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Healthy gets tasty

By Rick Pendrous , 04-Nov-2005

The Food Ingredients Europe (FIE) show, which takes place over three days in Paris from November 28, will provide the launch pad for a number of 'healthy' new ingredients. Rick Pendrous samples what's on offer

Science meets taste at the FIE show, which takes place in Paris from November 28 to December 1. And it just might provide some solutions to an industry under serious attack from consumers and regulators.

For UK manufacturers in particular, it is a critical moment. Food is under the spotlight for causing obesity and contributing to a deterioration in our well being. It is also a time when poor quality ingredients are being pilloried as never before.

It is unlikely that the myriad of new developments to emerge at the show will provide the single magic ingredient capable of averting the torrent of bad press that manufacturers now face. But with obesity now recognised as a threat to the health of the world, rather than the preserve of indolent western consumers, major international ingredient companies will invest heavily to turn this threat into a business opportunity.

Apart from the industry’s frantic efforts as a whole to respond to the attacks it has faced over health, one trend that has underpinned ingredients supply over the past year or so has been the consolidation it has experienced.

Take global food ingredients producer Thermphos International, which has been involved in several major acquisitions, including the takeover of Rhodia’s European speciality phosphates business. The company will use the Paris show to emphasise its presence in four key sectors: bakery; meat; seafood and poultry; and beverages and soft drinks, showing its ingredients used in several well-known brands.

Calcium fortification

With concern about insufficient calcium uptake an increasingly topical issue, inulin supplier Orafti Active Food Ingredients will present visitors with the results of research into calcium absorption and bone mineral density, as well as general infant wellbeing. The work, carried out by an independent academic, was commissioned to evaluate whether Orafti’s oligofructose-enriched inulin, Raftilose Synergy 1, could increase calcium retention within bones. It showed increased bone mineral content after a year by 15% and a change in bone mineral density of more than 45% compared to the control group.

In an attempt to reduce fat and bring a healthier image to indulgent products, Palsgaard will introduce a new emulsifier-stabiliser system for aerated desserts. The company claims it is possible to make a dessert with 2.5% fat or even none at all, while maintaining the organoleptic characteristics similar to full-fat products.

If it’s theatre you’re after, then perhaps Chr. Hansen’s Magical Sensory Tour truck is the one for you. The centrepiece of the ingredient company’s stand will be an 18t truck fully equipped for presentations and showcases. FIE is the final stop on the truck’s five week promotional campaign through Germany and France.

Among the innovative solutions on display will be Chr. Hansen’s new system for producing second generation probiotic products like orange juice or drinking milk with BB-12, claimed to be the world’s most popular probiotic bacteria. Also, information will be available on a 'top secret', new enzyme solution that the company claims is bound to be an eye opener for cheese makers around the world.

Meanwhile, Sisterna will exhibit its sucrose esters, used as emulsifiers in bakery, confectionery, sauces and dressings manufacture. These are said to help bakers achieve extended shelf-life, while speeding up crystallisation and reducing crystal size during confectionery manufacture, resulting in soft, non-sticky confectionery and fondants.

Appetite suppressants

DSM Food Specialities will highlight several innovations, including its Fabuless weight management ingredient, Maxapal A2, a microbial enzyme and its new Savorkey range of chicken and beef flavourings. DSM will also show the Lafti range of probiotic cultures aimed at dairy products, which are claimed to have excellent stability and survivability in people’s stomachs.

Fabuless is a combination of oat and palm oils specifically developed for use in dairy products. By triggering natural appetite control, it is claimed to help control food intake, while improving mouthfeel and texture.

Maxapal A2 is a microbial enzyme, which provides good emulsion properties to egg yolks and yolk-based products. It offers a replacement for pig-based enzymes, particularly in Kosher and Halal certified foods and is said to open up new possibilities for relaunching and repositioning mayonnaises and sauces.

Whey ingredients supplier Carbery will have on show a wide range of whey proteins and an extended range of hydrolysates. An improved range of ‘instantised’ isolates and concentrates and a complete whey protein beverage formulation for nutritional applications will also be launched.

Isolates, concentrates and fractions for whey protein fortification in everyday beverages, meal replacement bars and nutritional soups will be on show, as will ingredients for specialised products such as infant formulae and sports nutrition, weight management, immune support and recovery foods.

US firm Sensient Technologies will be making the most of its ‘clean label’ flavourings and colourings, again in an attempt to level the health/indulgent imbalance. It will be promoting confectionery products which combine “luxury and wellness"; controlled energy release beverage ingredients; clean label, low salt and low fat ingredients for snacks; and a peanut-free satay sauce.

