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Bursting with flavour

Demand for clean label ingredients has been gaining momentum over the years, which has subsequently had a huge influence on the food industry. What started as a trend is now the standard.

As a result, producers of colours and flavours have committed major investments in creating natural alternatives to synthetic materials. This year’s Food Ingredients (Fi) & Natural Ingredients (Ni) Europe aim to provide a clear overview of the sector, which has developed like few others in the food and ingredients industries.

An expanding and complex market 

What began in the 1980s with initial concerns about synthetic colours in food has led to today’s dominating demand for natural colours. As a result, nearly 60 per cent of the total food colours market is now comprised of natural solutions, according to Future Market Insights.

In parallel, clean label has affected the global flavours market, and both colour and flavour producers have responded with innovation and investments in research and development. For suppliers, natural colours and flavours are part of their standard portfolio. Nevertheless, achieving successful results while reverting back to all things natural, is far from simple. Attaining clean label status requires standardised raw materials of the highest quality – a challenge when it comes to ingredients made by mother nature. In addition, stability concerns still exist around long-term or high temperature warehousing.

“Consumers nowadays shouldn’t have to accept a compromise between health and taste – they want it all,” says Barbara Lezzer, European marketing director at Sensient Flavours. “This is why the focus of all of our research and development is to offer natural solutions based on our proprietary extraction and taste modulation technologies.”

Some 1,500 suppliers will gather at FiE, with more than 350 of them set to present over 2,500 products in the colours or flavours categories.

Conference and innovation awards 

During the four-day FiE conference, meanwhile, a number of industry specialists will offer insight on how to meet clean label demands. On 28 November, under the headline ‘clean label & natural ingredients’, experts from universities and industry, as well as market analysts will explore subjects such as the consumer’s view of clean label, and technical topics from stability issues in natural colours to reformulation. The ‘reduction & reformulation’ session on 30 November will cover sugar reduction with case studies and discussions focusing on innovative solutions without loss of flavour or functionality.

And with 10 newly created categories spanning all industry sectors, the Awards recognise and reward companies, including start-ups, showcasing innovation. The Innovation Awards categories include the Future of Nutrition Award; Sustainability Champion Award; Organic Champion Award; Clean Label & Natural Innovation Award; Life Stages Innovation Award; Performance Nutrition Innovation Award; Growth Categories Innovation Award; Reduction & Reformulation Innovation Award; Expo FoodTech Innovation Award and Workforce Equality Award. The winners will be announced at an evening ceremony on 28 November.

Richard Joyce, brand director for event organiser UBM EMEA, notes, “This year, our newly created categories are geared towards the main developments in the sector, which spur it on like few others. With the FiE Innovation Awards, we want to acknowledge trendsetting new ideas and move them into the focus of a professional audience.”

After last year’s inaugural success, the second Start-up Innovation Challenge invites companies to share a pioneering project with a broader audience. It is split into two categories – Best Innovation Award and Best Natural Ingredient Award. In partnership with Naturex, Presans and Vaucluse Provence Attractivité, the Fi Global team will reward ten companies who have been in business for less than four years for ingredients projects with a ‘groundbreaking’ impact on the industry.

PRODUCT SHOWCASES  

Almond Board of California – hall 9, stand G6

In the US pavilion, the Almond Board of California (ABC) will explain why almonds are the number one nut in new product introductions in Europe for the second year in a row. Dr Karen Lapsley, chief scientific officer at ABC, will be taking part in two panel discussions. During the first, she will ask whether the food industry is doing enough to support sustainability and outline the almond industry’s journey to becoming zero waste. In the second session, Lapsley will discuss how food and beverage companies can develop products to meet the healthy convenience trend.

Beneo – hall 8, stand F61

Beneo will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary at the show. Originally launched at FiE 2007 in London, UK, this year, the company will showcase a range of new functional ingredient product concepts. In keeping with the anniversary theme, Mintel director of innovation and insight, David Jago, will be looking ahead with a presentation on what to expect from the next decade in terms of food and beverage trends.

Corbion – hall 8, stand K41

Corbion will use the show as a platform to showcase its new tastes for the confectionery industry. To help develop new products with high stability and sourness levels, Corbion’s focus is on creating new sour profiles. Its Purac Powder range is said to enable clean, long-lasting sourness and stability in both hard and soft applications.

Döhler – hall 8, stand F31

Be it flavour extracts, colour powders, sweetening solutions, coating systems or fruit and vegetable purees, Döhler says it will present comprehensive natural ingredients, ingredient systems, integrated solutions and inspirations for the development of new products that offer natural, healthy added value while also provide indulgence.

GEA – hall 8, stand Q5

GEA will present its range of technology for the production of food ingredients, freeze-dried food and coffee. The technology includes high-shear mixing, a wide range of dryers (solid feed drying, spray drying, fluid bed drying and freeze drying) and fully-integrated process lines, all designed to meet the industry’s strictest requirements for hygienic design, product quality, plant efficiency and safety, and sustainable production. The stand will feature the company’s Mobile Minor R&D spray dryer, designed to produce small-volume powder samples that can be scaled up to production volumes.

