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Food for thought

Collaboration and innovation – those are the two key aims for Food Matters Live, which I attended yesterday to discover the latest trends in the industry and see new launches that have been developed to meet these trends.

Some of the products on show included a range of protein chocolate bars from Leader Foods, including its Dream crispy milk chocolate protein bar. The product includes five bite size pieces, with three gram of protein in each. Another highlight was Why Nut, a new protein ball brand, available in pistachio or almond flavours. The two varieties are said to be high in fibre, contain no additives and are suitable for vegans. Boka Food showcased its latest products, including sugar-free marshmallows. At 75 calories per serving, the marshmallows are also free from fat, fluten and dairy. The company launched the product after debuting its 30g Choco Mallow cereal bar, which is low in sugar, but high in fibre.

Although there were a number of conferences taking place throughout the day, the one that stood out most was on assessing the sugar reduction programme – how low can it go. With food and drink manufacturers being challenged to reduce sugar levels by 20% across their products by 2020, the discussion debated whether enough is being done quickly enough.

Panelists included Duncan Selbie, chief executive for Public Health England (PHE), Gavin Partington, director general at British Soft Drinks Association and Dr Kavita Karnik, M.Med.Sci., PhD, director of nutrition at Tate & Lyle. During the discussion, Selbie praised McVities, saying the biscuit brand is “making big progress” in terms of sugar reduction. While the industry I “seeing some positive progress,” he noted that “everybody has to play their part” in reducing sugar in everyday food products.

Karnik, meanwhile, revealed that Tate & Lyle is seeing a “strong push” from consumers and its customers for healthier products, adding that sugar does a lot more than add sweetness.

From one ingredients show to another, the Confectionery Production team will be at Food Ingredients Europe next week, which this year is set to focus on natural colours and flavours. For more information on the event, you can find our show preview in our November issue. My diary has filled up pretty quickly, but if you’d like to have a chat with one of the team then please drop by stand S24 in hall 8.

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