Food Ingredients

Current Food Ingredients shaping Food and Beverage Trends in the Food Industry 3/30/2011 Trends in the food industry are constantly changing as needs for consumers continue to change. New food products are being created to fit the need of the consumer. Food ingredients are constantly being discovered and developed to fit these needs. New ingredients are one way to alter products to consumer needs.

Food ingredients improve food products and beverages by producing cheaper products for consumers, protecting the environment, and producing health benefits.Although current trends are expanding and growing, new trends and discoveries eventually change according to needs of consumers. Some of the trends occurring in the 21st century include natural and functional food, specialty flavors, artificial sweeteners, sustainability, clean label ingredients, and low sodium foods. Natural and Functional One trend on the rise is the need for natural and functional ingredients in food and beverages. Consumers have developed a want for food ingredients that are naturally occurring, as artificial ingredients are among a topic of health concern.One example of these natural and functional ingredients is cocoa extracts.

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Products produced using Cocoa flavanol extracts include CocoaVia by Mars, Cocoactiv by Naturex, and Acticoa by Stollwerck. Cocoa is a natural ingredient that can be used as a food additive. The top producers of cocoa with over two-thirds of the world market include the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon.

Mars is a leader in the use of cocoa as a functional ingredient (CRB 2007).Scientists have now identified specific flavanols more prevalent in cocoa that are responsible for the range of health benefits, allowing for the improvement and expansion of beneficial cardiovascular products. Furthermore, these studies have found that it is not the cocoa but the flavanols in the cocoa that provide circulation benefits.

Davison and others (2008) found that high-flavanol cocoa consumption was shown to improve endothelial function and may be useful for reducing cardiometabolic risk factors in this population.Fisher and others (2006) found similar results as flavanol-rich cocoa enhanced several measures of endothelial function to a greater degree among older than younger healthy subjects. Building off of nearly two decades of research, Mars, Incorporated scientists have perfected a process to reduce the cocoa bean’s exposure to high temperatures.

Mars Botanical has conducted various studies on cocoa products produced by the Cocoapro® patented process. This process preserves the phytonutrient content of cocoa as normal cocoa processing destroys most flavanols.Mars products can now guarantee consistent levels of flavanols in their cocoa extracts (Mars Botanical 2010). Current products that contain cocoa extracts include beverages and dietary supplements. High heat processes often destroy the flavanols in the cocoa so incorporating these extracts into processed foods and ensuring high flavanol content to the consumer can difficult. For now, supplements and beverages are the leading products containing cocoa until processes for food products are perfected.Powdered beverages with health benefits are becoming popular among consumers who prefer health benefits with their beverages so incorporating cocoa extracts into these powdered beverages is among the top products with functional and natural food ingredients. Prices for cocoa have been rising as political unrest in Africa worsens.

With 40 percent of West Africa producing cocoa beans, the current ban of cocoa exports from the Ivory Coast is raising a concern. Cocoa beans are still arriving from the Ivory Coast but manufactures may have to face higher prices and a shortage of cocoa beans in the near future (Rose 2011). FlavorsAnother developing trend is the ongoing search for new flavors. Consumers often choose the product they are purchasing based on the flavors of the product available. Recently, consumers are becoming open to new innovative flavors. New products contain unique flavors such as Bacon, Ketchup, and Popcorn. Two Bacon products include Jones Bacon Soda and Bakon Vodka by Black Rock Spirits.

There also has been an increase in specialty flavors such as kosher, organics, natural flavors. Fatty acid compounds and pyrazines that are extracted from the meat give bacon its savory flavors. Flavor chemists extract these compounds from bacon.These compounds are transferred or recreated and applied to various food and beverage products in need of a bacon flavor. Pyrazines and fatty acids often give off the flavor of most browned meats.

Pyrazines bond easily with alcohols and acids and frequently are found in combination with them or with esters. In strong concentration they can taste musty, earthy, or fishy (Reineccius and Heath 2006). The development of new flavors is endless.

Consumers are always looking for ways to enhance their dining experience. Offering consumers a variety of flavors attracts customers who are interested in purchasing a new food product.While some consumers embrace unique flavors, some consumers are apprehensive at the chance to try new flavors.