GNT – hall 8, stand A47

GNT will highlight its portfolio of high-performance colouring foods, with a particular focus on its new Exberry savoury range. It is said to be the first full colouring foods line for all types of savoury products providing naturalness and colour innovation to this market. The concentrates are made from recognisable vegetables and plants, are easy to handle and have little impact on flavour profile, it says. A trend corner will show current market developments and trends to support manufacturers in staying ahead of the competition.

Herza Schokolade – hall 8, stand C61

Herza Schokolade will focus on vegan chocolate pieces, sugar-free chocolate inclusions based on xylitol and unconventionally flavoured chocolates. The vegan chocolate pieces include a dark chocolate option and two vegan alternatives to milk chocolate. One variety is formulated with rice drink powder instead of full milk and also contains amaranth. The second, lighter-coloured variety is based on coconut milk powder which gives the chocolate a discrete coconut flavour. The vegan chocolate pieces are suitable for use in muesli, ice cream and milk-free yogurt alternatives with top cups. Meanwhile, xylitol used in the sugar-free chocolate inclusions has almost the same sweetening power as household sugar but provides around 40 per cent fewer calories. The chocolate pieces, which are available as dark chocolate and milk chocolate, are bake-stable and suitable for biscuits and other baked goods. Herza’s unconventionally flavoured chocolates feature matcha and cranberry, as well as thyme honey.

Nexira – hall 8, stand F52

Acacia gum and natural ingredients specialist Nexira will showcase its acacia gum natural emulsifiers. Manufactured in France, the emulsifiers derive from selected acacia trees and are said to provide high-quality and technical properties. For manufacturers offering sports nutrition or products providing energy, the company will present its latest botanical extracts, which it claims deliver naturally occurring nutrients. Acerol (Malpighia glabra L.) contains 17 per cent vitamin C, while Guarana (Paullinia cupana Kunth) contains eight per cent caffeine which is a natural and plant-based alternative. Nexira will also highlight its Fibregum range, a 100 per cent vegetable ingredient said to provide more than 90% dietary soluble fibre, great digestive tolerance, proven prebiotic properties. It has recently been certified FODMAP friendly.

Olam Cocoa – hall 11, stand D100

Olam Cocoa will highlight its new cocoa products such as the deZaan D11BK cocoa powder, which it claims is the first nib alkalised, black cocoa powder that has no sodium added. Due to a cocoa processing technology used by deZaan, the cocoa flavour of D11BK is boosted so that it provides a cleaner and less acrid flavour profile than other black cocoa powders on the market, the company says.

Omya – hall 8, stand P29

Omya will highlight its range of natural calcium carbonates, which can be used as fortification agents, white pigments, bulk providers, extrusion aids and anti-caking agents. Omya’s products, bundled together under the Calcipur brand, have a calcium content of around 40 per cent. It acts as a white pigment and can replace titanium dioxide in applications such as chewing gum coatings. The company says it is also a suitable anti-caking agent that improves the flow and bulk density of powders without dusting and offers faster flow rates than silicates.

Orchard Valley Foods Group – hall 8, stand J2

Orchard Valley Foods Group will showcase new products, promote its increased bespoke new product development and production capabilities in fudge, toffee chips, mini marshmallows, chocolate pieces and sprinkles, including vegetarian mallows. The company will also unveil a fresh look for its Additions line of decorations and inclusions, available both as a foodservice product range and for home bakers.

SternMaid – hall 8, stand F59

SternMaid’s focus will be on retail packs and the new option of filling products into stand up pouches. With the company’s Doypack line, superfoods or products for athletes can now be filled into readymade stand up pouches, with or without a zipper and three or four edge seal bags. For contract blending, the company has three lines for small and medium-size products between 100 and 10,000kg and four other lines for large quantities over ten tonnes.

SVZ – hall 8, stand L50

Fruit and vegetable ingredients supplier SVZ will present its portfolio of natural fruit and vegetable purees, juices and concentrates. The company’s range of ingredients, from raspberry and strawberry purees to spinach and carrot concentrates, is suitable for various applications, from dairy products and baked goods to beverages and baby food.

Taura Natural Ingredients – 

hall 11, stand F98

Taura Natural Ingredients will showcase sugar-reducing powers of fruit and vegetable pieces in baked goods and cereals. Visitors will be offered a 30 per cent reduced added sugar cookie containing the company’s real fruit pieces to compare it with a full-sugar cookie and a reduced added sugar cookie without fruit pieces. Sweet and savoury flavour concepts, including a mango chutney piece consisting of mango and spices, as well as savoury versions of traditionally sweet products, will also be highlighted.

Tereos – hall 8, stand A37

Tereos will present Sweet&You and Sauté Végétal. Sweet&You, a 360° reformulation service to optimise nutritional profile, cost-efficiency, taste and texture in customers’ product formulations. Sauté Végétal is the company’s new plant-based, high protein food, based on wheat and chickpea. A 100g portion of Sauté Végétal is said to provide 25-30 per cent of your daily protein requirement.

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