Ingredion launches sustainably farmed functional native waxy rice starches
27 Jul 2022 --- Ingredion has unveiled its first waxy rice-based texturizing solutions that use environmentally sustainably farmed rice ingredients. The launch comes as the company is on track to achieve 100% sustainably sourced waxy rice by 2030, part of its corporate initiative.
Consumers demand environmentally sustainable products that provide the expected flavor, color and texture, and manufacturers need ingredients that deliver product performance and brand differentiation.
Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Brian Nash, vice president, corporate sustainability at Ingredion, says the company is seeing a growing number of consumer packaged goods, and companies are making commitments to science-based targets around carbon reductions, as well as other aspirational sustainability goals.
“This is driving an increased focus on formulating products for sustainability. Having innovative ingredient solutions made from sustainable rice adds to our product portfolio and better enables customers to formulate in line with their own targets,” he says.
Keeping up with or staying ahead of these consumer demands for environmentally sustainable products means branching out into new spaces, such as ingredients derived from sustainable rice, Nash adds.
Cathrin Kurz, director, global tapioca business development, Ingredion, says the company has set aspirational targets on sustainably sourcing its raw materials. “While higher volume raw materials were targeted first, this is the first step in sustainably sourcing rice,” she outlines.
Now, Ingredion has decided to take the next step in functional native rice solutions by sourcing locally and sustainably grown waxy rice.
“This enables our customers to offer the eating experience and label declaration consumers want and the sustainable sourcing and messaging they need,” comments Daniel Haley, global platform leader, clean and simple ingredients at Ingredion.
Sustainable grains by 2030
It is Ingredion’s objective to sustainably source all grains by 2030.
In collaboration with the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP), Ingredion is the first food ingredient company to enter the sustainably grown waxy rice space. According to the company, this impacts communities and the environment by reducing water usage, improving communities’ security and alleviating poverty.
At the same time, Ingredion can further process these raw materials so that manufacturers and retailers can provide consumers with products they value inside and out.
This development is a result of the ongoing investment to support customers globally through the growth of the company’s specialty food ingredients business and the conscious move to more sustainable sourcing.
“After significantly expanding our facility in Thailand in June 2020, we are pairing our growing capabilities with our Idea Labs Innovation Centers, proprietary consumer insights and the latest developments in sustainably growing and processing of our incoming raw materials,” explains Nash.
Additionally, as part of its 2030 All Life sustainability plan, Ingredion has committed to sustainably source its Tier 1 priority crops by 2025. “These crops represent about 99% by volume of our global sourcing,” adds Nash.
Rice; a unique crop and ingredient
Rice is one of the world’s three leading food crops.
Rice starch is unique in that it has extremely high consumer recognition and is accepted by more than 76% of consumers globally, independent of any demographic or socio-economic factor, adds Kurz.
Its unique smooth and creamy texture, hypoallergenic properties, high digestibility and lower viscosity development make it ideal for various uses.
Waxy rice has an inherently superior stability in ambient, refrigerated and freeze/thaw conditions than other commonly used crops.
Kurz also says that generally, consumers are scrutinizing labels and looking for ingredients they recognize and accept.
“Rice solutions are a good fit for plant-based formulations due to their clean label appeal and their unique sensory attributes, like a bland taste and creamy texture.”
Plant-based proteins, notably rice ingredients, are a large part of the food revolution. Another company, Roquette, recently introduced two rice-based proteins under the Nutralys brand, which will initially be available in Europe and North America.
Other innovations in Ingredion’s rice portfolio, like Novation Lumina 8300/8600 functional native starches and the multi-functional rice flours Homecraft Create 835/865, enhance the scope and appeal of plant-based solutions even further.
According to Kurz, Novation Lumina 8300/8600 functional native starches “provide moderate to high process tolerance and extraordinary white color and bland taste, which enhance the potential use for manufacturers in retail and foodservice channels.”
The company’s recent developments also include dietary fruit fibers and a range of pea and fava bean concentrates.
Meanwhile, Ingredion has observed higher revenue from clean label ingredients, with 58% of manufacturers experiencing an increase in revenue after converting to clean label products.
By Elizabeth Green
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