Archive for the ‘Ingredients’ Category

Is Nestle’s new sugar-reduction technology a game-changer?

May 5th, 2018
Comments Off on Is Nestle’s new sugar-reduction technology a game-changer?

Nestle has launched an addition to its Milkybar range containing 30% less sugar than a comparable ordinary chocolate bar. Ben Cooper looks at the technology behind Milkybar Wowsomes and assesses its potential to be used more widely in the confectionery sector and other food categories.

The drive to cut sugar consumption, it is said, could take as a useful model the successful campaign to reduce salt consumption in the UK. The launch last month in the country – and in Ireland – by Nestle of Milkybar Wowsomes, advertised as containing 30% less sugar, shows how an idea used to reduce salt levels in foods can be applied to sugar.

Nestle is using a new type of sugar it has developed called “structured sugar”, which it describes as “an amorphous and porous sugar made with all-natural ingredients”. Amorphous sugar dissolves faster in the mouth, Nestle explains, effectively providing more sweetness from a given amount of sugar.


The idea of changing taste profile by adapting the particle shape or structure, a process already being used in salt reduction, has been discussed for some time as a possible means of reducing sugar content in foods, but Nestle is the first major company to apply this thinking in a product launch.
“Nestle has stepped outside of the realm of conventional sugar reduction with its new structured sugar,” says Professor Kathy Groves, head of microscopy at Leatherhead Food Research.

Nestle’s structured sugar is produced by spraying a mixture of sugar, milk powder and water into warm air which dries it. “Spray drying is a technique commonly used to prepare dry ingredients,” Prof. Groves says. “Nestle’s skill has been to develop a method which co-dries the sugar, milk powder and water in a way that the sugar remains amorphous and stable.”

It is not only Nestle’s technological breakthrough that has impressed experts but also the speed with which it has brought this innovation to market. Nestle only began work on the new technique in 2015.

Describing the new technique as “a great step forward”, food technology consultant Steve Osborn, a director of UK-based Aurora Ceres Partnership, says: “It’s very exciting to see products already on the market, since we only heard about this sugar innovation back in late 2016. It’s a great example of an accelerated innovation programme meeting a real consumer need and delivering value at the same time.”

“We have worked very quickly to make this breakthrough and then apply it to a product so soon,” Rob Brown, marketing manager for confectionery at Nestle’s UK business, tells just-food. “Nestle’s unrivalled research and development network and strength in innovation is incredibly important to reducing the sugar in our products.”

A key advantage of achieving sugar or salt reduction by adapting the particle structure or size is it provides a “clean label” solution. Nestle stresses the 30% reduction was achieved without the use of any artificial sweeteners, claiming the technology could deliver up to a 40% sugar reduction in products such as chocolate.

“The next step will be to continue our research and development so that we can use the technology in other products and other types of products,” Brown says.

… but applications limited

However, the technology can by no means be used universally to reduce sugar in processed foods. The structured sugar particles are only stable in dry products so it will not work in products such as sauces or soft drinks, as the structured sugar particles would simply dissolve and the sensory characteristics created by the altered structure would be lost. In chocolate, Prof. Groves explains, the structured sugar would be added after the refining process. In order to achieve the desired effect, the structured sugar has to dissolve in the mouth.

“It’s also difficult to see how the technology could be applied to cakes and biscuits as the sugar in these products is typically dissolved during manufacture,” she says.

Similarly, it would be ineffective in confectionery products such as hard-boiled sweets, fondants or fudges. However, it could be used in frostings, dustings or fillings for cakes and biscuits, and for sugar-dusted sweets.

The wider application of this specific process may also be limited by intellectual property rights. Nestle said it had filed a number of patent applications in relation to the technology but declined to provide any further details. Asked whether other companies would be able to use the process, a spokesperson for Nestle’s UK arm says: “This is only the very first use of the technology and we are concentrating on developing it further, in-house, for now.”

The breakthrough has, however, shown an approach based on changing particle structure can work and is likely to prompt other companies to step up their efforts in this area, not least in the confectionery sector. “The confectionery industry will have been watching with interest,” Osborn says.

The impact on confectionery sector

While wider applications for structured sugar may be limited, Nestle’s choice to apply it first to a mainstream children’s chocolate brand underlines the potential structured sugar – and possibly other techniques that maximise taste profile by altering the structure of sugar particles – have in reducing sugar levels in confectionery.

“This is a significant moment for the confectionery sector in responding to health concerns,” says Tom Vierhile, innovation insights director at market research firm GlobalData.

Sugar reduction in confectionery to date has been focused on shrinking portion sizes, which can alienate consumers, Vierhile explains. “Confectionery companies are already committing to use less sugar in their products. We think that ingredient innovations like structured sugar are going to make it a lot easier to achieve that goal, while at the same time limiting calls on the consumer to sacrifice by consuming less product.”

Vierhile and Osborn stress the clean-label advantages of the new technology, while the latter makes a further observation about chocolate labelling.

“One of the key benefits here is its ability to manoeuvre around the strict chocolate and cocoa regulations, which control the addition of many bulking agents to chocolate. This ingredient is only, albeit manipulated, sugar, so provided the proportions still stack up, the product is still legally chocolate.”

Both also agree the prospect of the UK’s sugar levy being extended from soft drinks to confectionery makes it a timely moment for this new technology to emerge.

The confectionery industry was “fortunate”, to avoid being subject to the levy, Vierhile argues. “We think that it may only be a matter of time before confectionery is subject to a sugar tax of its own.” He believes the same may be true for the voluntary sugar reduction targets set by the UK government being made mandatory. With the government seeking a 20% reduction in sugar content by 2020 across nine product categories, including confectionery, Nestle is going to be “ahead of the game”.

Healthier confectionery contradiction

Sugar reduction in confectionery has been challenging not least because consumers expect it to be there and in considerable quantities. Consumers are specifically seeking indulgence and are looking for the luxurious mouthfeel that high sugar and fat combined give, which is the primary reason confectionery has not been a focus for reformulation to date. Healthier confectionery is a pretty hard sell.

