HEALTHGRAIN Project

      Comments Off on HEALTHGRAIN Project

Cereal foods are major dietary sources of energy, carbohydrate and fibre. Studies are increasingly showing that intake of both whole grain and cereal dietary fibre are able to protect against rapidly increasing chronic diseases related to a sedentary lifestyle, such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

healthgrain_logoThe HEALTHGRAIN Integrated Project aims to improve well-being of consumers and to reduce the risk of metabolic diseases in Europe by increasing the intake of protective compounds in whole grains or their fractions. The aim is to produce health promoting and safe cereal foods and ingredients of high quality which are attractive to consumers. To achieve this, our integrated comprehensive research, training and communication program will deliver means and motivation for optimising levels of compounds in European grain foods that have a biological effect. These health-protective compounds in grains may in addition to dietary fibre include lignans, phenolic acids, alkylresorcinols, phytosterols, folates, tocopherols and tocotrienols, other vitamins, trace elements and minerals. All of these compounds are concentrated in the outer layers of the grain, and are thus removed in production of white wheat flour. HEALTHGRAIN is developing ways to producing cereal foods containing more of these protective compounds. The role of cereal food structure and other factors influencing postprandial glycemic and satiating properties are also being studied in order to develop foods which contribute to metabolic health and weight management.

Read more about this projet here

Share

Weston helps drive Grupo Bimbo income

      Comments Off on Weston helps drive Grupo Bimbo income

sara-leeNet majority income of Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV in the year ended 31 Dec., 2009, was NP5,956 million (US$466 million), up 38% from NP4,320 million in fiscal 2008. Sales rose 42%, climbing to NP116,479 million (US$9,118 million) from NP82,317 million.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, net majority income was NP1,760 million (US$138 million), up 38% from NP1,274 million in the same period a year ago. Sales were NP30,084 million (US$2,355 million), up 36% from NP22,178 million in the same period a year ago.

“It was an outstanding year for Grupo Bimbo, marked by the successful integration of the largest acquisition in its history that along with a more beneficial commodity environment, helped propel the company’s results,” Grupo Bimbo said.

Operating profit in the United States during fiscal 2009 was NP4,261 million (US$334 million), up sharply from NP125 million a year ago. Sales rose 177% to NP49,977 million (US$3,913 million) from NP18,049 million.

“Net sales more than doubled on a quarterly basis when compared to the same period of 2008,” Grupo Bimbo said. “Growth reflected the incorporation of BBU East and higher volumes in both regions. New products, such as Sandwich Thins, which were pioneered by BBU, as well as promotions, helped drive volume growth in a highly competitive environment. For the full year, sales almost tripled … also as a result of the incorporation of BBU East and healthy volume performance.”

In the Mexico division, operating profit was NP7,500 million (US$587 million), up 9% from NP6,855 million in fiscal 2008. Net sales were up narrowly to NP55,388 million (US$4,338 million) from NP54,845 million.

In Latin America, operating profit fell 30% to NP301 million (US$24 million) from NP431 million despite a 20% gain in sales to NP13,606 million. Grupo Bimbo said the declines reflected significant deterioration in its Venezuela operations. Also in the region, the company said it experienced higher sales and distribution expenses associated with efforts to increase penetration, as well as higher labor costs.

Share

EFSA gives positive opinion for sucrose esters of fatty acids

      Comments Off on EFSA gives positive opinion for sucrose esters of fatty acids

efsa-logoThe European Food Safety Authority has issued a positive safety opinion on sucrose esters produced by reacting sucrose and vinyl esters of fatty acids, which could open up new possibilities for improving the solubility of flavourings in drinks.

Sucrose esters of fatty acids are already permitted in the EU, after being assessed in 1992 and assigned the E-number E473. The earlier approval relates to sucrose esters of fatty acids and sucroglycerides from palm oil, lard, and tallow fatty acids.

But Singaporean company Compass Foods applied in 2008 for approval to market sucrose esters from monoesters of lauric acid, mysteristic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. These sucrose esters are produced via a different process, by reacting sucrose and vinyl esters of fatty acids.

This is said to result in very tiny residues of vinyl esters of fatty acid, acetaldehyde, and p-methoxyphenol – but these were not seen to be at a level to raise concern for EFSA’s panel.

EFSA was asked to assess the safety of the sucrose esters produced via this process by the European Commission – as well as whether the go-ahead to use the sucrose esters of fatty acids in water-based beverages would increase total intake levels beyond the current ADI of 40mg/kg. Notably, the sucrose ester of lauric acid was not considered in the evaluation that led to this ADI.

