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New Functional Ingredients Offer Clean Label Options (Dairy Foods)

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Yogurt with peach slices raspberries and blueberries, tasty dessertPre-meal concept with fiber, whey protein

Arla Foods Ingredients developed a high-protein pre-meal shot concept that highlights the potential for launching innovative products that deliver improved blood sugar control in a natural and convenient way. The 100-milliliter pre-meal shot concept is high in fiber and contains 15 grams of the company’s Lacprodan DI-6820 whey protein. A recent clinical trial demonstrated that consumption of 15 grams of whey protein before a meal helped people with type 2 diabetes maintain their blood sugar levels within the normal glycemic range following the meal, the company said.



Almond oil as functional ingredient

Blue Diamond almond oil works as a functional ingredient across a variety of food categories. Its clean, mild flavor and high smoke point of 470 degrees Fahrenheit make it an ideal ingredient for dairy and bakery applications and snack bar formulations. Additionally, the oil is high in vitamin E (39.2 milligrams/100 grams), and B-sitosterol, making it a healthier alternative to other specialty plant-based oils, the company said. It’s low in saturated fat and high (70%) in monounsaturated fat/omega-9 fatty acids, supporting healthy levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL).



Line of soluble dietary fiber ingredients

ADM/Matsutani LLC’s Fibersol is a line of soluble dietary fiber ingredients that offers support for nutrition, weight management, sugar reduction, satiety and gut health. Fibersol maintains its fiber content within all dairy product applications, including fluid, frozen, cultured and fermented dairy foods. It is stable under all processing and packaging conditions. Fibersol is digestion-resistant, which translates to more of the fiber reaching the lower bowel to promote fermentation. This provides potential benefits for gut health. Therefore, the fiber can support “good-for-you” structure/function claims for qualifying products, the company said. Clinical studies show that Fibersol is also a prebiotic fiber, helps support or maintain intestinal regularity and can relieve occasional constipation.



Whey protein for high-acid protein powder drink mixes

BevEdge Whey Protein A-220W from Glanbia Nutritionals can create new opportunities for protein powder drink mix brands. BevEdge Whey Protein A-220W is a new preacidified whey protein isolate that overcomes the multiple challenges of creating berry- and citrus-flavored high-acid protein powder drink mixes. Made with BevEdge instant dispersion technology, the whey protein is lecithin-free, contains no soy and can be labeled as “whey protein isolate, citric acid.” Because it is preacidified to a pH under 3.5, the whey protein allows for great-tasting fruit flavors and delivers a clearer end product than lecithinated proteins, the company said.



Seaweed extract for dairy and non-dairy desserts

Algaia S.A. introduced Satialgine DVA, a next-generation seaweed extract ingredient for dairy and non-dairy desserts. This alginate line provides a unique rich and creamy texture in desserts such as low-fat dairy flans. The Satialgine line of alginate ingredients is designed to create a creamy, indulgent texture without the use of eggs or traditional additives, the company said.

+33 (0)1 48 01 47 39;


Pure non-GMO prebiotic

DSM is the exclusive distributor of AmpliVida XOS prebiotic, manufactured by Prenexus. AmpliVida is a pure, selective and effective prebiotic made from organically grown (in California) non-GMO high-fiber sugar cane; it is carefully processed with pure water (no chemicals). Its efficacious low dose is ideal for formulating, making it well-tolerated, the company said. The prebiotic is made of five carbon rings linked by unique bonds with a degree of polymerization ranging from 2-12; therefore, only 1-4 grams are needed daily to selectively stimulate the growth of beneficial (probiotic) bacteria in the digestive tract. AmpliVida XOS prebiotic is suitable for use in dairy applications.



Culture system for American-style cheeses

Dupont’s Choozit Ameri-Flex is a one-bag direct-to-vat culture system for American-style cheese, including cheddar, colby and Jack. It is a convenient single-pouch blend of fast-acidifying mesophilic and thermophilic strains in a culture system formulated for reliability, dependability and phage robustness. The culture system provides consistent acidification from vat to vat, the company said. Two robust formulations in this range are designed to provide flexibility for producing American cheese types in multiple processing conditions. They provide dependable moisture and yield due to consistent acidification kinetics between rotations, leading to reducing potential for downgrades. These cultures also offer protection against variability resulting from bacteria phage.



Masking flavors for products with plant proteins

Symrise Flavors N.A. developed a masking flavors toolbox specifically targeted to overcome the challenges of aftertaste and off-notes of plant protein in non-dairy applications. Product information is available that includes the recommended dosage for the company’s natural pea protein masking flavor, natural rice protein masking flavor, natural almond protein masking flavor and natural soy protein masking flavor. Masking solutions are available for drinkable products, as well as non-dairy yogurts, ice creams, protein powder mixes, smoothies and milks.



Natural emulsification and texture in cultured dairy

In cultured dairy, Fiberstar’s citrus fiber, Citri-Fi, works synergistically with homogenization to provide a strong boost in creamy body and firmness. Homogenization will bust open the fiber structure, leading to large increases in surface area, which, in turn, immobilize more water. The increased body gives the product a more natural mouthfeel. The ingredient can replace gums and thickeners for a cleaner product label, the company said. Because Citri-Fi functions as a natural emulsifier, no additional emulsifiers are necessary, which also increases the simplicity of the label statement. As a bonus functionality, the citrus fiber is said to promote a cleaner, rounder flavor release, which allows added flavors to shine. This natural fiber rounds out the flavor of the acids, permitting culturing to a lower pH and giving a benefit to texture.

715 425 7550;


Natural preservative for clean-label products

The Ingredient House, along with its partner, Soyuzsnab, developed a natural preservative — cultured dextrose, AiBi Series 1.50 — that can be used for clean-label and natural products. The natural preservative is produced by fermentation of dextrose with microorganisms. The product can inhibit the growth of most spoilage organisms in food. Cultured dextrose is of natural origin and is GMO-free. It increases the shelf life of dairy products such as sour cream and cottage cheese. It can be used in a wide range of applications, including dairy, bakery, spreads and sauces.



All-natural solution to reduce sugar

Frutalose SF75 from Sensus is an all-natural solution to reduce sugar and “added sugar.” The product has 65% of the sweetness of sugar and contains 75% dietary fiber, the company said. These properties allow Frutalose SF75 to play a significant role in low- calorie all-natural sweetener systems that have the ability to significantly reduce sugar. The product works particularly well with stevia, masking the off-tastes associated with this ingredient. Frutalose SF75 is Non-GMO Project Verified and labeled as chicory root fiber. Additionally, its unique functional properties allow it to be easily formulated into a variety of applications.



Tea as a functional ingredient

Tea is a health-promoting ingredient and has clean-label benefits for processors, Amelia Baysaid. It can be also used to replace caramel colors, artificial flavors and more. Amelia Bay offers dairy processors a brewed liquid tea that is easy to use versus batch steeping or working with instant tea powders, and can significantly reduce batching times. Formulations are simply blended in batch tanks and then pasteurized. The company’s extracts can be hot-filled or cold-filled for a stable finished beverage free from sedimentation or clouding.


Functional ingredients provide multiple benefits to snacks and baked goods (Snackfood & Wholesale Bakery)

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Chocolate Chip MuffinsJoyce Friedberg – Functional ingredients provide multiple benefits to snacks and baked goods

Fats, oils, starches, fiber, dough conditioners and texturizers all serve critical functional roles in snacks and baked goods, particularly maintaining the quality of the product throughout the desired shelf life. As consumers demand cleaner labels, more health-and-wellness benefits and better sustainability, product developers face a wide range of functional ingredient challenges. Luckily, the latest generation of functional ingredients are more than up to the task, often serving multiple roles in the product matrix.

Advanced fats

With the industry directive to eliminate trans fat, there is a shift to oils that can serve as turnkey replacements to remove partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs). Frank Flider, consultant, QUALISOY, Chesterfield, MO, notes that high-oleic soybean oil and enzymatically interesterified (EIE) high-oleic soybean shortenings can work in wide range of applications. Soybean farmers have been ramping up production to increase availability and ensure a reliable supply. High-oleic soybean oils and shortenings are 100 percent U.S. grown and processed.

Flider notes that both products offer excellent shelf life and a neutral flavor profile, allowing the true flavors of the product to shine. “High-oleic soybean oil is a high-stability, zero-trans oil that is ideal for use in frying, baking and snack food production, providing increased shelf stability and a neutral flavor. EIE high-oleic soybean shortenings, which also contain 0 grams of trans fat, can be formulated to match virtually any PHO specification and are used for baking and deep-frying applications, particularly where the structure and texture provided by solid fats are required.” High-oleic soybean oil and EIE high-oleic soybean shortenings can be used for deep-frying applications for doughnuts and chips, and as an ingredient in cookies, cakes and icings.

