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Is ingredient innovation keeping up with the major challenges of the 21st century? That, of course, is always the million-dollar question. And it is a fair question when taking into consideration such increasing problems as obesity, diabetes, or heart disease. Even the encouraging of eating a varied and healthy diet can be problematic when studies have shown that because of the economy (and subsequent promotional deals such as getting two burgers for the price of one) people are flocking to cheaper—although not necessarily healthier—alternatives.
Sometimes the overall picture can be disheartening. Which is why, when I do my annual installment of emerging ingredients, I am always encouraged that there are signs that we are moving forward, that as long as we keep searching for answers to specific problems in food formulating, we will eventually find those answers. And those endeavors will eventually have a positive shaping influence on the major problems of the current century. We can only keep faith that it will be sooner than later.
And this year’s roundup of emerging ingredient developments is no different in offering that particular view or “reality check” if you will. As you may recall from previous installments, this article is devoted to looking at novel, cutting-edge developments that can shape parameters for future product formulating. Ideally, they can help us to rethink what roles ingredients play in functionality, potential health value, convenience, and the overall formulation of foods in general. And these developments come from a broad range of categories.
Over the next pages, we will see the results of several innovative quests. Many of these quests—if not all of them—are ongoing. There are different reasons for this. Some of them are in the early stages of research. Some are still seeking regulatory approval. Some in providing one type of solution will spark the development of other approaches to that problem. And still others by addressing one specific area will help encourage new partnerships that will lead to the commercialization of products not yet in the marketplace. Interestingly, some of these emerging developments are in response to other emerging developments. For example, new taste modifiers and their technologies are being created—fueled, in part, by the appearance of stevia-based sweeteners, an emerging development we reported on in a previous installment.
As you can probably already guess, the tools that are available today to help food professionals on their quest to find that next emerging ingredient development are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Once, a knight had his sword and perhaps a few romantic illusions. On our quest, we have advancements in seed technology, analytical programs that identify and characterize specific flavor components, technologies that measure cellular-level taste responses, and new food safety methods, just to name some. These tools have certainly made possible many of these searches and the answers that have been their outcome.
Here are a few examples: A natural blue color that is acid-stable. Flavors that work well in protein-rich foods and beverages. A plant extract that may help diabetics by protecting the body from the glycemic impact of that food. A high-stability oil that is said to offer the lowest amount of saturated fat of any vegetable oil currently in the marketplace. New marine-based bioactive components. And, as shown in our lead photo, someday we may even see plums (and other fruits) without pits—making the consumption of fruits more convenient and possibly more desirable.
Earlier, I mentioned such challenges as obesity or diabetes and how these problems are calling for solutions. Some of the developments we will be looking at may offer specific solutions to these problems. Or at least get us to start thinking.
And, perhaps of equal importance, they can lead to the development of healthier foods without compromising their taste, texture, or appearance. As the past has taught us many times, that lesson is essential if we are to truly address the challenging problems of this century.
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Plant Extract May Help in Treatment of Diabetes
A new food additive developed by two researchers may have a significant influence in the treatment of diabetes. The compound—called Emulin™ because of its ability to emulate insulin—is naturally derived from phytochemicals in tropical fruits and vegetables and can be used to protect the body from the negative impact of sugar in the bloodstream.
Daryl Thompson and Joseph Ahrens at a research firm specializing in treatments for metabolic and neurological disorders, ATM Metabolics, Winterhaven, Fla. (phone 863-258-5030, www.atmmetabolics.com), discovered the compound. According to the two scientists, certain plants contain this natural “biological modifier,” which works as a defense mechanism to protect them from the adverse elements in nature. It is this compound, already existing in plants, which may be used to make sugary foods such as colas, cookies, breads, and pasta safer for diabetics or even help prevent the onset of this disease.
“Emulin is not a sweetener or a sugar alternative,” said Ahrens. “It’s a sugar defense mechanism that can be added to any sugar-laden manufactured food and then works to protect the body from the glycemic impact of that food without altering the taste.”
The food additive reportedly works by reducing the amount of carbohydrates absorbed after meals and reducing the amount of glucose produced by the liver. It also accelerates the removal of excess sugar from the bloodstream; mobilizes carbohydrates from the fat cells; and increases the sensitivity of insulin receptors in the signaling pathways, making insulin more efficient.