However, if technology like structured sugar can deliver the indulgent sweetness and mouthfeel consumers are seeking with significantly less sugar, could it change the consumer mindset and make healthier confectionery more marketable?

Vierhile has his doubts. “It may be a stretch to suggest that an innovation like structured sugar can create a ‘healthier confectionery’ segment, as confectionery by its very nature is indulgent and the mixture of health and indulgence properties sends mixed signals. Companies are going to have to walk a fine line with this sort of innovation.”

Nevertheless, consumers are increasingly looking to reduce sugar consumption and if manufacturers can make reduced-sugar chocolate taste good enough, today’s consumers may be more persuadable than previous generations. According to GlobalData’s 2017 Q4 consumer survey, 81% of UK consumers say they are paying attention to sugar or sweeteners in food and drink products, though this is actually below the figure for consumers globally which is 87%.

Moreover, while consumers may be put off by the idea of a reduced-sugar confectionery product, this assumes the consumer is actually told.

The first use of this technology may have been in a product overtly marketed as containing 30% less sugar but much of the reformulation to reduce levels of nutrients of concern like salt and sugar is done without the consumer being alerted. Indeed, ‘reformulation by stealth’, whereby small incremental reductions, all but imperceptible to the consumer, are made successively over time, is considered a highly effective way of improving the nutritional profile of food products.

Nestle’s structured sugar, and possibly other yet-to-be-developed methods of restructuring sugar particles, could be used in the stealth approach. Using it in dustings and frostings on cakes would be a case to point. Here it could form part of an overall sugar reduction for a cake, combining with a reduction using other ingredients for the cake itself.

The list of products structured sugar will not work in is far longer than the one for products where it will be effective but it is no surprise the new technology does not provide all the answers. The multi-functional properties of sugar have meant sugar reformulation simply does not lend itself to the broad application of a single widely applied solution. The huge plethora of sugar replacers that have been developed, and the fact they are often used in combination to substitute effectively for what sugar does on its own, bears witness to the challenge of sugar reduction.

However, if in its infancy restructured sugar technology can provide substantial sugar reductions in chocolate, a product clearly linked with unhealthy diets and obesity, while playing a supporting role in other areas, it can only be seen as a significant new addition to the reformulator’s armoury.



Confectionery, Ingredients , ,

Amaranth: A superfood or a high GI seed?

April 14th, 2018
Comments Off on Amaranth: A superfood or a high GI seed?

Amaranth (also known as Kiwicha seeds) has been regarded as both a superfood and high GI seed we shouldn’t have in excess if we want to lose weight. So which health claim should we believe?

Ancient seeds and grains from distant parts of the Earth are always being marketed for their superfood qualities and their extraordinary power to improve your sense of wellbeing.

Amaranth (or Kiwicha seeds in Peruvian), an ancient pseudo-cereal from South America that dates back 8,000 years to Aztec times, is no different. It’s just one of the many healthy food products available for sale dubbed a ‘superfood’.

Accredited Practising Dietitian, Joel Feren, says although amaranth is a pretty special seed it’s not a superfood. “Ancient grains are making a bit of a comeback lately,” says spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia,  Feren. “They are quite retro these days, as people are looking for foods that are different. But amaranth is not a superfood. Why? Because no one single food can provide anyone with all the nutrition they need.

“Amaranth has a really impressive nutritional profile and it should be considered as part of a healthy, balanced diet along side a range of other foods.”

Feren explains that amaranth’s real attraction stems back to the fact that it is a pseudograin or pseudocereal: a seed that offers the nutritional benefits of grains like wheat and rice. That makes it suitable for people following a paleo diet.

“It could probably be classified as a pseudo-grain, because it has similar characteristics to grains like quinoa and other wheats in terms of its nutritional properties. Amaranth is a good source of fibre, vitamin A, folate, thiamine, iron, zinc, calcium, copper, manganese and potassium.”

Amaranth oil has also been shown to have a positive effect on heart health, lowering cardiovascular risk and hypertension. Meanwhile, amaranth seeds are very rich in protein, containing around 15 per cent.

The other big benefit, Feren says, is that amaranth also contains 10 essential amino acids. That makes it a valuable source of nutrients for vegans and vegetarians. It’s also gluten and wheat-free, and suitable for people with coeliac disease or gluten intolerance.

Owner of Our Organics & Gluten Free, Geoff Lewis, sells amaranth puffs, flakes, seeds and flour to retailers, restaurants and caterers. He estimates that an uncooked cup of amaranth will give you about 13 grams of dietary fibre.

Lewis adds that the seed, which has a nutty flavour, is very easy to cook with. “If you have cooked with rice before, you can cook with amaranth,” he explains.

“Just replace the rice with amaranth and also use it instead of couscous. You can have it as breakfast porridge, in soups, slow-cooked meals and granola bars…The seed doesn’t totally soften: it stays crunchy but it tends to have a gelatinous porridge-y look to it.”

Lewis says amaranth flour is quite a big seller. “Use the flour to make anything gluten-free, from breads to cakes and biscuits. It’s not a rising flour. If you cook with only amaranth flour by itself, your dish will crumble or be dense and heavy. So, for example, you can add [a rising agent] to the recipe to produce a lovely cake.”

A study in 2013 investigated the effect of replacing wheat flour with whole amaranth flour to determine if it is a nutritious bread-making ingredient. The researchers found that incorporating amaranth flour into the bread-making mix significantly increased the protein, lipid, ash, dietary fibre and mineral contents of the bread. However, the bread made with amaranth flour became more crumby and hard as well as elastic.

The study concluded that amaranth flour can be used to make bread but it should be limited to a maximum proportion of 20 grams for every 100 grams of wheat flour to maintain both product quality as well as the nutritional benefit of this ingredient”.