After assessing the evidence, EFSA’s panel concluded that the monosters proposed by Compass Foods would be extensively hydrolysed in the gastrointestinal tract into ocnsituent fatty acids and sucrose before being absorbed.

It found that, as long as the ADI of 40mg/kg is not exceeded, the sucrose esters of fatty acids produced by the new process do not pose a safety issue. However in Ireland, where sucrose esters of fatty acids are used more commonly as a glazing agent for fruits, some consumers could exceed the ADI.

“There is no is no reason to believe that the sucrose monoesters of fatty acids per se produced by the new manufacturing process should in any way have biological or toxicological effects different from those of sucrose monoesters of fatty acids produced by the currently-used manufacturing methods.”

The panel was unconcerned about the lauric acid source, as although there are limited toxicological data on this available, lauric acid is found in quite high levels in a number of foods. In order for the new esters to be permitted, EFSA pointed out that the current specifications would have to be changed to include the sucrose ester of lauric acid.

Moreover, permission would need to be granted for supercritical carbon dioxide to be used as a solvent to make them.

Share

Symrise concentrates umami in new flavour

      Comments Off on Symrise concentrates umami in new flavour

Monosodium glutamate

Monosodium glutamate

Symrise has developed a highly concentrated umami flavour which it will market as a replacer for monosodium glutamate (MSG) in Europe, once approval is granted.

Umami is one of the five taste sensations detectable by humans, together with sweet, bitter, salty and sour. It is the taste quality associated with several amino acids, especially the amino acid L-glutamate.

Symrise already has some unami flavours in its portfolio, but Matthias Hille, category manager of the savoury business unit at Symrise explained that none is as concentrated as the new ingredient. Whereas a standard umami flavour would be added at a level of around 0.12 per cent in a gravy, for instance, the new Symlife Umami can be used at 5 parts per million (ppm).

“The major advantage is that in its diluted format can be as a direct MSG replacer,” said Hille. Some consumers are inclined to avoid MSG, as they have a negative association of it.

Symlife Umami can be added to other flavourings sold by Symrise to give a boost to the umani perception, such as chicken flavour or other less concentrated umami ingredients. He explained that dosing the ingredient one gram at a time via pipette is not feasible for industry, which prefers to work with 25kg bags.

Aiming for positive list

Symrise’ R&D team spent three years working on Symlife Umani. While it is already being employed by some manufacturers of savoury products in Asia Pacific and has FEMA GRAS (generally recognised as safe) status in the US, it is not yet permitted in the EU.

Hille said it is on the evaluation list of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), with an opinion expected by the end of this year. “We don’t expect big challenges,” he said. Once the opinion is granted, the ingredient is expected to be added to positive list of permitted flavours under the new flavouring regulation.

The company is already communication about the development to customers, however, due to the long lead time for trying it out in their products.

The umani flavouring is produced by a symthetic process. It was developed after the R&D team identified a unique perception from raw material, and carried out structure performance tests to identify the molecules responsible for that perception. The scientists then worked together with the flavourists to recreate the quality.

Hille said they have been “able to prove this ingredient is also working directly on the receptor in our mouths”.

Umami market

While umami is closely associated with Asian cuisine, Hille predicts that the tide away from using MSG in products means Europe could be just as big a market for the new flavouring as Asia.

Symrise is not the only firm aiming at MSG replacement. Givaudan said last year that it has discovered molecules associated with umami as part of its TasteSolutions programme, by analysing “traditional fermentation processes, cooking techniques and artisanal ingredients” from around the world. This research, as well as its research into taste perception, forms the basis for its new clean label ingredients.

In 2007 US-based Wild Flavors, too, launched a new taste modification platform called SavorCrave that was claimed to allow manufacturers of savoury goods to add the distinct umami flavor and mouthfeel to soups, sauces, meat marinades, frozen entrees and seasonings.

Yeast extracts, too, have targeted the umami space, though Hille said Symrise’s new concentrated flavour could have cost advantages. It is still exploring this proposition, but depending on the kind of yeast extracts, the application and the dosage level Hille reckons the saving could be in the region of 15-20 per cent.

Symrise has developed a highly concentrated umami flavour which it will market as a replacer for monosodium glutamate (MSG) in Europe, once approval is granted.

Umami is one of the five taste sensations detectable by humans, together with sweet, bitter, salty and sour. It is the taste quality associated with several amino acids, especially the amino acid L-glutamate.

Symrise already has some unami flavours in its portfolio, but Matthias Hille, category manager of the savoury business unit at Symrise explained to FoodNavigator.com that none is as concentrated as the new ingredient. Whereas a standard umami flavour would be added at a level of around 0.12 per cent in a gravy, for instance, the new Symlife Umami can be used at 5 parts per million (ppm).