An independent study performed by Eurofins Product Safety Laboratories on diabetic rats treated with Emulin showed up to a 27% reduction in glucose levels. These results indicate that the product may have therapeutic potential in the management of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled, FDA human trial involving 40 Type 2 diabetics was next performed. At the end of two weeks, both fasting blood glucose and peak blood glucose had declined 20% in the Emulin-only group. “The results show that Emulin alone is better than the leading prescription drug at reducing blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes,” noted Thompson. The study results were presented formally during the UCLA Symposium on Metabolic Diseases in January 2009.
According to the researchers, the ingredient will most likely be used in commonly manufactured foods such as breads, beverages, and snacks, in a similar fashion as folate when it was originally added to sliced bread to prevent birth defects. They believe that this new discovery will reduce the number of new diabetic patients by combating the leading cause of the disease, hyperglycemia. “With the number of diabetics worldwide expected to grow from an estimated 150 million now to 300 million by 2025, the market for Emulin is staggering,” observed Thompson. The product is currently going through its last stages of development and research.
‘Hues of Blue’
With consistent demand for it, a natural acid-stable blue color additive has long been considered a “Holy Grail” of the color industry. According to Wild Flavors Inc., Erlanger, Ky. (phone 859-342-3526, www.wildflavors.com), the company will be the first in the United State to provide such an ingredient that is fully suitable across most food and beverage applications.
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“Unlike previous attempts to achieve blue colors for applications by leveraging the stabilization of red cabbage or other anthocyanin-based colors at a neutral pH, Wild’s new blue color additive is unique in that it is truly acid stable,” said Kevin Gavin, the company’s Chief Operating Officer. “This patent-pending, proprietary technology will revolutionize the industry with beautiful ‘hues of blue’ suitable for a wide range of food and beverage applications. The color technology will also enable us to create an excellent spectrum of other colors, ranging from light blue to forest green, as well as blue to purple shades.”
Current FDA-compliant blue color additives offered within the industry are only stable when applied in neutral pH products, noted Gavin. This color, however, has a pH range of 2.5-8.0. The liquid, water-soluble product is heat, light, and acid stable; has a clean taste and smell; and offers a brilliant blue color. It is easy to blend with other natural colors for a wide variety of color choices, and is kosher and GMO free.
Derived completely from fresh fruit, the color is exempt from certification under Section 21 CFR 73.250. The new color will complement Wild’s full line of Colors from Nature®.
A Next-Generation Healthier Oil
A new high-stability canola oil from Cargill, Minneapolis, Minn. (phone 952-742-6000, www.cargill.com), has 4–4.5% saturated fat (25% less than conventional canola oil). The company claims that its product, Clear Valley® low-saturate canola oil, offers the lowest amount of saturated fat of any vegetable oil currently in the marketplace.
The oil, described as “the next generation,” may allow food manufacturers to differentiate their brand with nutrient content claims such as low in saturated fat, reduced saturated fat, or saturated fat free. The product extends Cargill’s high-oleic product platform and is expected to deliver similar functionality, mouth feel, and fry and shelf life stability as its current high-oleic canola oils.
The low-saturate canola oil is produced from Cargill’s Victory™ hybrid seeds specifically designed by the company for maximum yield and performance, helping to advance healthier oils with high stability and function. The new product will initially be offered in North America and will expand to other locations in the future. Product will be available for customer testing in early 2010.
Producing Pitless Plums
Pitless plums may someday be a reality, as USDA’s Agricultural Research Service scientists continue to make progress in determining the genes that control pit formation in the fruit.
To create pitless fruit, it is necessary to eliminate both the stone and the seed inside. Molecular biologists Chris Dardick and Ann Callahan and Prunus breeder Ralph Scorza at the ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, West Virginia are looking for the genes that control pit formation in plums—the first step in blocking their development.
“Our group discovered that a set of genes necessary for the production of lignin, a material for stone formation, is rapidly turned on specifically in stone tissue—not the flesh or skin—just before hardening, and then quiets down just as quickly after the stone hardens,” said Dardick. “The goal is to establish techniques to stop the genes’ activity and prevent hardening.”