Caramel colour supplier D D Williamson will display its line of burnt sugars and Class 1 ‘plain’ caramel colours at the show. It will also show a wide selection of Class 3 caramels with salt and beer stability, used in sauces, non-alcoholic malted beverages, beer, cider and shandy.

Sugar substitution

On the sugar reduction front Roquette will be promoting its Nutriose soluble fibres and maltitol product Maltisorb, a sucrose substitute.

Danisco Sweeteners will provide expert advice on the health and nutritional benefits of its functional ingredients. Health benefits include reduced fat, reduced sugar, sugar free and reduced calorie products to help with weight management; prebiotic and high-fibre ingredients to improve digestive health; low glycaemic ingredients suitable for people who follow a low carb diet and for those who want to control their blood sugar levels, including diabetics; and a cariostatic sugar replacer with novel dental protection benefits.

Meanwhile, Cargill-Cerestar will launch an isomaltulose sweetener for slow-release sports foods and drinks. This product will complement its existing range of sweeteners, which include dextrose, trehalose and sugar-free polyols.

Cargill-Cerestar will also unveil a texturising starch, developed for ultra-high temperature (UHT) and catering applications. C*DeliTex is a modified starch with high stability and the ability to retain low viscosity even during UHT treatment; keep its starch granules intact during high heat and shear treatment; and develop full viscosity during the second heating step. The result is said to be reduced fouling, saving money on longer production runs and less cleaning. It is expected to find use across UHT processed soups, sauces, custards, liquid pancakes and elsewhere.

Avebe Food will unveil what it claims is a revolutionary new range of food starches. The Eliane range of amylopectin potato starches was developed in response to manufacturers’ need for starches offering clean flavour, clear appearance, good creamy mouthfeel, novel expansion characteristics in snack applications, and cost saving opportunities as result of their high viscosity power and stability. They are being particularly targeted at dressings, ready-to-serve desserts, soups, sauces, dairy drinks and fruit fillings, although they have also been used in bakery items, instant fried noodles, expanded snacks and coated nuts.

French company Selt Marine has developed a new extraction process for the production of semi-refined hydrocolloid form of the natural food thickener carrigeenan from marine algae, which offers the prospects for lower doses and costs. The company has also developed a range of products to replace animal gelatine.

Another manufacturer of carrageenan, Ceamsa, will focus on its expanded Ceamgel 1800 and 1700 ranges for the cooked meat, poultry and fish sectors. The company’s latest Ceamgel product is said to offer the opportunity for yield and quality improvement of marinated/fresh/frozen meat, poultry and fish products. It will also display its Cealacta 200 range for dairy applications. Lastly, it will exhibit its Ceamgel 3000 range of water-based food products.

Chocs and ices are us

French functional dairy ingredient manufacturer Ingredia will exhibit the wide range of products it makes for the chocolate, dairy, ice cream, food supplement and dietary food sectors.

Its products Prochoc S26, Prochoc S26+ and Prochoc R26 are designed to improve the flow properties of chocolate, thanks to their free fat content (from 30% to 75%).

Ingredia has also developed dairy ingredients as taste enhancers in the chocolate: Prochoc SP 42 A for milky and creamy taste, Prochoc RPG 23 C for condensed milk flavour, Prochoc RPG 25 C for cooked caramel taste, Prochoc Caramel 21 for milky caramel taste and Prochoc Malty 21 for malty taste. The company also offers an ingredient specially adapted to sugar-free confectionery products, Promilk 872 B, which has low lactose content (2%).

Ingredia will display another range of functional mixes for ice creams. For example, in order to develop foaming properties, reduce the time of meltdown, and to improve cold eating sensations, Ingredia developed Procream 151 AS which reduces the formulation costs when mixed with starch by-product. It replaces partly or completely skimmed milk powder. Procream 500 is a new functional booster for ice-cream. Incorporated at 0.5-1% in the recipe in addition to whey powder, it enables a high overrun (up to 150%) and improves the melting profile, the texture and the sensory properties of ice cream.

Ingredia has also developed a wide range of dairy ingredients which economically replace skimmed milk powder in yoghurt formulations. It has also developed products for cheese production, which eliminate the need for whey separation. Promilk 852 A1 is a milk protein isolate specifically adapted to this technology thanks to its mineral ratio and its very good hydration capacity.