“The major advantage is that in its diluted format can be as a direct MSG replacer,” said Hille. Some consumers are inclined to avoid MSG, as they have a negative association of it.

Symlife Umami can be added to other flavourings sold by Symrise to give a boost to the umani perception, such as chicken flavour or other less concentrated umami ingredients. He explained that dosing the ingredient one gram at a time via pipette is not feasible for industry, which prefers to work with 25kg bags.

Aiming for positive list

Symrise’ R&D team spent three years working on Symlife Umani. While it is already being employed by some manufacturers of savoury products in Asia Pacific and has FEMA GRAS (generally recognised as safe) status in the US, it is not yet permitted in the EU.

Hille said it is on the evaluation list of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), with an opinion expected by the end of this year. “We don’t expect big challenges,” he said. Once the opinion is granted, the ingredient is expected to be added to positive list of permitted flavours under the new flavouring regulation.

Share

Sara Lee Introduces New Sara Lee® Soft & Smooth® Plus Made with DHA Omega-3 Bread

      Comments Off on Sara Lee Introduces New Sara Lee® Soft & Smooth® Plus Made with DHA Omega-3 Bread

First Nationally Distributed Bread of Its Kind Provides New Way to Incorporate DHA-Omega 3 into Children’s Diets

sara-leeSara Lee North American Fresh Bakery today announced the expansion of its successful Soft & Smooth bread line with the introduction of its new Sara Lee® Soft & Smooth Plus breads Made with DHA Omega-3. Based on a growing body of scientific evidence, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) Omega-3 helps to support healthy brain development1. Sara Lee Soft & Smooth Plus breads provide moms with a nutritious and simple means to ensure their children continue to receive the benefits of DHA Omega-3, together with other sources of DHA in their the diet, beyond infant formula and jarred baby food.

“While moms recognize that DHA Omega-3 is important to their child’s diet, it can be difficult to incorporate, especially with picky eaters who turn their nose at one of the most common sources – fish,” said Dr. Alanna Levine, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and parenting-expert. “If parents can add small portions of DHA into their child’s diet from a variety of sources – especially in something as palatable as a mild, soft-textured bread – it’s easy for their child to get the daily nutrition they need.”

Available in 100% Whole Wheat and Made with Whole Grain White, Sara Lee Soft & Smooth Plus Made with DHA Omega-3 breads are the first nationally distributed breads of its kind in the United States. The new breads provide moms an option for their little ones that contains a portion of their daily recommended whole grain intake along with the mild taste and soft texture inherent in the Sara Lee Soft & Smooth line, now with DHA Omega-3. life’sDHA™, the algae-based ingredient that provides Sara Lee Soft & Smooth Plus bread with DHA Omega-3 nutrient, is produced by Martek Biosciences Corporation (Martek).

“We understand the need to ensure proper nutrition through all stages of life especially in younger children,” said Tim Zimmer, vice president, Sara Lee North American Fresh Bakery. “Bread with DHA Omega-3 is an excellent and simple way to provide moms with a great-tasting, nutritious option their little ones will love.”

Both varieties of Sara Lee Soft & Smooth Plus Made with DHA Omega-3 breads contain 12 mg of DHA Omega-3 per two-slice serving, which is at least 10 percent of the Institute of Medicine’s suggested daily amount for kids, depending on age, ranging from 1-13 years old2. Years of research show a role for DHA in the normal development and functioning of the brain1, especially in supporting healthy brain development during those early years when it makes a difference.

“Martek continually aims to provide resources to companies like Sara Lee so together we can promote health and wellness throughout all stages of life,” said David Abramson, president of Martek Biosciences Corporation. “Combining our life’sDHA with the Soft & Smooth product is a natural partnership.”

About DHA Omega-3/life’sDHA™

DHA Omega-3 is a long-chain Omega-3 fatty acid that serves as a primary building block for the brain and the eyes and supports brain, eye and heart health. Scientific reviews highlight the importance of DHA Omega-3 in proper brain and eye development and function, as well as its importance in cardiovascular health. Yet despite its importance, most consumers do not get enough DHA in their diets.

Fish are often incorrectly thought to be the only source of DHA Omega-3. However, life’sDHA™ offers a trusted, vegetarian form of DHA. Fish are sources of DHA because of the DHA-rich microalgae in their food chain; life’sDHA is derived directly from microalgae, a renewable, sustainable source of DHA that does not deplete ocean resources.