Few flavors often stick around, while others are frequently taken off the shelves. Time and consumer demand will determine if flavors like bacon are popular enough to stick around to be transferred to other food products. Food products created with unique flavors like bacon flavors are limited as bacon will not compliment most other food ingredients. For example, attempting to combine berry flavors with bacon is unrealistic.Flavors can be added before or after processing so destruction of the compound is not often an issue unless incorporated before processing.

Heat processing of fatty acids typically produces and enhances flavors like bacon (Wender and others 2006). Flavors like bacon are not popular among health and nutritional foods since bacon is not associated with these trends. Therefore, flavors like bacon are limited in applications besides beverages. Sweeteners The development of new sweeteners has become another recent trend in the food industry.

High sugar diets are related to various heart conditions and diseases.People with diabetes, teeth decay, and obesity often consume artificial sweeteners instead of sugar to avoid sugar’s health hazards. In recent years, popularity of artificial sweeteners has increased due to an increase in health related conditions. The most widely purchased and used artificial sweeteners in the food industry are saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame-K (Gida 2008).

Stevia and Monk Fruit are two other sweeteners that have recently become popular among consumers. Monk Fruit could potentially rival Stevia the next several years, but Stevia is currently the leading new demanded sweetener.Products with Stevia include Truvia by Cargill and PureVia by PepsiCo. Stevioside and rebaudioside A are derived from an extract produced after boiling the leaves of the stevia plant. Glycosides (Reb A and Stevia) are derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant. Benefits of the compounds include the prevention of oxidation of DNA and strong scavenging activity. To obtain Stevia and Reb A, DTGs from S.

rebaudiana are recovered through an extraction process using 2 solvents. Stevia’s consumption is still low compared to Splenda, yet its popularity continues to climb. Stevia sales amounted to 3. million in 2007 while Splenda’s sales was 226 million. A 287% rise in market share between 2003 and 2007 represent positive growth for Stevia and Reb A. Japan is the current number one producer of Stevia. Stevia originally grew wild in the highland region of Northern Paraguay and Southern Brazil but today Stevia is grown around the world from China, Japan and other Asian countries to South America, Europe, India, the Ukraine and even North America. Consumers often worry about the safety of the artificial sweetener like Stevia.

In 1991, the USDA originally claimed Reb A and Stevia to be an unsafe food additive.At the time, toxicological information on stevia was deemed to be inadequate. Industry demand and research has found that the natural glycosides of the stevia plant are natural. Two products that contain stevia are Truvia by Cargill and PureVia by PepsiCo. Currently, stevia is a popular table sweetener and beverage sweetener, but its incorporation into food products has been limited.

In 2006, the WHO deemed stevioside and rebaudioside A as non-genotoxic in vitro or in vivo. There is no evidence of carcinogenic activity. Stevioside has shown benefits in people with hypertension and type 2 diabetes.The ADI of steviol glycoside is up to 4 milligrams per kilogram of body weight a day. Since 2009, the FDA has concluded Rebaudioside A to be a GRAS substance.

In the United States, with respect to the measure of toxicity, observed LD50 values were 5. 2 g/kg bw for male hamsters and 6. 1 g/kg bw for female hamsters (Federal Register 2010).

Coming from a natural source, Stevia and Reb A are being used in many natural and organic products. Stevia and Reb A are becoming popular not only because of its natural characteristics but because it has zero calories, low glycemic effect, and powerful sweetening effects (Gida 2008).Stevia is said to be 250-300 times sweeter than sucrose. Stevia is a non-fermenting and a heat stable sweetener. It does not contribute to Maillard browning reactions and will not form precipitates in acids. One benefit over other sweeteners is Stevia’s heat stability at 200 degrees Celsius. Stevia will not be broken down or destroyed when processed with food so applications on food products are various. One concern for Stevia and Reb A is the bitter after taste it exhibits.

