Health and nutrition

Held biennially, HiE provides a global overview of the nutrition and wellness industries, highlighting natural and organic ingredients, solutions for snack formulation, and the latest processing and packaging methods. The overall response at the show was positive, with many companies eager to promote their new products and developments.

Included in the new product zone was Cambridge Commodities, which showcased its Goji Reds Vegan Chocolate Bar, which is low in sugar and salt, and is a source of fibre. The company said the reds blend used in the bar is a source of antioxidants, including vitamin C, which has a protective effect against damaging free radicals and plays a role in the biosynthesis of collagen.

The company also displayed its Unbaked Functional Bars, with concept flavours including Mango & Lime and Cacao & Orange. Its plant-base Orange Cacao Balls, meanwhile, contain antioxidant-rich cacao powder, which provides a source of iron and magnesium. The product is made from whole food ingredients with nothing artificial added.

Also included in the new product zone was Ambrosia-SupHerb, which highlighted its Tab in Gum technology – a tablet wrapped in chewing gum. The varieties on show included Ginger+B6 Gum for relief from sickness and vomiting during pregnancy, and High Potency Cranberry+C Gum for urinary tract treatment. The Winter Tab in Gum, which is designed to strengthen the immune system in winter, combines black elderberry, astragalus, zinc, licorice and vitamin C, while the Multivitamin Tab in Gum contains minerals, B complex vitamins, vitamin C, as well as vitamins D and E. The company said that 95 per cent of the active ingredients in the tablet are absorbed in the body within 45 seconds.

Meanwhile, potato starch producer Avebe used the show to launch its new potato protein isolate Solanic 100. With a high nutritional profile, the product is suitable for snacks and bakery applications. According to the new FAO recommendations Solanic 100 has a high protein quality score because of its high level of essential amino acids and excellent digestibility. This score is called the Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS). Solanic 100 has a DIAAS of 128 per cent (based on the adult amino acid reference pattern) which the company says is the highest DIAAS for any plant protein on the market. Solanic 100 is also free from gluten, soy and lactose, making it suitable for vegan and ‘free from allergens’ formulations.

Avebe also showcased its Perfectasol concept for vegan foamed confectionery. Derived from potato, Perfectasol mimics the texturing functionality of gelatin, both foaming and gelling, allowing for gelatin free (vegan) product reformulation.

“We have high expectations of both ingredients performing very well in the snacks and baked goods and confectionery segments in the coming year,” said Bart Pennings, marketing manager for nutrition. “Solanic100 potato protein for protein enrichment of snacks & baked goods and Perfectasol for vegan foamed confectionery.”

Over the next 12-18 months, Pennings said the group will focus its efforts on introducing Solanic 100 into the bakery category and then possibly move towards sports nutrition. “With Solanic 100 I think we’re in quite a good position on nutritional platform and it’s just a matter of landing the right applications and use levels and making sure we fix the texture,” he explained.

As consumers continue to look for sugar alternatives, Bodo Fritzsching, commercial managing director at Beneo, discussed the challenges this has on the business and highlighted its activities surrounding sugar reduction and sugar replacement, with blood glucose management being key. Fritzsching said the company is working on new formulations, and will showcase new concepts such as a Mango Sticky Rice flavoured product at ProSweets.

“People are watching their sugar intake in really different ways,” he explained. “Some are looking for sugar reductions, some are looking for sugar replacement, but right now for the consumer it’s still a little bit unclear because you can also have sugar reduced products using ingredients such as maltodextrin, which do physiologically the opposite to normal sugar. So that’s maybe a challenge we have as an ingredients supplier – to provide the right marketing concepts to our customers that they can translate to the consumer’s level.”

He added, “I believe it’s about education at the end of the day, and I’m personally very convinced that the day will come soon where the consumer will want to know what it is all about because you will see it more and more.”

One of the concepts on show at Beneo’s stand was sugar reduced chocolate chip cookies. The firm’s natural chicory fibres reduce the sugar content in the cookies by 30 per cent, contributing to an improved nutritional profile with less sugar and a more balanced blood glucose level.

Carbery Food Ingredients and sister company Synergy Flavours joined forces to showcase their protein and flavour portfolio. Synergy demonstrated its range of flavours that disguise bitter off-notes in a range of protein-based products. This included Synergy’s protein gummies concept. Available in Pineapple, Black Cherry, Raspberry, Lemon and Cola, the gummies are high in protein isolate, which helps the body to build and maintain lean muscle.

Speaking at the event, Hugh Evans, marketing manager for Europe and Asia at Synergy, told Confectionery Production, “Protein’s very much moving into the mainstream now. One of the things we wanted to do this year was really show protein in a gummy sweet, for example just a very basic jelly and show how flavour works with that base.”