Share

General Mills hails global cereal venture as success

      Comments Off on General Mills hails global cereal venture as success

Cereal Partners WorldwideHighlighted by compound annual sales growth of 11% since 2005, Cereal Partners Worldwide “ranks as one of the biggest and best new food companies created in the past 20 years,” said Christopher D. O’Leary, executive vice-president and chief operating officer, international, General Mills, Inc.

Mr. O’Leary offered an overview of CPW as part of a wide-ranging presentation by General Mills executives at the 2010 Consumer Analyst Group of New York annual conference, held at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Boca Raton.

Established 20 years ago as a partnership between Nestle SA and General Mills, CPW generates net sales of more than US$2 billion across more than 130 countries, producing cereal in 14 production plants with 4,000 employees. Mr. O’Leary said the company has roughly a 25% market share in cereal worldwide, excluding the United States and Canada.

Commenting on the sales growth, Mr. O’Leary noted that the acquisition of the Uncle Tobys business in Australia helped but said product innovation and marketing were the principal drivers.

“But this growth story is still in its early chapters,” he said. “We see big opportunities ahead for CPW and for the global cereal market fueled by product news and innovation, emerging market expansion, our HMM (holistic margin management) business model and marketing initiatives to drive increases in per capita consumption.

“Our global brands — Cheerios, Nesquik, Fitness, Chocapic — have driven 80% of our growth in the last four years. We also have strong regional brands like Shredded Wheat, Shreddies and Milo.”

Mr. O’Leary said CPW has intensified marketing efforts in emerging markets where the expansion of the middle class has made cereal a more affordable breakfast for consumers.

Also offering opportunities for growth will be communicating the health and nutrition benefits of ready-to-eat cereal, Mr. O’Leary said. In many instances, this communication means comparing R-T-E cereal with traditional breakfast options, he said.

“We are also advertising our whole grain advantage and specific benefits like calcium and iron,” Mr. O’Leary said. “As consumers understand the benefits, we think more people will eat cereal and more often.

“There is a lot of upside here. Some markets have per capita consumption levels similar to what we see in the United States, but most other markets have a lot of room to grow.”

Looking forward, Mr. O’Leary said CPW hopes to reach US$2.8 billion in sales by 2015, up 40% from 2009. Operating profits should grow even faster than sales, he said.

General Mills chief executive officer Kendall J. Powell led off the CAGNY presentation noting that at the February 2008 CAGNY, the company had projected 2010 sales of US$14 billion and earnings of US$4.05 per share.

“Since then our business has shown accelerating growth, and we are on track to surpass our 2010 targets,” he said. “Net sales actually reached US$14.7 billion last year.”

Offering a forward look at General Mills financial expectations was Donal L. Mulligan, executive vice-president and chief financial officer .

From the base of US$14.7 billion last year, Mr. Mulligan forecast annual sales growth in the low single digits, reaching US$18 billion by 2015.

At the bottom line, he said General Mills expects earnings per share to grow at a high single-digit rate and will reach US$6.75 per share by 2010.

“That is a 9% compound annual growth rate from adjusted earnings per share of US$3.98 in fiscal 2009, and it represents 8% compound growth from the midpoint of our earnings per share guidance for fiscal 2010,” he said.

Share

Emulsifiers meet multiple demands

      Comments Off on Emulsifiers meet multiple demands

Natural emulsifiers are taking a larger share of the market, reports Sarah Houlton, with lecithin cornering the lion’s share. But there are even wider alternatives available to manufacturers sourcing emulsifiers for their products.

yeastMany different food types, from bread to chocolate to beverages, rely on emulsifiers for their texture and stability. According to Arthi V (her full name is much longer), senior research analyst in the chemicals, materials and foods group at Frost & Sullivan, more than 70% of the $663 million European market for emulsifiers consists of one or other form of synthetic emulsifier. However, there has been a resurgence in interest in natural emulsifiers, While less than a third of the market is made up of natural products, this is a substantial rise from the 16% share they had as recently as 2005.

Sources of lecithin

The natural emulsifier market is dominated by lecithin, but this represents a variety of sources, formats and functionalities. It is a mixture of phospholipids, which are present in all cell membranes, and the precise composition depends on the source. Frost & Sullivan estimates about 95% of lecithin is commercially produced by crushing soybeans, and then extracting lecithin from the resulting soy oil. Other commercial sources include palm oil, rapeseed oil and sunflower oil, as well as milk and eggs.

While many synthetic emulsifiers have been developed over the years, according to Heidi Schmitt, R&D manager at German lecithin specialist Lecico, lecithin remains an important emulsifier for the simple reason that in many cases it works better than the alternatives. “Perhaps the most important food use of lecithin is chocolate. Other emulsifiers are used, but this is mainly in combination with lecithin because no-one has developed an emulsifier with the same functionality as lecithin at the same price ratio,” she says.