Producing a pitless variety of plum would be appealing to consumers as well as offer other benefits. “Pitless fruit varieties would be a premium product that could provide higher income for growers and could increase consumption of these nutritious foods,” noted Dardick. “It could also save fruit processors money because pit removal and disposal are costly practices.” He added that the research, if successful, may be applicable to other stone fruits, such as cherries, peaches, nectarines, and apricots.”
The efforts of the researchers are published in an article in the April 2009 issue of Agricultural Research Magazine.
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Natural Antioxidant Improves Oil for Frying
An enhanced antioxidant solution, developed by Elvisem, Orange Beach, Ala. (phone 251-980-2900, www.elvisemusa.com), improves the quality and health profile of oil during frying operations. Studies have demonstrated that the product, EPT-OilShield, functions as an effective high-temperature, heat-resistant natural antioxidant for stabilizing soy oil during frying.
According to the manufacturer, the natural antioxidant significantly reduces both primary and secondary oxidation products during high-temperature frying, unlike synthetic antioxidants which are volatile and tend to decompose at high frying temperatures. Furthermore, its antioxidant effect is proportionally more marked over cumulative frying cycles.
Low concentrations of the product are required to achieve desired outcomes. Because of the lesser formation of oxidized fatty acids, the resulting oil is less rich in oxidized products and consequently offers a healthier profile. Products fried with it are said to have higher gamma tocopherol levels, indicating that it is helping to inhibit the oxidation of the polyunsaturated fatty acids.
The product offers food manufacturers and foodservice operators a variety of benefits, including a longer oil frying life (up to 40%). Healthier fried foods with less oxidized fatty acids can be achieved with consistently golden coloring and light crispy textures.
Which Flavors Work with Proteins?
The sensory profiles of a range of protein ingredients will be studied in a new research program at North Carolina State University. The program, commissioned by Synergy Flavors Inc., Wauconda, Ill. (phone 847-487-1011, www.synergytaste.com), intends to identify and isolate characterizing flavor components, providing a guide map to engineer flavors specifically for use in protein-rich nutritional products.
“The addition of proteins can contribute to flavor challenges in finished product applications,” explained Mary Anne Drake, Professor, the Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences at NCSU. “By identifying the specific volatile components that contribute to these flavor challenges, our study will help complement Synergy’s analytical toolkit. Flavors can then be more specifically engineered to work with individual protein sources.”
According to Paulette Lanzoff, Technical Vice President for Synergy USA, “we believe we will be able to further optimize the taste of best-selling flavors such as chocolate and vanilla in protein-based health and wellness products. What’s more, the detailed insight provided by connecting analytical and sensory approaches will allow us to develop a range of great-tasting creative flavors for use across the whole nutrition product sector.”
Synergy’s parent company, the Carbery Group, is also participating in the study. The findings will provide Carbery with a precise understanding of sensory profiles in whey protein ingredients, so that it can evolve its processes and continue to provide the highest-quality ingredients.
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Solutions Modify Taste of Stevia
Over the past several months, rebaudioside A, an extract of the stevia leaf, has been in the spotlight for its potential as a natural, calorie-free sweetener in food and formulating. (This has been especially true since the Food and Drug Administration issued letters of no objection to its GRAS status at 95% purity or above.) At the 2009 IFT Food Expo, several exhibitors were highlighting their versions of the sweetener, including Cargill, Wild Flavors, Corn Products, Pure Circle USA, Glg-Weider Sweet Naturals, and Daeipyung, to name a few.
Unlike previous crude extracts of the plant, rebaudioside A has been promoted as containing the best-tasting components of the stevia leaf and it is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar. Furthermore, from a marketing perspective, the ingredient has been positioned as an all-natural alternative to the current line-up of high-intensity sweeteners. However, with several ingredient companies developing customized flavor solutions specifically targeting food and beverages containing rebaudioside A and other stevia extracts, these efforts suggest that aftertaste may still be a problematic issue that needs to be overcome.
Because of the growing interest in stevia, several taste modification solutions are now emerging. These subsequent flavors and flavor enhancers are designed to improve the overall taste of the formulation while maintaining its natural product claim.
For example, Cargill, Wayzata, Minn. (phone 952-742-7575, www.cargill.com), has developed flavor solutions for rebiana (the company’s name for rebaudioside A) based on a technology that measures cellular-level taste responses. These flavors build on a broad product portfolio that ranges from masking agents to sweetness enhancers.
