Industry leaders across sectors are ensuring that their offerings address the booming clean label trend. This was apparent at Fi Europe 2019, ongoing in Paris, where FoodIngredientsFirst spoke to a variety of companies showcasing their clean label offerings. People are increasingly turning toward ingredients perceived as being more natural, with a 2019 Innova Market Insights consumer survey highlighting that two in three global consumers specifically want to avoid products with ingredients that are difficult to understand.
“In Europe, customers are seeking a very clean label with recognizable ingredients, as well as products that offer good performance and application but that have simple ingredients sources from low-processed foods,” explains Nathalie Pauleau, Global Product Manager of Colours at Naturex, which is part of Givaudan.
At the show, the company is highlighting the addition of Golden Yellow to its VegeBrite range of natural food color additives and coloring foods. They are touted as achieving exact color targets perfectly, with dedicated formulations for all types of confectionery, dairy or bakery products in all geographical areas. However, Pauleau notes that the strong demand is in Europe, particularly in the bakery area.
“They are looking to replace beta-carotene with a clean option, so we are offering powder forms. The dairy and non-dairy industry are also looking for vanilla shades – demands that our product responds to. It also targets markets including sauces, dressings and confectionary,” she says.
She explains how the company’s R&D team had to select carrots with naturally high levels of pigments in order to make an ingredient that is intense enough to replace beta-carotene products. The team obtained a juice concentrate, which could then either be yellow or orange. Naturex was also showcasing its Ultimate Blue Spirulina in the form of a “Blue Moon Oat Latte,” infused with chamomile and lavender concentrated infusions.
Clean label grains and starches
Jonathan Pritchard, Technical Sales Manager at malt supplier Muntons Ingredients, notes that this sector has also seen the clean label trend proliferate, as well as plant-based and vegan trends. “Fortunately for us, the majority of our ingredients already tick those boxes. Therefore, we are promoting this additional layer to our ingredients, as well as its standard uses.”
He continues that the demand for malt has increased significantly across sectors in the last three years, noting that this is being driven by producers being more aware of the benefits. “Consumers still have a little bit to go in terms of understanding what malt adds to products they’re eating. Nonetheless, malt can improve the labeling, the flavoring and the texture or mouthfeel of products.”
He also echoes Pauleau’s observation that the clean label trend is especially strong in Europe. “While foods in the US tend to have very long labels with complex ingredient names, European labels are cleaner with fewer ingredients. This affects the way we sell our products,” Pritchard explains.
Also in the grain space, Kröner Stärke is presenting a clean label flour-based vegan mayonnaise mix, which can be prepared with oil and salt. Henrik de Vries, Commercial Director, highlights that people are increasingly prioritizing clean label products as they seek to avoid E numbers. However, he explains that stability and preparation are often key R&D challenges when formulating clean label products. Tapping into the anti-waste trend, the company has also developed a clean label glue for avoiding the loss of seed on bakery products.
Avebe is showcasing its range of clean label solutions made from potato starches and proteins. “Clean label requires great functionality but without extensive chemicals and harsh conditions. We have several clean label solutions with more to come, which all comply with requirements,” says Bart Pennings, Global Sales Manager.
The Netherlands-based company’s display includes its Perfactasol D range for plant-based dairy alternatives. It is touted as delivering a texture and mouthfeel close to the original dairy product, combined addressing clean label and free-from demands. Plant-based feta, cream cheese and chocolate desserts are also on offer. Pennings explains that the company is working on a plant-based mozzarella, but that properties related to stretch and melting are yet to be perfected.
Finally, Firmenich is displaying its range of natural ingredients produced with supercritical fluid extraction (SFE). Virginie Gervason, Global Marketing Director of Ingredients, notes that the peanut extract was a particularly good example of providing manufacturers with a clean label flavor, as there are currently no natural pyrazines available on the market.
Other highlights of Fi Europe include GNT’s Shades of Aqua colors and Vietnam Food Industries Joint-Stock Company, which took home the Future of Nutrition Award.
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