QUALISOY has conducted extensive testing in conjunction with Stratas Foods, LLC, Memphis, TN, on the use of high-oleic soybean oil and EIE high-oleic soybean shortening in the production of fried snacks, doughnuts, cakes, cookies and icing. The data indicated these ingredients can be used as a replacement for virtually any partially hydrogenated oil, and—in many cases—can improve the quality, shelf life and stability of the product.

“High-oleic oil, and in particular high-oleic soybean oil, will be the ‘go-to’ for the snack and baking industries,” suggests Flider. “Being zero-trans, high in monounsaturates, and lower in saturates and polyunsaturates, this U.S.-grown oil provides the best intersection of health and functionality that we have ever experienced amongst fats and oils.”

The United Soybean Board, Chesterfield, MO, notes the following benefits:

  • Extended shelf life—due to high-oleic soybean oil’s resistance to oxidation, it helps extend the shelf life of baked good without contributing trans fats or PHOs
  • Cleaner label—high-oleic soybean oil eliminates the need for added antioxidants to help control oxidation, thereby providing a cleaner label
  • PHO replacement—EIE shortening is an ideal replacement for PHOs in bakery products

In addition to the functional benefits, the United Soybean Board also cites several nutritional benefits. According to the results of its 24th annual “Consumer Attitudes about Soyfoods and Health” survey conducted in 2017, 60 percent of consumers view soybean oil as healthy, noting a reduced risk of heart disease as the most-recognized health benefit. The survey also notes that omega-3 fatty acids are recognized as the No. 1 healthiest fat, and soybean oil is a principal source of omega-3s in the U.S. diet thanks to the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) present in soy.

“Our Pro-Formance high-oleic soybean oil extends the shelf life of baked goods and packaged snacks, allowing for the removal of TBHQ, which contributes to a cleaner label,” says Brain Anderson, vice president, innovation and marketing, Bunge, St. Louis. “It also offers a nutrition and traceability story. The oil delivers omega-3s, omega-6s and omega-9s, with only 12 percent saturates. It is sourced from 1,200 farmers we know in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.”

Cargill, Minneapolis, recently introduced a low-saturated-fat, high-oleic canola oil under its Clear Valley brand. John Satumba, Ph.D., food ingredients and analytical chemistry director, global edible oils solutions R&D, notes that the oil is made from a canola hybrid that contains 4.5 percent or less saturated fat while maintaining high fry and shelf life performance, freshness and taste. “It reduces saturated fat content 35 percent from previous canola oil generations.” He notes that this oil is well suited to use in crackers that have seasoning coatings, as well as in a variety of different types of cookies.

As consumers are seeking out responsibly sourced ingredients certified, sustainable Malaysian palm oil addresses the environmental, social and economic aspects of palm oil production. Refined certified-sustainable Malaysian palm oil is trans-fat-free, non-GMO and odor-free, and it has a golden-yellow color. It’s a highly valuable ingredient in most bakery products, including crackers, pastries, biscuits, bread and cookies.

“Due to its excellent stability, the liquid fraction of palm oil, palm olein, is the world’s top choice as a frying oil for french fries, doughnuts and snacks,” says Kalyana Sundram, Ph.D., CEO, Malaysian Palm Oil Council, Washington, D.C. “Palm oil has a naturally semi-solid characteristic at room temperature with a melting point between 33° to 39°C. It does not require hydrogenation for use as a food. It has the functional properties of a trans fat (creamy texture, extended shelf life). Palm stearin is a very useful source of fully natural hard fat component for products such as shortening, and pastry and bakery margarines.”

Starch and fiber solutions

With consumer desire for clean label, Cargill notes a shift from modified starch to native starches in several product categories. As a result, the company’s food scientists are exploring new starch solutions and evaluating new combinations of native starches.

“We have studied the properties of dozens of native starches, including corn, wheat, potato and tapioca, and have found that, via custom blending and careful formulations, these basic starches can successfully fulfill many product requirements, including thickening, texturizing, stabilizing, moisture retention, gelling, film forming, dusting and dough binding,” says Michelle Kozora, technical service manager, Cargill. “For example, we’ve replaced the modified food starch in frozen cakes with a native starch. When thawed, these cakes maintain a smooth surface, fine crumb and ideal moisture level, plus they have a more consumer-friendly label.”

Kozora suggests Actistar, a resistant starch product, for use in gluten-free bakery formulations. This starch can be used to replace flour in gluten-free products, and can also provide increased fiber content for baked goods.

Bunge’s Honestly Corn functional flours are available through its Whole Harvest line of ingredients. These functional flours can serve as a replacement for modified starches, gums and alginates, but with a cleaner label, notes Anderson, with the label declaration reading “corn flour.” They are available in conventional, non-GMO, organic and whole-grain varieties.

Citri-Fi from Fiberstar is a natural citrus fiber. It’s non-GMO, gluten-free and plant-based. The company partners with citrus juicing companies in Florida, Mexico and South America and utilizes their leftover citrus pulp and peel to create the highly functional fiber ingredients, which find use in various baked goods and snacks, notes Jennifer Stephens, vice president of marketing.

Citri-Fi citrus fiber holds 7 to 10 times its weight in water and can emulsify 8 to 10 times its weight in oil. “The native composition of the fiber—soluble and insoluble fiber, and protein—plus the process gives it strong water-holding and emulsifying properties,” notes Nesha Zalesny, technical sales manager, Fiberstar.

Due to its water-holding properties, Citri-Fi is useful in a wide variety of snack and bakery applications. “This property enables bakers to maintain that moist, fresh-baked texture throughout the shelf life of breads, cakes, brownies and soft cookies,” says Zalesny. “This natural fiber can be especially useful in gluten-free food products, such as breads, muffins and cookies, as many of the ingredients used to replace wheat flour do not hold onto water tightly, especially over time. As a result, many gluten-free bakery products are sold in the freezer case to maximize the shelf life when going through the supply chain. The emulsion properties help formulators make the most of the fat they have in the system and can help them extend its functionality by emulsifying that fat with extra water.”

Stephens notes that Citri-Fi can also be used as a partial egg replacement and to reduce oil in bakery products. “Citri-Fi can reduce up to 25 percent of egg in baked goods while maintaining the texture and quality over shelf life.”

Nutrition matters

Some snack and bakery ingredients provide multifunctional benefits that extend into nutritional concerns.

Zalesny notes that while Citri-Fi has multiple valuable functional benefits, it’s a fiber ingredient, with nutritional merits. “Because it is the whole fiber of the fruit, it is still recognized as a fiber by the FDA. It can be labeled as a ‘citrus fiber,’ ‘dried citrus pulp’ or ‘citrus flour,’ which resonate well in the clean-label market.”

Stephens notes that Citri-Fi can also help product developers reduce fat levels in products. “Due to Citri-Fi’s high water-holding capacity, this fiber can replace from 25 to 50 percent of oil, depending on the bakery application, while maintaining superior moisture retention and quality over shelf life. Oil-reduced bakery goods typically are less moist and lack the full-fat mouthfeel. Citri-Fi’s ability to bind water and remaining oil tightly maintains the quality eating experience.”

Salt levels are also a nutritional target these days, and when a sodium substitute can provide fortification, the ingredient’s appeal grows. Cargill recently launched Potassium Pro, a new potassium chloride, a granular, food-grade, odorless, white crystalline salt with a typical saline-like taste. Mike Beaverson, senior marketing manager, Cargill Salt, explains that the product was developed to meet the needs of food manufacturers for potassium enrichment and for the replacement of sodium chloride. The product is well suited to use in both snack and bakery applications.

The timing of the ingredient launch coincides with the new labeling guidelines being implemented by the FDA. The new guidelines will require potassium levels to be listed on the Nutrition Facts panel, in addition to setting benchmarks to identify products that contribute a “good source” or an “excellent source” of potassium.

Improving stability

Delavau Food Partners, Philadelphia, has expanded its line of Encore ingredients, which offer shelf-life extension with mold inhibition. These clean-label solutions also help deliver a consistently high-quality eating experience.