Carbohydrate criticisms

The one criticism that amaranth attracts is that it has a high carbohydrate content, which can turn carb-free health foodies off. As a result, some paleo bloggers have praised amaranth’s nutritional profile but ruled only to have sparingly because of its high carb content.

It’s true: amaranth seed is a high glycemic food when served on its own. Although nutritional contents will vary according to the product you use, one cup of cooked amaranth is said to have around 40 grams of carbs.

Research published in the Journal of Food Science says this is most likely because of its small starch granule size, low resistant starch content. Amaranth also has a tendency to completely lose its crystalline and granular starch structure during heating.

A study, published in Springer, attempted to test whether amaranth’s GI can be lowered, by combining it with wheat flour and rice in different proportions. It also looked at the GI of popped amaranth in milk. The research used noninsulin dependent diabetic. The study showed that amaranth and wheat in a 25:75 ration could be considered as a low GI food. Boosting the ratio to 50:50 would make the food medium GI. It concluded that the combination of popped amaranth and milk was a high GI food.

But Feren believes the ancient seed should not be vilified – along with all other grains like rice and wheat – just because of its high carb content when it offers so many other nutrients.

“Often we get too fixated on a single food that we overlook the big picture,” says Feren. “We need to include carbohydrates as part of a healthy diet.

“Amaranth has a wonderful nutritional profile and it shouldn’t be pushed to the side for that reason. It’s just another alternative to using quinoa, wheat, rye, freekah and bulgar wheat.

“Foods like these should really be celebrated. We have to get around the carb content of these wonderful seeds and grains because they can add lots of valuable nutrition to the diet.”



Ingredients , ,

Researchers analyzed the salt in 2,000 types of bread in 32 countries

April 14th, 2018
Comments Off on Researchers analyzed the salt in 2,000 types of bread in 32 countries

What do you think has more salt: a slice of bread or a pack of potato chips?

It depends, but in some cases, the answer may surprise you.

Bread, it turns out, is the top contributor of dietary sodium in the US and many other countries around the world. And a big new analysis from the World Action on Salt and Health, based at Queen Mary University of London, helps us understand why.

For the report, a global team of researchers analyzed the salt content in 2,000 breads sold in 32 countries and regions. More than a third of the loaves exceeded the maximum salt target for bread set out by the UK: 1.13g of salt per 100g, or the equivalent of half a teaspoon of salt for about two slices of bread.

The US has no official target, but voluntary draft Food and Drug Administration guidance suggests manufacturers should aim for about the same levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about nine in 10 kids and adults in the US exceed the daily limits for sodium consumption (2.3g, or one teaspoon’s worth).

Some of the products analyzed in the report — like the rosemary focaccia from Ace Bakery in Canada — were “saltier than seawater.” That loaf had more than a teaspoon’s worth of salt per 100g (or about two slices), exceeding the recommended daily sodium intake. A popular product from South Africa, Golden Crust’s toaster bread, had the most salt per serving among all white breads in the survey: 2.46g per 250g portion. That’s “more salt than four portions of McDonald’s fries,” the report stated.

Breads from the US didn’t fare much better. Among the saltiest: Pepperidge Farm’s Hearty Sliced white bread, which contained 1.4g salt per 100g or two slices. That means every slice, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has pointed out, carries as much sodium as a small bag of potato chips. Even Whole Food’s white sandwich bread rivaled a bag of potato chips, with 1.37g salt per 100g.

Overall, the researchers discovered flatbreads and whole-wheat breads tended to be saltier than other types, and mixed-grain breads had the lowest average salt content. (You can see more details about your favorite breads, and how they rank, here.) Bakers put sodium in packaged breads because it boosts the flavor and acts as a preservative.

“Bread is an essential staple food in many countries but is still a key source of salt in our diets due to the frequency with which we eat bread,” said Mhairi Brown, a nutritionist at World Action on Salt and Health, in a statement. “Globally we must do more to reduce salt intake, and a simple way to do this is to lower salt in our staple foods.”

How to start cutting your salt intake now

The major reason salt is concerning for health is that too much of it can increase blood pressure, which can in turn increase risk for a heart disease and stroke.

To be sure, salt isn’t the only risk factor for high blood pressure. Genetics, exercise, bodyweight, alcohol consumption, stress, age, and overall diet play a role as well. And some people may be more sensitive to salt and its health effects than others. But researchers generally agree most people should aim to eat no more than one teaspoon per day. (For more detail, read here).

If you’re trying to cut back, you definitely want to look beyond the salt shaker. About 80 percent of the sodium Americans eat comes from salt that’s added to some of our most popular foods during processing, like store-bought bread, frozen pizza, and cold cuts. Avoiding these kinds of prepackaged foods and restaurant meals wherever possible will help reduce your sodium intake.

When you eat foods that you prepare yourself, you shouldn’t have to worry about sodium. As Norman Kaplan, a blood pressure researcher at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, has told me, “If it’s fresh, you don’t have to worry about the sodium. The fact that nothing in nature is high in salt should tell people something.”

Of course, cooking fresh foods at home is not always possible at a time when many of us rely on quick, ready-made foods to get by. That’s why many public health officials continue to call on governments and industry to find ways of cutting salt during food processing.

The FDA is currently working to advance voluntary sodium reduction targets for the food industry, asking the food industry to commit to cutting sodium levels in packaged foods.

Until that happens, don’t forget to pay attention to the sodium in your bread. The new report is a reminder that not all breads are created equal, and the biggest salt contributor to the diet is probably lurking next to your butter knife.



Ingredients ,

Why ancient grains will continue to thrive

April 14th, 2018
Comments Off on Why ancient grains will continue to thrive

Many trends defining food in 2018 harken back to days gone by rather than conjure up visions of futuristic foods. Consumers seem to be pushing for a return to simpler, cleaner, more traditional and even “ancient” ingredients.