According to Cargill, flavors that perform well in traditional sweetener-based systems often do not work when rebiana is used to sweeten foods and beverages. The company reportedly demonstrated its expertise in this area with the development of rebiana-compatible flavors for the newly launched Truvia™ natural zero-calorie tabletop sweeteners available in local grocery stores in the U.S.
The new flavor solutions are ideally suited for cereals, yogurt, ice cream, confections, and various beverage applications, including carbonated soft drinks and flavored waters. Several prototypes made with Truvia rebiana and other sweeteners were available for sampling at the company’s booth. These included Blueberry Yogurt, stirred style with 50% reduction in sugar; Sugar Cookie with 30% reduced sugar; and Tropical Juice Drink containing 25% juice.
Wild Flavors Inc., Erlanger, Ky. (phone www.wildflavors.com), has increased its portfolio of taste modification technologies, providing solutions that address mouthfeel, mask off-notes, enhance sweetness, and block bitterness. These customized systems can be used in food and beverages containing stevia extracts. The company launched OnlySweet™, a line of stevia extracts and stevia blends made with its taste modification technologies. By rounding out flavor profiles and masking taste profile issues, the ingredients and blends are able to improve the finished product while enhancing stevia’s sweetening properties. Wild expects to quickly commercialize several new and innovative product concepts and offerings using stevia, as well as create new opportunities for zero-calorie, natural sweetening systems.
Switzerland-based Givaudan (phone 44 0 1869 353807, www.givaudan) claims that it has discovered the bitter taste receptor triggered by rebaudioside A. Understanding how bitterness is activated in the mouth with this stevia extract has enabled the company to discover and develop flavor ingredients that specifically block this mechanism.
According to Bob Eilerman, Givaudan’s Head of Science and Technology, “product developers at food and beverage companies will benefit from this breakthrough ingredient technology to make Reb A– sweetened products taste significantly better than was previously possible. These unique materials are incorporated in flavors designed specifically to work in Reb A–sweetened products.” Use of the company’s flavor-masking technology enhances the overall taste performance of the sweetener while reducing or eliminating the inherent sensory defects.
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Givaudan has utilized advances in taste research, sensory science, and receptor-guided ingredient discovery to address the bitterness associated with rebaudioside A. Screening of a diverse chemical library has led to a portfolio of more than 20 new flavor ingredients effective against the problematic bitterness of the extract. Over the past two years, the company obtained regulatory approval for six new natural ingredients for intense sweetener taste improvement. In addition to basic ingredient research, the company has developed an in-depth sensory understanding of bitterness-blocking requirements for a range of high-intensity sweeteners through an expert tasting panel of people sensitive to Reb A notes.
Wixon Inc., St. Francis, Wis. (phone 414-769-3000, www.wixon.com), introduced Mag-nifique™ for Stevia, a taste modifier that enhances sweetness and reduces the lingering aftertaste caused by stevia. Food processors and snack companies will be able to manage costs by using less stevia because of the synergistic effect of the taste modifier that allows for increased sweetness. It is suitable for any application where stevia is used, including beverages, desserts, snacks, baked goods, and other products. There is no impact on the texture, nutritional panel, chemical behavior, or heat stability of the product. The taste modifier does not break down or alter its flavor in cooking, freezing, or shelf-life applications.
Several other companies have also introduced taste modifiers that can be used with stevia extracts. In 2010, an Ingredients section will discuss the different ways that taste modification is being used today and we’ll discuss these other examples then. So stay tuned.
Another Sweetener Candidate?
With all the attention on stevia and subsequent taste modifiers, it might be easy to overlook other sweetener developments on the horizon. For example, Ajinomoto Food Ingredients LLC, Chicago, Ill. (phone 773-714-1436, www.ajiusafood.com), recently applied to FDA for approval of Advantame, a non-caloric sweetener for use in foods and beverages.
According to the company, the sweetener—made from aspartame in combination with vanillin—has a sweet, clean, sugar-like taste. It is significantly sweeter than most low- and non-calorie sweeteners currently available in the marketplace, and depending on the application, it can be thousands of times sweeter than sugar.
