Infused dried vegetables . . . Breading systems not made from bread . . . A sweetener that won’t break down in high temperatures . . . Mashed potatoes using soy flakes . . . A flavor enhancer combining yogurt and mayonnaise . . . A black grain that looks like caviar. And many, many other novel ingredients.
These examples can mean only one thing—it’s time for another installment of what I have come to affectionately call, Emerging Ingredients. For the past six years, I have been doing an annual Ingredients section on this topic—one that especially excites the technical and marketing imaginations and provides an opportunity to see where we’ve been in food formulating and where we’re most likely going.
For those readers just tuning in, a working definition for the term Emerging Ingredients is probably in order. As I’ve defined them previously, these novel cutting-edge developments may shape parameters for future developments, helping us to rethink what ingredients are, what technologies are used in their production, and what roles they play in health, functionality, and convenience.
In selecting which ingredients or ingredient applications fit this topic, I use different criteria. Sometimes I pick ingredients that could be featured on a food version of that old show, “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.” Using that approach, I collect ingredients that are innovative, unique, even unusual. (Black amaranth would be a good example of this.) Other times, I choose ingredients by specific categories, recognizing those that seem to hold the most promise for future product formulating. And still other times, I take more of a crystal ball approach, predicting, based on current scientific and marketing research in the areas of health, functionality, and convenience, what I think are some ingredient developments yet to happen.
Current trends frequently help shape emerging ingredient developments. Not surprisingly, we’ll be seeing new ingredient developments in the areas of low-carbohydrate formulating; alternatives to trans fats; coatings that provide new opportunities for flavor, texture, and even health benefits; different ways to increase protein content; new sweeteners that offer functionality and health advantages; and, perhaps most important, the gradual reformulation of foods to make them healthier and taste and look better.
However, while it is true that current trends can shape emerging ingredient developments, it is also true that emerging ingredient developments can impact the directions that future formulating takes and subsequently impact the trends that we will someday see in the marketplace.
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For example, enzyme technology is being used to create low-trans alternatives—a response to the Food and Drug Administration’s labeling mandate—but that same technology can then be used to creates new applications which can impact formulating, which, in turn, can impact trends.
Or the infusion process developed years ago for fruits can be modified for vegetables, which, in turn, create new opportunities for formulating products such as a broccoli crouton or corn in bread. Such a development could also have an impact on future convenience foods—e.g., products in a stick form containing vegetables.
Or high-protein coating systems, influenced by the low-carbohydrate trend, can then influence future coating systems, which include other ingredients such as flavors, colors, spices, and so on, which can also then influence future trends regarding convenience.
I think when we see this symbiotic relationship between the impact of today’s trends on emerging ingredients and the impact of emerging ingredients on future trends, we get a much better and clearer vision of what “emerging” really means in the area of food formulating.
Furthermore, since I recently attended such shows as FMI’s 2004 Supermarket Industry Convention & Educational Exposition and the 85th Annual National Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, I had the opportunity to see how emerging ingredients impact the grocery and foodservice sectors—two very important areas that will continue to see new adaptations as the century advances.
Interestingly, starting in 2005, the FMI show will be redesigned to focus on specific supermarket categories that will change from year to year, while also providing space for exhibits that are more general or outside of the selected categories. The categories selected for 2005 include meal solutions, ethnic foods, seasonal products, and others. Because the focus of the show will be more specific as well as more stimulating, it’s possible that such an approach may influence what products will be highlighted—in particular, placing an emphasis on emerging ingredient developments used in these products. Or to put it another way, instead of seeing a broad range of general products, we may be seeing more specific categories requiring more specific, more novel ingredient solutions. Whether this will really happen or not, we’ll have to wait and see.
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And, of course, at our own IFT Annual Meeting +Food Expo®, we’ll be seeing a broad range of new ingredient developments, many of them reported on in the June issue of Food Technology. (As I reported in previous articles, this year’s show adapted itself to include the IFT/RCA New Product Development Pavilion and the IFT/Mintel Global New Product Trends and Tasting Pavilion—both events incorporating emerging ingredients.) In addition, I thought it might be interesting to focus on some of the first-time exhibitors and see what emerging ingredients these new kids on IFT’s block will be responsible for (see sidebar, page 66).
Let’s now look at several of these exciting developments, keeping in mind the factors that helped shape them, as well as their subsequent impact on product formulation and the trends that exist beyond the near future and perhaps even beyond the parameters of our own crystal balls. As usual, the following developments are not arranged in any special order.
New processes developed for vegetables
Two new processes—one for creating infused dried vegetables, and the other for producing processed refrigerated vegetables—have been developed by Graceland Fruit, Inc., 1123 Main St., Frankfort, MI 49635 (phone 231-352-7181; fax 231-352-7181; www.gracelandfruit.com). In an interview with Food Technology, representatives from the company described these processes and how they might have a “revolutionary” impact on the vegetable ingredient market.
The patented infusion and drying process for vegetables is reported to be similar to the one used to produce the company’s infused dried fruit line. The infused dried vegetable products are said to retain the qualities of fresh vegetables, including flavor, color, and texture. Vegetables are soft enough to be eaten as is in trail mixes, or boiled, microwaved, or baked as part of packaged convenience meals. They are shelf stable for up to a year without refrigeration.
“Our soft, infused dried products are far superior in flavor, color, and cooking performance to traditional freeze-dried products,” said Don Nugent, president and chief executive officer of Graceland. The process starts with Grade A vegetables, and uses different sugars as well as salt. Products include broccoli florets, sweet corn, green peppers, red peppers, celery, green peas, carrots, and more.