Ingredients like erythritol and rebiana must be used to enhance and alter the taste.Stevia is also expensive but an increase in sugar prices has caused many manufactures to switch over from sugar to stevia (Michell 2006). Overall, Stevia is a popular sweetener because not only does it offer a low calorie and healthier alternative to sugar, but it is chosen over other sweeteners because it is natural.

Salt replacements Salt is a vital nutrient for the body and has become an essential in our diet. However, reports have shown that high salt intake may increase risks of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. According to the CDC, nearly 70% of U. S. dults are in high-risk groups that consume almost 3,500 mg sodium per day, and would benefit from a low salt diet of less than 1,500 mg per day (CDC 2009). Since salt reduction is a one of the major trends in the food sector, various salt substitutes and replacers have been gaining popularity among consumers.

A 12-month study conducted in China has shown that salt replacers can significantly reduce peripheral and central systolic blood pressure as well as arterial stiffness (Hu and others 2009). Current salt substitutes available in the market vary in composition, but generally have potassium chloride as their main ingredient.The listed contents of Nu-Salt are potassium chloride, cream of tartar, drier, and natural flavor derived from yeast, while No Salt contains potassium chloride, potassium bitartrate, mineral oil, adipic acid, fumaric acid and silicon dioxide. AlsoSalt claims to be completely salt free without a bitter aftertaste, with the list of ingredients: potassium chloride, L-lysine mono-hydrochloride, calcium stearate. Morton LiteSalt is a blend of sodium and potassium chloride that can reduce intake of sodium by half compared to regular salt.

There are also other innovative means of replacing salt, such as the use of salt substitute blend containing potassium chloride, citric acid, tartaric acid and sucrose in association with apple pulp to produce chicken nuggets with 40% less salt (Verma and others 2010). There has also been a lot of hype about Seagreens, a salt replacer in the form of seaweed granules. Researchers have reported that Seagreens positively enhances the taste of food while also preserving the food (Halliday 2011). One of the shortcomings of salt substitutes is a metallic bitter aftertaste due to the potassium chloride as reported by some consumers.Most salt substitutes also caution against people with sodium- or potassium-restricted diets unless approved by a physician. A British Medical Journal article reported that people with medical conditions such as renal failure, diabetes mellitus with hyporeninaemic hypoaldosteronism, and obstructive uropathy are predisposed to the development of hyperkalaemia through impairing renal excretion of potassium, hence salt substitutes containing potassium chloride should be avoided by these patients for fear of life-threatening consequences (Doorenbos and Vermeij 2003). Sustainable ingredientsThe advancement of technology coupled with the process of globalization has begun to raise awareness among consumers worldwide regarding the current unsustainable agricultural practices. Deforestation, land degradation, environmental pollution, food safety, and labor standards (including child labor) are among some of the few pressing issues (RSCE 2011).

Consumers today are progressively more aware of the influence of their purchasing power on the availability of their food and food supply, which is an important driving source for sustainable ingredients initiatives.Sustainable food by definition refers to food that is healthy for the consumers, does not harm the environment, is humane for workers, respects animals, provides a fair wage for the farmers, and supports and enhances rural communities (Clutterbuck and Thompson 2005). Jumping on the bandwagon of sustainability are big corporations such as Unilever, PepsiCo, Nestle, and Danone (Webster 2010). Soy is a widely consumed legume that provides a good source of protein for human nutrition and is also used as vegetable oil when converted to soy oil.The Task Force Sustainable Soy based in Netherlands was founded to recognize the need for more attention on the social and ecological consequences of soy farming in South America, as almost 85% of the European Union’s imported soy comes from South America (Task Force Sustainable Soy 2011). Similarly, the Round Table of Responsible Soy Association was founded with the mission to encourage the production of soybean in a responsible manner in order to reduce social and environmental impacts, while at the same time improving the economic status of the producer (RTRS 2010).The movement of sustainable soy will result in water conservation, energy efficiency, and product efficiency. Another food ingredient that has been in the spot light of sustainability is cocoa beans.

