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Fiberstar Qualifies for the Best in Baking Program at the 2016 International Baking Industry Exposition

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River Falls, WI (September 21, 2016)
Fiberstar (www.FiberstarIngredients.com), a global market leader in clean label food ingredient solutions qualified for the Best in Baking Program which will be featured at the upcoming 2016 International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) October 8-11, 2016 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This program recognizes suppliers that foster energy conservation, reduced water usage, a decrease in landfill waste, healthy living and/or reduction of overall impact on the environment.

Fiberstar will be exhibiting at Booth #470 at the IBIE. The baking show is the biggest baking event in the U.S. for the grain-based industry. This show not only encompasses elements such as product equipment and baking suppliers, packaging materials and systems, but also food ingredients such as Fiberstar’s Citri-Fi®, which is a natural citrus fiber derived from the orange juicing process.

Citri-Fi is created by a patented physical process that keeps the insoluble and soluble fiber and protein intact. The process opens up the fiber matrix which contributes to its excellent water holding capacity and natural emulsification. These features provide functionalities such as viscosity, moisture retention, stabilization, emulsification and gelling which are sought out when creating baked goods, snacks and bakery fillings. “With the bakery market edging for clean label solutions, nutritional improvements and cost savings, we feel that Citri-Fi is in an optimal position to meet all these objectives.” says Fiberstar, Inc. President & CEO, John Haen. “Bakery is one of Citri-Fi’s key markets due to its exceptional functional benefits and nutritional composition.” Citri-Fi can be labeled as citrus fiber, dried citrus pulp or citrus flour.

This natural citrus fiber provides the following benefits:
• Moisture retention to improve texture quality over shelf-life
• Pectin replacement in bakery fruit fillings when used in low pH/high sugar conditions
• Natural emulsification
• Baking stability to minimize boil out and quality loss in fruit preparations
• Egg extension to provide cost savings and improve nutritional profiles (cholesterol reduction)
• Fat and caloric reduction
• Gluten-free formulating

Fiberstar will be demonstrating gelling properties in fruit-based fillings and promoting baked fig bars at the upcoming IBIE show to highlight Citri-Fi’s exceptional moisture retention and texture enhancing benefits.

“Fiberstar continues to stay in the forefront with its evolving innovative solutions and industry support. This is emphasized by the Student Innovation Contest we are currently hosting. We understand the value of science and innovation created by our next generation of scientists” concluded Mr. Haen. To learn more about the Student Innovation Contest, please contact techsupport@fiberstar.net or visit www.FiberstarIngredients.com .

Fiberstar, Inc. Launches a Student Innovation Contest using Novel Citrus Fibers

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To support University academia and the Food Science communities, Fiberstar initiated a Student innovation contest involving new and novel uses for citrus fiber. This contest not only provides Students experience creating solutions for real world issues, but also, firsthand knowledge in how to formulate using clean and sustainable ingredients like Citri-Fi, a natural citrus fiber.

Fiberstar, Inc. (http://www.FiberstarIngredients.com), a global market leader in clean label food ingredient solutions announces a student innovation contest entailing new and novel ways to use citrus fiber. This contest is introduced during a time when the food industry is exploding with cleaner and simpler versions of food products that appeal to a knowledgeable growing consumer base. This consumer base is seeking food products that contain ingredients that are recognizable, simple and natural. “We are thrilled to offer universities and students an opportunity to apply their food science knowledge and creativity to solve real world challenges.” said Fiberstar, Inc. President and CEO, John Haen. “Formulating with citrus fiber will give students experience using cutting edge natural ingredients like Citri-Fi.”

Citri-Fi is a natural citrus fiber derived from citrus pulp, which is a byproduct of the orange juicing process, produced using a patented process with technology licensed from the University of Minnesota.This natural fiber contains soluble and insoluble fiber, protein and lipid that provide multiple functionalities for any array of food applications. These benefits include moisture retention, natural emulsification, gelling properties, stabilization, yield improvement and textural attributes which can improve the nutritional profile, enhance quality over shelf-life and/or extend costly ingredients to provide cost savings. And Citri-Fi can be used in meats, bakery, dairy, beverages and sauce food applications. This natural ingredient is non-GMO, non-allergenic, contributes fiber and is National Organic compliant. Fiberstar developed and recently launched a new clean label product called Citri-Fi 125 with unique properties compared to the previously developed products, which is the focal point for the design contest.

