Cutting-edge ingredients: FiE 2017 Awards winners

Major ingredients suppliers, DSM, Ingredion and Arla were among the category winners at the FiE 2017 Awards (Food Ingredients Europe expo), but there was some surprise that at the awards ceremony [29 Nov] no outright winner was announced.

Unlike in previous years, when an overall award was given for true excellence in the ingredients space, this year’s event saw little distinction created between the wide range of category winners that were, arguably, of varying levels of innovation.

Several of the winners are looked at below and without a winner announced, readers can assess for themselves which they believe is the strongest entry overall.

Reduction & Reformulation Award: DSM

DSM’s Delvo Cheese CT-Light allows cheesemakers to create continental cheeses using low-fat milk with the same taste texture that consumers expect from a full-fat product.

The culture replaces fat with water without any negative impact on physical or sensory properties – fat can be reduced by 30 percent or more, alongside a significant cut in calories. This is done without additives or stabilisers.

This total culture solution enables cheesemakers to meet the consumer demand for healthier options by giving the impression of a full-fat product but with less fat and fewer calories.

Gert van den Hoven, cheese expert at DSM told FoodIngredientsFirst: “Reducing fat is a common trend in all food categories, but also in cheese. Reducing fat in cheese is a challenge due to the complex protein matrix structure found in Continental Cheese. Delvo Cheese CT-Light enables cheesemakers to reduce fat and calories in Continental Cheese while maintaining the desired texture and flavour of full-fat cheese – all with a clean label solution.

“Reducing fat while maintaining taste and structure is a major challenge. To make low-fat cheese, fat from milk is generally replaced with water which creates two major hurdles: a weak taste, and a rubbery texture.

“Delvo Cheese CT-Light improves the flavour development of the cheese and lends a stronger diacetyl (buttery) flavour which mimics the taste of full-fat cheese.

“For texture, the culture helps to bind more water and preserves the flavour and smooth texture of the cheese due to its low post-acidification,” explained Van den Hoven.

Delvo Cheese CT-Light can be applied in a broad range of semi-hard cheeses, ie Manchego, Gouda, Tilsiter, Maasdam, Edam, Havarti, and Prato. Severall  new launches made with the ingredient on the market.

Clean Label and Natural Innovation Award: Ingredion

Ingredion won over the awards jury with its clean label-compatible functional rice flour. Called HOMECRAFT Create 835 and 865, these are multi-functional 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. Their neutral flavour profile supports flavour release in food products.

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

Ingredion’s Janin Zippel said: “With our clean label heritage, we are fully aware of the ongoing scrutiny of food labels by consumers. We know they want recognisable 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.”

Performance Nutrition Award: Arla Foods Ingredients

Lacprodan DI-9213 is a taste-neutral ingredient made from whey protein that keeps both water and fat and sugar-free sports drinks crystal clear.

Arla’s Manel Romeu Bellés said: “Whey protein is the preferred type of protein for most sports nutrition users because it offers a high-quality nutrition profile and supports muscle recovery and building after exercise.

“For active nutrition consumers, ready to drink beverages (RTDs) with whey protein are also the perfect alternative to a snack, because they keep hunger at bay.

“However, it has traditionally been difficult to add whey to UHT RTDs, and it has been even harder to incorporate whey into clear RTDs without compromising the taste, texture and appearance of the product.

“Lacprodan DI-9213 addresses all of these challenges. It can be successfully incorporated into a crystal clear RTD that is 100 percent whey-based, contains up to 8.5 percent protein content, is sugar and fat-free, and offers a delicious taste,” explained Romeu Bellés.

“If you add standard whey protein to a beverage formulation, you’ll encounter a number of technical hurdles that make creating a whey-based clear RTD product very difficult. One of these is increased turbidity, which is a gradual thickening of the formulation and a milky-white appearance that occurs as the protein content of the liquid increases.

“Another common problem is the separation of the protein content from the rest of the liquid, creating an uneven texture. Previously manufacturers have dealt with these issues by using opaque packaging, instead of transparent bottles, and by encouraging consumers to shake the product well before use.

“A further challenge is an unpleasant taste, causing a feeling of dryness in the mouth, an issue that in the past could only be dealt with by masking the flavour with sweeteners, which are rejected by many consumers today who are seeking clean labels,” he noted. 

Life Stages Award: Novozymes

Novozymes’ Formea milk proteins for infant formulas are a promising ingredient targeted at the low-allergenic infant formula market.

Novozymes’ Benjamin Thieringer said: “Producers of low-allergenic infant formulas are currently limited to animal-based trypsin (which is the industry benchmark) and to common proteases.

“With Formea, Novozymes has developed an innovative microbial (and therefore non-animal-based) trypsin- and chymotrypsin-like protease. Because it’s non-animal-based, Formea offers producers a Kosher- and Halal-approved solution. No other enzyme supplier has a comparable product available today.”

According to Thieringer, Formea overcomes two main industry challenges: “The first is process optimisation, with the complexity of two completely different production processes (non-Kosher/Halal and Kosher/Halal) reduced to one with Formea.”

“The second is consistent quality. Animal-based trypsin contains naturally varying amounts of trypsin and chymotrypsin (it depends on the diet of the animal),” he explained.

“With Formea TL and CTL there is no variation, and the producer has full freedom to combine these two components precisely in the desired ratio. Furthermore, this enables producers to develop their individual peptide profile.”  

Development of infant formulas requires at least two or more years. Formea has been commercially available for one year and is in process of being tested by potential customers.

Growth Categories Innovation Award: Erie Foods International

Erie’s low-fat milk protein crisps (ECCO Milk Protein Crisp) – containing 90 percent protein – can be consumed directly or used as an ingredient in bars or breakfast cereals.

Justin Banach of Erie Foods International said, “Not all protein crisps are created equal. Each ECCO Milk Protein Crisp contains 80 percent casein and 20 percent whey on a protein basis, the same ratio found in fluid milk, and the product’s ingredient statement cleanly reads ‘Milk Protein Isolate’.

“Only dairy ingredients are used and by not adding flour or starch, protein levels are able to exceed 90 percent. Protein concentration this high exceeds the industry standard. Moreover, size and shape, and select physical attributes of these light and crunchy pieces are customisable to meet the needs of the customer’s final application.

“The market already had dairy (eg whey) and non-dairy (eg soy) based protein enriched crisps. However, it lacked a product that was both truly dairy and truly protein,” explained Banach.

“Casein, the major structural protein in ECCO Milk Protein Crisps, is digested slower than whey protein and starchy carbohydrates, which allows for sustained nutrition and satiety. Customers no longer have to sift through suppliers to meet size and shape specifications and consumers no longer have to worry about carbohydrate consumption while consuming protein crisp-fortified products.”

ECCO Milk Protein Crisps were designed to be an ingredient, inclusion, and standalone snack. The 2.5mm crisps function well in bars, baked goods, and have even been used as high-protein breading.

With a bland flavour profile, the 10mm product can be easily coated with confectionary or savoury flavours.

Coated crisps are ready for direct consumption, but can also be added to trail mixes or any other application requiring a crispy texture, beefed-up protein, and minimal carbohydrate and fat addition. ECCO Milk Protein Crisps make a great snack for any occasion, according to Banach.

ECCO Milk Protein Crisps are about 1.5 years post product launch and are currently being used in commercial products.