Infused dried vegetables add good nutrition, flavor, and seasoning to a variety of applications, including bread mixes, dry soups, boxed dinner kits, stuffing, rice, pasta, bagels, and other products. Furthermore, as discussed during the interview, the company’s research and development department will work with customers to develop new applications and ensure that the products meet their specifications. Some of the possible concepts include broccoli and cheese in croutons or corn and other vegetables in bread.
A line of processed refrigerated vegetables that look and taste like fresh vegetables but last up to three months in the refrigerated case was also developed by the company, noted Nugent. Unlike the dried vegetables discussed above, these products are frozen and pasteurized. The patented process reduces spoilage while retaining the flavor, color, and texture of fresh vegetables. The products can be microwaved, baked, grilled, sauteed, or boiled.
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The processed refrigerated vegetables, marketed under the trade name Fridge-n-Fresh, offer nutrition and added value to refrigerated home meal replacements. These vegetables may be used as a side dish or ingredient in meat entrees, or as the main ingredient in vegetarian entrees. Products in the line include carrots, broccoli, peas, green and red peppers, celery, sweet corn, potatoes, and mushrooms.
Both new lines will be introduced at the 2004 IFT Annual Meeting + Food Expo. Formulations using these vegetables will be available for sampling by attendees.
High-protein coatings made from soy create new opportunities
High-protein coating systems not made from bread have been developed by The Solae Company, P.O. Box 88940, St. Louis, MO 63188-1940 (phone 314-982-1983; fax 314-982-1121; www.solae.com). In an interview with Food Technology, representatives from the company discussed the coating systems which are made with soy protein, the functionality and nutritional benefits they can offer in a low-carbohydrate formulation, and the number of application opportunities they can help create.
The coatings are suitable for cheese sticks, breaded poultry and steaks, crab cakes, meatballs, toasted raviolis, fish sticks, breaded shrimp, breaded veal, breaded vegetables such as broccoli, batter/breading mixes for home use, and a range of other applications that would otherwise have a traditional breading-type coating.
Not only are the coatings said only to bring the carbohydrate content down, but also, because of the structure of the protein, less fat (17–20%) is picked up in the final product. Because of its functionality and nutritional benefits, the coatings may find particular use in foodservice sectors as well as in school lunch programs.
The coating systems are offered in both “crunchy” and “flour-type” versions. They also allow flexibility for the food manufacturer to add its own seasonings and flavor systems to make the application uniquely its own.
According to the company, a control product—e.g., a chicken breast strip—made with a traditional breading system would have per serving 14 g of total carbohydrates, 1 g of dietary fiber, and 19 g of protein. That profile would be changed by the addition of the coating systems. Specifically, a chicken breast strip made with crispy type coating would contribute 3 g of total carbohydrates, 2 g of dietary fiber, and 28g of protein. A chicken breast strip made with a flour-type coating would offer 1 g of total carbohydrates while boosting the protein level to 26 g.
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“As can be seen, our breading system can dramatically alter the carbohydrate contribution while significantly increasing the protein content,” said a representative from the company.
Other potential benefits of the coating systems include prolonged shelf life, increased color stability during frying, multiple cook stability, menu versatility, maximum coverage, less powder handling, and a desirable label.
The Solae Company is a leading manufacturer and marketer of high-quality soy-based ingredients, including soy protein isolates, soy protein concentrates, soy nuggets, soy fibers, soy lecithins, and soy isoflavones. At the 2004 IFT Food Expo, the company will demonstrate its new, innovative formulation approaches for foods and beverages that fit a health, low-carbohydrate lifestyle.
In addition to the coating systems, the company will show new capabilities and ingredients for meat and nutrition bar applications. Also, representatives at the booth will discuss emerging claim opportunities, including its soy protein and satiety structure function claim and its recent petition to the FDA for a soy protein and cancer risk reduction health claim. Both claims offer new opportunities for food manufacturers to take advantage of growing consumer awareness of the healthfulness of soy-based foods.
The Solae Company was the result of an innovative effort between Bunge and DuPont. The new company made its debut at last year’s IFT Annual Meeting + Food Expo.
New rice starch offers functionality benefits
Increasingly rice has become a popular source for new ingredients, including starches, proteins, inclusions, and alternatives to other healthful products such as soy. As rice plays a more important role in food formulating, its applications expand as well, with its properties being tailored to overcome specific functionality challenges.
For example, a new rice-derived starch which may be used as an alternative to modified food starches have been developed by A&B Ingredients, Inc., 24 Spielman Rd., Fairfield, NJ 07004 (phone 973-227-1390; fax 973-227-0172; www.abingredients.com). Called Remyline XS-DR-P, the instant, easily dispersible, natural rice starch reportedly adds thickness and sheen to instant soups, sauces, dips, dressings, baby food, and dairy desserts.
Because the starch does not need to be cooked or heated and disperses instantly and completely in liquid, it can be used to quickly and inexpensively add texture, flavor, and shine to foods that are cold processed. It is able to withstand numerous processing stresses such as high shear, acidity, syneresis, and freeze/thaw cycles. It is also hypoallergenic, is easy to digest, and has a neutral taste, a white color, and a long shelf life.
According to a company representative, the ingredient is one of the few instant starches that is easily dispersible, so it blends smoothly into formulations without clumping. It is extremely stable under multiple stress conditions, and is a natural alternative to modified starches.