Proposed applications can be from any food category and the competition can be part of a class or independent study project. These food concepts should be designed for scale up and global commercial distribution, taking into account market need, cost and ingredient quality. Final submissions will be a final report with photographs of a prototype and respective formulations and procedures.

This student contest has a total prize pool of $25,000. There is one 1st place winner of $10,000, one 2nd place winner of $5,000 and a 3rd thru 6th place winner at $2,500 each. Contest submission are due no later than December 15th, 2016. A panel of judges will assess each idea using the following criteria: originality of concept, market need, ingredient commercial feasibility, technical feasibility and quality of the report.

If you are interested in more information, please contact Dr. Brock Lundberg at b.lundberg@fiberstar.net or visit http://www.FiberstarIngredients.com. Interested contestants will receive a contest packet which includes Citri-Fi samples, contest guidelines and rules and Citri-Fi product usage guidelines.

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

Fiberstar Introduces Natural, Clean Label Citri-Fi® to Reduce Phosphate and Sodium in Meats and Poultry Products

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Citri-Fi® works synergistically with natural hydrocolloids like rice starch to reduce phosphate and sodium in meat products while maintaining high yields to support clean label initiatives.

River Falls, WI (February 17, 2016) Fiberstar, Inc. (www.fiberstar.net) a market leader in citrus fiber technologies, introduces a natural, clean label phosphate and sodium reduction system for meat and poultry. This new clean label development emerges during a time when the demand for recognizable and short ingredient statements has grown significantly in several regions of the world. “We have seen an uptick in demand not only in the U.S., but also, internationally for clean label systems that perform equally or better than conventional ingredients.” said Fiberstar, Inc. President & CEO, John Haen. “Citri-Fi, a natural, functional citrus flour, is currently being used in many parts of the world as a yield enhancer in poultry products.”

Citri-Fi which can be listed as citrus flour, dried citrus pulp or citrus fiber resonates well with the clean label markets. Because of Citri-Fi’s high water holding capacity, low viscosity and small particle size, Citri-Fi 100M40 is the ideal citrus flour product to use for reducing phosphates and sodium in poultry products. The Citri-Fi usage rates are less than 0.5%. This natural ingredient can be added directly to brine solutions while mixing or added as a dry blend with other ingredients. For complete phosphate replacement, it is recommended to use Citri-Fi in conjunction with a rice starch or carrageenan to maintain or improve yields.

Two different studies conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Iowa State University meat labs validated these valuable findings. The whole bird chickens were injected with a brine at 14-16% injection level, stored overnight (when purge was measured) and cooked. Yield values demonstrated that the Citri-Fi variables produced less purge and generated higher yields compared to the control containing phosphates. Not only did the Citri-Fi improve yield, but also, Citri-Fi produced chickens with exceptional sensory appearance in addition to reduced sodium compared to the phosphate-containing control. The reduced purge and increased yields provide customers opportunities to reduce costs and increase their profit line.

Citri-Fi’s unique functionalities also provide benefits in other meat application types such as ground meats. This natural citrus flour provides cost saving opportunities by extending ground meats. Citri-Fi 125FG or Citri-Fi 100 are ideal when used at less than 1% along with additional water. For FSIS regulated products, Citri-Fi can be found on the Safe and Suitable list for injected poultry and ground meat products where binders are permitted. The FSIS approved labeling declaration is dried citrus pulp or citrus flour.

In another study conducted at Iowa State University’s meat lab, ground beef (80/20) was prepared, formed into patties and then cooked by using several different cooking methods. Post-cook yields were determined and cost comparisons were made after factoring in the original formula and yield losses.

The study also demonstrated Citri-Fi 125’s umami flavor enhancement during sensory evaluations due to the Citri-Fi 125FG flavonoids and/or salts present. This functional flavor approach allows manufacturers to not only increase yields and lower costs, but also to replace synthetic ingredients often used to provide savory flavors like umami.

Fiberstar continues to develop new meat product technologies. Citri-Fi provides several functional benefits which include: yield improvement, reduced syneresis, moisture management, allergen removal (e.g. soy) and superior texture.
These functionalities benefit various meat applications such as:

  • Injected beef, pork or seafood
  • Minced or canned meats
  • Frozen meats
  • Vegetarian meat analogs such as patties, links and ground crumble

John Haen concludes, “We are devoted to using our patented citrus fiber technology to provide the evolving marketplace unique solutions. Clean label phosphate replacement in meats is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating value-added technologies to better the food industry. Our team is excited to demonstrate Citri-Fi’s value within the growing clean label food segment.”