Grains like teff, einkorn, amaranth, millet or spelt may sound rather exotic to the average baked foods shopper, but these ancient grains exude a return to perceived wholesome, unprocessed foods. Rachel Cheatham, Ph.D., founder and chief executive officer of Foodscape Group and adjunct assistant professor of food marketing and communications at Tufts University, said the trend is supported by health-seeking consumers who increasingly value carbohydrate quality while seeking both variety and novelty.

In its 2017 annual report, the Chicago-based research firm Foodscape Group identified several trends, including three that reinforced these ideas: grains reinvented, inspired ethnic and nostalgia.

“Taken together, this adds up to a globally minded exploratory consumer who wants something new and different for their grain choices while somehow comforting and familiar at the same time,” Dr. Cheatham said.

Campbell Soup Co., Camden, N.J., identified three fundamental needs that also are driving the ancient grain trend: fueling, craving and connecting. Pepperidge Farm, Norwalk, Conn., features a line of Arnott’s Vita-Weat crackers that are 100% natural with ancient grains and seeds like quinoa and chia. Thomas Griffiths, certified master chef and vice-president for Campbell’s Culinary & Baking Institute, said the chefs and bakers of Campbell Soup, which owns Pepperidge Farm, have been watching the popularity of these grains in the culinary world.

“At their core, ancient grains are incredibly versatile and have a lot of culinary potential, and there’s a lot of discovery and innovation waiting to happen with grains like teff, millet and sorghum, for example,” Mr. Griffiths said.

The wholesome, back-to-nature appeal of these trending grains also offers a new taste adventure. Ancient grains have become the new normal on menus and retail shelves, said Bryan Cozzi, senior chef, Campbell’s Culinary & Baking Institute. This is in large part due to the success of quinoa, which may be the most mainstream ancient grain, but others like millet, spelt and kamut are fighting for the same level of familiarity.

“That can be daunting for consumers who want to understand the differences between the many grains and seeds,” Mr. Cozzi said. “There’s still a learning curve for consumers interested in ancient grains. They are probably familiar with quinoa but don’t know how to use teff, for example. It’s up to us to deliver great-tasting products that help people learn about and appreciate ancient grains for all they have to offer.”

Booming awareness and choices

The explosion of ancient grain products on menus and shelves might have begun in 2010. According to Mintel, there was a 269% increase in global food and drink launches describing their products as “ancient” between September 2010 to August 2011 and September 2015 to August 2016 periods. Brands have seen a great deal of success in appealing to customers looking to connect with the past through their eating choices.

B&G Foods, Inc., Parsippany, N.J., hoped to latch onto that connection through its Ortega Good Grains new range of taco shells. The line includes traditional blue corn, white corn and chia seeds, yellow corn and ancient grains, and whole grain corn and lentil. The products align with the 54% of U.S. shoppers who said they would consider whole grain varieties as alternatives to their usual carbohydrates, according to GlobalData.

Papa John’s International, Louisville, Ky., recently announced it is testing in select markets a gluten-free pizza crust made with ancient grains. The Papa John’s R.&D. team spent more than a year developing the crust. Made with sorghum, teff, amaranth and quinoa, it is currently being tested in Los Angeles, Phoenix, St. Louis, Houston and Nashville.

Smart Flour Foods, Austin, Texas, a provider of premium, ancient-grain based frozen pizzas, is introducing Snack Bites, a lineup of better-for-you pizza bites that provide a cleaner take on a popular snacking favorite. Made with the company’s flour blend of the sorghum, amaranth and teff, the line also features chia.

“Today’s health-conscious parents are placing extra care into the food choices they make for themselves and their family and seeking out healthier options that don’t sacrifice great taste,” said Charlie Pace, president and c.e.o., Smart Flour Foods. “Pairing the comfort food taste of classic pizza with on-trend, healthier ancient grains, our Snack Bites give people of all ages a convenient and guilt-free treat that they can enjoy together.”

Other new products include a line of baked extruded snacks from Boulder Canyon, Boulder, Colo., made with ancient grains, lentils and beans. Through its Nabisco brand, Mondelez International, East Hanover, N.J., launched Good Thins, which offers consumers a new variety of ancient grain crackers that has no artificial colors or flavors.

The healthy alternative
According to GlobalData’s 2015 global consumer survey, 51% of U.S. consumers think ancient grains have a positive impact on their health.

Products can capitalize on this healthy halo and the nutritional diversity ancient grains bring to the table, but it’s a challenge to sort out the different health characteristics of each grain. Some are relatively high in protein; others are not. Some contain gluten; others don’t. Food producers cannot assume that consumers have all the facts and need to communicate those key details.

“Gone are the days when the consumer decision was simply between white or whole wheat bread,” Dr. Cheatham said. “It’s now a more sophisticated carbohydrate conversation with consumers growing more aware that carbohydrate quality counts as much quantity.”

Health-aware consumers and the popularity of gluten-free diets inspired Caroline Freedman to create NurturMe, Austin, Texas, which produces children’s snacks using ancient grains and probiotics. The company’s cookies include three varieties — cocoa, honey, and maple and cinnamon — made with quinoa, amaranth, millet and sorghum. Founder Ms. Freedman, c.e.o., said the company wasn’t expecting such a rapid response from consumers back when it was started in 2010.

“We found that adults are familiar with quinoa as naturally gluten-free, non-allergenic and we thought there might be a learning curve when we introduced our products,” Ms. Freedman said. “But there was a halo effect from parents who were already familiar with quinoa’s health benefits.”

Tom Vierhile, innovations insights director, GlobalData, said ancient grains have emerged as an important tie-breaker when consumers are making purchase decisions.

“Ancient grains are clearly a mainstream trend now and have been for a few years,” Mr. Vierhile said. “Companies like Kellogg Co., Campbell’s, Mondelez International and Del Monte Foods have all placed bets that ancient grains can drive sales growth and recapture consumers who may have defected to natural or organic brands.”

