FiE 2017 Innovation Awards: Sustainability, Organic and Clean Label categories – the nominees

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17 Nov 2017 --- One of the highlights at Fi Europe (November 28-30, Frankfurt, Germany) will be the announcement of the winners of the Innovation Awards. The competition not only rewards the most innovative products and concepts, it is also claimed to act as a trend barometer. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, November 28 at the FiE. 

Yesterday FoodIngredientsFirst took a look at some of the award nominees for the Reduction & Reformulation Innovation Award. You can read the full story here

Last week, Innova Market Insights revealed its top trends for 2018. “Mindful Choices” is tipped as the top food trend for 2018, which includes aspects of sustainability, organic and clean label. 

Today, FoodIngredientsFirst takes a closer look at the nominees for the following three categories: 

  • Sustainability Champion Award 
  • Organic Champion Award
  • Clean Label & Natural Innovation Award

Sustainability Champion Award 
The shortlisted companies for the Sustainability Champion Award are IOI Loders Croklaan and FoodSolutionsTeam.

IOI Loders Croklaan: Sustainable and transparent supply chain for palm oil
The first nominee for the Sustainability Champion Award is the oil producer IOI Loders Croklaan for its strategy for a sustainable and transparent supply chain for palm oil. IOI Loders Croklaan is stepping up efforts towards a transparent and sustainable supply chain for the palm oil industry. 

Monique Hartog, Marketing Communication Manager at IOI Loders Croklaan tells FoodIngredientsFirst: “Not only have we substantially strengthened our policies and commitments, made demonstrable progress in implementing those via our Three Step Approach, and engaged positively with NGO’s. We also added an element that will have a profound impact on the palm oil industry: a Third-Party Supplier Policy. It states that we will monitor and ensure ‘third parties’ (those who indirectly deliver palm oil to our supply chain) in compliance with our standards and commitments.”

IOI Loders Croklaan is the first company to have produced such a detailed policy addition, and this progress was recognized by Greenpeace and Finnwatch.

Hartog adds: “With instating an external Sustainability Advisory Panel (SAP) we provide ourselves with critical feedback and advice on our sustainability activities. Thirdly, we installed near-real-time monitoring of relevant landscapes in our supply chain in Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia from which we source 80 percent of our palm oil.”

“All this to ensure that palm oil production is not associated with deforestation, peatland development, loss of biodiversity or the exploitation of indigenous people, workers and local communities,” she explains.

FoodSolutionsTeam: KaroPRO 
The jury also selected the Food Solutions Team, which uses KaroPRO (pictured) to produce high-quality fiber from vegetable marc. Erik Linke, Managing Director at FoodSolutionsTeam GmbH spoke with FoodIngredientsFirst: “Our products are all made from side-streamsClick to Enlarge of the food industry – actual food waste. In this regard, our technology is groundbreaking as it enables companies producing a lot of vegetable pulp to transform it into a food ingredient.”

“This transformation happens in a natural way. A series of drying and milling steps does the trick,” he notes. “We help to overcome one big reason for food waste in the food industry. On the applications side, we enable food makers who incorporate food fibers for technological purposes or for fiber enrichment to use a natural product that actually comes from the edible part of the plant it comes from.”

“This is not true for many of the current food fibers in the market,” adds Linke. 

“Another challenge is the almost complete lack of highly functional, organic fibers. With our technology, we can process organic pulps and we do already offer an organic carrot fiber with the same functionality as its conventional sibling.”

Applications that KaroPRO is best suited to are:

  • Bakery – to incorporate more water in a product with little change of texture 
  • Meat – to enable affordable meat products
  • Dry blending – to enable functional blends using natural and sustainable ingredients
  • Fine foods – to add creamy texture to sauces

Breadings, pasta, bakery items can be enriched with fibers to close the fiber consumption gap in Europe and to enable relevant claims, according to Linke. 