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Enzyme interesterification technology produces low-trans alternatives
A portfolio of low- or no-trans-fat oils and shortenings for use in baked goods, frying applications, confections, snacks, cereals, margarine, and other products was recently launched under the name NovaLipid™ by Archer Daniels Midland Co., 4666 Faries Pkwy., Decatur, IL 63526 (phone 217-424-5424; fax 217-424-5580; www.admworld.com). This development was discussed in the April 2004 Ingredients section covering the functionality of fats.
The earlier article’s emphasis was on the fats, which were developed in response to FDA’s implementation of a new food labeling requirement that the trans fats content of foods be shown on the product label. What this article will be focusing on is how enzymes can be used to interesterify fats to avoid making trans-fats. The new trans-free/low-trans hard fats in the NovaLipid line are made using this new enzymatic interesterification technology, a cooperative effort between ADM and Novozymes, 77 Perry Chapel Church Rd., Franklinton, NC 27525 (phone 919-494-3000; fax 919-494-3415; www.novozymes.com).
To quickly review, the partial hydrogenation of fat generates trans isomers (known commonly as trans fats) as byproducts, the intake of which some experts feel should be limited. One possibility (a rerouting, if you will, on the busy highway of lipid formulation) is the production of fully hydrogenated saturated fats containing no trans fats. However, fully hydrogenated fats do not melt at mouth temperature and must be blended with liquid oils and then interesterified to give the right melting properties for certain applications. Chemical interesterification has been used at ADM plants in Europe but not in the U.S. Enzymatic interestification has been tested in ADM’s research laboratories since 1999 and has been in full-scale production since 2002 in the U.S.
ADM built the first commercial units in the U.S. for the enzymatic interesterification of fats and is now capable of interesterifying a variety of oils. The enzyme used is Lipozyme® TL IM, an immobilized lipase available from Novozymes. The enzyme can be used repeatedly, and no waste products are produced. Enzymatic processing takes place in a compact packed column (Novozymes has prepared plug-in units that can be leased.) With a chemical system, a reactor is also needed but it is much larger and higher temperatures are required than with enzymes. Because a dark color develops during the chemical process, extensive purification of the oil is needed, this is not the case with enzymes.
By using enzymes instead of chemicals, the economical process subjects oils to less severe conditions and provides numerous functionality characteristics. Shortenings and margarines made by this process are said to have similar functionality (in particular, a desirable melting profile) to products traditionally manufactured with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. ADM is reported to be the only ingredient manufacturer in North America to use the enzyme interesterification process commercially.
Representatives from Novozymes hope that other U.S. companies will follow ADM’s example and use enzyme interestification to process low-trans or no-trans alternatives. Furthermore, as ADM has demonstated, other practical applications using the technology can be forthcoming. For example, the company makes a substitute for natural cocoa butter by interesterifying palm kernel oil with the immobilized lipase.
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Reduced-calorie sweetener may be used in baking
A new sweetener called Equal Sugar Lite will be introduced in the U.S. later this year by Merisant, 10 S. Riverside Plaza, Ste. 850, Chicago, IL 60606 (phone 312-840-6000; fax 312-840-5400; www.merisant.com). The Business section of the Chicago Tribune (May 10, 2004) reported that the reduced-calorie sweetener, consisting of sugar, aspartame, and other flavorings and ingredients, has functionality properties that are suitable for use in baking or cooking.
While providing half the calories of sugar, the product is said to have the volume and consistency of sugar, brown during baking, and maintain its sweetness at high heating temperatures. The sweetener, which offers particular benefits for consumers on a low-carbohydrate diet, will be marketed for home baking, as a coffee sweetener, and to commercial bakeries. The company notes that it can be used in any formulation using sugar.
Compared to traditional no-calorie sweeteners, the manufacturer cites that the new product will have a more granular and sugar-like texture, provide a pleasing appearance, and will leave a sweet taste. Because of its baking properties described above, it is suitable for bakers who are interested in creating products that have fewer carbohydrates and a reduction in calories—trends that are currently impacting the marketplace today.
The new product may also appeal to users of Equal, which was launched in 1982. However, traditional Equal contains no sugar, making it suitable for diabetics. This product contains about half the sugar and some calories, and so it will need to be clearly differentiated from the previous sweetener.
From the preliminary literature that I have looked at, the new sweetener should offer Merisant several marketing advantages, helping it to evolve from a manufacturer of packaged sweeteners to a supplier of an ingredient for low-carbohydrate, reduced-calorie bakery products and other applications. Furthermore, it provides the company with a sweetener that can be positioned as an alternative to counter other products offered by its competition. The current attention on the obesity epidemic may also help fuel the success of this development in the marketplace.
In early 2004, the product made its debut in Europe under the Canderel® brand name. Its U.S. nationwide launch date is expected to be in the fall of 2004 and will be accompanied by comprehensive consumer and trade marketing activities, including advertising, public relations, and promotions.
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Soy flakes find innovative use in instant mashed potatoes
Soy flakes, produced in untoasted and toasted versions, are available from MicroSoy Corp., 300 E. MicroSoy Dr., Jefferson, IA 50129 (phone 515-386-2100; fax 515-386-3287; www.microsoyflakes.com). The flakes are produced using a mechanical process of de-hulling, cracking, and flaking without the use of solvents or additives.