Another important application where lecithin still dominates is margarine. “Here, it is commonly used as a co-emulsifier with synthetic lecithins because it prevents spattering when frying,” she explains. “Again, lecithin has not been eliminated from the formulation because nothing else has been found that performs as well. It’s also useful in fat-reduced spreads, even if they are not used for frying, because lecithin helps with flavour development.”

Non-GM demand

Because of the predominance of soybeans as the source of lecithin, GMO content is a real issue. Frost & Sullivan’s Arthi V indicates that while, as might be expected, the European market is completely dominated by non-GMO lecithin, in the US the genetically modified version is much more common. Traceability and analysis requirements push the price of non-GMO product up, and soya is a potential allergen so it must have a label declaration. This is not the case for other sources such as sunflower.

“Several customers have looked into using sunflower instead, but it’s not comparable to soya, particularly in terms of flavour,” Schmitt explains. There are similar residual taste issues with rapeseed, milk and egg lecithins. “They go back to soya because they have flavour problems in the final product with sunflower as it has a distinct taste. Sunflower lecithin makes white chocolate taste terrible – but it could work in dark chocolate where the chocolate flavour is much stronger.”

The future for lecithin will hold more new sources, and combining technological functionality with physiological functionality, Schmitt believes. “At Fi Europe in Frankfurt last year, many chocolate and beverage industry visitors to our stand were looking for lecithins that could add health aspects to their products,” she says. “Lecithins from milk, egg and marine sources are more expensive, but their phospholiphid composition means they have potential in the health food and food supplement industries.”

Some enzymes and other proteins can have emulsifying properties, and in many industries these products predominate. “Enzymes have made rapid strides in the bakery sector,” claims Arthi V. “Advantages such as crumb softness, volume, advanced technology, increased resistance towards chemical processes and decreased production costs aid in the gradual replacement of emulsifiers by enzymes, especially in the bakery and dairy industries,” she says.

aditivosEnzymes are not in themselves emulsifiers – they produce emulsifiers in situ from naturally occurring substances such as the lipids in flour. As they are denatured during baking they are not present in the final product, and thus do not have to be declared on the label as they are not considered additives. The clean label and cost-effectiveness of enzymes has led to a rapid uptake in the bakery sector, where they are now firmly established. “In general, enzymatically derived emulsifiers will allow for lower dosage levels, thereby decreasing handling and storage space,” says Caroline van Benschop, global product application specialist at DSM Food Specialties. “They can be used in all types of applications from steam buns to tin-baked sandwich bread, as well as certain types of French bread.”

Choices for bread

One traditional bakery emulsifier which is being replaced by enzymes is diacetyl tartaric ester of monoglyceride, or Datem. This helps build a strong gluten network, thus strengthening the dough. The enzymes react with the lipids that are naturally present in wheat flour to create molecules with very similar structures and functions to Datem. With the correct ingredient mix and processing, enzymes can give results every bit as good as Datem itself, if not better. One such enzyme is DSM’s Panamore Golden which, according to van Benschop, is cheaper than Datem, and gives improvements in volume, oven spring and shred, and the overall tolerance and shape of the final bread, while keeping the label clean.

Researchers have been comparing the performance of enzymes and non-enzymatic emulsifiers in the lab. A recently published study from scientists at the University of New South Wales (S. Moayedallaie et al, Food Chemistry, published online ahead of print 20.10.09) compared Datem with several different enzymes – Novozymes’ Lipopan 50-BG, F-BG and Xtra-BG, and Danisco’s Gryndamyl Excel 16. They found that with the exception of Lipopan 50-BG, the enzymes all gave the significant increases in rise and volume one would expect with Datem. Additional advantages with enzymes are that, unlike Datem, they do not cake, and much lower volume dosages are needed.

Cost savings

DSM’s latest lipolytic enzyme complex, Panamore Spring, is designed to replace a different class of bakery emulsifiers – calcium and sodium stearoyl lactylates (CSL and SSL). Again, it acts on the lipids naturally present in flour, explains van Benschop. However, its lipase profile has been adapted to generate molecules that are almost identical to SSL/CSL.