“Gummies are an innovative way for us to demonstrate our flavour that works with protein, but also I think it’s a symptom of innovation to come in the future,” he added. “Gummies have been talked about for some time now as being a sweet people can eat with added protein. It [protein] almost adds a value to it.”

Particularly with sports people, snacking is on the rise and people just want to ingest protein as part of that habit, Evans noted, adding, “Snacking bars have been around for a long time and I don’t think they’re going away.”

With traditional meals in decline, consumers are now snacking well when they feel hungry, a movement Evans said is “going to drive a lot of trends and habits moving forward.”

Across the exhibition hall, Goodmills Innovation launched White Gold and Snow Spelt microgranules for whole grain products, as well as an accompanying seal which makes the whole grain content of baked goods transparent to consumers. They are light in colour, have a soft texture and a fine, balanced taste, according to the company. The wheat variant gives baked goods a pleasant, slightly sour note, while the products benefit from an absence of unappealing course bran particles profile when recombined with common flour to yield whole grain flour. The company also presented its new ‘whole grain index’ concept, which instantly shows the whole grain content of products. This, the company believes, will dispel the myth that dark-coloured baked goods are generally wholesome and light coloured white breads less so.

Rousselot showcased its Peptan bioactive collagen peptide that has specific benefits for healthy aging, joint and bone health, sports nutrition and skin beauty. It has been integrated into gummies with the company’s Bee Healthy concept, which is only sweetened with honey, and its Anti-Aging Gummy, which is naturally coloured and flavoured by berry extracts. Caroline Brochard-Garnier, communication manager at Rousselot, said, “Confectionery is maybe a little bit of a niche when you talk about collagen, but we do expect to see more developments in this area.”

She added, “Consumers are getting much more knowledgeable [and] more conscious about their health. They want to be sure that they look after themselves so there’s a lot of focus on that and that is driving up demand for collagen.”

Starch manufacturer Roquette, meanwhile, discussed rising demand for plant-based proteins, with some of its product concepts including a high protein dough bar, crunchy choco bites and low GI (Glycaemic Index) biscuits. With a mix of pea and milk protein, the dough bar contains 32 per cent protein, designed to keep consumers full for longer. The choco bites are gluten-free, reduced in sugars, but high in fibre, while the biscuits contain Nutriose FB/FM 06 soluble fibre. The other products on show included refreshing and strawberry sugar free mints with Neosorb Xtab sorbitol and Xylisorb Xtab xylitol respectively, as well as a pancake mix with 14g of protein.

Taiyo displayed new organic varieties of its Sunfiber ingredient. Derived from the Indian guar bean, the fibre combines numerous nutritional, physiological and technological benefits. It is soluble and has no effect on the sensory properties of the final product, according to Taiyo. The ingredient has been shown to shown to have a number of health boosting properties: Sunfiber reduces the glycemic index of foodstuffs, ensuring a reduced post-consumption blood glucose increase; while it also improves mineral absorption in the gut and helps to maintain the health and function of the digestive tract.

“Right now and for future generations, a sustainable lifestyle is crucial,” said Dr Stefan Siebrecht, managing director of Taiyo. “Therefore, the manufacturing and handling of food are important parameters. By supplying organically certified ingredients, we’re setting standards at the very beginning of the production cycle to enable a more environmentally friendly value chain.”

Volac presented ProCrisp Medium, the latest addition to the Volactive range of high protein solutions. Containing over 50 per cent protein and made from Volactive UltraWhey 90 with added rice flour, ProCrisp Medium is up to 6mm bigger than ProCrisp Small. Volactive UltraWhey 90 is a pure whey protein isolate ultrafiltrated to provide nutritional advantage in sports, health and weight management products. With a high protein content, Volactive UltraWhey 90 can be used in nutritional bars. It has a neutral taste and clean mouthfeel, according to the business.

Among the dairy concepts Volac showcased was Valactose Whey Permeate, which contains 86 per cent lactose and is said to result in superior surface browning, flavour improvement and moisture retention in products such as cookies and muffins. Volactose Edible Lactose, meanwhile, is produced from European Union-sourced milk and is said to increase solids content, viscosity and improve texture without excessive sweetness. The company said it can be used in bakery, confectionery and savoury products.

Omya highlighted a range of high purity calcium carbonates and natural ingredients from its distribution portfolio. Suitable for applications including bakery products, snack bars and breakfast cereals, Omya Calcipur has an elemental calcium content of around 40 per cent. This, the group said, makes it possible to use up to five times less of the ingredient than other solutions while achieving the same calcium dose in a finished product. Benefits include efficient supplementation and less impact on the sensory profile of the final product.

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