According to the Round Table for a Sustainable Cocoa Economy, a successful sustainable world cocoa economy will require many changes in cocoa processing and chocolate manufacturing as well as potential costs to be borne by end users, but will be able to create more reliable and higher incomes for cocoa farmers.Establishment of codes of conduct is necessary in terms of good agricultural, commercial, and industrial practices, as well as the traceability of the product throughout the value chain (RSCE 2011). International food producing and marketing company Cargill achieved an important milestone in February 2011 by successfully delivering the first UTZ Certified cocoa beans to its buying station in Chau Thanh, Vietnam.

These initiatives are expected to increase Vietnam’s total cocoa crop from less than 20 metric tons per year to 2,500 metric tons by the end of 2011 (Lee and Jebson 2011).Kellogg Company has also recently committed to funding a sustainable palm oil production by purchasing GreenPalm certificates that will help reduce deforestation. Green palm estimated only 6% of the world’s current palm oil output is sustainably grown (Ingredients Network 2011). Palm oil is an important and versatile raw material that is essential to the economic development of producing countries and to the diet of millions of people around the world.Sustainability motion of palm oil is vital to its economic, social, and environmental viability, since oil palm can only be cultivated in tropical areas of Asia, South America, and Africa (RSPO 2009). McDonald’s Corporation launched its Sustainable Land Management Commitment in March 2011 as a significant effort to ensure their food is sourced from certified sustainable sources, and that its suppliers will only use agricultural raw materials for the company’s food and packaging from sustainably-managed land (Food Ingredients First 2011). Clean LabelMore consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the mysterious chemical-sounding names of ingredients in their food labels, and are gearing more towards “natural” and “clean label” foods.

Clean label is an attempt by food manufacturers to simplify ingredients lists (usually by removing E-numbers of artificial additives) in order to appeal to consumers (Daniells 2010). According to a commissioned research by National Starch on consumer understanding of clean label terms, “no-additives” and “no-preservatives” are the most popular clean label claims, while “natural” struggles because of overuse and lack-of-definition (Halliday 2010).It is important to note that clean label and natural are not synonymous, as clean label embraces organic, but the terms “organic” and “natural” are not interchangeable.

The North American market for organic food and drink continues to exhibit promising growth, coupled with a large increase in organic farmland (Organic Monitor 2010). In a global scale, organic farming is being practiced on 35 million hectares across 154 countries (Organic Monitor 2010). In effort to promote clean label products, many new ingredients are being introduced to the food industry.Scientists from TNO Quality of Life developed a fat replacer by superheating aqueous potato starch suspensions until they form solutions and then cooling it – resulting in a spreadable particle gel with a cream-like texture. The technology involves no chemical or enzymatic modification, and will be more cost-efficient and energy-saving compared to maltodextrin as a fat mimetic (Daniells 2010). According to the researchers, the superheated starch gel is a more effective gelling agent than maltodextrin at room temperature, and it also displays an immediate gelling functionality when dispersed as powder in water at cold and room temperature.

This property allows the superheated starch gel to be applied in low-fat spreads, ice creams, and puddings (Daniells 2010). German flavor company Symrise developed a new umami flavor called Symlife Umami that will be expected to replace monosodium glutamate in Europe. This up and coming MSG-replacer has already gained GRAS status in the U. S.

and is already being employed by some manufacturers of savory products in the Asian Pacific region (Heller 2010). Due to the many controversies surrounding MSG, this glutamate-free flavor is likely to gain consumer acceptance, especially lso because it is highly effective at low dosage (can be used at 5 ppm) (Symrise 2010). Conclusion Judging on some of the popular trends mentioned, it can be seen that the food industry is heading towards a more transparent, health conscious direction that is motivated by consumer demand. Weight management coupled with healthy living are the main themes that are driving the development of alternative sweeteners, salt substitutes, and clean label foods. Food manufacturers are also constantly deriving zany new flavors and creating new applications of ingredients.Cocoa appears to be one of the leading ingredients in recent food trends, with the application of cocoa flavanols as well as the movement of sustainable cocoa beans.

As consumers become more informed about the carbon footprint of their food, major food companies are starting to get more involved in sustainable ingredients and keeping their food processing ingredients as transparent as possible. We can also expect see more food companies hop on the bandwagon of having “natural”, “preservatives-free”, and “organic” claims on their products. References CRB. 2007.

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