In a recent application, the soy flakes are being used to increased the protein content of potatoes, while preserving the potato flavor. According to the company, commercial potato flakes were blended with the soy ingredient and prepared using the same instructions found on commercial instant mashed potato packages. A 26% reduction in carbohydrates (37% reduction in net carbohydrates) can be achieved by substituting 40% of potato flakes with the soy flakes. Furthermore, the application provided 3.5 g of soy protein.
In a consumer test, participants reported that the soy flakes could be added at up to 40% without objectionable soy flavor, texture, and appearance. The combination of potato and soy flakes reportedly provides excellent taste, flavor, and color. A natural yellowish or light tan appearance is imparted to the finished potatoes by the flakes.
Cheddar–bacon, garlic–parsley, and sour cream–chive are some of the flavored, ready-to-eat instant mashed potatoes developed by the company. The flakes have potential use in a variety of other products as well, including pancakes, processed meats, hot cereals, cereal bars, salad toppings, cheesecakes, breads, soups, sauces, and fried rice.
The company reports that the use of the untoasted and toasted versions depends on consumer preference and application needs.
The untoasted flakes receive very little heat during the process, preserving the wholesome quality of the soybeans. They have a natural yellow appearance. Potential applications for untoasted flakes include soymilk, tofu, hummus, processed meats, and the potato application already described.
The toasting procedure removes the beany flavor from the flakes, resulting in a smooth and sweet nutty-flavored product. The toasted products are suitable for cereal, yogurt, ice cream toppings, pie crust, and other bakery products.
MicroSoy will be a first-time exhibitor at the 2004 IFT Food Expo. For other emerging ingredient develop highlighted by first-time exhibitors, see sidebar on page 66.
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Emerging ingredients designed for foodservice
A variety of emerging ingredient developments for foodservice were highlighted at the 85th Annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, in Chicago. Here are a few examples:
• A new generation of high-moisture, whole-muscle meat alternatives has been introduced under the name NutriSoy® Next™ by Archer Daniels Midland, 4666 Faries Pkwy., Decatur, IL 62526 (phone 217-424-5424; fax 217-424-5580; www.admworld.com). The flavor and texture of these products takes soy-based meat analogs to a new level that aims to broaden consumer appeal and acceptance.
The meat alternatives are produced using soy proteins in combination with other vegetable proteins such as wheat gluten or, in some cases, egg whites. Other ingredients such as starches, vegetable oils, flavors, and colors may also be incorporated. Twin-screw extrusion of protein materials at relatively high-moisture levels of 50–80% give the meat analogs their tender, moist texture that closely simulates cooked, whole-muscle meat such as poultry. Adjusting the moisture, temperature, or pressure during the production of high-moisture, whole-muscle meat alternatives results in a wide range of textures and degrees of firmness, suitable for any application.
The high-moisture extrusion process also locks in flavor, ensuring that the meat alternatives retain their taste in any recipe. The base products have mild flavor profiles, allowing them to easily be flavored to resemble desired meats. The meat alternatives are already cooked in the production process and require no additional steps prior to use in recipes. These products can easily replace any pre-cooked, pre-cut meat in current recipes.
Potential applications for the meat alternatives are hot or cold entrees; battered or breaded nuggets; strips, nuggets, cubes, or shreds; and other recipes and cooking processes. Each serving of these meat alternatives contains 15 g of soy protein, 4 g of fiber, and only 0.5 g of saturated fat.
• A next generation of cooking oil featured in French fries was demonstrated in a cooperative effort between the Washington State Potato Commission and Dow AgroSciences, LLC, 9330 Zionsville Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46268 (phone 317-337-3000; www.dowagro.com). Called Natreon™, the high-stability canola oil was developed by Dow AgroSciences to offer consumers an oil with a better health profile.
The oil reportedly has less saturated fat than regular soybean, olive, corn, or sunflower oil. It is also high in cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fat, and has no trans fats, as it does not require hydrogenation for stability purposes. In addition to its health attributes, it is very versatile and can be used for deep frying, stir frying, baking, manufacture of dressings or marinades, and other applications.
Fry tests have shown that the oil maintains its fry quality for 30 hr or more, keeping the fryer cleaner and forming less foam compared to other oils. It has a light flavor and a high smoke point. It will not transfer flavors from one food to another.
According to the director of international trade for the Washington State Potato Commission, “In today’s media flurry regarding health and obesity, potatoes have gotten a bad rap. Potatoes are naturally a very healthy food. We’ve teamed up with Dow to show consumers that the industry is finding ways to better incorporate processed potato products into a well-balanced diet.”
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• A new beef-containing breaded appetizer called Muncheze™, created by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, is distributed by Advance Food Co., 201 S. Raleigh Rd., Enid, OK 73701-7800 (phone 580-237-6656; fax 580-234-1025; www.advancerfoodcompany.com). In addition to being used as a finger food, these products are suitable as a main ingredient in entrees, salads, wraps, sandwiches, and other applications, and work well with a variety of flavorful sauces and toppings.
The following are some of the products that were introduced:
Cheeseburger Fries® are a combination of beef and Cheddar cheese which create a homestyle cheeseburger taste. They are made with a crispy crumb breading and are available in stick shape, or may be used as an ingredient in a warm tortilla with bacon pieces, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and honey-mustard dressing. Jalapeño Cheeseburger Fries™ are a breaded combination of beef, bits of jalapeño pepper, and Monterey Jack cheese for use in spicier applications. Sante Fe sticks consist of beef and Pepper Jack cheese breaded with a masastyle corn breading with red and green highlights. Philly Cheesesteak sticks are a breaded combination of beef, green peppers, onions, mozzarella, and white Cheddar cheeses.