Jeff Billig, vice president and general manager, Delavau Food Partners, highlights the different products in the Encore line:

  • Encore Soft—anti-staling ingredients for a better eating experience
  • Encore Fresh—antimicrobial solutions for shelf-life extension
  • Encore Plus—dough-conditioning capabilities for formula optimization
  • Encore Strong—ingredients for dough strength, volume, elasticity and tolerance
  • Encore Relax—extensibility solutions for consistent pan fill and dough length

“Our Encore ingredients can be tailored to deliver benefits for an incredible range of snack and bakery applications, from rolls and pan breads to pizza, tortillas, doughnuts and sweet goods,” says Billig. “One of our most-recent innovations creates crispness in microwavable applications, like pizza, eliminating the need for a susceptor board. By eliminating the susceptor board, our technology results in cost savings, better alignment with a clean-label position and operational efficiencies, while still delivering a quality eating experience.”

Functional ingredients play a vital role in snack and bakery product development. In many ways, they are the backbone of the industry—particularly when they can provide multiple functional benefits.

BLOG: Improve Sauce Texture and Labeling using Citri-Fi® Natural Fiber

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Hot Spicy Red Sriracha Sauce in a BowlToday, it is the norm to see more consumers flip a food product over and sweep their pointer finger across the labeling section. Sometimes, they look to see if the list contains allergens they avoid. Or at times, the consumers examine the nutritional panel to determine its health value. However, lately, many consumers scan ingredient statements to see what they are actually ingesting. Depending on their personal views, consumers may toss some products back on the shelf. Today, many consumers look for declarations that contain a limited number of recognizable, natural ingredients.

This clean label phenomena affects most of the food categories including sauces. Some sauces such as tomato and BBQ are reformulated to replace ingredients with natural ones. Many manufacturers market these products using new lingo such as “simply” or they indicate the number of ingredients on the label which is typically less than 10. Some tomato processors explore cost savings options. One way is to extend the tomato base or solids. Various options exist in the marketplace including fibers, starches and gums. However, each one has their own pros and cons.

Tomato Sauces:
Citri-Fi, a natural fiber derived from citrus fruit can be used to improve the texture and labeling of sauces. The process opens up the fiber to provide high surface area which lends itself to high water holding capacity and emulsification properties. Due to the unique composition, this natural fiber is ideal for extending tomato solids or enhancing texture in tomato sauce and improving the texture and viscosity of BBQ sauce. In tomato sauces, gums create a slimy texture while starches produce a pasty one. On the other hand, Citri-Fi used at 0.3% creates hearty sauces while maintaining the red color and tomato flavor.

BBQ Sauces:
In BBQ sauces, some ingredients like physically modified or functional starches are touted to provide the functionality without the use of chemicals. However, these clean label products have food processing limitations. These ingredients produce limited viscosity. Citri-Fi used at 1.5% can provide high viscosity under shear conditions and is highly stable during food processing. According to sensory panels, starches tend to create a papery off-note while Citri-Fi has a clean release which allows flavors to be robust.

Citri-Fi contributes fiber and can be labeled as citrus fiber, dried citrus pulp and citrus flour which resonate well in the natural markets. It is non-GMO and allergen-free which makes it an ideal fiber to use when formulating clean label and/or natural foods.

–Jennifer Stephens (VP of Marketing)

Clean-label snack and bakery products become more prevalent as consumer interest grows (Snackfood & Wholesale Bakery)

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Nutrition breakfast bars filled with strawberry

March 19, 2018 (Liz Parker)

Consumers are reading labels more, looking for products that are nutritious, with ingredients that are easy to understand and that work with their family’s budget. While there’s no official definition of “clean label,” consumers and the snack and bakery industry have their own definition in mind.
Prevailing definitions

“Since there is no official definition of ‘clean label,’ it’s up to consumers to define what clean label is to them, and how it will influence their purchases,” says Catherine Barry, director of marketing, National Honey Board, Firestone, CO. “Many consumers want to look at the ingredient listing on the back of a loaf of bread or cookie and recognize the ingredients on the list.”

Going clean label is ultimately about building trust with the shopper. They need to be assured that you will not try to feed them anything that they are uncomfortable with, explains Kurt Villwock, Ph.D., director of R&D, Fiberstar, Inc., River Falls, WI. “A clean-label food should come from a familiar and recognizable source that has not been overly refined or exposed to chemicals. Simple and short ingredient lists evoke feelings of trust from consumers.”

These clean labels also add a sense of wholesomeness and transparency to the product. “In the eyes of the consumer, clean label foods are recognized as simple, wholesome and authentic,” says Jeff Smith, director of marketing, Blue Diamond Almonds, Global Ingredient Division, Sacramento, CA. “Today’s consumers want to know where their food comes from and how it is produced, and they have interest in following a product’s journey from farm to table.”

One way to think of clean label would be in terms of “free from”—not always free from allergens, but from ingredients that can sometimes have negative connotations.

“Like ‘natural,’ ‘clean label’ is not a regulated term in commerce. At Daymon, we think of ‘clean label’ at retail in terms of ‘free from.’ A ‘free-from’ claim may be very basic, such as ‘no artificial colors, trans-fats or MSG,’ as ALDI has promised for its private brands other than SimplyNature, which has 125 excluded ingredients,” remarks Carl Jorgensen, director, thought leadership, Daymon, Stamford, CT. “The advantage of clean label’s ‘free-from’ approach is that it is clearly defined and defensible, unlike the vague term ‘natural.’”

While “natural” and “clean label” aren’t synonymous, they are related. “Clean label is the move within the food industry toward simplifying and including more natural ingredients in food products,” says Matthew Dahabieh, PhD, chief science officer, Renaissance BioScience, Vancouver, British Columbia. “It could also be applied to the removal of unhealthy compounds such as acrylamide, formed naturally during cooking.”

Consumers also want to be able to recognize what goes into their food. “Consumers are increasingly looking for simple, less-processed ingredients, with some familiarity—i.e., ingredients that a home cook or baker would have in their pantry. Or, at the very least, they want to know the reason some ‘less-pronounceable’ ingredients are in their food,” says Vanessa Brovelli, manager, product development, Bay State Milling, Quincy, MA.

“While analyzing the many food claims in today’s food production marketplace, it’s easy to see a desire for transparency,” says Erika Chance, associate director of brand strategy, Sullivan, Higdon & Sink, Kansas City, MO. “Our SHS FoodThink research illustrates that consumers are now looking for claims like ‘no hormones,’ ‘no antibiotics’ and ‘no trans fats,’ which points to their yearning for more information about the foods they eat.”

This might even mean looking at products that are good for the environment. “Clean label has really evolved to become twofold—as consumers embrace well-being and look to foods that support a healthy lifestyle, they also want to ensure that what they eat also positively supports the environment,” comments Molly Spence, director of North America, Almond Board of California, Modesto. “For product developers, this means ensuring that every ingredient sourced is produced responsibly and is nutritious, and delivers on taste, so consumers can feel great about what they are eating.”

Ingredient selections

Some ingredients naturally have clean-label appeal based on their familiarity to everyday consumers.. “Honey is the ideal ingredient in clean-label product development by the very nature of the ingredient. This all-natural sweetener comes straight from nature: from the bee, to the hive, to a food and beverage facility,” says Barry.

Barry suggests that, from a marketing perspective, honey may give product marketers a competitive advantage by how honey reads and looks on ingredient listings and front of packaging. Popular honey iconography, too, such as honeybees, honeycomb and honey dippers, signal to consumers that an all-natural sweetener and flavor is being used in a product, she notes.

Nuts are also a great ingredient naturally suited to clean-label snacks and baked goods. “Blue Diamond almonds are a clean-label ingredient that fit perfectly within two prominent consumer trends: a desire for natural foods, and a shift to more plant-based diets,” explains Smith. “They are well known for their nutritional and heart-healthy benefits. They’re a great source of key vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.”

Spence agrees. “In all their forms, California almonds fit into the holistic, clean-label approach. They are a natural ingredient produced using sustainable farming practices, backed by over 40 years of research conducted by the Almond Board of California. This means that product developers can feel really confident incorporating almonds in their many forms in any clean-label formulation and marketing it as such to consumers.”

Fruit ingredients are another natural fit for clean-label foods, notes the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, Folsom, CA. “The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council is working with the industry to maximize consumers’ favorable view of blueberries, which spark visions of hearth and home, along with traditional wholesomeness,” says Tom Payne, industry specialist. “This demand for natural ingredients and clean label is a perfect setting for fruits like blueberries, which contain many naturally occurring antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E.”