“The clean sugar-like taste means that Advantame blends very well with sugar and high fructose corn syrup, providing food and drink companies with an alternative that has both nutritional and environmental advantages,” said Brendan Naulty, the company’s President. “Equally, Advantame can be used very successfully by product formulators in the sweetening systems of low-calorie and no-calorie products.”
Because it is much sweeter than other alternatives, Ajinomoto anticipates that it will be a top candidate for food and beverage formulations. “Heightened attention to the importance of healthy body weight has significantly increased demand for ingredients that deliver a good, sweet taste without adding extra calories,” noted Naulty. He added that the sweetener is heat stable and can be widely used in cooking and baking.
Ajinomoto has spent almost 10 years in researching and developing what it calls “the next generation of non-caloric sweeteners.” It is said to be the first of the new sweeteners that the company intends to introduce to the market in the next few years. The company hopes to obtain U.S. approval within two years. It is also intending to apply for approval in Europe and Australia/New Zealand.
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An Emerging Inclusion?
An innovative use for pomegranate arils has been developed by Stiebs Pomegranate Products, Madera, Calif. (phone 559-661-0031, www.stiebs.com). The arils, the fruit’s red kernels containing the juice and seed, are infused with fruit juice concentrate to achieve a moisture content of 12%, similar to that of raisins.
The company claims to be the first to successfully apply infusion technology to pomegranate arils. This product allows manufacturers of baked goods, snack foods, and cereals to add the antioxidant power of pomegranates to their products while maintaining real fruit identity.
The ingredient is said to be the result of extensive testing after numerous requests for a shelf-stable pomegranate product for use in bakery and packaged goods. The infused arils perform like raisins in dough and batters, so manufacturers can use the same equipment and recipes they currently employ. Consumers can enjoy true pomegranate flavor as well as the health benefits of punicic acid (found in the pomegranate’s seed) in such formulations as cookies, breads, energy bars, and snack mixes.
Extracting Health from the Sea
A new line of marine extracts from Frutarom USA Inc., North Bergen, N.J. (phone 952-920-7700, www.us.frutarom.com), offers solutions to several of the top health issues of today. The marine-based bioactive components are the result of the company’s new business relationship in North America with Copalis, a French manufacturer for functional food, dietary, supplement, and nutricosmetic markets.
Nutripeptin™, a marine peptide for use in weight-loss products, can lower the glycemic impact of high-carbohydrate foods and help increase satiety. It is easily incorporated into powdered beverages and nutrition bars, and also can be used in capsules or tablet form to be taken before meals. It has a neutral flavor profile when added into finished products.
Phoscalim® is a fish-derived mineral extract that offers a highly bioavailable source of calcium to promote optimal bone health. It provides calcium and phosphorous that acts synergistically in formulas, as well as type 2 collagen, making it suitable for calcium supplements or formulations targeting bone and joint health.
Collactive™, a natural, antiwrinkle ingredient, is composed of marine collagen and elastin peptides in the same ratio found naturally in skin. “Frutarom just released promising results from a clinical study showing that Collactive can significantly reduce wrinkles in women after 28 days,” said Laurent Leduc, Vice President, USA Health Division of FrutaromUSA. “When taken orally, collagen and elastin have shown a synergistic anti-wrinkle action, stimulating skin to lift and tone sagging areas and minimize lines and wrinkles while increasing skin moisture retention.” The ingredient may be used in applications such as beverages.
Findings Ways to Improve Processed Veggies
Botanically diverse vegetables are important natural sources of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds with potential health benefits. Studies have indicated that low fruit and vegetable intake can be a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancers, and respiratory diseases.
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Fresh vegetables contain more than 80% water, which is responsible for their desirable crunchy texture. However, this high water content also makes vegetables highly perishable, and in order to preserve their quality, special storage and processing operations are followed. Preservation methods such as freezing, canning, and drying are traditional processes aimed at extending the shelf life of vegetables by minimizing chemical, microbial, and enzymatic reactions responsible for quality loss and spoilage.
Because of the growing market/consumer need for natural, nutritive, good-tasting vegetables which can facilitate easier preparation, companies continue to look for ways to improve processed vegetables and create new categories as ready-to-use ingredients.