“These traditional emulsifiers can be replaced by Panamore Spring without any major changes to the production process,” she says. “As enzymes already enjoy widespread use, they can simply be added in a similar way. Traditionally, this takes place at the beginning of the breadmaking process during the mixing of all ingredients.” She adds that it is particularly useful when variable flour quality is an issue, and can offer cost savings of up to 50%, as well as that all-important clean label.

aditivosIf there is no suitable enzymatic emulsifier to give a clean label, it’s still possible to meet customer demands for natural ingredients with the new breed of naturally-sourced emulsifiers. This is particularly the case in the beverage sector. “In today’s competitive marketplace, emulsifiers must meet multiple demands,” claims Claudia Fiannaca, National Starch Food Innovation’s business development manager, beverages and flavours. “Consumers are showing a growing preference for products with natural ingredients. Therefore, emulsifiers that combine high functionality with a consumer-friendly or ‘natural’ label are now extremely sought after.”

She adds: “Manufacturers are looking for emulsifiers that are easy to use and neutral tasting. Ingredients that produce specific effects, such as increased turbidity or clear beverage emulsions, are also in demand.”

Newer emulsifiers such as National Starch’s Purity Gum range are effective at lower usage levels than gum Arabic and have higher oil loading properties, while being compatible with many of the other ingredients commonly used in beverages, such as natural colours, flavours, vitamins, nutrients and cloud emulsions.

The company’s latest naturally sourced emulsifier, Q-Naturale, is a sustainable emulsifier derived from the native South American quillaia tree. “It is stable in terms of supply and quality, and performs similarly to gum Arabic in sensory testing,” Fiannaca says. “It has higher emulsification performance that enables extremely low usage levels or high oil load emulsions.” It has applications in a range of beverage products, both carbonated and non-carbonated, and is also able to stabilise nutrients such as omega-3s.

Sustainable and natural

According to DSM’s van Benschop, the key trend she is currently seeing is the demand for sustainably-sourced ingredients and natural solutions. “Our customers have wide-ranging requests, such as finding one enzyme for all applications, or looking for ways to smooth out seasonal differences in raw materials like flour, eggs and milk.”

Fiannaca adds that her customers in the beverage market are also looking for lower cost-in-use ingredients, but there’s a difficult balance that needs to be struck between acceptable cost and meeting customer desires. “Manufacturers need excellent functionality at an affordable price – emulsification solutions must deliver high quality results in conjunction with a cost benefit,” she says.

That at least is one requirement that emulsifiers share with other ingredients.

Source:  Ingredients Network

Natural emulsifiers are taking a larger share of the market, reports Sarah Houlton, with lecithin cornering the lion’s share. But there are even wider alternatives available to manufacturers sourcing emulsifiers for their products.

Many different food types, from bread to chocolate to beverages, rely on emulsifiers for their texture and stability. According to Arthi V (her full name is much longer), senior research analyst in the chemicals, materials and foods group at Frost & Sullivan, more than 70% of the $663 million European market for emulsifiers consists of one or other form of synthetic emulsifier. However, there has been a resurgence in interest in natural emulsifiers, While less than a third of the market is made up of natural products, this is a substantial rise from the 16% share they had as recently as 2005.

Sources of lecithin

The natural emulsifier market is dominated by lecithin, but this represents a variety of sources, formats and functionalities. It is a mixture of phospholipids, which are present in all cell membranes, and the precise composition depends on the source. Frost & Sullivan estimates about 95% of lecithin is commercially produced by crushing soybeans, and then extracting lecithin from the resulting soy oil. Other commercial sources include palm oil, rapeseed oil and sunflower oil, as well as milk and eggs.

While many synthetic emulsifiers have been developed over the years, according to Heidi Schmitt, R&D manager at German lecithin specialist Lecico, lecithin remains an important emulsifier for the simple reason that in many cases it works better than the alternatives. “Perhaps the most important food use of lecithin is chocolate. Other emulsifiers are used, but this is mainly in combination with lecithin because no-one has developed an emulsifier with the same functionality as lecithin at the same price ratio,” she says.

Another important application where lecithin still dominates is margarine. “Here, it is commonly used as a co-emulsifier with synthetic lecithins because it prevents spattering when frying,” she explains. “Again, lecithin has not been eliminated from the formulation because nothing else has been found that performs as well. It’s also useful in fat-reduced spreads, even if they are not used for frying, because lecithin helps with flavour development.”

Non-GM demand

Because of the predominance of soybeans as the source of lecithin, GMO content is a real issue. Frost & Sullivan’s Arthi V indicates that while, as might be expected, the European market is completely dominated by non-GMO lecithin, in the US the genetically modified version is much more common. Traceability and analysis requirements push the price of non-GMO product up, and soya is a potential allergen so it must have a label declaration. This is not the case for other sources such as sunflower.

“Several customers have looked into using sunflower instead, but it’s not comparable to soya, particularly in terms of flavour,” Schmitt explains. There are similar residual taste issues with rapeseed, milk and egg lecithins. “They go back to soya because they have flavour problems in the final product with sunflower as it has a distinct taste. Sunflower lecithin makes white chocolate taste terrible – but it could work in dark chocolate where the chocolate flavour is much stronger.”