For corn snacks, Healthy Food Ingredients, Fargo, ND, offers its Suntava Purple Corn, with non-GMO and certified-
organic options in whole, raw form, as well as in as flour, meal or grits. “All of our ingredients are single ingredients, with no additives. Since our ingredients are organic, they are mechanically processed, without the use of synthetic materials or chemicals,” notes Jennifer Tesch, chief marketing officer. “Our ingredient portfolio of flours, flakes and grits are minimally processed, utilizing the whole grain.”

Sweet potato ingredients are seeing more use in snacks and baked goods, and the ingredients resonate with clean-label ideals, notes Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients (CIFI), Nashville, NC. “Everything we do is clean label,” says Paul Verderber, vice president of sales. “Sweet potato ingredients give product developers the opportunity to add the health and functional attributes of sweet potatoes to many applications, while staying on trend with clean label.”

In August 2016, CIFI’s sweet potato ingredients received organic certification under the USDA National Organic Program. “We are proud to have met the rigorous standards of one of the leading organic certifiers in the U.S. so we can help brands provide organic options for their customers,” adds Verderber.

Manufacturers are being challenged to replace “unfriendly” ingredients with clean alternatives, while maintaining taste, texture and shelf life, notes Courtney Schumacher, marketing specialist, bakery, Kerry, Beloit, WI, which offers a portfolio of natural and organic flavors, seasonings, and dairy powders to allow for the removal of artificial flavors.

Other ingredients address functional needs. “Our broad range of Biobake enzymes and clean-label texture systems aid in processing and help maintain texture, while allowing manufacturers to remove products like L-cysteine, mono- and diglycerides, SSL, CSL, and DATEM,” says Schumacher.

Delavau Food Partners, Philadelphia, has a variety of clean label solutions to improve shelf life for bakery and snacks. “Encore Plus, in particular, delivers formula optimization in baked goods tailored to suit our partners’ needs,” says Matt Patrick, director of research and development. The company also offers Encore Soft, for a better eating experience; Encore Fresh antimicrobial solutions, for shelf-life extension; Encore Strong ingredients, for dough strength, volume, elasticity and tolerance; and Encore Relax extensibility solutions, for consistent pan and dough length. To boost nutritionals, Accent fortification solutions incorporate calcium and other desirable minerals into baked goods and chocolate.

Renaissance BioScience offers an acrylamide-reducing yeast. Acrylamide is an increasing concern because of the rising consumer and thus industry awareness, particularly in Europe, and the EU is moving toward establishing guidelines for acrylamide levels in a wide variety of foods, beginning in April 2018.

“Our acrylamide-reducing yeast, which was developed from a baker’s yeast, naturally produces an enzyme that consumes asparagine—the precursor to acrylamide—and requires no additional labeling. This is unlike the purified asparaginase, which does require labeling in some jurisdictions,” says Dahabieh.

Fiberstar specializes in producing citrus fiber, which has the unique distinction of being both clean label and having highly useful properties for product developers, comments Villwock.  “Citri-Fi is made from non-GMO citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons and limes, and can be labeled as ‘citrus fiber,’ ‘citrus flour’ or ‘dried citrus fiber,’ which resonates well in the clean-label markets.”

Citri-Fi 100 is useful for successfully troubleshooting texture and mouthfeel problems in clean-label foods, notes Villwock. “Formulators of clean label foods know all too well the ever-shrinking list of ingredients that their customers will permit in their food. Despite limited options, the food still must taste great and, furthermore, have the stability to make it through the rigors of shelf life and mass distribution.”

A maturing market

Many snack and bakery companies are embracing clean label in their products. “All bakery and snack categories are feeling some sort of impact from the clean-label trend,” remarks Barry. “Judging from new product introductions, the bread industry has fully embraced clean label, as have many salty snack categories, and sweet goods and desserts.” In these products, she adds, many consumers want to ensure that the calories upon which they are indulging come from all-natural ingredients.

Ingredion Inc., Bridgewater, NJ, recently conducted proprietary consumer research across eight bakery and snack categories—breads, cookies, cakes, tortillas/flatbreads, potato and tortilla chips, pretzels, and snack bars—and found that the top two claims that drove purchase intent with customers were “no artificial additives, preservatives or flavors” and “all natural,” notes Ricardo Rodriguez, marketing manager, confectionary and bakery. “Simple and transparent labeling continues to be a trend, particularly within extruded and puffed type of snacks and the bar market. These types of products continue to grow in the market, because consumers are willing to pay a premium for simple and clean.”

Tesch says that she is seeing the most clean-label growth in the better-for-you snacking and baking categories. “These include organic, non-GMO, plant-based protein, gluten-free and raw/less-processed foods.”

As consumers continue to increase their snacking habits, clean-label snack consumption will likely increase. “At Blue Diamond, we know that consumers are snacking more than ever, with more than 90 percent reaching for a snack at least once a day,” notes Smith. “They’re increasingly seeking clean-label snacks that have a health benefit related to their ingredient mix—whether those snacks are salty, savory or sweet, high or low calorie. Top of mind for consumers is portable snacks and nutrition bars made with simple, clean label ingredients that deliver functionality.”

Brovelli also cites the growth of clean-label snack and nutrition bars, with a focus on simple, healthy ingredients like dates or honey as binders in place of corn syrup, and nuts, grains and seeds for protein and fiber in place of concentrates and isolates.

Formulating clean-label snacks and baked goods will continue to pose challenges. “One of the clean-label challenges in baking is shelf life. Removing trans fats and substituting butter or cold-pressed oils can dramatically reduce shelf life,” comments Jorgensen.

But Jorgensen notes that he has seen the biggest growth in clean-label salty snacks and crackers: “These clean-label snacks are relatively simple to execute from an ingredient standpoint, and offer many opportunities for platform and flavor innovation.”

And unsurprisingly, millennials are a big reason why clean label has seen such strong levels of growth. “Consumers are recognizing that to support a healthy and active lifestyle, they need a healthy diet—this includes ‘healthy-ish’ snacks. To the millennial generation, this means clean label and/or organic,” explains Jennifer Stephens, vice president of marketing, Fiberstar.

“The millennial segment is a big opportunity for clean-label marketing, because they favor individuality and customizing what they eat,” adds Payne.

Artisan bread is also becoming more popular in the clean-label arena. “Artisan bread is gaining momentum,” says Brovelli. “Artisan baking has traditionally been clean label, with very few ingredients, and more focus on long fermentation times to achieve flavor and shelf life.”

Consumers are urging the removal of negative ingredients and desiring clean-label options for high-consumption categories and staples, says Soumya Nair, director of marketing insights, Kerry. This includes bread. “Baked breads are the most prominent, calling to attention the removal of DATEM, emulsifiers, CSL and SSL, among many others. The need for a simple ingredient deck that mimics a recipe has been higher than ever before.”

Frozen foods can boost sales through healthy, flavor-forward innovation (Snackfoods & Wholesale Bakery)

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baked pizza with toppingsFrozen foods can boost sales through healthy, flavor-forward innovation
Melissa Kvidahl

In select spots across the freezer case, sales are heating up—despite consumer trends that seem at odds with growth. “We have seen a significant consumer migration from center aisles and frozen to the perimeter of the store, where products are perceived as fresher and better for you,” says Agnes Lapinska, senior marketing manager of performance specialties and savory, Ingredion, Westchester, IL. But innovation in the freezer case is pulling consumers back, she says, and sales are rising as a result.

According to data from IRI, Chicago, for the 52 weeks ending November 5, 2017, dollar sales in the frozen appetizer and snack roll segment grew 5.11 percent to $2.1 billion. Category leaders include General Mills, up 2.51 percent to $562.2 million, and Ruiz Food Products, up 21.82 percent in to $245.4 million.

Dollar sales of frozen pretzels rose 1.99 percent since the previous year, with segment leader J&J Snack Foods Corp.—which acquired artisan pretzel and bread baker Labriola Baking Co. in August 2017—up 4.50 percent to $58.2 million. Hanover Foods Corp. also posted growth, up 12.46 percent.

Frozen breaded vegetables dropped 9.42 percent to $26.9 million, but segment leader Pictsweet saw strong growth, up 25.31 percent to $9.8 million.

Frozen pizza, led by an impressive 16.27 percent gain in private label, grew 2.24 percent to $4.7 billion. Other standouts included Schwan’s Co. brand Tony’s, up 22.40 percent to $89.9 million and Nestlé brand Stouffer’s, up 16.24 percent to $65.1 million. However, frozen pizza crusts and dough fell 4.16 percent to $18.7 million.