• A starch-based instant thickening agent, Signature Secrets culinary thickener, was featured by National Starch Foodservice Co., One Matrix Dr., Monroe Twp., NJ 08831 (phone 800-805-8908; fax 609-409-5699; www.signaturesecrets.com). The starch thickener reportedly reduces preparation time for sauces, gravies, soups, and desserts, and improves their stability.
According to the company, chefs can add the thickener directly as a dry powder and it will thicken instantly without lumps in cold or hot preparations. It remains stable even when refrigerated or frozen and thawed. Derived from corn and wheat, the ingredient has no taste of its own, allowing the full flavor of culinary dishes to come through.
Because of its advantages, it may be used as an alternative to other common thickeners, as well as time-consuming procedures such as preparing a roux or reduction. The product has won several food awards since it was introduced two years ago.
National Starch launched its Foodservice business in 1999 to meet the needs of chefs, bakers, and foodservice personnel in the rapidly growing foodservice market. The company develops starch-based ingredients that will save time and labor in the kitchen while enabling the chef to create gold standard recipes.
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New line of probiotics supported by cutting-edge research
A line of probiotics for inclusion in a variety of food and beverage applications is being introduced under the name Howaru™ by Danisco USA, Inc., P.O. Box 26, New Century, KS 66031-1113 (phone 913-764-8100; fax 913-764-5407; www.danisco.com). The products are the result of a five-year research project conducted by the New Zealand Milk and Health Research Center, and the New Zealand Dairy Research Institute, along with other internationally recognized researchers.
Two cultures are currently offered in the product line: Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus rhamnosus. Danisco obtained the rights to these strains because of their performance in a number of in-vitro, animal in-vivo, and human clinical studies conducted over the past six years. To enhance research on their probiotic strains, the company has a state-of-the-art Health and Nutrition Center located in Kantvik, Finland, where scientists have developed a unique human gut model to study the beneficial properties of probiotic bacteria and other healthful ingredients. “Our researchers have the ability to work with new probiotic strains and have the tools necessary to authenticate the probiotic effects of these selected strains,” noted a representative from the company.
Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, both normal beneficial microflora naturally present in the intestinal tract, are associated with several health benefits, including enhanced gut function and stability, improved protection against infection and cancers, reduced blood cholesterol, enhanced immune response, and more. More than 20 studies have been published, indicating the safety and ability of these two recently introduced products in improving gut function, boosting the immune system, and promoting good health. In fact, one of these studies reportedly has been selected by the U.S. National Institutes of Health/Office of Dietary Supplements for inclusion in its annual Bibliography of Significant Advances in Dietary Supplement Research.
The introduced line of probiotics is available in a variety of forms, such as highly concentrated frozen liquid, freeze-dried pellet, freeze-dried powder, and customized products to meet specific needs. These different forms make them easy to incorporate in a wide range of applications, including yogurt, other fermented milk products, and dietary supplements.
The company offers application expertise and pilot-scale laboratories to assist customers in developing healthful prototype products for the marketplace.
New light shed on how proteins impact flavor release and perception
In the February Ingredients section, I wrote about a number of protein developments and their increasingly important role in product formulation. A recent study on how they impact flavor release and perception may also open some new doors in this area.
In the past, proteins have been perceived as influencing flavor release and perception in a negative way. However, proteins may not be “flavor sinks” after all, as shown in a study conducted by NIZO Food Research, P.O. Box 20, 6710 BA, Edie, The Netherlands (phone 31-0-318-659511; fax 31-0-318-650400; www.nizo.com).
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According to the company’s newsletter, NizoVision (No. 8), the food researchers, using the MS Nose instrument, were able to demonstrate that retronasal flavor release (i.e., while eating a product) is governed by a different set of physical rules than orthonasal flavor release (i.e, smelling a product before eating it). When investigating the binding of flavor with whey protein in beverages, the company found that while less flavor is perceived when the protein-containing product is smelled by the consumer before consumption, the binding of flavor and whey protein, being reversible, does not have a major impact on retronasal flavor release.
The researchers concluded that during eating, almost all bound flavor is available again for release and perception. These results are positive news for whey protein suppliers and product developers, and can be applied using physical models that are currently being developed by the food research company.
The company can provide whey protein manufacturers as well as other ingredient suppliers with valuable assistance in meeting flavor challenges. Identifying flavor components and their behavior in a product is an important step in product flavoring. In addition to being able to define the kind and amount of key aroma components in products, the company can tell how these components are formed and how they behave during processing, storage, and even consumption. The company uses sophisticated tools for quick prediction of the flavor quality of the product and allows subsequent adaptations in processing to increase the percentage of products within specification.
Process imparts novel flour functionality
A technology for improving flour functionality has been developed by Hosokawa Bepex, 333 NE Taft St., Minneapolis, MN 55413 (phone 612-331-4370; fax 612-627-1444; www.bepex.com). The pre-treatment can now modify the physical structure of starch prior to final cooking, baking, or frying for better results.
Previous methods to modify starch functionality have generally caused the starch granules to rupture, resulting in shorter-chain carbohydrates (sugars), reduced viscosity, and limited application potential. The level of treatment in this process is controllable, providing a range of cook and degree of openness in the starch granule.