For example, British Columbiabased EnWave Corp. (phone 604-786-5245, www.enwave.net), developed nutraRev™, a recently commercialized technology used to dehydrate fruits, vegetables, and other products more quickly and less expensively than conventional methods. This patented technology combines microwaves with vacuum to control the temperature at which liquids boil and subsequently evaporate. This form of liquid evaporation is a major advancement in drying sensitive organisms that are easily damaged by extreme temperatures. In the food sector, this technology has demonstrated more efficient processing than traditional freeze or air dry methods, including significantly faster processing time and improved retention of flavor and color.
During troubled economic times, companies across all business sectors make cutbacks in some or all areas of their operations. However, one fruit and vegetable processor, Graceland Fruit Inc., Frankfort, Mich. (phone 231-352-7181, www.gracelandfruit.com), is increasing capacity by more than 40% as it brings a new dryer online. This strategic move allows the company to produce new lines of infused dried vegetable ingredients and to better meet the growing consumer demand for healthy food products.
With the additional capacity, Graceland is expanding production of its infused dried vegetables, which retain a texture and taste similar to fresh vegetables, through a patented process that results in superior rehydration and cooking performance. “Unlike traditional air, vacuum, or freeze-dried products, these vegetables have a softer texture, provide a fresh-like color and flavor, and can be diced into smaller pieces for use as food ingredients,” said Nirmal Sinha, the company’s Vice President and Director of Research and Development. “In addition, they are microbiologically safe and shelf stable for more than a year without the use of sulfites or other preservatives.”
According to Sinha, these vegetables have the same rehydration time as more expensive freeze-dried vegetables but with better color, texture, and flavor scores. They can be microwaved, sautéed, and prepared in a variety of ways. The product line—which includes broccoli, carrots, celery, sweet corn, green peas, red peppers, and green peppers—is suitable for use in baked goods, such as bagels, specialty artisan breads, and cornbread; pasta dinners; complete and add-to meals; shelf-stable home meal replacements; side dishes; snacks; and trail mixes.
“Graceland Fruit is securing ever-increasing supplies of raw fruits and vegetables to meet the needs of food manufacturers,” noted the company’s Chief Executive Officer Don Nugent. “With the expanded capacity and grower commitments, Graceland can assure reliable volumes of infused fruit and vegetable ingredients from field to consumer.”
Natural Starch Targets Texture
An unmodified, premium cold-water-swelling starch, X-Pand’r SC, provides snack and bakery products with a“layered” structure that balances crispiness and crunchiness. The natural starch, recently launched by Tate & Lyle, Decatur, Ill. (phone 866-653-6622, www.tateandlyle.com), offers higher product throughput by enabling dough formation that uses less moisture without adversely affecting machinability.
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The latest addition to the company’s line of starches, the ingredient is especially suitable for targeting texture in sheeted snacks, traditional crackers, whole-grain crackers, high-fiber snacks, savory and sweet products, and extruded and coated snacks. In coated snacks, for example, it can provide a light and crispy coating that adheres with ease to nuts and dried fruits on baked products, or it can create the texture and mouthfeel of fried foods without the added calories of cooking oil. In extruded snacks, it provides lower process viscosity during extrusion and delivers a crispy texture.
New Food Safety Technology for Eggs
A new microfiltration technology can further protect pasteurized liquid eggs from food safety threats including naturally occurring spoilage bacteria and pathogens such as Salmonella enteritidis. The technology has been developed by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service scientists at the ARS Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC) in Wyndmoor, Penn.
“Current pasteurization technology is not adequate to remove all pathogens effectively from egg products,” said Peggy Tomasula, Research Leader of the ERRC Dairy Processing and Products Research Unit. “Though pasteurization eliminates heat-sensitive pathogens, some heat-resistant microorganisms can survive and spoil liquid egg whites.”
Consumers can avoid illness by properly handling and cooking eggs before consumption. But Tomasula—along with lead scientist John Luchansky of the Microbial Food Safety Research Unit and chemical engineer Sudarsan Mukhopadhyay—has found that “crossflow microfiltration membrane separation” can compensate for the shortcomings of thermal pasteurization.
This technology, which has been successfully applied to milk, removes more pathogens than thermal pasteurization. And it does so without affecting the eggs’ ability to foam, coagulate, and emulsify. CMF-treated eggs could be safely substituted for pasteurized eggs in products where those characteristics are desired, such as angel food cake and mayonnaise.