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

Fiberstar Wins the FIEurope Natural/Organic Innovation Award with Novel Pectin Replacement

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Fiberstar’s Natural Citrus Fiber Pectin Replacement Wins the 2015 Food Ingredients Europe Innovation Award

River Falls, WI (December 4, 2015) – Fiberstar, Inc., a market leader in citrus fiber technologies, once again demonstrates their innovation by winning the 2015 Food Ingredients Europe (FIE) Natural/Organic Award. This globally recognized award highlights those companies that are committed to creating new and novel uses for food ingredients to better the food industry. This award emphasizes Fiberstar’s leadership in providing the global marketplace a natural solution to replace added pectin within bakery and confectionery fillings, spreads and fruit preparations for yogurts.

Citri-Fi 100, a natural citrus fiber, contains intact pectin that can be activated to produce the natural gelling properties. “Customers are actively looking for pectin replacement options due to the fluctuating pectin market conditions,” said Fiberstar, Inc. President & CEO, John Haen. “The high interest level for pectin replacement at our FIE trade show booth echoed during the three-day event. Since the natural citrus fiber originates from the orange juicing process, our raw materials are derived from sustainable sources. As a result, we are able to provide our customers potential cost savings and stable supply.”

Citri-Fi is produced using a clean and patented process that keeps the insoluble and soluble fibers intact. The native pectin within the composition is activated when using high sugar/low pH food processing conditions to produce the natural gelling properties. Since Citri-Fi is offered in various particle sizes, formulators can target specific gelling textures ranging from pulpy to smooth.

Citri-Fi 100 does not require a pre-hydration step or added calcium to create the gelling textures. As a result, product developers may benefit from additional cost savings when replacing pectin. In addition to the cost savings, the Citri-Fi gelling technology is non-GMO, gluten-free, Kosher and Halal certified. Citri-Fi 100 is labeled as citrus fiber or dried citrus pulp and it contributes fiber to the nutrition label.

Citrus-Fi 100 can be used in:

  • Bakery and Confectionery Fillings
  • Jams & Jellies
  • Fruit Preparation for Yogurts/Smoothies
  • Fruit Snacks (e.g. Leathers, Strips)

This citrus fiber can also replace expensive stabilizers or stabilizer systems due to its unique water holding properties. These application benefits and formulating guidelines are available on the new web site that Fiberstar recently launched – www.fiberstar.net.

John Haen concludes, “We are committed to expanding our citrus fiber’s novel functionalities to meet the market needs. Our patented technology serves as a foundation and springboard to innovate new uses such as pectin replacement.”

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

Citri-Fi® 100, Natural Citrus Fiber’s Clean Label Gelling Pectin Replacement

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Fiberstar’s Natural Citrus Fiber, Citri-Fi® 100, is a Holistic Food Approach to Providing
Clean Label Gelling Properties for Fruit-based Preparations

River Falls, WI (November 19, 2015) – Fiberstar, Inc., a leader in citrus fiber technologies has recently launched Citri-Fi® 100 used to provide clean label gelling properties which can replace or extend pectin within fruit prep.

This new clean label approach to providing gelling properties emerges at a time when the market demands more natural options to replace/extend pectin due to the fluctuating market. Citri-Fi 100’s stable price and supply lends itself to sourcing advantages. “During this clean label initiative drive, we listened to our customers’ needs and delivered a clean label option to support their formulating goals,” said Fiberstar, Inc. President & CEO, John Haen.

The Citri-Fi® 100 Clean Label Value Proposition
Citri-Fi 100, a non-GMO, natural citrus fiber, is produced using a clean and patented process that keeps the insoluble and soluble fibers and protein intact. This composition provides multiple functionalities that range from water binding to natural emulsification properties. The native pectin within the composition is activated when using high sugar/low pH food processing conditions to produce the natural gelling properties. Since Citri-Fi is offered in various particle sizes, formulators can target specific gelling textures ranging from pulpy to smooth.