The key to success? Elevating the frozen-food experience to rival that of a home-cooked or even a restaurant experience. “Quality, flavor and overall appeal have always been important in frozen foods. It’s just the bar for judgment continues to be raised by consumers as they become more experiential regarding food—i.e., seeking exciting food experiences—and the overall food marketplace continues to elevate what it can offer,” explains Jordan Bate, associate brand manager, Lamb Weston, Eagle, ID.

 Elevating quality,  meeting trends

“The explosion of fresh prepared foods has challenged frozen food manufacturers to provide convenient meal solutions that are as close to fresh as possible,” says John Toaspern, chief marketing officer, Potatoes USA, Denver. “Processors are rising to the challenge by improving the quality of the raw ingredients used, ensuring optimal freshness and flavor.” By using the highest-quality ingredients, frozen foods can compete with fresh offerings on natural and processing trends, while winning the race on convenience and year-round availability.

“Fresh ingredients are the key,” says Tryg Siverson, chief operating officer of Feel Good Foods, Brooklyn, NY. “They always have and will continue to be.” He also notes that it’s important to help deliver a unique experience for the consumer.

Lamb Weston helps tell a story with its new Grown in Idaho brand of frozen potato products. The bags feature prominent “Grown in Idaho” branding.

At Ruiz Food Products, Inc., Dinuba, CA, real, definable ingredients help elevate the brand’s frozen offerings. For example, its El Monterey Simply Breakfast Egg, Turkey Sausage, and Cheese Breakfast Burrito is made with real scrambled eggs and fresh-baked whole-grain tortillas, clocking in at 11 grams of protein and just 220 calories. “As we look at today’s consumer preferences, I believe it is important to note that one of the reasons for our brand’s growth is the desire for options that are healthy and offer energy,” says Rachel P. Cullen, president and CEO.

Nesha Zalesny, technical sales manager, Fiberstar, Inc., River Falls, WI, has noticed increased demand for plant-based offerings. “This is not just meat-analogue products that can be used to replace meat in traditional dishes, but entire entrées centered around vegetables,” she says. One example of this trend in action is the rise in cauliflower products like cauliflower pizza crusts. Jennifer Stephens, vice president of marketing, also notes a rise in demand for healthy ingredients like ancient grains, tempeh and quinoa in frozen items.

As is the case across the food industry, clean label is important in the freezer case. “Increasingly, consumers want to know how ingredients were produced,” says Pam Stauffer, global marketing programs manager, Cargill, Minneapolis. As a result, product developers have moved away from ingredients like modified starches, which have previously played critical roles in frozen food applications but have come under scrutiny in recent years for clean label consumers. Cargill’s SimPure line of functional native starch solutions, launched in fall 2017, specifically addresses this issue. They can replace modified starches in frozen foods and withstand up to 12 freeze/thaw cycles.

On the dough front, Cargill also offers premium lecithins combined with select enzymes, which can produce loaves “nearly indistinguishable” from those made with common dough conditioners and emulsifiers like DATEM and monoglycerides, says Bill Gilbert, certified master baker and principal food technologist.

Going further with flavors

According to Siverson, ethnic flavors continue to be a driver for this space, as they are for many products across the industry.

“There’s an entire world of cuisine manufacturers can introduce to consumers,” says Zalesny. “Indian flavors are becoming more common, but African cuisines have not yet been brought to the mass market.”

If you ask Peggy Castaldi, marketing director, SubHerb Farms, Turlock, CA, one way to elevate frozen flavors is to focus on regional flavors. “For example, consumers aren’t just looking for Mexican,” she says. “They are looking for foods from the Yucatan or from Baja.” Along these same lines, brands can explore flavors specific to different South American cuisines, like those from Peru, Bolivia or Ecuador, or specific Asian flavor profiles like those from the Philippines, Singapore or Malaysia.

In August 2017, SupHerb Farms introduced three new culinary pastes: S’chug, Chermoula and Aji Pesto, along with a Tabbouleh Starter blend. Adventurous eaters will flock to these offerings, but to appeal to the wider consumer base, these flavors make sense in familiar formats. “You can use S’chug, a Yemeni hot sauce, as a sauce for a breakfast sandwich, in a potato dish or on a flatbread,” Castaldi suggests.

Looking ahead

For frozen foods to truly compete, brands may be wise to take a page from the playbooks of ready-to-cook delivery services like Blue Apron, says Zalesny.

Why? As Bate points out, continued growth of online, pickup and delivery services opens the doors for frozen to win back eating occasions from traditional restaurants.

“Have the majority of ingredients prepped and ready to finish cooking and customized by the consumer,” Zalesny says.

Alternatively, frozen brands can win these types of consumers by offering frozen foods with little preparation needed. “Many consumers are on the go, and are looking for easy dinners to serve,” says Tom Mac Donald, vice president of sales and marketing, Brolite Products, Streamwood, IL. “They want variety and healthy options that are prepared and ready for them, and they don’t want to sacrifice any flavor. It has given the freezer aisle an excellent opportunity to grow, expand their selections to include these types of meals, and get creative in their packaging and marketing.”

But what should be included in these new offerings? Stephens suggests that vegetarian meats, which are often sold as standalone individual items, will attract not just vegetarians, but also carnivores open to trying something new. “Because meals contain multiple components, the acceptance rate of vegetarian meats may be higher than consuming alone,” she says.

Frozen pizzas or breakfast burritos prominently featuring vegetarian meats could attract attention from healthy-leaning shoppers seeking better-for-you options.

“The modern consumer is very health-conscious and will look for those options that most closely resemble a fresh, homemade meal,” says Mac Donald. “Manufacturers can bring life to the freezer case by using frozen ingredient technology, so products come out of the freezer with a fresh, attractive appearance and flavor to follow. It’s time for innovation. Thinking outside the box is no longer a luxury, it’s a means of survival.”

BLOG: Top 10 Trends at Natural Products Expo West

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The Natural Products Show unveils the top natural trends within the food industry such as sustainability, meatless meat and vegan foods. Product developers look for clean label ingredients like Citri-Fi®, a natural citrus fiber with high water holding capacity and emulsification properties, to improve texture and nutrition of these natural food products. Fiberstar’s technical sales manager, Nesha, shares her insights.

Natural Fruit Smoothies

The first thing you notice as you enter the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim is the incredible crowd. The area in front of the convention center is packed with people, tents, food trucks, a bandstand and cars trying to drop people close to the doors of the convention hall. While navigating the crowd, even an extrovert like myself wants to turn around and head back to the car—which is parked several miles away. There is a man walking behind me who is juggling a large floral arrangement and several boxes. So I offer to help him carry his items. I walk him as far as the hotel where I am going to pick up my badge. His partner arrives just as I am handing off a box and the flowers. I glance at my FitBit and notice I have already logged 7000 steps which is almost to my goal. I forge into the hotel to get my badge.

After I clear the entrance requirements, I make my way inside. I see a lot of spokespeople handing out samples of their products. Last year, there were costumed goddesses and cows doling out samples. This year seems to be a little more casual. I meander around one of 8 to 10 glass displays highlighting new product launches and quickly realize that Citri-Fi, a natural citrus fiber is an ideal solution for this market due to its natural functionality and clean label. Afterwards, I head up to the New Products Expo on the third floor of the convention center. Assuming it will be slightly less crowded than the main floor of the Expo, I decide to start at the top and work my way down.

Vegan Foods
Once I get upstairs, I realize I’m wrong. The aisles are nearly impassable from the crowd of people. The new products floor is comprised of companies who are trying to find brokers to get them into the grocery stores. Everywhere I look, I see vegan products such as vegan “chicken nuggets” as well as vegan ice cream, sauces and baked goods. There is even vegan jerky. From a food scientist perspective, vegan products can be difficult to formulate. Removing eggs and butter from a cookie, for example, requires a systems approach. The binding and humectant properties of the egg are key to creating quality products. However, once the egg is reduced or removed, the texture is compromised. Citri-Fi, a natural citrus fiber contains high surface area which binds the moisture and improves the texture of the product over its shelf-life. For vegan “chicken” nuggets, Citri-Fi will hang on to the moisture of the nugget, especially under heat lamps to maintain a moist and juicy morsel.