Products are in the market already. KaroPRO is being used in ketchups, marinades, sausages, dry blends, meat products and bakery applications that are currently on sale.

Approvals are out for some ready meals where it is acting as an absorber of water that will be released in the preparation process of the food product.

You can read a detailed interview with Linke here, which was published on FoodIngredientsFirst earlier in the week. 

Organic Champion Award
Candidates for the Organic Champion Award include Best Cooking Pulses Inc. with a sustainable and organic fiber produced from the skin and seed pods of peas, and Herba Ingredients, which produce organic rice flour for baby food that is fully traceable from cultivation to the final ingredient.

Best Cooking Pulses Inc.: BEST Certified-Organic Pea Hull Fibres 
Margaret Hughes, VP Sales and Marketing for Best Cooking Pulses, Inc. told FoodIngedientsFirst: “Certified-organic food and beverage manufacturers are looking for dietary fibers which are functional, allergen-free, and inherently sustainable, have a high fiber content, and, in many cases, are ‘ready-to-eat.’ It has been a challenge to find a dietary fiber with all these characteristics that also has regulatory approvals throughout the world.”

“‘BEST’ Certified-Organic Pea Hull Fibres meet these needs,” says Hughes. “They are clean label, non-GMO, free of all labeled allergens, and validated ‘ready-to-eat’. Additionally, BEST Certified-Organic Pea Hull Fibres have 90 percent total dietary fiber and are odorless with a clean taste.”

Pulses are among the most environmentally sustainable crops. They play a key role in crop rotation systems through their ability to “fix” nitrogen from the air. Pulses also enhance the soil microbiome. 

The splitting of dried peas results in the co-product of seed coats or hulls. Best Cooking Pulses uses renewable hydroelectric power to clean, and dry mill these hulls into BEST Certified-Organic Pea Hull Fibres with different particle sizes tailored to specific applications. 

“All of us at Best Cooking Pulses are honored to see 'BEST' Certified-Organic Pea Hull Fibers nominated for this prestigious award,” says Hughes. “In partnership with our farmers, we are strongly committed to environmental stewardship, in terms of the crops we mill and how they are grown, and through our proprietary dry milling processes. Our motto at Best Cooking Pulses is ‘Pulse ingredients for healthy diets and a sustainable world’,” Hughes notes. 

Herba Ingredients: Organic rice flour
Rice flour is a popular ingredient for baby-food manufacturers because, among others, it is gluten and allergen free, it is easy to digest, and it has a smooth taste

Also speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Arjan Geerlings, PhD, New Business Development Manager at Herba Ingredients says: “Rice and rice flour used for baby food applications has a stricter EU legislation as compared to conventional rice and rice flour. For instance, maximum levels of arsenic, metals, and aflatoxins are lower when these ingredients are used for baby food as compared to conventional foods. Furthermore, most baby food manufacturers demand full traceability of the ingredients that they use, that should go back to the fields where the rice is grown.”

“Since most rice in Europe is imported from Asia, meeting the EU baby food legislation for rice is a challenge, not to mention its traceability,” explains Geerlings. “Therefore, Herba Ingredients set up a project to vertically integrate the whole supply chain.” 

“We faced several industry challenges in this project for organic baby food rice flours. In the first place, we selected two rice varieties that are more resistant making their organic cultivation easier, and that accumulate fewer contaminants as compared to other rice varieties. Seeds of these new varieties are now produced by ourselves and given to the rice growers. Furthermore, we had to devote one of our rice mills to organic rice and keep the organic rice and their flours separated throughout the whole production process, and storage. Finally, organic and traceability certifications from different entities make it possible to commercialize these products to baby food manufacturers.” 

These novel ingredients are mainly used for organic baby food applications, like gluten-free cereal mixes for young infants (from 4 months of age), jars, rice cakes and cookies for infants and young children.

“Our organic baby-food rice flours are already being commercialized, and the first finished products (baby-food cereals) can be found already on the market, both in Europe as in the US,” Geerlings notes.