According to the company, the process consists of dampening a flour and hydrating its starch granules, then heating it to a cooking temperature in a single, near-instantaneous step. The patented process is accomplished in a thermal processor (Hosokawa Bepex Jet Rotor Solidaire®) which provides the critical parameters for the swelling and fixing of the starch granule without causing over-swelling or mechanical rupture. The starch granule remains intact, creating a structure that increases viscosity and improves water absorption, but is still robust enough to withstand further processing.
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“Once formed, the cooked flour is almost dough-like,” said a representative from the company. “It can either be immediately processed (extruded, sheeted, or formed, and then fried or baked), or dried back to a flour to stabilize its functionality.”
The process imparts a novel functionality to a wide range of starch-bearing products, including grain, bean, and root flours used for chips, breads, crackers, cookies, muffins, and ready-to-eat cereals. Products made with the specially processed flours exhibit greater body and puff volume, reduced cost, and less extrusion equipment wear.
The process adds no gums or chemicals during the starch modification. Complete systems have already been sold to a tortilla chip manufacturer, a soy flour processor, and an oat flour processor.
Water barrier system delays moisture migration
A water-barrier system that makes it possible to control moisture migration in snack fillings has been developed by Danisco A/S, Langebrogade 1, P.O. Box 17, DK-1001 Copenhagen K, Denmark (phone 45 3266 2000; fax 45 3266 2175; www.danisco.com). Called Grindsted® Barrier System, the ingredient blend was introduced at FI Europe 2003, where it received an innovation award.
According to the company, the barrier system delays water migration, creating opportunities for developing multi-layer snacks and meal replacers with a high water content and an extended shelf life. For example, when applied to the surface of a biscuit layer, this efficient barrier makes sure the water stays in the filling, leaving the biscuit crisp and dry. Main applications for this ingredient are savory snacks, confectionery bars, and fine bakery snacks.
Use of the ingredient also gives manufacturers the chance to move beyond entirely fat-based fillings in snack products and explore lighter, water-containing alternatives with a healthier profile.
Two versions of the system are available for products stored at chilled and room temperature. Kosher and halal versions are also under development.
Emerging ingredients designed for grocery sector
Several developments that may impact the grocery sector were highlighted at FMI’s 2004 Supermarket Industry Convention & Educational Exposition. Here are some examples. Keep in mind how these products may be used as ingredients or influence future ingredient trends.
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• A kicked-up version of salt was highlighted by Morton Salt, 123 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60606 (phone 312-807-2513; fax 312-807-2769; www.mortonsalt.com). Called appropriately Morton® Hot Salt, the new consumer product is a mix of salt, red peppers, and smoky hot flavor of chipotle. It may be used to add flavorful heat to chicken, potatoes, hamburgers, salads, and other products.
The spicy salt garnered the first-ever Retailer Choice Award for best new product in the condiments and sauces category. The awards, introduced this year, are designed to recognize the grocery industry’s newest food, beverage, and consumer products displayed in the New Product Showcase at the FMI show.
As I noted in the May Ingredients section, one can easily imagine the possibilities that such a product would have as an ingredient for processed foods being developed to meet trends for spicier foods, as well as foods that might appeal to certain population segments such as Hispanics.
• A reduced-fat Oreo cookie was unveiled by Kraft Foods Global Inc., Three Lakes Dr., Northfield, IL 60093 (phone 847-646-2000; fax 847-646-2800; www.kraftfoods.com). The cookie has been reformulated to contain 0 g of trans fat per serving, and has 30% less fat than the original cookie. Furthermore, it is said to offer a new, improved taste.
As in the case of the salt example above, this development may have increasing relevance in the food ingredients section. In recent years, these cookies have been used as inclusions in ice cream, bakery products, snacks, and other applications. The fact that they can be promoted as trans free should offer an added value to them as an ingredient in future applications.
• A jet-black grain that looks like caviar is imported from Ecuador by Inca Organics, P.O. Box 61-8154, Chicago, IL 60661 (phone 312-575-9880; fax 312-575-9881; www.incaorganics.com). Called Amaranto Negro or Black Amaranth, the grain may be used to create attractive culinary dishes.
Black amaranth, which was grown in the Andes since before the time of the Incas, has a high protein and dietary fiber content, and may be used as a grain and ground into flour. Unlike natural amaranth that thickens as it cooks, black amaranth stays separate, like the grain quinoa, when cooked.
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The grain may be used as a substitute for poppy seeds in muffins, breads, or cakes. It may also be cooked in boiling water to use as a grain for a pilaf.
• A new line of frozen breads specifically designed for the microwave oven was launched by General Mills, Inc., Number One General Mills Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55426 (phone 763-764-7600; fax 763-764-3580; www.generalmills.com). The Pillsbury microwave biscuits and dinner rolls reportedly will be warm, soft, and ready to eat in 25 seconds, and then stay soft, unlike the result when conventional breads are microwaved. The innovative products are based on proprietary microwave formulas that are patent protected.
“In advance testing, consumers were interested in the convenience but skeptical about whether microwave breads could work” said a company representative. After trying the products, consumers enthusiastically rated the microwave breads as tasting as good as or better than other bread products.”
The microwave line includes three items: Buttermilk Biscuits, Butter Tastin’® Biscuits, and Soft White Dinner Rolls.
New grape flavors are emerging in clusters
Several new varietal grape flavors have been introduced by Robertet Flavors, Inc., 10 Colonial Dr., Piscataway, NJ 08854 (phone 732-981-8300; fax 732-981-1717). Utilizing advanced proprietary natural aromatics, the flavors each have a distinct character and profile true to the variety of grape they duplicate.