Sustainability is a big buzz word. There are products touting cruelty-free farm animals and free range chicken and beef. One of the most interesting booths is the “cricket protein.” The argument for eating this protein is one of sustainability. Insect biomass is one of the most plentiful sources of protein on earth and insects do not require a lot of natural resources to raise. Intellectually, I know that the seafood I like so well – shrimp, lobster and crab – are essentially the insects of the ocean, but I can’t bring myself to actually try them. Maybe next year…

Specialty Dairy Foods
There are a lot of specialty dairies represented on this floor showing products ranging from specialty dessert style whole milk yogurt, kefir to gelato and ice cream. These companies talk about small batch processing, specialty ingredients and regional flavors. Chatting with one company, Gelato Fiasco (isn’t that a fantastic name?), I sample their strawberry cheesecake gelato. I love how flavorful and creamy the gelato is. Citri-Fi is an excellent natural choice for ice cream, yogurt and kefir. With Citri-Fi’s naturally occurring pectin, this natural ingredient can texturize yogurt and kefir, and control syneresis over the shelf-life of the product. It is a natural emulsifier, and, because it is freeze-thaw stable, this natural fiber can improve the abuse tolerance of a natural label ice cream. So many ice creams turn to sand immediately after opening the package. Citri-Fi can eliminate that because it hangs onto water so well during the temperature cycling of the freezer. Enjoying my strawberry cheesecake treat, I head downstairs.

Savory Sauces
It is lunchtime. I thought a lot of people would be off grabbing a bite, but, that doesn’t seem to be the case. The main floor is so packed, it is actually difficult to walk. The usual suspects are here. Boulder Brands has a large booth. Bai Brands is handing out Bai waters which is really nice, as I’m really thirsty from sampling upstairs. The booths on the main floor which are more established companies appear much more elaborate compared to the ones upstairs. Several RVs set up on the floor display products and demonstrations including one featuring vegan barbecue. Citri-Fi works well in barbecue sauce as a texturant. There are several companies trying to replace modified starches with native starches to varying degrees of success due to process stability challenges. Citri-Fi can be used in place to improve the sauce thickness and stability under varying food processing conditions. Starch often muddies up the flavor release of barbecue sauce, but due to the Citri-Fi, the flavor pops nicely while improving the mouthfeel and texture.

I notice that the trends on this floor are similar to trends upstairs, but, one thing that stands out is the prevalence of coconut snacks. If you haven’t tried them, chips made from coconut are tasty. They are crisp and only slightly sweet. There are samples galore of these type of products, so I grab several. Coconut flour is also becoming more common in gluten-free options. Coconut flour doesn’t have the same binding properties as wheat flour so glutinous (sweet) rice flour is fairly commonly used. This can cause the product to really dry out over time. Citri-Fi’s high water holding capacity and binding improves the gluten-free baked goods texture over shelf-life which is key for high quality foods.

Paleo Friendly
Also, I notice the signage talking about “Paleo” friendly. The number of companies that cater to this lifestyle is fairly staggering. People following this lifestyle do not eat grains or legumes, so making snack options that fit within this lifestyle isn’t easy. I suddenly feel old remembering when Atkins was huge and everyone was going low-carb and sugar-free. I think the differences between these two lifestyles are subtle.

Gluten-free is also a standout on the main floor. This continues to be a trend. And the quality of gluten-free products is increasing. I know this has made several of my friends who need gluten-free options very happy. They now have a choice when it comes to the grocery aisle, where they never did prior to 2010. Gluten-free baked goods can benefit from the water binding ability of Citri-Fi not to mention the natural emulsification properties. Binding water tightly helps with the shelf-life eating qualities.

Ethnic Variety
One of my favorite trends is the shear choice of regional cuisines. There were a lot of South East Asian food, Indian food and African food everywhere. There were frozen options, canned products and amazing sauces. For instance, there were quite a few coconut milk based sauces. Typically, these sauces contain several spices and suffer from separation issues. Citri-Fi’s high surface area binds the oil to minimize this type of separation. Citri-Fi greatly improves the emulsion of the sauce. A few years ago, the IBIE show featured Brazilian cheese puffs. It was nice to see this company peddling these treats at this show. The one I got was a little wilted and dry. It makes me think of restaurants reconstituting rolls or bread sticks in a heating drawer. The samples at the end of the shift are often dry and crumbly, where the first samples were fantastic. This would be another excellent application for Citri-Fi. The other standout on the main floor was the number of beverage manufacturers. Maple or birch water, Bai antioxidant water, pH adjusted water and smoothies are all represented well.

Healthy Beverages
I head downstairs to see the bottom floor of the convention. These are smaller booths, but it is just as packed as the upper floors. There are many HPP processed smoothie type drinks available downstairs, along with gluten free snacks. Using Citri-Fi in the smoothie applications is beneficial. Manufacturers can extend expensive fruit pulp, with a less expensive fruit pulp, and get excellent mouthfeel and flavor release. And for those trying to replace carrageenan, Citri-Fi in conjunction with gellan gum can fully replace this ingredient while maintaining mouthfeel and stabilization.

Meatless Meat
Jack fruit meat replacement products are everywhere. For instance, one company is offering sandwiches made up of their “pulled pork.” The smell is amazing, and the texture is incredible. But, I wonder if the samples at the end of the day are very different from fresh samples. Controlling moisture in the system is probably very important. Citri-Fi is recommended in vegetarian meat products to bind that moisture and oil which improves the eating experience especially since most of these products are reconstituted.

At this point, I look at my FitBit and see I have walked 25,272 steps. That is more than double my daily goal. My feet are absolutely killing me so I decide it’s time to head out. My walk through the crowds outside at the food truck booths takes quite a bit of time. There are a lot of yogurt samples and vegan meats to try on the way out. The band has started to play reggae at the bandstand and the center court. I wish I could stay—mainly for the great samples and fun people who attend the show. By the time I get back to my car, I have walked almost 30,000 steps. I hope that my FitBit doesn’t expect this every day!

–Author: Nesha Zalesny (Technical Sales Manager)


BLOG: Natural Plant-based Fiber to Improve Vegetarian Meats

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Vegetarian Meat SandwichRegardless the reason – reducing saturated fats and cholesterol, celebrating meatless Mondays, trying a new experience or starting a diet for life – the alternative meat market sales propelled north over the past two years. Vegetarian or vegan meats have been in the market for over a decade. So why now a ramp in sales? Prior art used soy and wheat-based proteins, eggs and cheese to form a matrix to be shaped into grounds, patties and links. Today, there is a plethora of plant-based proteins to choose from which kicked the creativity up a few notches. Besides the health and wellness push, there are also the sustainable and environmental drivers helping to shape this new market of alternative meats.

Common Issues
However formulating with new plant-based ingredients such as ancient grains, beans, peas and lentils can introduce new challenges. Some of these health halo ingredients manage water holding differently especially when exposed to certain food processes and shelf life over time. Binding is key to prevent products from crumbling apart. Consumers are not the most delicate chefs in the kitchen, therefore, the patty versions tend to dry out when exposed to high temperatures over cook time. Hockey puck, anyone? And if these alternative meats are intended to simulate their animal-containing counterparts, then the texture and bite should be similar.

Natural Solution
One option is to use Citri-Fi®, a natural citrus fiber which is produced by a clean process that opens up the fiber to expose high surface area. This high surface area holds and binds large amounts of water and oil tightly. In products using alternative meat proteins, this natural fiber is fast swelling without the need of heat activation which provides stable moisture control during processing. Citri-Fi binds the moisture to buffer the loss during harsh final cook conditions. As a result, the patty or sausage link produces a juicy and tender bite. Citri-Fi also binds the oil tightly to reduce purge and maintain that full-fat mouthfeel.

This vegetarian meat market also speaks to the natural, plant-based, allergen-free and non-GMO movement. With consumers shying away from chemically-based ingredients, utilizing the nutritional and functional components of whole plant-based foods is the new frontier. Citri-Fi’s natural composition provides functionalities and contributes fiber as nature intended. Also, this natural fiber is made from real citrus fruit which is non-GMO and allergen-free. As a result, this natural ingredient can be labeled citrus fiber, dried citrus pulp or citrus flour which resonate well in the natural markets.

Author: Jennifer Stephens (VP of Marketing)

Other Related Articles:

Plant Protein Options for Meat Alternatives (Food Business News)

Why Consumer Elect Meat Alternatives (Prepared Foods)

Plant Potential Growth in a Market Driven by Consumer Trends (Food Ingredient First)

Bright Future for Alternative Proteins (Food Processing)

BLOG: Effects of Citri-Fi® Citrus Fiber on Baking Soda in Bakery

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Sweet Breads or Bakery Products

“Does Citri-Fi’s acidity set off the baking soda too early in bakery products?”

In the baking world, leavening systems can be key in creating quality crumb, loaf volume, and desirable organoleptic properties. Leavening systems, both chemical and biological, can be impacted by other ingredients in the formulation which can be detrimental to the overall product quality. In this case, the Fiberstar team was tasked to answer the question “Does Citri-Fi’s acidity set off the baking soda too early in bakery products?”