In a pilot-scale study, CMF was shown to remove about 99.99% of inoculated S. enteritidis from unpasteurized liquid egg whites. The technology can also be used to remove Bacillus anthracis spores from egg whites.
Although effective in its own right, CMF works best when treated as an accompaniment to pasteurization, not a replacement for it, noted Tomasula. Combining the two processes significantly reduces the pathogen load.
Emerging Comfort Foods
With the current economic conditions, there seems to be more of an emphasis lately on comfort foods, ranging from chocolate to mashed potatoes to pasta products. But, even in such a period where people are relying on their nostalgic memories or associations, formulators are finding different ways to make comfort foods a little less traditional and a lot more exciting. I thought we might end this article with a few emerging examples.
How about grilled pizza? McCormick & Co., Inc., Hunt Valley, Md. (phone 410-527-6541, www.mccormick.com), offers a variety of recipes that use its Grill Mates® line of seasonings, marinades, and rubs. Examples might include Baja Shrimp Grilled Pizza, topped with shrimp and pineapple for a luau-themed experience; the Steak Lover’s Pizza with onions and bell peppers that plays off on steak fajitas or stir fry; and Grilled Chicken Caesar Pizza, topped with Romaine lettuce and Parmesan cheese.
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Or how about new savory dip flavors designed to dress up fruits, vegetables, and crackers? Flavors from Wixon, St. Francis, Wis. (phone 414-769-3000, www.wixon.com), include Asiago Spinach, Buffalo Wing & Bleu Cheese, Cheddar Jack Black Bean, Chili con Queso, and Peruvian Sour Orange (a spicy and sour orange flavor, blended with garlic, soy sauce, chili, jalapeno peppers, and lime juice. And you thought dips only consisted of French Onion and Ranch types.
And then there’s perhaps one of the ultimate comfort foods, S’Mores—a sweet treat traditionally made with chocolate, graham crackers, and plain marshmallows. Virginia Dare, Brooklyn, N.Y. (phone 718-788-1776, www.virginiadare.com), brought to them a new round of taste sensations, such as Cappuccino-flavored Coating with a Vanilla Marshmallow, Dulce de Leche-flavored Coating with a Green Tea Marshmallow, Pomegranate-flavored Coating with an Orange Marshmallow, Raspberry-flavored Coating with a Peach Marshmallow, and Chocolate Peppermint-flavored Coating with a Vanilla Marshmallow.
And as shown in the sidebar on page 52, Bell Flavors developed a number of comfort foods transformed by its flavors. These might include Orange Blossom in Milk Chocolate, a North African pizza, a hard candy that combines watermelon flavor with chili, and Peppadew-flavored Hummus. Even barbecue sauce can be given a new zing with ginger and tamarind flavors.
The way we perceive certain foods may be changing as well. Chew on that, literally. “Chews” traditionally deliver flavor while providing a sense of relaxation or comfort. A recent product introduction is targeting health, as well. Cargill’s brand of plant sterols (Corowise™ Naturally Sourced Cholesterol Reducer) is now available in individually wrapped Cardio Chews™. Adults who enjoy the over-the-counter product twice daily with meals, and who follow a healthy diet of foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may see their cholesterol numbers start to drop in as little as four weeks, according to the company. It is offered in cherry and chocolate flavors, is sugar free, and contains 30 calories and 0.4 g plant sterols per single chew serving. On its package, the product is promoted as a dietary supplement.
Hard times, you say, when considering today’s general state of affairs. Well, based on this installment of new developments, I rather think “Emerging Times” might be a more appropriate description to describe their potential in the marketplace.
Next month’s Ingredients section provides post-show coverage of the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo.
Emerging flavor profiles and their technologies were showcased at a Flavorology event, held annually by Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Northbrook, Ill. (phone 847-291-8300, www.bellff.com). According to the company, the name of the event refers to the education and communication of these new technologies and flavor profiles to key customers so that they c an be successful in delivering market-leading products.