The future for lecithin will hold more new sources, and combining technological functionality with physiological functionality, Schmitt believes. “At Fi Europe in Frankfurt last year, many chocolate and beverage industry visitors to our stand were looking for lecithins that could add health aspects to their products,” she says. “Lecithins from milk, egg and marine sources are more expensive, but their phospholiphid composition means they have potential in the health food and food supplement industries.”

Some enzymes and other proteins can have emulsifying properties, and in many industries these products predominate. “Enzymes have made rapid strides in the bakery sector,” claims Arthi V. “Advantages such as crumb softness, volume, advanced technology, increased resistance towards chemical processes and decreased production costs aid in the gradual replacement of emulsifiers by enzymes, especially in the bakery and dairy industries,” she says.

Enzymes are not in themselves emulsifiers – they produce emulsifiers in situ from naturally occurring substances such as the lipids in flour. As they are denatured during baking they are not present in the final product, and thus do not have to be declared on the label as they are not considered additives. The clean label and cost-effectiveness of enzymes has led to a rapid uptake in the bakery sector, where they are now firmly established. “In general, enzymatically derived emulsifiers will allow for lower dosage levels, thereby decreasing handling and storage space,” says Caroline van Benschop, global product application specialist at DSM Food Specialties. “They can be used in all types of applications from steam buns to tin-baked sandwich bread, as well as certain types of French bread.”

Choices for bread

One traditional bakery emulsifier which is being replaced by enzymes is diacetyl tartaric ester of monoglyceride, or Datem. This helps build a strong gluten network, thus strengthening the dough. The enzymes react with the lipids that are naturally present in wheat flour to create molecules with very similar structures and functions to Datem. With the correct ingredient mix and processing, enzymes can give results every bit as good as Datem itself, if not better. One such enzyme is DSM’s Panamore Golden which, according to van Benschop, is cheaper than Datem, and gives improvements in volume, oven spring and shred, and the overall tolerance and shape of the final bread, while keeping the label clean.

Researchers have been comparing the performance of enzymes and non-enzymatic emulsifiers in the lab. A recently published study from scientists at the University of New South Wales (S. Moayedallaie et al, Food Chemistry, published online ahead of print 20.10.09) compared Datem with several different enzymes – Novozymes’ Lipopan 50-BG, F-BG and Xtra-BG, and Danisco’s Gryndamyl Excel 16. They found that with the exception of Lipopan 50-BG, the enzymes all gave the significant increases in rise and volume one would expect with Datem. Additional advantages with enzymes are that, unlike Datem, they do not cake, and much lower volume dosages are needed.

Cost savings

DSM’s latest lipolytic enzyme complex, Panamore Spring, is designed to replace a different class of bakery emulsifiers – calcium and sodium stearoyl lactylates (CSL and SSL). Again, it acts on the lipids naturally present in flour, explains van Benschop. However, its lipase profile has been adapted to generate molecules that are almost identical to SSL/CSL.

“These traditional emulsifiers can be replaced by Panamore Spring without any major changes to the production process,” she says. “As enzymes already enjoy widespread use, they can simply be added in a similar way. Traditionally, this takes place at the beginning of the breadmaking process during the mixing of all ingredients.” She adds that it is particularly useful when variable flour quality is an issue, and can offer cost savings of up to 50%, as well as that all-important clean label.

If there is no suitable enzymatic emulsifier to give a clean label, it’s still possible to meet customer demands for natural ingredients with the new breed of naturally-sourced emulsifiers. This is particularly the case in the beverage sector. “In today’s competitive marketplace, emulsifiers must meet multiple demands,” claims Claudia Fiannaca, National Starch Food Innovation’s business development manager, beverages and flavours. “Consumers are showing a growing preference for products with natural ingredients. Therefore, emulsifiers that combine high functionality with a consumer-friendly or ‘natural’ label are now extremely sought after.”

She adds: “Manufacturers are looking for emulsifiers that are easy to use and neutral tasting. Ingredients that produce specific effects, such as increased turbidity or clear beverage emulsions, are also in demand.”

Newer emulsifiers such as National Starch’s Purity Gum range are effective at lower usage levels than gum Arabic and have higher oil loading properties, while being compatible with many of the other ingredients commonly used in beverages, such as natural colours, flavours, vitamins, nutrients and cloud emulsions.