Blush Red Grape, for example, provides a light, sweet, fruity flavor that is ideal for use when more high-impact flavor profiles are not desired. This subtle grape flavor for use in beverages was designed primarily to appeal to female consumers.
For a flavor that should appeal especially to children, Candied Grape was developed to impart a sweet, estery, floral profile in confections.
Other varieties include Concord Grape (sweet, fruity, jammy), Muscat Grape (sweet, floral, fruity), Niagara Grape (sweet, juicy, fruity), Red Grape (sweet, fruity, wine-like), and White Grape (sweet, juicy, floral).
The flavors are described as all natural, liquid, water-soluble, and kosher. Applications include beverages, yogurt, fruit snacks, fruit preparations, and a variety of other products.
Well, that includes another installment of our emerging ingredients section. In another 12 months, it will be interesting to see what new emerging ingredients this year’s round up has spawned. And to see as the food industry’s landscape gradually changes—whether through mergers, shifts in economy, health trends, cooperative efforts between nations, and new technologies—how these changes impact the nurturing and subsequent growth of these developments.
Until then, keep polishing those crystal balls!
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New Kids on the IFT Block Showcase Emerging Ingredients
Since this month’s Ingredients section is focusing on emerging ingredients, I thought it would be interesting to see what new cutting-edge developments will be highlighted by first-time exhibitors at the 2004 IFT Food Expo. Here are just a few products that fit nicely into the emerging ingredients category.
• Soy isoflavons in water. A soluble soy isoflavone food additive suitable for use in a clear, lightly flavored bottled water has been developed by Intellisoy, 275 Grove St., Ste. 2-400, Newton, MA 02466 (phone 617-527-0600; fax 617-663-5344; www.intellisoy.com).
The ingredient, extracted from soybeans through a patented water-based process, is said to be colorless, odorless, and flavorless. It contains primarily glucoside and acetyl derivative isoflavones and soluble oligosaccharides, and has almost no insoluble by-products such as fat, ash, or proteins. The ingredient is GRAS for use in a number of food and beverage applications in concentrations up to 20 mg per serving.
Because of its properties, it is said to be an ideal solution for food and beverage manufacturers who wish to add soy isoflavones to their product lines without altering the flavor, color, or texture of the original formulations. At the Food Expo, the company will be featuring Aqua Soya, a clear, lightly flavored bottled water containing Intellisoy brand soy isoflavones.
Both the isoflavone composition and extraction technology are currently licensed to a number of food and beverage companies in North America, Europe, and Asia. Booth 3543.
• Frying oils offer high stability and no trans fats. High-stability frying oils with no trans fat are available from Catania-Spagna Corp., One Nemco Way, Ayer, MA 01432 (phone 978-772-7900; fax 978-772-7970; www.cataniausa.com).
A non-hydrogenated, high-stability, no-trans-fat frying oil for high heat applications was specially developed by the company. Called Ultima, the high-oleic canola oil is said to have an equal or better frylife than hydrogenated oils, and does not overpower the natural flavors of the foods.
Also introduced will be Ultima Soy, an extended-fry-life soybean oil which has zero trans fats. The expeller-pressed soybean oil has a fry life equivalent to that of hydrogenated oils. Its special refining method provides the maximum amount of naturally occurring tocopherols. Booth 3392.
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• Flavor enhancer combines yogurt and mayonnaise. A fresh yogurt and mayonnaise mix specialty called Yogonez is marketed by Gourmet Cookery Marketplace, 4755 Paris St., #170, Denver, CO 80239 (phone 303-755-9233; fax 303-371-7595). The product, which has reportedly won several awards in international food exhibits, can be used like mayonnaise, but its fat content is much lower.
An alternative to mayonnaise, it may be used as a flavor enhancer and does not require thinning from the container. Potential applications include salads, vegetables, sandwiches, and other items.
The product is manufactured by Univer, which specializes in food enhancers, pastes, sauces, condiments, and seasonings. It serves European and North American markets, but its products are available worldwide. Booth 3688.
• Reduced-carb baked goods made with starch neutralizer. A reduced carbohydrate line of baked goods formulated with a “starch neutralizer” will be unveiled by French Meadow Bakery, 2610 Lyndale Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55408 (phone 612-870-4740; fax 612-870-0907; www.frenchmeadow.com). Marketed under the name Carb Watcher, the line includes bread, sourdough, and multi-grain dinner rolls, pizza crusts, and tortillas.
In the manufacture of this line, the company is said to be the first to utilize a proprietary ingredient, Phase 2 Starch Neutralizer, to reduce the carb calories in its bakery goods. The ingredient—an extract of the white bean which has been used in a number of weight-loss supplements sold worldwide—is said to significantly reduce starch calories compared to a placebo in a human pilot trial.
Twice named as one of the “best bread bakeries,” in America by Bon Appetit Magazine, the company recently teamed with Pharmachem Labs, a nutritional ingredient supplier, to produce the line of reduced-carbohydrate baked goods. Booth 2497.
• Indian flavors provide an exotic taste to dairy products. A new exotic range of Indian flavors for the dairy industry will be introduced by Universal Oleoresins, VIII/946 Jawahar Rd., Navratna House, Kochi, Kerala 682002 India (phone 91 484 2226673; fax 91 484 2226542; www.universaloleoresins.com).