Encapsulation

Colloides Naturels International (CNI) will launch its Encapcia solution at the show. Developed using an innovative processing technology, Encapcia is 100% acacia gum (gum arabic), which makes the claim of being all natural and genetically modified organism (GMO)-free. It combines enhanced emulsifying properties with good film-forming capacity. CNI says Encapcia is an effective and economical protective coating or carrier for the encapsulation of sensitive and volatile products. It can be used in spray-drying citrus oils, mint oil, omega 3 oils, bacteria, vitamins, colourants, and other sensitive materials.

Spray-drying specialist NutriProcess will also demonstrate its powder processing capabilities which are used to develop innovative new products. Its pilot plant and industrial facilities enable the company to carry out feasibility studies, small-scale runs and full-scale industrial productions of new powders.

From this year, NutriProcess has been involved in developing ‘co-spray-drying’ processes. These allow for the introduction of dry matter such as insoluble products during the spray-drying of active ingredients in liquid form (either solution or emulsion). The result is that it combines various operations: drying, formulation, blending, and optimisation of the technical properties of the final powder, into one single step.

The company has also developed a coating technique for hydrophobic materials which opens up various new possibilities: such as protecting particles from oxidation, taste or flavour masking and controlled release of active substances.

Drink yourself healthy

A number of companies will also be making a point of promoting the health benefits that result directly from the fruit or vegetable products they supply. These range from Val de Vire Bioactives, which launched a research programme to prove the health benefits of its two ranges of Normandy cider apple “nutrifunctional" compounds; to Ocean Spray Ingredient Technology, one of the world’s leading fruit ingredient suppliers.

Val de Vire’s Pomactiv research points to the various health benefits of its range of cider apple polyphenol concentrates and its Pomelite range of cider apple fibres. Pomelite is said to aid the absorption of essential minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

The studies are claimed to show not only the antioxidant properties of cider apple polyphenols, but also an enhancement of natural antioxidant defences. An enzyme naturally present in Pomativ is said to “catch free radicals that age cells". It is also claimed to reduce the formation of “fat-stocker" cells. And if that wasn’t enough, it helps bone formation, and indicates some potential for osteoporosis prevention, according to the company.

On a far larger scale, Ocean Spray has invested large sums in new manufacturing facilities in the US to produce a range of sweetened dried cranberries which are being targeted as a healthier fruit inclusion option for food manufacturers. Ocean Spray will also display its newly launched BerryFusions fruit range. These cranberry-based infused fruit pieces come in seven fruit flavours, including mango.

On the drinks front, Ocean Spray recently received a big boost when the French Food Safety Authority (AFFSA) approved the health claim that North American cranberries helped maintain urinary tract health.

Manufacturer of gelatin and hydrolysed collagen Rousselot, part of the Dutch Sobel Group, plans to launch new bovine RDH, thus completing its range of hydrolysed collagens. RDH is said to exhibit excellent organoleptic characteristics: it is tasteless, odourless and has exceptional clarity.

Fully digestible, Rousselot hydrolysed collagens PCH (porcine), RDH (bovine), FGH (fish), are pure proteins widely used as a protein source in functional foods, low fat and low carbohydrate products. They are claimed to provide rapid dispersal and dissolution, even in cold water. Suggested applications include use in sports drinks, nutritional bars and foods, and tablets.

Ingredients distributor Fiske, part of Univar, which recently expanded into Poland with the acquisition of enzyme distributor Mapol, will outline the services it has to offer.

It will have staff on its stand to help manufacturers with issues such as consolidation of supply across Europe, legislative changes, competitive pricing for commodity ingredients and adding value to functional products.

Salt reduction and meat safety

Salt reduction is an issue affecting manufacturers across the piece. But the difficulties posed by pressure to reduce salt content is felt nowhere more acutely than within the meat processing sector where salt plays an important role in ensuring food safety.

Dera Food Technology will demonstrate its solutions for reduced sodium in meats and ready meals. These are claimed to enable processors to successfully reduce sodium while maintaining the taste, texture and shelf-life of products.

A new European Union regulation on the criteria for micro-organisms like Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat food is expected to come into force at the beginning of 2006. Dera has come up with, what it claims, is a solution which provides complete inhibition of the growth of Listeria in processed meat products. Dera will also demonstrate solutions for fat reduction with ideas for recipes and ingredients for making healthy dressings, mayonnaises and sauces.

Manufacturer of confectionery inclusions, Food Design will launch several new ranges at the show. Topping the list are bake stable Fudjies. These innovative inclusions hold their shape during baking and are said to offer a high visual impact. They come in many flavours, including orange, lemon, strawberry, lime, or cherry and a rainbow of colours. They use natural or nature identical colouring and can be produced low in trans fatty acids if required.