The company’s latest naturally sourced emulsifier, Q-Naturale, is a sustainable emulsifier derived from the native South American quillaia tree. “It is stable in terms of supply and quality, and performs similarly to gum Arabic in sensory testing,” Fiannaca says. “It has higher emulsification performance that enables extremely low usage levels or high oil load emulsions.” It has applications in a range of beverage products, both carbonated and non-carbonated, and is also able to stabilise nutrients such as omega-3s.

Sustainable and natural

According to DSM’s van Benschop, the key trend she is currently seeing is the demand for sustainably-sourced ingredients and natural solutions. “Our customers have wide-ranging requests, such as finding one enzyme for all applications, or looking for ways to smooth out seasonal differences in raw materials like flour, eggs and milk.”

Fiannaca adds that her customers in the beverage market are also looking for lower cost-in-use ingredients, but there’s a difficult balance that needs to be struck between acceptable cost and meeting customer desires. “Manufacturers need excellent functionality at an affordable price – emulsification solutions must deliver high quality results in conjunction with a cost benefit,” she says.

That at least is one requirement that emulsifiers share with other ingredients.

Share

Nestle optimistic about 2010

      Comments Off on Nestle optimistic about 2010

nestle_logoChocolate giant Nestle is eyeing continued growth in 2010 following stronger-than-anticipated figures for 2009.

It has been reported that the Swiss firm posted full year profits of 10.4 billion Swiss francs (£6.2 billion).

The firm, which makes brands including Kit Kat and Nescafe, saw growth across a number of sectors, with only bottled water posting a decline, with a sales drop of 1.4 per cent year-on-year.

However, despite its predictions of growth, the firm remains cautious about the year ahead, telling the Press Association: “UK consumers are more price-conscious than ever and the retail market continues to be intensely competitive.”

In 2009, the firm saw a 5.3 per cent increase in Kit Kat sales and a ten per cent rise among its Rowntree brands, in the UK.

Earlier this week, Heinz raised its 2010 outlook to a maximum of $2.85 per share due to growth in emerging markets.

For the third quarter of 2010, the firm expects to report a profit of 82 cents per share.

Share

Chocolate may reduce stroke risk

      Comments Off on Chocolate may reduce stroke risk

chocolate negroJust in time for Valentine’s Day, research out this week suggests eating chocolate may have a positive impact on stroke. Don’t go buying too many heart boxes just yet, though, say the study authors.

A new analysis, which involved a review of three prior studies, suggests eating about a bar of chocolate a week can help cut the risk of stroke and lower the risk of death after a stroke. But the evidence is still limited, says study author, neurologist Gustavo Saposnik at St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto.

One study they looked at found that 44,489 people who ate one serving of chocolate per week were 22% less likely to have a stroke than people who ate no chocolate. Another study found that 1,169 people who ate 50 grams of chocolate once a week were 46% less likely to die following a stroke than people who didn’t eat chocolate.

The research appears in this week’s Neurology and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 62nd annual meeting in Toronto in April.

New chocolate-stroke studies should also take into account age and gender of consumers, says Italo Mocchetti, a professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Georgetown University Medical Center. Mocchetti, who has studied flavonoids, says this chemical, which is found in cocoa, is linked to anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

The chocolate-health connection is something many clients are interested in, says Katrina Markoff, owner of the premium chocolate line Vosges.

Share

Cadbury chocolate Fairtrade certified

      Comments Off on Cadbury chocolate Fairtrade certified

cadbury_block_2Cadbury’s dairy milk chocolate will now sport a “Fairtrade” logo on its redesigned packaging, while retaining the smaller block size it switched to last year.

The confectionary maker would also increase the amount of cocoa solids in its product, from 21% to 26%.

All of the ingredients in the company’s nine Cadbury Dairy Milk products that could be certified “Fairtrade” would be, New Zealand managing director Matthew Oldham said.

The move follows widespread criticism of a decision in August last year to switch to using palm oil in its chocolate.

The firm started using palm oil as part of a cost-cutting exercise, which also saw the 150g and 250g bars shed about 20% of their weight.

Palm oil production was responsible for the rapid destruction of rainforest habitats and remained the single greatest threat to the existence of orangutans, and many other South East Asian wildlife species.

Though Cadbury only bought and used certified sustainable palm oil for the brief time it used it in its chocolate, the public had spoken – and wanted the palm oil out, Oldham said.

Cadbury responded to public outcry and changing back to the original recipe the new-look, logo-emblazoned chocolates would be on shelves in time for Easter, he said.

The smaller product size would remain.

The company’s use of Fairtrade product would help improve life for more than 40,000 Ghanaian cocoa farmers, who grew the beans the company used in its chocolate, Mr Oldham said.

Source : Reuters

Share