This change did not happen overnight, Mr. Vierhile added, but it has been an ongoing process that began in the natural and organic food industry and gained traction from there. In just two years, the percentage of Americans who said they are familiar with chia has doubled. In 2015, 33% said they were not familiar with chia and that shrunk to 18% by 2017, according to GlobalData consumer surveys.

“The transition from niche to mainstream has been led by younger consumers, a group that the packaged food industry has become increasingly obsessed with as this group is not adopting the same purchase patterns as their parents,” Mr. Vierhile said.

He added that millennials are more likely to seek out ancient grains than older consumers. According to a 2017 GlobalData consumer survey, 40% of Americans aged 25 to 34 said that they would consider using grains like quinoa and spelt as an alternative to traditional carbohydrates, compared with 33% of consumers overall and 26% of consumers age 65 and above.

Ancient heads into the future
The numbers don’t lie; ancient grains have enjoyed huge success over the past two years. GlobalData’s Product Launch Analytics database of new products showed that launches featuring terms like “ancient grains,” “chia,” or “quinoa” grew to 8.8% in 2017 from 5.9% in 2016.

“The ancient grains story has been out there long enough that even consumers with only casual interest in ingredient trends have now heard of ancient grains like chia and quinoa,” Mr. Vierhile said. “This awareness has begun to translate into increased sales.”

But will it last?

Dr. Cheatham thinks so.

“Looking ahead, expect ancient, whole and grains like quinoa to continue to be in demand by health-seeking consumers,” she said. “Products that showcase and respect the inherent grain nutrition from harvest to end product will gain the most traction.”

Use of lesser-known ancient grains is also a trend to keep an eye on, Mr. Vierhile noted, and may be useful in reinventing tired products.

“Teff is one of the lesser-known ancient grains that was once extremely rare in packaged foods but is becoming less so and is attracting interest as a result,” he said.

Attention also is moving toward a new generation of ancient grains with interesting stories and growth potential like Tsampa. An ancient staple food of the Himalayas, Tsampa is just beginning to appear on the new products front and could signal the emergence of a new wave of ancient grains, Mr. Vierhile said.

Ancient grains impart a healthy halo to foods that could use an extra health boost, and the future looks bright for these time-tested alternatives.




Bakery Ingredient Market: Evolving Technology, Trends and Industry Analysis 2020

March 17th, 2018
Comments Off on Bakery Ingredient Market: Evolving Technology, Trends and Industry Analysis 2020

Food ingredients used in bakery industry are known as bakery ingredients. Some of the most commonly found bakery ingredients include, baking powder, flour, butter, baking soda, eggs, honey, yeasts, fruits, nuts, and additional flavors and flavors enhancers and color additives. The purpose of these ingredients includes performing emulsification, protein strengthening and aeration and maintaining freshness in baked food.

Baked products come in a wide variety, and the consumption trends differ inherently to different eating habits and taste from region to region. Some of the most common bakery products include biscuits, breads, cakes, cookies, pastries, torts, pies, chalets and donuts.

Bakery ingredients are broadly categories in five different product segments namely fortification agents, emulsifiers, bases and mixes, functional blends and others. Emulsifier gained the highest market share in 2013. It is closely followed by bases and mixes.

Rising economic, growing standards of living, increasing westernized lifestyles and lack of time to prepare complicated home cooked meals or breakfast in developing countries of Asia Pacific region are driving the demand for baked food.

Time poor consumers of Europe and North America work in hectic schedules and hence they prefer pleasing and versatile snacks such as pocket sandwiches and wraps over leisurely and time consuming food items. Further with increasing population of working women the baked food is becoming more a part of conventional diet and popular alternative to homemade food.

Development of new packaging materials to meet the requirement from changing lifestyles of consumers is providing new growth opportunities for the bakery product market. Advancement in packaging and ongoing product diversification in baked food is expected to promote demand for bakery ingredient in upcoming years.

With long standing culture of bakery and baked food, Europe is the largest regional market for bakery ingredient followed by North America and Asia Pacific. Latin America is one of the biggest markets of bakery ingredient in rest of the world (RoW) region. Asia Pacific region is showing the most promising market for bakery ingredients in recent years. With rising population and improving purchasing power of consumers in developing countries such as China and India, Asia Pacific is expected to witness double digit growth in upcoming years.

The bakery ingredient market in North America and Europe is relatively matured, and future growth is expected primarily from the rising markets of Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East. Growing economy, rising disposable incomes, improving living standards, rising employment rates, and changing lifestyles resulting from westernization are driving the demand of bakery products and hence bakery ingredient in these markets.

The major companies operating in global bakery ingredients market include, Taura, AAK UK, British Bakels Ltd, CSM, Dawn Foods Ltd, Associated British Foods plc, crust ‘n’ crumb food ingredients pvt. Ltd.,Caravan Ingredients, Empire Baking Company and Muntons plc.



Bakery, Ingredients , ,

Food ingredient solutions provider Tate & Lyle expands its application centre in Singapore

March 17th, 2018
Comments Off on Food ingredient solutions provider Tate & Lyle expands its application centre in Singapore

In line with the trend of Singapore’s transformation into leading-edge hub for food and beverage formulation in Asia-Pacific region, the leading food ingredient solutions provider Tate & Lyle has upgraded and doubled the size of its application centre in Singapore fulfilling the industry requirement for making food and beverages with lower sugar, fat and calories, and improve the taste.

World over, the cut down on sugar is becoming a norm, so the food industry is bringing down the sugar content in sugar-rich products while maintaining the taste and flavour. This requires a lot of research and testing with food ingredients. Tate & Lyle with its food scientists collaborate with food and beverage partners to develop great tasting products that meet consumers’ needs. Tate & Lyle’ state-of-the-art laboratory supports pilot-scale capabilities in beverage, dairy, bakery, sauce and dressing processing .