Unifine Food & Bake Ingredients will display a wide portfolio of products with an accent on low-fat, non-GMO ingredients, no additives and, for fruit products, high fruit content. It is particularly targeting manufacturers producing low glycaemic index (GI) foods. Unifine’s new Flavours Library Service, where a selection of flavours are selected to meet volume production, and which reflect country-specific market trends and flavour profiles, will also be demonstrated.

The Stern-Wywiol group will present its specialist companies at the show. These include firms such as Mühlenchemie for flour improvers, SternEnzym for enzymes, Deba DeutscheBake for baking ingredients, Hydrosol for stabilising systems, Herza Schokolade for functional chocolate pieces, Sternchemie for phospholipids, MCT oil and palm oil derivatives.

Mühlenchemie offers mills: enzyme systems, bromate replacers, ascorbic acid in a form suitable for flour, oxidising and bleaching agents, baking concentrates for ready-mixed flours, vitamin and mineral premixes, and also advice on laboratory baking equipment and the supply of dosing equipment. Stern-Enzym specialises in applications research and the development, production and marketing of functional enzyme systems for bakery products, sweets and cereal processing.

Deba DeutscheBake is a subsidiary of Mühlenchemie and offers a range of baking premixes, functional baking ingredients and agents to enhance freshness and prolong the shelf-life of products. And Hydrosol’s core activity is the development and production of functional stabilising systems for delicatessen specialities and milk and meat products.

Herza Schokolade supplies high-class chocolate products for further industrial processing, while Sternchemie specialises in food lipids.

If it’s a taste of Morocco you’re after, then the Alpina-Savoie stand is for your. The French supplier of pasta, couscous and semolina to food processors will showcase its products.

Product testing

FIE will not only give visitors the opportunity to see the latest new ingredients. There will also be a variety of ancillary equipment on display to help measure the success or otherwise of using new ingredients.

Equipment on show will include new analytical systems, such as Stable Micro Systems’ texture analysis kit. These will include the company’s multiple puncture probe, dough inflation system attachment, acoustic envelope detector and powder flow analyser. All are used with Stable’s TA.XTplus texture analyser to test a range of ingredients and end products.

The multiple puncture probe quantifies the firmness of foods with variable textures, while the dough inflation system enables the constant strain inflation rate testing of dough bubbles, which helps assess the stability of gas cells and gas retention during proving and baking. The acoustic envelope detector offers manufacturers a quick and easy method of collecting and analysing the noise released by crispy or crunchy products when they are deformed.

Brookfield Viscometers will show a range of viscometers and texture analysers. These are used in measuring the viscosities of chocolate and yoghurt, defining yield values for ketchups, checking the consistency of ready meal fillings/ toppings, defining the hardness of boiled sweets, biscuits and, in the case of texture analysers, quantifying the freshness of bread.

For those involved in new product development or research, Armfield will exhibit its new FT94X pilot-scale processing system which extends the range of its high-temperature, short-time and ultra-high temperature equipment from 10-20l/h to 50-100l/h. It enables larger batches of material to be prepared for more extensive product trials. The equipment is designed to be used both as a stand-alone unit or for integration into a full processing system with aseptic packaging of processed product. The system offers plate and concentric tubular heat exchanger options.

Danisco will provide expert advise on the health and nutritional benefits of its functional ingredients including reduced fat, reduce fat reduced sugar and sugar free

Making indulgent foods healthy

Solutions to consumers with a taste for sweet things and problems of obesity, feature large within the seminar programme running alongside FIE on innovation.

Four one-and-a-half hour sessions, which are being staged on November 30 and December 1, will cover: Ice cream - from indulgent treat to healthy product; Food solutions for obesity related cardiovascular and metabolic health; Beverages - who are the winners in the innovation game?; and Convenience foods - fast growth by adding value.

The Ice cream seminar, featuring presentations from McCann Erickson, Unilever, Tate & Lyle and Nizo Food Research, will draw upon experience in the US where numerous low calorie ice creams have been developed. It will also discuss the latest developments in low fat and low carbohydrate ingredients.

The session on healthy options for the obese will hear presentations from GfK Panel Services, Unilever Bestfoods, Danone Vitapole and Cargill. In addition, Professor John Blundell from the University of Leeds will explain the theory and practice of satiety. The session will deal with issues of communication, describe the latest European research into consumer reaction to product health claims. And it will look at the role of carbohydrate intake on obesity.

The beverages session will concentrate on the latest innovation strategies of leading drinks companies and flavour houses, as well as the latest data on perception about drinks - flavour, body and refreshment.

The final session in the series on innovation covering convenience foods will examine the drivers for growth in the sector.