Spice Drop™ Saffron is said to provide the rich taste and flavor of the spice in ice creams, yogurt, and milk. Spice Drop Saffron Milk Mix—a rich blend of saffron, cardamom, almonds, and pistachio, gives a special mellow and pleasing flavor in milk, ice creams, and yogurt. Spice Drop Thandai —a blend of various spices used by the royals of India—gives dairy products a strong, distinct, spicy flavor.
The company is a leading manufacturer of spice oleoresins, essential oils, natural colors, exotic flavor products from India. Booth 3544.
• Corn protein isolate offers advantages over other isolates. Corn protein isolate (CPI) for the food, beverage, and nutraceutical industries is available from Energenetics International, Inc., P.O. Box 845, Keokuk, IA 62354 (phone 217-453-2340; fax 217-453-6759; www.energenetics.usa.com). Containing 93–97% pure protein, the powdered ingredient is tasteless and odorless.
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According to the company, which claims that it is the only producer of this ingredient in the world, CPI offers a variety of functional and nutritional benefits over other protein isolates, including milk caseinates, cheese whey, egg whites, and soy protein isolates. It may also offer special nutraceutical benefits that lower blood pressure, blood sugar levels, triglycerides, and carcinogens in the bloodstream.
In addition to its novel CPI, the company also offers new soy and rice protein isolates, as well as water-extracted sterol-rich oils and creams.
EnerGenetics International, Inc. is a small research and development company that has been conducting laboratory and pilot-plant research for almost 20 years in collaboration with USDA-ARS to develop a novel and proprietary “precision micron-milling” technique that adapts advanced pharmaceutical equipment to grain processing. The technique, which avoids using heat (cooking/steeping) and acid precipitation, produces revolutionary new corn, soy, and rice protein isolates, fiber “fluffy” cellulose, and new oil and creams filled with phytochemicals. The company is seeking strategic alliance partners in various market segments, regions, and countries. Booth 3594.
• Ingredient supports natural immune defenses. An immune support ingredient called OptiNutrin will be introduced by Nutragenesis, 76 Highland St., Brattleboro, VT 05301 (phone 802-257-5345; fax 802-251-6981; www.nutragenesisnutrition.com). The scientifically proven functional food ingredient was developed to support natural immune defenses to help maintain good health.
Effective at low doses, the ingredient is said to be ideal for easy incorporation into a wide array of health-providing, value-added products. It represents a new, safe, effective, affordable, and convenient way to boost immune health in food and beverage products, including snacks, cookies, nutrition bars, candies, chewing gum, meal replacements, juices, bottled waters, yogurt products, throat lozenges, cereals, coffee, tea, and more.
The nutraceutical product development and marketing company is committed to the commercialization of proprietary, scientifically validated, GRAS-affirmed bioactive ingredients that enhance human and animal health for the functional food and beverage and dietary supplement industries worldwide. The company strives to develop strong, mutually beneficial strategic alliances with its customers. Booth 3513.
•Alternative source of guar gum. Domestically grown certified organic guar gum is supplied by Guar-Tex, 807 North 5th St., Brownfield, TX 79316 (phone 806-637-4662; fax 806-637-1643). The company is a marketing division of West Texas Guar, Inc., which contracts directly with growers in the United States. It primarily supplies guar gum to food and ingredient companies so that they can have dependable alternative sources inside the U.S. Booth 1496.
• Wave of Japanese products reaching the shore. A wide range of functional foods and ingredients from Japanese companies will be unveiled by a trading company, Itochu Corp., 5-1, Kita-Aoyame 2-chome, Tokyo, 107-8077 Japan (phone 81-3-34972425; fax 81-3-34972670; www.itochu.co.jp).
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Itochu Corp. will feature two supplement jelly beverages, one an anti-aging and fat-burning formula with CoQ10 and L-carnitine, and the other a skin-care formula with cysteine peptide and hyaluronic acid.
Asahi Food & Healthcare, Ltd. will feature freeze-dried compression-molded vegetables that resume their original shape on addition of boiling water.
Snow Brand Milk Products Co., Ltd. will feature MBP, a natural protein contained in trace amounts in bovine milk, that works directly or indirectly on bone cells to form healthy bones.
Oilseeds International, Ltd., will feature high-linoleic safflower oil, high-stability rice bran oil, and high-oleic sunflower oil. Booth 319.
• Blends provide texture for low-carb formulating. A full line of custom-tailored hydrocolloid-based blends will be highlighted by Excelon Specialty Products, Inc., 37 Sherwood Dr., #106, Lake Bluff, IL 60044 (phone 847-482-0818; fax 847-482; 0823; www.specialtyblends.com). These blends offer a wide range of properties, including moisture management, texture improvement, shelf-life extension, and health applications. Showcased are Excel™ TPM Texture Premixes, NetCarb™ CST Carbohydrate Replacement Ingredients, and Café Epicure™ HPS Complete Mixes for high-protein smoothie beverages. Booth 3303.
• New snacks have been reformulated for health benefits. New sesame, corn, and rice snacks are available from TH Foods, 2154 Harlem Rd., Loves Park, IL 61111 (phone 815-636-9500; fax 815-636-8400). New at the show are Corn Jacks, available in two flavors—Cheddar and Spicy Black Bean. Corn chips have been reformulated to include flax seed and are available either salted or honey roasted. Reduced Carb Whole Wheat Sticks with Flax Seed are also being introduced. Many of these products may also be used as inclusion items or toppings for salads, ice cream, energy bars, and other products. Booth 3539.
Next month’s Ingredients section will be discussing new developments in the areas of flavor enhancing and masking.
by DONALD E. PSZCZOLA
Senior Associate Editor