The new centre is enhanced with analytical capabilities by bringing together the multi-disciplinary expertise to drive successful food formulation from the ingredients and recipe, to the application, to the sensory experience. The application and technical service teams at the Centre also provide the technical capability, recipe knowledge and optimisation expertise needed for a manufacturers to overcome processing and scale-up challenges.

Harry Boot, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Tate & Lyle Asia Pacific, said: “Manufacturers are increasingly looking to agile and expert partners like Tate & Lyle to help them meet growing consumer demand for great tasting food and beverages that support balanced diets and lifestyles.

“Our Singapore application centre brings together Tate & Lyle’s cutting-edge science, market leading ingredients and product development capabilities, offering a formulation “one-stop-shop” for manufacturers across the region.”

Tate & Lyle’s Singapore application centre is also the company’s Asia-Pacific Headquarters and is supported by a network of applications laboratories, sales and technical service resources in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Source: Asia Food Journal



DuPont debuts new enzyme strengthening solution for bakery

March 17th, 2018
Comments Off on DuPont debuts new enzyme strengthening solution for bakery

DuPont Nutrition & Health has announced the development of the POWERBake 6000 product range, based on a unique new enzyme that acts as a strengthening solution, adding tolerance and consistency in bread and buns.

The new product range is making its debut at the ASB Baking Tech 2018 convention in Chicago.
The POWERBake 6000 offering is developed to enhance dough strength, but its unique quality is the versatility. Used in combination with other enzymes and ingredients, the range of strengthener products can provide food manufacturers with a variety of new options and capabilities in the development of their baked goods. Those unique combinations also can help with reformulation challenges.
“The versatility of the POWERBake 6000 range can help food manufacturers address many of the issues they are facing in the development of their baked goods,” says David Guilfoyle, Group Manager, Bakery, Fats and Oils. “Combined with the knowledge and capabilities of our applications team, this strengthener can deliver unique solutions and a host of new options for bakery products.”
Guilfoyle told FoodIngredientsFirst: “Presently, we have seen great results in bread, buns, and rolls, in both whole wheat and white patent flour applications. We are currently working on extending our testing to include use in pizza dough, bagels, and English muffins. We anticipate the enzyme solutions will work well in many different applications and we routinely take into consideration the different formulations impact on what solutions is needed. For example, in higher fat baked goods we aim to limit the impact on the rancidity/oxidation flavors over the product’s shelf life when using a solution from the POWERBake 6000 range.”
“We expect the response to this range will be very positive.  The new POWERBake 6000 range addresses a key industry need and helps the baker reformulate their product with a strong solution. The POWERBake 6000 range is an industry proven robust strengthener, and when paired with the POWERBake 7000 range of oxidation systems, the bakery products have incredible oven spring, and very good crumb strength and crumb whitening,” he explains.
The POWERBake 6000 product range boasts many other capabilities, including:
  • Enhancing the emulsification process;
  • Creating a synergistic dough strengthening effect;
  • Improving tolerance to processing variations and raw materials;
  • Increasing the volume of the final product; and
  • Improving crumb structure and whiteness.



Ingredients ,

Sugar reduction tops reformulation agenda as UK sugar tax beckons

March 10th, 2018
Comments Off on Sugar reduction tops reformulation agenda as UK sugar tax beckons

In recent years, a trend for healthier lifestyles has emerged and consumers have become increasingly aware of the ingredients in their food and drinks. As EU sugar consumption figures reach nearly 32kg per person per year, sugar reduction has become the health trend under the spotlight. In fact, one month from today (April 6, 2018), the much-debated sugar tax will come into effect in the UK.

Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have unveiled a new plan to help people cut excessive calories from their diets, as part of the government’s strategy to curb childhood and adult obesity. The health bodies are challenging the food industry to reduce calories in products consumed by families by 20 percent by 2024. You can read the full article about the plans on our sister website NutritionInsight today.
From April 6, 2018, a sugar tax will come into effect in the UK, with essentially two bands of products.
These are:
• A lower rate of 18 pence per liter for drinks with a total sugar content between 5-8g per 100ml.
• A higher rate of 24 pence per liter for drinks with total sugar more than 8g per 100ml.
Drinks with a sugar content lower than 5g per 100ml will not be subject to the levy.
The UK is not alone in taking this taxing route and Ireland will also introduce a similar scheme this April. Since 2010, various strategies have been employed around the world, with some success reported in Mexico, but other countries such as Denmark and Finland stopping it.
There is increasing pressure on manufacturers and brand owners from consumers and legislators to reduce the levels of sugar in all products, particularly soft drinks. However, while consumers want healthier foods with reduced sugar, they are unwilling to compromise on taste.
New consumer research from Kerry has indicated:
•    One in three European consumers are drinking less soft drinks than a year ago.
•    52 percent of consumers buy less soft drinks, because of their high sugar content.
•    60 percent of consumers are looking for more low-sugar drinks.
•    Not all consumers are satisfied with the existing offers, 30 percent associate “healthier drinks” with poorer taste.
While the beverage industry has responded to this demand by producing drinks with low and 0 percent sugar, research shows that 63 percent of consumers are worried about their health implications, with over half saying that they don’t like their taste.
Interestingly, a recent poll conducted in a live webinar hosted by FoodIngredientsFirst and presented by Kerry yesterday finds that 64 percent of the industry believes that reducing sugar in Sweet Confectionery & Bakery will be most challenging, despite ingredient innovation thriving in this area. This application area was followed by Beverages on 20 percent.
“The soft drinks market looks set for growth in 2018 and beyond, development and innovation will be driven by consumers’ changing flavor preferences, the trend to consume less alcohol and the introduction of a ‘sugar tax’ in many European markets,” John Kelly, Senior Marketing Manager, Beverage at Kerry Taste & Nutrition tells The World of Food Ingredients in an interview to appear in the March 2018 issue. “The introduction of the sugar tax across many European markets is having a significant effect on the soft drinks industry/ significant impact on soft – drink manufacturers. We have been working with customers over the past 18 months to accelerate the ‘better for you’ trend, which is dominating right now.”
Kelly stresses that sugar taxes are now a reality and the industry must respond by meeting consumer demand from both a price and a taste perspective while reducing sugar content. “Traditionally, high-intensity sweeteners have been used to reduce sugar, but many of these are now on consumer ‘no-no’ lists and have been red flagged by consumer advocates and bloggers. In addition to consumer perception, while returning perceived sweetness, they cannot deliver the lost functionality, taste and mouthfeel of sugar,” he notes. “This provides an opportunity for innovative food and beverage companies. How do we help our customers reduce sugar content, without sacrificing function or taste?”
“At Kerry, to address this issue, we have created a new product called TasteSense Sweet. The solution can not only reduce sugar content by up to 30 percent but can also build back the sweetness that is lost, when sugar is reduced, allowing consumers to enjoy the taste and mouthfeel that sugar delivers, without the negative labeling impact,” Kelly explains.