Citri-Fi 100 does not require a pre-hydration step or added calcium to create the gelling textures. As a result, product developers may benefit from additional cost savings when replacing pectin. In addition to the cost savings, the Citri-Fi® gelling technology is gluten-free, Kosher and Halal certified. Citri-Fi 100 is labeled as citrus fiber or dried citrus pulp which resonate well with the global consumer and contributes fiber to the nutrition label.

Citrus-Fi® 100 Uses in Food Applications:
• Bakery and Confectionery Fillings
• Jams & Jellies
• Fruit Preparation for Yogurts/Smoothies
• Fruit Snacks (e.g. Leathers, Strips)

This citrus fiber can also replace expensive stabilizers or stabilizer systems due to its unique hydrocolloidal properties. These application benefits and formulating guidelines are available on the new web site that Fiberstar recently launched – www.fiberstar.net.

John Haen concludes, “We are proud to work with the Technical University of Berlin to complete the citrus fiber gelling functionality studies. These studies demonstrate our dedication to creating new natural uses for our products. We continue to expand upon our citrus fiber’s novel functionalities to meet the emerging market needs.”

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

Functional formulations — Matcha, Citrus Pulp and Rice Bran (Food Business News)

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Functional formulations — Matcha, Citrus Pulp and Rice Bran (Food Business News)

It is an art to add just the right amount of chopped kale to a pasta dish or sprinkle enough toasted chia seeds on a salad to make them delicious and functional. It requires science to increase the fiber content of a breaded chicken nugget or include omega-3 fatty acids in a pasta sauce, and it’s increasingly being done to appeal to consumers—especially baby boomers—seeking nutritionally dense convenience foods.

Taste, price and healthfulness continue to be the leading drivers of food-purchasing decisions, according to results from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s Food and Health Survey, which was published in early May. Whole grains top the list of what consumers are trying to get a certain amount or as much as possible of in their daily diet. It is followed by fiber, protein and calcium.

This is good news, as the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s report, published in February, identified several nutrients that are under consumed relative to recommendations from the Institute of Medicine. The shortfall nutrients include vitamins A, C, D and E, calcium, fiber, folate, magnesium and potassium. For adolescent and premenopausal women, iron also is considered a shortfall nutrient. Of the shortfall nutrients, calcium, vitamin D, fiber and potassium are classified as nutrients of public health concern because their under consumption has been linked in the scientific literature to adverse health outcomes.

The shortfall nutrients are those needed to prevent adverse health. There’s a myriad of other nutrients associated with improved health and well-being that consumers are not getting enough of. For example, omega-3 fatty acids are associated with brain development in children and cognitive health throughout the lifecycle. Choline has similar benefits, as well as being associated with heart and liver health. Others include the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate, proanthocyanidins, lycopene and coenzyme Q10.

A kale, walnut and feta cheese topping sprinkled on baked sweet potatoes offers a functional boost for a familiar food.

Form follows function

Scientists have been able to isolate and manufacture many of these nutrients into ingredients for use in functional foods. Interestingly, according to the IFIC survey, despite all the noise about genetically modified foods and “laboratory” foods, 66% of respondents agree that “the overall healthfulness of the food or beverage is more important to me than the use of food biotechnology,” which was defined as “the use of science and technologies such as genetic engineering to enhance certain attributes of foods.”

Thus, the time may be right to use functional ingredients in prepared fresh foods sold in food service, retail and convenience channels. Examples may include everything from a heat-and-eat lasagna to a yogurt parfait.

“Functional ingredients are becoming essential within the food development cycle to provide the nutritional claims consumers are looking for,” said Vicky Fligel, business development manager with Glanbia Nutritionals Ingredient Technologies, Fitchburg, Wis. “Health-conscious consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the role of nutrition in maintaining their well-being and are willing to include nutritionally enhanced ingredients in every part of their daily diets.

“Many companies now employ culinary chefs to provide a restaurant-type experience with retail products to ensure consumers are getting the best sensory enjoyment. Functional ingredients allow chef-inspired fresh foods to capture consumers’ attention with claims such as rich in protein, calcium, antioxidants, omega-3s, fiber and more, as well as with their taste and texture.”

Amanda Wagner, food technologist, Fiberstar Inc., River Falls, Wis., said, “Culinary trends are going back to basics when formulating foods. As a result, the best opportunities for functional ingredients in chef?inspired foods are those foods where the functional ingredient innately makes sense to the consumer.”