A variety of food and beverage prototypes highlighted different flavor trends that are becoming increasingly popular and may help shape future formulating. Here are a few examples of these “trend-setters”:
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• Floral flavors. Developing authentic floral flavor profiles can be challenging because each flower that the flavor is based on has special growing conditions, colors, and aromatic qualities. The company has developed several floral flavors such as jasmine, rose, orange flower, peach blossom, violet, linden flower, lavender, elderflower, angelica, apple blossom, chamomile, lily, and hibiscus. (Bell picked lavender with its floral, violet, and herbal notes as one of the top 10 beverage flavors for 2009.) Early applications where floral flavors have found use are chocolates and teas. Although this trend is still in its infancy, especially in the U.S., it can help differentiate a variety of products—some of these applications themselves are emerging such as beauty foods and beverages. Prototypes that demonstrated these flavors included Strawberry Hibiscus Cold Tea, Orange Blossom in Milk Chocolate, Lavender Marshmallow, Hibiscus Raspberry Dressing, Rose-Flavored Rice, and Blackberry Lavender Flavored Beauty Beverage.
• Apple and mango varietals. Did you know that the simple apple has more than 7,500 known cultivars throughout the world, each with a distinct color, shape, and flavor? And the mango has more than 1,000 cultivars with the color, shape, and flavor depending on the region it grows. In addition, different cultures use these flavors at different ripeness and for different types of food categories. Bell takes these factors into consideration as it develops little-known flavor profiles of apples and mango. These included Peruvian Mango (juicy and creamy), Alphonso Mango (very sweet with undertones of vanilla and spice), Manila Mango (juicy, sweet, and aromatic), Macintosh Apple (juicy, perfumed, wine-like flavor), Golden Russet (crisp and sweet cider apple), Ellison’s Orange (an English Eating Apple, tender, golden-red, with an anise flavor), and Hawthorn (fragrant, bitter, similar to a wild apple). These flavor profiles were highlighted in marmalade and apple cider beverages.
• Flavor Sensates. A hard candy that combines a watermelon flavor with a chile flavor. Or a chocolate that incorporates the flavors of curry and chile. Or an alcoholic cooler that uses flavors to boost alcohol while providing the taste of yumberry. Or a hard candy that features a cooling agent flavor and a spearmint-lime flavor. Or a creamer with flavors that enhance sweetness while imparting an Irish Crème taste. All these prototypes demonstrate the company’s efforts to develop flavors based on such sensations as warming, cooling, sweetness without sugar, and alcohol boosting. These flavors—or “flavor sensates”—can enhance the finished product and create a cost savings for the manufacturer.
• World of savory. Bell researched up-and-coming regions of the world to create flavors that would introduce American palates to new flavor profiles. Flavors from regions such as Mexico and Asia have been very popular in the U.S., but new regions, including parts of Latin American and the Mediterranean , are gaining interest and will continue to evolve demand for authentic flavor profiles. Prototypes highlighted included a pizza made with North African flavors (Harissa Type Flavor, Pomegranate Molasses Flavor, and Moroccan Spice Type Flavor); a Yucatan Tomato Sauce for a dip (Chimichurri Type Flavor, Chipotle Pepper Flavor, and Hickory Smoke Flavor), and a meat appetizer, Chicken Merguez Sausage (Pomegranate Molasses Flavor and Moroccan Spice Type Flavor).
• Peppadew flavors. A South African fruit, Peppadew® has a flavor profile that balances spicy and sweet. This unique mixture may help explain why it made Bell’s list of top flavors of 2009 twice—one for beverages and one for savory. Prototypes made with a flavor based on its profile included Peppadew-Flavored Tequila Cooler and Peppadew-Flavored Hummus.
• Consumable beauty. Major food companies are launching products that potentially offer health or beauty alternatives. Some of these products utilize probiotics, plant sterols, omega-3s, antioxidants, vitamins, botanicals, and other ingredients to promote beauty from within. Bell showed several “beauty prototypes” made with flavors for this emerging category. Products included a probiotic chewy bar made with cinnamon bun flavor, an omega-3 enriched coffee with chocolate pomegranate flavor, a yogurt with vanilla and apple blackberry type flavors, and a beauty beverage flavored with blackberry and lavender.
Other prototypes featured at the event included crackers and chips made with garden fresh flavors such as basil, watercress, mint, cilantro, and kaffir lime; a chicken broth made with a flavor enhancer for salt replacement; a hard candy made with a honey replacer; a salsa made with a heatless habanero pepper flavor; curried chicken skewers with Indonesian BBQ sauce made with ginger and tamarind flavors; and many others.
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Donald E. Pszczola,
Senior Associate Editor