Clean Label & Natural Innovation Awards
The shortlisted companies for the Clean Label & Natural Innovation Awards are Corbion and Ingredion.

Corbion: Verdad Avanta F100 and Verdad Avanta Y100 
Corbion offers clean label ingredients that improve the color stability, cooking results and consistency of meat and poultry products. 

Stephanie Carlson, Global Marketing Communications Manager for Meat at Corbion says: “Unlike other products on the market today, Verdad Avanta F100 and Verdad Avanta Y100 consist of a unique blend of natural, clean-label ingredients that are designed to ensure the safety and shelf life of meat and poultry products while maintaining product flavor and color. No other natural or clean-label powder solution can offer this multitude of benefits in one format.” 

“In addition to ensuring the safety and shelf life of fresh sausage, ground meats, and pork loin, Verdad Avanta F100 offers added days of extra color and fresh flavor, which in turn provides significant cost savings for meat and poultry processors by ensuring less waste. The powdered product is also optimized for ease of formulation and maximum efficacy. Similarly, the powdered blend of Verdad Avanta Y100 is also optimized for ease of formulation, making it ideal for ready-to-eat meat products. The natural, clean-label solution also offers substantial cost savings for customers by enhancing cook yield and improving sliceability, texture and moisture. Y100 is included in the industry-leading Corbion Listeria Control Model,” she tells FoodIngredientsFirst

Making the switch to natural or clean-label solutions can create unique functionality challenges for meat and poultry manufacturers. Verdad Avanta products consist of a blend of vinegar and natural, plant-based solutions that are designed to provide multifunctional benefits for meat and poultry products without impacting quality, taste, texture or color. “Rather than using multiple products to address safety and shelf-life needs naturally, manufacturers can formulate their products with the Verdad Avanta blended solutions that are backed by the Corbion Listeria Control Model,” adds Carlson. 

Verdad Avanta F100 is designed to improve the overall freshness of pork loin, sausage and ground meats, while Verdad Avanta Y100 is formulated to improve cook yield and texture in ready-to-eat meats such as all natural ham.

Verdad Avanta was launched at IFFA in May 2016 and is available in EMEA and other markets. It allows meat and poultry manufacturers to meet clean-label demands while ensuring the quality and consistency of their products.

Ingredion: HOMECRAFT Create 835 and 865
Ingredion was able to convince the jury with its clean label-compatible functional rice flour for use in soups, sauces and ready meals. HOMECRAFT Create 835 and 865 are multifunctional flours that provide excellent texture stability over shelf life in demanding applications such as soups, sauces or ready meals. Their small granule size and organoleptic properties provide a creamy texture. In addition, they provide improved wheat flour-like opacity in gluten-free, low-fat and low-protein applications, such as soups and sauces. Their neutral flavor profile supports flavor release in food products. 

Although these multifunctional rice flours do not gel, they can deliver superior texture stability over shelf life. The unique creamy texture and neutral flavor profile they deliver add to the versatility of this ingredient across a variety of applications.

Janin Zippel, Product Manager, Pulses and Rice at Ingredion EMEA, explains: “With our clean label heritage, we are fully aware of the ongoing scrutiny of food labels by consumers. We know they want recognizable ingredients and you can’t get much more familiar than rice and flour, so it made sense to expand our existing NOVATION rice starches by developing a range of complementary rice flours.” 

“We are particularly excited about how these flours extend clean label opportunities into new areas by combining superior texture stability over shelf life with the ability to withstand tough processing conditions, including high-shear. Their unique properties allow manufacturers to develop gluten-free sauces with an authentic texture and mouthfeel. The flours may also enable the removal of fat, therefore boosting a products’ nutritional profile to meet consumer preference.”

Stay tuned with FoodIngredientsFirst next week, where we will be taking a look at the other nominees from other categories, including the Growth Categories Innovation Award and Life Stages Innovation Award. 

By Elizabeth Green

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