For example, consumers understand bakery items already contain fiber, vitamins and minerals, especially if they are created from ancient grains or whole wheat flour bases. Using other functional ingredients such as flaxseeds or chia seeds, which are a source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, or plant?based fibers are a logical addition.

Another opportunity for functional ingredients exists with foods served through such health institutions as hospitals and convalescent homes, as many patients and residents tend to be poor eaters or suffer from a lack of nutrition.

Researchers have shown that fortifying sauces with micro- and macronutrients may offer an approach to improving energy intake for hospitalized older people, according to a study published in the May 2015 issue of the Journal of Food Science. The researchers fortified tomato, gravy and white sauces with a micronutrient premix blend containing folic acid, iron, riboflavin, zinc and vitamins C, D and B6, along with magnesium and potassium, all nutrients that the target population tends to be lacking in the diet. The researchers found that the healthy older volunteer consumers who evaluated the fortified tomato sauce preferred it to the unfortified version. There were also no significant differences in acceptance between the fortified and standard option for gravy. They did find limitations in the extent of fortification with protein, potassium and magnesium, as excessive inclusion resulted in bitterness, undesired flavors or textural issues. This was particularly an issue in the white sauce.

The researchers concluded that “the development of fortified sauces is a simple approach to improving energy intake for hospitalized older people, both through the nutrient composition of the sauce itself and due to the benefits of increasing sensorial taste and lubrication in the mouth.”

Researchers have shown that fortifying sauces with micro- and macronutrients may offer an approach to improving energy intake.

Functional ingredient menu

Every functional ingredient poses a different formulation challenge and must be evaluated by application, manufacturing process, distribution and shelf life requirements.

“Stability, for instance, might be an issue with proteins, as they tend to denature when exposed to various heat treatments, changes in pH or agitation,” Ms. Fligel said. “They will also thicken, gel or precipitate over time, impacting the final shelf life of applications. On the other hand, omega-3 fortification ingredients can cause oxidation if they’re not properly processed.”

Glanbia Nutritionals offers a range of dairy proteins that may provide the benefits of protein and calcium as well as functional benefits. These include whey and milk protein concentrates and isolates in various forms, based on fat or mineral content.

“An increasingly popular ingredient with culinologists is hydrolyzed protein,” Ms. Fligel said. “These proteins are able to withstand higher-temperature processing.”

Many functional ingredients deliver more than one nutrient, and, while providing nutrition, they often serve a purpose in the applications.

“For example, for baked goods such as pancakes, waffles, cookies and gluten-free muffins, we developed an egg-replacement solution that can be labelled as ‘flaxseed meal and whey protein concentrate,’” Ms. Fligel said. “The ingredient provides both emulsification and structure while improving texture and mouthfeel. It is significantly lower in fat and cholesterol than dried whole eggs and adds the nutritional benefits of fiber, protein and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) omega-3 while improving moistness.”

All types of dairy ingredients may be useful tools for boosting not just protein content but calcium content as well. For example, calcium-rich milk minerals may be included in ready-to-drink smoothies, yogurt parfaits, beverages and baked goods.

“They come in various particle sizes for different needs in terms of solubility, stability and mouthfeel,” Ms. Fligel said. “Our milk mineral ingredient naturally contains 21 minerals found in milk that are essential for normal human growth and metabolism.”

Culinologists also need to determine the type of content claim. Absolute numbers, such as “contains 3 grams of fiber per serving,” tend to be easier to make than “good source” or “excellent source” claims.

“We offer a non?GMO functional fiber derived from citrus pulp,” Ms. Wagner said. When used in combination with other fibers, it is possible to boost the fiber content of the food high enough to make a “good” or “excellent” source of fiber claim. While contributing fiber content, this citrus is also a performance fiber, as it can assist with moisture management, emulsification, stabilization and thickening of various foods.

“It’s an excellent water binder, which is why it is often used to control moisture migration in baked goods. This helps preserve freshness for an extended period of time, all while increasing fiber content.”

Depending on the food product, it is stated on a label declaration either as citrus fiber or citrus flour and registers as fiber on the nutritional label.

Though both fiber and omega-3 fatty acids may be added as isolated food ingredients to formulations, some ingredients are a source of the essential nutrients and others. For example, stabilized rice bran is an inherent source of essential vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber and ALA.