Further information about Kerry’s sugar reduction solutions can be found here.

Dean Francis, Chief Executive Officer of sweetener supplier Sweet Green Fields Co., Ltd. notes that everyone in the beverage business knows how the two trends of sugar reduction and clean label are changing the soft drink landscape. But not all people understand how the interactions between these two trends are impacting the industry.

“Direction from consumers and the legislative bodies make high level added sugars the top ‘public enemy.’ Non-nutritive sweeteners could be the cure for lowering the calories in soft drinks, but the sales of the two biggest diet cola have registered an over 5 percent decline in 2015. More and more consumers are putting artificial sweeteners in the list of ingredients to avoid. The top ten 2018 trends released by Innova Insights show, ‘Mindful choices’ and ‘Lighter enjoyment’ are playing a greater role in today’s soft drink space. No/low-cal, but naturally sweetened drinks will continue to be a rising category,” Francis says.

Sweet Green Fields partnering with Tate & Lyle offers a comprehensive range of stevia sweeteners that are extracted from the stevia leaf. Zero calorie and natural sourced makes stevia one of the most applied sweeteners in new beverage products launched globally because stevia addresses to both sugar reduction and clean label demands. SGF’s stevia products – Intesse and Optimizer Stevia – solve stevia’s intrinsic challenges: taste and cost. Respectively for high and medium sugar reduction, these two proprietary products lines deliver sweetness without bitterness or unpleasant aftertaste. The Optimizer Stevia portfolio reflects our commitment to lowering cost-in-use and helps clients save 20-30 percent of related costs when compared to regular high purity stevia sweetener RA97.

“The spreading sugar taxes and levies are a very strong force driving the global beverage manufacturers to reformulate their products with less added sugar. During the last two years, since UK tax proposals were published in March 2016, the sales of the market-leading soft drinks experienced more or less drops,” says Francis.
“We believe there will be more and deeper sugar reduction need when the sugar tax come into effect in April 2018. Beverage manufacturers have been working hard on identifying sugar alternatives that could help them formulate successful products with great taste and lower cost. Sweet Green Fields with Tate & Lyle have been proactively working with drink manufacturers on innovative stevia sweetening solutions, such as Intesse and Optimizer Stevia, in the efforts to transform the legislative pressure into a healthy positioning for the drinks,” he notes.
James Blunt, Senior Vice President and Interim General Manager, Stevia at Tate & Lyle says: “With the soft drinks levies being introduced in the UK, Ireland other European countries and the health and wellness trend continuing to affect purchasing decisions, sugar reduction in beverages will remain a key trend as we look into 2018 and beyond. Manufacturers will continue to manage their formulation challenges as they balance consumers’ demand for low sugar beverages that don’t compromise on taste.”
“Because high-potency sweeteners are significantly sweeter than sucrose, they are used at very low levels in formulations and only provide sweetness without the other functional attributes of sucrose. Manufacturers looking to effectively reduce sugar and calories in their formulations use other ingredients alongside the high-potency sweeteners to deliver the bulk and mouthfeel that sugar provides,” says Blunt.
“In beverages, for example, achieving the appropriate sweetness intensity and mouthfeel in low-/no-sugar beverages can be tricky. Ingredients like soluble fibers are also increasingly used to build back mouthfeel and body to a beverage, which is often missing from reduced sugar drinks. As a result, we’ve seen a growing interest among manufacturers seeking to incorporate fibers in drinks, both to reduce sugar but also respond to the trend for functional ingredients in beverages,” he concludes.
These three and many more interviews with suppliers regarding soft drinks trends and the effects of the sugar tax in the UK will appear in the March 2018 issue of The World of Food Ingredients.

Ingredients , ,

EU Bans Use of Artificial Sweeteners in Dietetic Bakery Products

February 24th, 2018
Comments Off on EU Bans Use of Artificial Sweeteners in Dietetic Bakery Products

As a result of the EU’s new rules on dietetic foods, applicable since July 2016, a whole range of products carrying dietetic suitability statements needed to be re-labeled and/or reformulated. In addition, Commission Regulation 2018/97, published on January 23, 2018, bans the use of artificial sweeteners in fine bakery products aimed at people with special dietary needs. It is applied starting February 13, 2018 but products already on the market can be sold until stocks are exhausted.

This came as a result of the EU’s new rules on dietetic foods, applicable since July 2016 and, in addition, Commission Regulation 2018/97, published on January 23, 2018, bans the use of artificial sweeteners in fine bakery products aimed at people with special dietary needs.

It becomes applicable on February 13, 2018 but products already on the market can be sold until stocks are exhausted.