A fully dried sample of Citri-Fi 100 and the method “Neutralizing Value of Acid Reacting Materials” AACC International Method 02-32.02 were used to determine the neutralizing value of Citri-Fi.

The results indicated that Citri-Fi has a neutralizing value of 2.0 and was very slow to react. Thus we conclude that Citri-Fi does not have sufficient strength in its acidity to set off the baking soda too early in baked good production. Compared to other sources of acid listed in the table of common neutralizing values below (Finnie and Atwell; Wheat Flour Handbook; 2016), Citri-Fi’s score of 2.0 is nearly negligible.

For more information, please contact R&D at

Common Acidulant (Neutralizing Value) 

Cream of Tartar (45)

Monocalcium Phosphate Monohydrate (80)

Anhydrous Monocalcium Phosphate (83.5)

Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (72)

Sodium Aluminum Pyrophosphate (100)

Sodium Aluminum Sulfate (100)

Dicalcium Phosphate Dihydrate (33)


— Author: Dr. Kurt Villwock (Ph.D.)

Creative cookies get thinner, healthier and offer innovative flavors (Snackfood & Wholesale Bakery)

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Boosted nutrition, fewer calories and innovative flavors lead current cookie innovations.

(Melissa Kvidahl)

In a retail landscape that demands that snacks and baked goods have it all—great taste, affordable pricing, innovative flavors, recognizable ingredients and boosted nutrition—one category in particular is rising to the challenge: cookies.

While Oreos and Chips Ahoy still maintain a captive audience, the cookie category is seeing strong differentiation. Cookie brands are offering new takes on tried-and-true recipes to add innovative and healthier options to the mix.

According to data from IRI, Chicago, sales of cookies were up 1.76 percent in the 52 weeks ending March 19, 2017, reaching $8.2 billion. Mondelez International still leads the pack, responsible for $3.1 billion in sales. Private label saw a strong performance, up 6.29 percent to $1.2 billion, and Pepperidge Farm was up 5.92 percent to reach $391 million. Top-performing brands included Nabisco BelVita, which grew 14.28 percent to reach $303.2 million in sales; Nabisco Oreo Thins, up 76.96 percent to reach $127.0 million; and Pepperidge Farm Milano, up 9.91 percent to reach $151.0 million.

“We see handheld treats as a trend,” explains John McIsaac, vice president of strategic business development, Reiser, Canton, MA. “Some years, bars or muffins are hot. Cookies have always been a staple, but the growth of many niche bakers has made cookies hot again.”

Artisan appeal
If you ask Theresa Lancaster, marketing manager, McCormick Flavor Solutions, Hunt Valley, MD, one of the main drivers influencing new ingredients and flavors in the cookie space is the craft movement. “Cookies that are less uniform in appearance with imperfections are being sought, as they have a homemade appeal,” she says.

And from that trend, others grow: Lancaster says that flavors inspired by artisan and rustic ingredients, which lend a unique or romantic touch, are growing in popularity. She cites flavors like apple cider, sage and molasses as on the rise, since they deliver a “rustic and comforting experience.”

Creating a homemade-inspired cookie begins with ingredients that consumers recognize from their own pantries. That’s why Lancaster says forward-trending ingredients like coconut oil, dark chocolate and whole grains, as well as classic natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup, are all making waves in the cookie aisle.

At Baker Perkins Inc., Grand Rapids, MI, Mark Glover, account manager, sees familiar ingredients like oats, peanut butter, nuts, raisins and chocolate chips as on trend, since consumers want to “eat less, but eat better.”

The key is that cookies are no longer seen as a “kid-only,” after-school snack. “There’s an emerging market for cookies with more adult-like appeal, featuring value-added nutritional ingredients such as protein, nuts, fruits, seeds, spices and especially chocolate,” says Pam Stauffer, global marketing programs manager, Cargill, Minneapolis. “Growing consumer awareness of ingredients such as turmeric, cinnamon and ginger also provide more exotic and nuanced flavor profiles that make the extra calories worth it for a special occasion.”

Opportunities exist for cookie brands to tap into new and exciting flavors that appeal to adults who want a little something different from their childhood cookie. Lancaster says that “complex and layered flavor experiences” combine the sweet hallmark of cookies with something a bit out of the box. The result? Sweet and salty flavors (like salted caramel) as well as sweet heat options (like coconut and ginger).

Building a better cookie
When discerning consumers raise the bar, they often do so by demanding some kind of health benefit, even in an indulgent category like cookies. And, mirroring trends in the snack and nutritional bar category, protein is leading the way, appealing to “fitness lovers, athletes, lower-carb dieters and people looking to use a cookie as a meal replacement,” says Jill Motew, founder, Zemas Madhouse Foods, Highland Park, IL. She recommends using protein-rich quinoa or whey in these next-generation cookies.

“While it may have started as a niche market, in recent years, the high-protein trend has gone decidedly mainstream,” says Stauffer. “Consumers will continue to buy traditional high-protein shakes and bars, but opportunities also exist for innovative bakers to capitalize on the trend.” She suggests pea and soy protein as top ingredient contenders for cookies.

Expanding the ingredient range even further, Nesha Zalesny, technical service manager, Fiberstar, Inc., River Falls, WI, says combinations of high-protein flours—from almond to coconut, or even garbanzo bean flours—are where opportunities lie, since they can increase protein content and also replace wheat flour in some recipes.

Along these lines, nuts and nut butters check two boxes in that they provide protein content, but also are recognizable on the label. “Nuts are considered a healthy natural source of protein, and with the increased consumer demand for protein, companies are exploring alternative nut butters like almond and cashew butter as innovative cookie ingredients,” adds Lancaster.

In addition to protein, fiber is also in the spotlight, especially since consumers understand the obesity epidemic, says Zalesny. People want more nutritional snacks that help them feel fuller longer. Fiberstar offers Citri-Fi natural citrus fiber, which can hold seven to ten times its weight in water due to its high surface area, and can maintain the fresh-baked quality of cookies over their shelf life.

Cargill offers Oliggo-Fiber chicory root fiber to meet demand for fiber. The ingredient also allows for sweetener reduction—another important trend transforming cookies.

“We are seeing a strong interest in invert cane syrup and organic evaporated cane syrups, as companies are removing high-fructose corn syrup to meet non-GMO requirements,” adds Jim Kappas, vice president of sales and marketing at Malt Products Corp., Saddle Brook, NJ.

The bottom line is that by adding ingredients like grass-fed whey protein, omega-3s and fiber, cookies can compete directly with nutritional bars, says Lancaster, which opens the category up to new consumers and aligns the cookie category with the better-for-you trend while still delivering on indulgence.

Indulgence light
It’s not that consumers don’t want an indulgent cookie from time to time. Zalesny sees opportunities for growth in product line extensions that co-brand or incorporate cookies into other categories like confectionery. “Cookies are also being used in other categories like ice cream, yogurt, breakfast bars or cereal as an inclusion,” she points out. “This indulgence category is competing with other sweet snacks that have grown in prevalence over the past few years.”

Look no further than cake-inspired cookies—boasting flavors like red velvet, lemon, or birthday cake, complete with sprinkles—for evidence of this, as manufacturers try to capitalize on the cupcake trend. For example, Flowers Foods launched Mrs. Freshley’s Cake Crisps in February 2017.

To balance the indulgence factor, cookie brands are switching up their servings by offering thin cookies. “Think of it as ‘indulgence light,’” says Stauffer, citing Oreo Thins as one standout example of this trend. The cookies contain about one-third fewer calories than original Oreos.

“There has been a trend of moving from thicker or larger types of cookies to thins and minis,” says Ricardo Rodriguez, marketing manager of confectionery and bakery, Ingredion Incorporated, Westchester, IL. “Consumers are driving this trend, as they want these indulgent types of products, but without the guilt associated with larger sizes or packages.”

Several thin cookies have entered the playing field this year. Mondelez International added to its thin cookie lineup with Chips Ahoy! Thins in January. Snyder’s-Lance debuted Snack Factory Chocolate Chip Dessert Thins in March. HannahMax came out with Cookie Chips in April, offering both Sea Salt Caramel and Coconut White Chocolate varieties. Farmhouse Thin & Crispy Cookies from Pepperidge Farm also landed on shelves in April. And Mrs. Thinster’s CookieThins unveiled Key Lime Pie and Meyer Lemon flavors in May.