“Bran is about 10% by weight of the rice kernel,” said Robert Smith, senior vice-president of business development for RiceBran Technologies, Scottsdale, Ariz. “This is also where 80% of the nutrition resides. We’ve patented a process to stabilize the bran to prevent it from oxidizing, and thereby are able to provide an ingredient loaded with many nutrients lacking in today’s diet.”

It readily dissolves in water or other liquid, with some versions dissolving clear and others providing desirable opacity with or without viscosity. Applications include baked goods, pasta, pizza crust, protein and sports drinks, tortillas and snack bars.

“It’s even an approved binder for use in meats, such as hot dogs,” Mr. Smith said. “In conjunction with animal proteins, rice bran proteins can offer cost savings and a balanced amino acid profile.

“Rice bran brings protein, dietary fiber, phytosterols, antioxidants and gamma oryzanol to make fresh foods functional foods.”

Matcha is another multi-nutrient ingredient. It is also an ingredient chefs are increasingly using for sensory impact.

Matcha is fast becoming popular as an ingredient in sweet and savory foods for its healthy antioxidants, as well as its fresh and herbaceous taste.

Matcha is finely milled green tea powder made from green tea leaves. Its traditional use is in Japanese tea ceremonies, but is fast becoming popular as an ingredient in sweet and savory foods for its healthy antioxidants, as well as its fresh and herbaceous taste, according to Rona Tison, senior vice-president of corporate relations, Ito En (North America) Inc., New York.

“Innovative matcha applications range from dips and dressings to cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies,” she said. “It’s great in all types of dairy, including milk, ice cream and even pudding.”

Bill Driessen, director of Taiyo International Inc., Minneapolis, added, “Matcha has a pleasant earthy taste and naturally bright green color. Bakers are adding it directly to breads, cupcakes and muffins.

“When we consume matcha, we are eating the entire green tea leaf,” Mr. Driessen said. “You are getting all the soluble antioxidant components found in a cup of brewed green tea, as well as the insoluble components in the leaf, like some fiber, proteins and chlorophyll.”

Mr. Driessen concluded by noting that, “It is always a good opportunity for including functional ingredients in chef-inspired fresh foods when we can up the nutritional content of the end product without negatively affecting taste or texture. Sometimes it is even possible to both improve the nutritional content of a food, while at the same time improving texture and mouthfeel.”

Similar to basil and oregano, there are many flavor profiles of cannabis available to the creative culinologist.

Cannabis: An herb with benefits

At the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show held this past May in Chicago, Chef Melissa Parks, co-author of “Herb: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Cannabis,” a collaboration with www.herb.com, discussed the fundamentals of treating the cannabis plant as an herb in cooking that may have untapped functional potential. And similar to basil and oregano, there are many flavor profiles of cannabis available to the creative culinologist, according to Ms. Parks. Here’s what she shared about the art of developing cannabis-infused foods in the emerging legal market.

Food Business News: Specialty restaurants in states where cannabis has been legalized have started putting it on the menu. What does cannabis contribute in terms of flavor and aroma?

Ms. Parks: The cannabis plant is loaded with compounds, including more than 85 psychoactive compounds collectively known as cannabinoids, as well as flavonoids and terpenes. The latter give cannabis its unique odor, while most cannabinoids have no smell.

The terpene profile can vary considerably from strain to strain, giving each strain its own unique flavor and aroma. The complexity of each strain varies much like wine varietals. That is where the excitement begins for a chef. One strain may be strong in honey while another more closely resembles peach. After identifying the inherent aromas you can then create a recipe.

How does a chef “activate” the herb to deliver it in a psychoactive form?

Ms. Parks: The actual plant is sold at dispensaries in its inactive form. In order to activate the compounds, one must heat the plant. This can happen through vaping, smoking or extraction. From this activation comes the psychoactive response commonly associated with cannabis consumption. This varies by strain and dose.

What about dosing? How does a chef ensure the consumer gets what he’s paying for in regards to function, but not too much?

Ms. Parks: Dosing is both an art and a science and it varies by food application. The highly psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is almost insoluble in water but is very soluble in non-polar solvents such as butter, oil and other fats. To get the greatest effect, the activated herb should be stabilized in a fat ingredient and then added to recipes. With each creation, you must determine the average amount being consumed to determine an acceptable dose. It is often safest to offer the cannabis in the form of an on-the-side dressing or sauce so the consumer controls the dosing.