Commission Regulation 2018/97 removes the category “fine bakery products for special nutritional uses” from the food additives regulation, which means that the following sweeteners may no longer be used in bakery products in the EU:

– E 950 Acesulfame K

– E 951 Aspartame

– E 952 Cyclamic acid and its Na and Ca salts

– E 954 Saccharin and its Na, K and Ca salts

– E 955 Sucralose

– E 959 Neohesperidine DC

– E 961 Neotame – E 962 Salt of aspartame-acesulfame

– E 969 Advantame

The EU’s Food for Specific Groups (FSG) regulation 609/2013, adopted in 2013, became applicable in July 2016. It abolished the concept of “dietetic food” by repealing Directive 2009/39, which set out general rules for “food for particular nutritional uses.” In addition, Regulation 2018/97 removes dietetic fine bakery wares from the additives regulation.

The scope of the FSG regulation 609/2013 is limited to infant and follow-on formula, processed cereal-based and other baby food, food for special medical purposes and total diet replacement for weight control. Products no longer falling within the scope of this regulation, such as dietetic fine bakery products, are regarded as regular food and must comply with existing EU legislation on labeling and nutrition and health claims.

Products Affected a Commission report on foods for diabetics, published in 2008, concluded that there are no scientific grounds for developing specific compositional requirements for this category of foods because diabetics can choose a healthy diet from normal foods. This means that food for diabetics are excluded from the scope of the FSG regulation 609/2013.

By removing the category “fine bakery goods for special nutritional uses” from the additives regulation, the use of the aforementioned artificial sweeteners is no longer allowed in any “fine bakery products” including low-calorie and reduced-sugar bakery products. Bakery products with “energy-reduced” or “with no added sugars” claims, must comply with the criteria set out in the EU’s Nutrition and Health Claims regulation 1924/2006.

The new Regulation foresaw that two reports should be prepared by the Commission in order to analyze the need to establish special rules for: young-child formula (the so called “growing-up milks”) and food intended for sportspeople.



Bakery, Food Safety, Ingredients ,

Government pressure steers reformulation

February 24th, 2018
Comments Off on Government pressure steers reformulation

Salt, sugar and fat long remain to be the perennial villains in the food industry with many food manufacturers and companies looking for healthier ways to reformulate products. Salt is often associated with health conditions, excessive consumption of salt is known to affect heart health and blood pressure, and more recent studies have confirmed that a high-salt diet reduces resting blood flow to the brain and may cause dementia. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the essential minerals in salt can act as important electrolytes in the body. They help with fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle function. There are often conflicting messages that leaves many consumers questioning: “How much is too much?” and “Should I be concerned about salt consumption?” FoodIngredientsFirst takes a close look at what is happening in the industry.

In the UK, the Food Standards Agency introduced a traffic light system to help consumers eat more healthily and highlight the amount of salt, sugar and saturated fats on packaged foods, which can be a good indicator of how healthy a packaged product actually is. More often than not, seemingly “healthy” food is laden with salt, sugar and saturated fats, that otherwise, UK consumers would not be aware of.
A diet high in sodium and low in potassium raises blood pressure and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 2.5 million deaths could be prevented each year if the global sodium consumption would be reduced to the recommended value maximum of 2g per day which corresponds to 5g of salt per day.
Within food, salt can be an important ingredient for shelf life, stabilization, and more importantly, taste. Pre-packaged goods fit in line with many of today’s consumers, who commute daily for work and have very busy hectic lives. Convenience food options are often the “go-to” for quick lunches and easy dinners, but there are categories in which sodium is used to a high level, in breakfast cereals and bakery items.
80 percent of the sodium we eat is in the food we buy, according to Marie Tolkemit, Junior Product Manager of Specialties at Jungbunzlaur. “Looking into statistics it is easy to see that the most sodium we eat comes from processed foods, bakery and meat. So within these categories is the most potential to reduce sodium,” she tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
“We do see a growing governmental pressure to reduce sodium in various countries (e.g. US, Chile, Israel, South Africa, UK) around the globe. In these countries, the governments have already set targets to reduce the sodium intake within their population and the food industry has to follow these targets, in consequence, the awareness to reduce sodium in rising within the population,” she explains.
Next, to these governmental targets, some companies like Nestlé and Mondel?z have set their own sodium targets they want to reach within the next years, which they actively communicate to their customers.
“If we look at consumer surveys we can see that low sodium products are after Low sugar and GMO-free the top 3 requested products,” Tolkemit adds.
“If we look at the claims at newly launched products, we find that most of the low sodium products, entering the market are not actively promoted as being lower in sodium. So the industry might fear that the customers think that a product which has lower sodium content is less tasty,” she claims.
Also speaking with FoodIngredientsFirst, Christiane Lippert, Head of Marketing at Lycored said: “Governments and health bodies across the world have prioritized sodium reduction and consumers are responding – more than six in ten Americans have now cut back on foods higher in salt. The pressure to reduce sodium is often seen as a challenge, but it’s a big opportunity to add qualities that appeal to consumers – in particular, improved taste and umami impact.”
“Cardiovascular disease now accounts for around three in ten deaths worldwide – more than any other illness. Given the link between excessive sodium intake and heart disease, sodium reduction isn’t going to fall off the agenda any time soon,” she explains.
“Salt and sugar are similar in that they’re both necessary for moderation, but dangerous in excess. Average salt intake worldwide is 9-12 grams per day, which is double the recommended maximum level,” Lippert reveals.
David Hart, Business Unit Director for Salt of The Earth also states that food containing less sodium is unambiguously healthier and helps people reach the WHO recommended intake of 5 grams of salt per day. And according to Hart, it is mostly Western countries that have average consumption levels of almost twice the WHO recommendations.
“As long as sodium/salt consumption is significantly above the WHO recommended intake of 5 grams of salt per day, sodium reduction will be a focus,” he notes. “More than 75 countries have national programs for salt/sodium reduction, and these efforts range from consumer education to maximum sodium limits in food, front-of-package labeling and even tax on high-salt foods. These programs are a catalyst for the industry to find solutions for lower salt products.”

Health, Ingredients