to Egg Ingredients (Food Business News)

To learn more about Citri-Fi in bakery products: Click Here

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……………………………….

To read more – please click here



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.”