“The days of the giant cookie are waning as brands seek to help their customers enjoy a cookie with all the great taste they are used to, but with fewer calories and less sugar,” says Stauffer. “Cookies are undergoing a significant transformation, second only to the beverage category. The door is clearly open for innovation in the cookie category, but some rules remain unchanged: Taste will continue to be the ever-present arbiter of success. Brands will have to balance providing indulgence and great taste, while also delivering products with a solid nutrition profile.”

Coffee & Tea Market Trends (Natural Products Insider)

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The coffee and tea market is expanding, and while consumers desire healthy drinks, they are also looking for fresh, new flavors in their cold brew and ready-to-drink teas.
(Kaddie Stephens)

The landscape of the beverage market is changing as consumers begin to shun sugar-laden carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) for drinks they perceive as having healthier halos such as coffees, teas, herbal and energy drinks. The coffee and tea market is growing, with flavors, ingredients and functionalities appealing to the conscious consumer who craves new flavors in his or her beverage, but who also desires natural, clean-label drinks.

Trends such as exotic flavorings, cold-brew coffees and ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages are making their way into the market, and according to a Mintel study, the top three non-alcoholic beverages (carbonated soft drinks, juices and dairy milk) have all shown stagnant or declining sales, while energy drinks and coffee experienced a strong sales growth of 8.7 percent.

With consumer cravings straying from the conventional path, the cold brew market has a large opportunity for growth. Mintel reported 24 percent of consumers drink retail-purchased cold brew coffee, and retail sales reached an estimated $7.9 million in 2015, increasing 339 percent since 2010. But while cold brew sales are up, it is still only a small part in the RTD coffee segment, making up just 0.4 percent of sales estimated in 2015. This leaves significant opportunity for cold brew innovation.

Cold Brew Beverages

According to Kip Murphy, marketing manager, Virginia Dare, cold brew coffee is popular among consumers because it offers smoother, less acidic flavors than regular coffee, and its high caffeine level appeals to younger generations.

Nesha Zalensy, technical sales manager, Fiberstar, said brewing coffee at a lower temperature helps avoid developing compounds that cause coffee to turn bitter as it cools, and this helps the coffee maintain flavor throughout its shelf life.

According to Zalensy, manufacturers are adding vegan options to their coffees to provide flavor as well as the clean-label claim that consumers desire. Nut-based and non-dairy milks such as almond, coconut and cashew milks are popular and contribute flavor and creaminess to the beverage.

Zalensy said hibiscus and yerba mate are also popular ingredients to add to iced beverages.

Fruit Flavorings

Fruity flavors are being added to both hot and cold beverages on the market, however when it comes to coffee, the coffee fruit itself can provide health benefits as well as flavor.

FutureCeuticals offers coffeberry cascara, coffee fruit granules made from the powerful super fruit itself. According to Andrew Wheeler, the company’s director of marketing, “The reintroduction of coffee fruit nutrition back into ground and instant coffee provides a bold flavor note and unique and beneficial phytonutrients that are lost during the roasting process.”

Wheeler said the company’s peer-reviewed dossier demonstrated that the coffee industry was discarding the most unique part of the coffee plant during the coffee-roasting process.

“The whole coffee fruit is truly the functional powerhouse,” Wheeler said, and the company’s coffeeberry cascara can be added to coffee and teas to deliver unique phytonutrients and beneficial antioxidants.

Nitro-Infused Coffee

A trend that has been introduced to the market is nitrogen-infused coffee. According to Lucas Gonzales, strategic marketing partner of coffee and tea at Kerry Ingredients, consumers are interested in nitro-infused coffee, which is generally cold brewed.

“The nitrogen bubbles create a frothy, indulgent texture, bringing out the natural sweetness of coffee,” Gonzales said. The smooth taste offered by cold brew coffee and the increased perception of sweetness from the nitrogen bubbles allow less sugar, milk and other enhancers to be added to the beverage, reducing the number of calories, fat and sugar consumed.

Nitrogen-infused coffees provide a smoother, foamy texture and create a mouthfeel similar to some craft beers. Mintel found nitro coffees benefits from retail appeal—more than one in 10 coffee consumers would purchase bottled/canned nitro coffee, which increases to approximately one in five Millennials.


A popular additive for both coffees and teas, offered by the company Solvay, is vanillin. Solvay has a variety of vanillin-based ingredients, a product known as a flavoring agent for coffees, teas and functional beverages.

According to Aparna Parikh, head of marketing at Solvay, vanillin provides a creamy texture and smooth mouthfeel, masking off notes of proteins and natural sweeteners such as stevia, vitamins and omega-3s.

Solvay’s four vanillin ingredients are mainly GMO-free products, derived from rice bran that provide physicochemical properties.

“These products allow manufacturers to make the ‘natural’ claim, and serves as a replacement for vanilla bean and for addressing the need for more natural ingredients,” Parikh said.


Tea consumption has a strong association to good health, and as consumers’ desire for clean-label, healthy beverages continue to grow, so does the tea market. Mintel reported that over a third if “iGens” say they would pay more for coffee and tea with added health benefits. This gives the tea market a large opportunity for growth, and allows manufacturers the ability to offer products with these added health benefits.

Noma Khan, research and development (R&D) director of liquid beverages at Kerry Ingredients, said the company offers Wellmune®, a natural food and beverage ingredient that enhances the immune system and keeps the body healthy.

At Kerry, there is also a drive to incorporate refreshing fruit flavors such as cherry, coconut and strawberry as well as botanicals such as hibiscus into teas. Ginseng is added to provide flavor as well as to reduce stress, and green coffee extract can be added to beverages for extra caffeine.

Amelia Bay also provides sweet and tropical flavors to tea brands that are conscious of the clean-label craze. “You see established products revisiting and revising their ingredient statement to use ingredients that offer a cleaner label,” John Harper Crandall, vice president of sales said.

According to Crandall, the company offers functional blends in different flavors including lemongrass and ginger. Both ingredients are antioxidants derived from dark berries, and the fruit flavors also provide functional purposes.

Rikka Cornelia, product manager at BI said the company also turns to herbal ingredients due to their popularity in teas. Cornelia said BI also adds ginger to their teas, providing a sharp taste profile, pomegranate for tartness and turmeric for spice.

Green Tea

The market for green tea is smaller than the market for black tea, but it is at the front of growth in the tea category according to Murphy.

Even though consumers find the grassy, green taste of green tea less appealing than the taste of black tea, it does have extraordinary health and weight management benefits he said.

Matcha green tea is derived from a robust, versatile superfood. Aiya America, a matcha green tea manufacturer and distributor, offers various grades of pure green tea powder to be used as an ingredient in a variety of applications.

James Oliveira, Aiya America account sales manager and resident matcha tea expert, said not only is matcha green tea powder popular in smoothies and lattes, but “in its powdered form it is rich in antioxidants and nutrients, perfect for all-natural solutions to add both color and nutritionals.”

Exotic Flavors, Proteins and Collagen Peptides

Not only are fruity flavors invading the tea market, but so are exotic flavors from overseas. Shelia Harte, director of beverages at Bell Flavors & Fragrances, said an influx of Polynesian beverages allow westerners to experience exotic flavors.

“I expect the market to see more Polynesian POG (passionfruit-orange-guava) flavor profile in teas,” Harte said. Turkish coffee has come across the seas with a strong profile hint of cardamom, but Turkish tea, cultivated in the Black Sea region follows Harte’s prediction and provides strong tea flavors with notes of smoke and apricot.

Although these flavor influxes are popular, various companies have been fortifying their beverages with proteins. “Vitamins and proteins are now being added to tea to create functional beverages and to provide energy, relaxation, brain support and protein boost,” Harte said.

At Kerry, Khan said the company uses plant-based and whey-protein options for their beverages.

“Consumers’ focus on health and wellness contributes to increasing popularity of incorporating ingredients such as nut milks, plant-based proteins and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) into specialty coffee formulations,” Khan said. “There are a growing number of beverages made with MCTs, which provide consumers with more sustained energy and mental focus.”

BI also adds protein to their coffee, and focuses on plant-based ingredients to provide additional nutrition as well as mouthfeel and viscosity Cornelia said.

As for Nitta Gelatin, according to Katie Stevenson, business development manager, companies are looking toward collagen peptides to formulate their teas and coffees.

“They’re linked to benefits relating to the skin, bones, joints and other areas,” Stevenson said. “They’re also water soluble, so the opportunities for this ingredient in the beverage industry are vast.”

The clean-label trend has made its way into the coffee and tea market, and consumers want to ensure their beverages meet new health standards. Companies are adjusting products to meet a variety of trends, and are providing consumers with fruity, exotic flavors while giving them the desired clean-label beverage.