Doehler offers exciting NPD prospects with African botanicals

Global ingredients powerhouse Doehler has developed and launched a range of solutions based on African botanicals to meet the burgeoning demand for better food for better health.

Dubbed Natural SuperHEROES, FOODStuff SA editor, Brenda Neall, learnt more about their genesis and functionality with Doehler SA’s botanical expert, Dr Stefanie Speiser.

Dr Stefanie Speiser

Brenda Neall: The trends enveloping health, wellbeing, better nutrition have been massively fanned by the pandemic – this surely has boosted interest in your extensive SuperHEROES portfolio?

Stefanie Speiser: Oh yes… In recent years there has been a greater awareness and acknowledgement of the importance of a healthy diet for general well=being and its crucial role in the prevention of disease. As a result, the demand for products with added health benefits has seen significant growth.

Consumers are looking for products that provide benefits that extend beyond good nutritional value and are now demanding solutions that support and target particular areas of health.

Doehler’s Natural SuperHEROES combine the latest nutritional scientific findings with consumer insights, in line with current trends around overall health, naturalness, plant-based nutrition and sustainability,

BN: Doehler has long adopted the credo “We bring ideas to life“. How did you go about creating this new addition to the SuperHEROES functional range?

SS: Excellent natural raw materials and innovative technologies are our starting point to turn smart ideas into amazing products – to create unique, multi-sensory experiences and nutritional excellence. We always strive to create real added value for customers and consumers.

Doehler South Africa’s (DSA) latest development is the Functional Botanical Powder Range which is part of our global Natural SuperHEROES portfolio, also called “The Big 5″.

  • ImmuneHERO
  • MentalHERO
  • EnergyHERO
  • BeautyHERO
  • RelaxationHERO

These botanical blends target the African market with traditional botanicals of African origin.  Each blend contains five science-based botanicals.

For example, for the Immune System the blend comprises acerola and rosehip, known for their high vitamin C content, while pelargonium is an all-rounder in supporting general health, and green rooibos and honeybush hold unique antioxidant potential due to their natural actives aspalathin and mangiferin.

Each of the Big 5 blends are easily modifiable to suit regional flavour profiles and can be used in many final food and beverage applications, as well as health supplement products like trendy and new functional gummies.

These Natural SuperHEROES add healthy value to products, assisting significantly in enabling a healthy positioning that meets the demand of more discerning health-conscious consumers.

BN: Can you share more about their production? Is it all done locally?

SS: Yes, it’s been developed and is produced at the Doehler site in Paarl, providing substantial benefits to the local market such as quicker lead times, in-country taste expertise and cost benefits.

Thanks to our application and R&D centre in Paarl, we’re able to develop region-specific solutions using advanced state-of-the art-technology for faster development times and more supply reliability for our customers.

We have expanded the Paarl Botanical Production and R&D facility to include high-end ethanolic and water extraction technology.

Leveraging the Doehler Group’s extensive supply chain network and distribution channels, food and beverage customers all around the globe now have preferential access to this extraordinary botanical extract portfolio.

BN: What are the main benefits of this new botanical portfolio?

SS: With our comprehensive portfolio of technologies, we are able to produce clear-water soluble, ratio and standardised botanical extracts in powder or liquid form. Most of these globally available Natural SuperHEROES are based on botanicals of African origin like rooibos, honeybush, buchu, hibiscus, moringa, sceletium, sutherlandia, aloe vera, hoodia, kigelia and rosehip, to name a few.

Underpinned by Doehler’s advanced state-of-the-art technology, DSA has gained new capabilities, not only for the previously-mentioned botanical products, but also for 100% full spectrum powders (with improved dispersibility), essential oils, liquid flavour extracts and tinctures made from botanicals.

Based on premium raw materials and extracted from sustainable sources, our botanical extracts are cultivated at source, enabling us to offer multiple varieties in standardised quality all year round.

Our extensive portfolio of products comprises a wide variety of natural plant products for both food and beverages, ideal for solutions to target the immune system, weight management, gut health, wellness and relaxation, mental health, beauty, sport and energy.

Doehler has the expertise and experience to convert these raw materials into a wide variety of modern-day health and wellness applications; from foods and health supplements to functional drinks, herbal teas, dairy, juice products, functional confectionery and personal care offerings, delivering health benefits to a wider world.

BN: Sustainability has always been key for Doehler. Is that also the building block for this new range?

SS: Another of important Doehler tenet is “Sustainable by nature”. Through sustainable and ethical sourcing and harvesting of our main botanical raw materials from the African continent, we endeavour to create a positive social impact on the communities who are involved in the entire supply chain.

Our business model relies on natural resources which are sourced and processed around the world. Therefore, our product portfolio can be used to promote a sustainable development and create a level playing field for all supply chain partners. We work continuously to embed sustainability into all parts of our organisation.

We have the strictest requirements when selecting our natural ingredients, ensuring that our customers benefit from standardised quality and our global sourcing network. We have a 360° view of our products and control the entire supply chain, especially when it comes to the topic of sustainability. In addition to conventional products, we also offer certified qualities.

BN: How do you guarantee the high quality of you ingredients for your customers?

SS: In addition to our sustainability and ethic goals, we also only source the best raw materials of the highest quality – organic certified, high in actives, pesticide-free and micro-results within specification. We guarantee consistently high-quality botanical products (ratio/standardised) for specific customer needs and markets, ranging from the food & beverage through to the cosmetic industry and health supplement sector.

Pivotal in ensuring the best quality is our dedicated botanical lab, where we conduct first trials before moving on to larger-scale production with our pilot plant for further development and process optimisation.

Once product development is complete, DSA tests the product in the intended final application in order to create the best functionality and unique multi-sensory experiences for the customer and the end consumer.

Doehler’s technical and product development teams have a deep understanding of sensory properties and consumer trends, meaning we know which ingredients can be combined harmoniously, how excellent multi-sensory experiences can be crafted and, above all, how to develop best-in-class applications for the food & beverage industry.

Doehler South Africa: T 021 001 2800; E [email protected];

About Dr Stefanie Speiser:

Stefanie studied Nutrition Science, obtaining her Doctor Degree in Pharmacy, with her main expertise in the field of botanicals and their influence on health. Before moving to South Africa, she spent four years working as a Product Manager at the Doehler headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, in the business unit health.

Besides her passion and interest in the positive health influence of botanicals, and the production of high-quality botanical products, she also has expertise in the field of other health ingredients such as plant-based proteins, hemp/CBD, natural prebiotics, fibers and knowledge of the role of botanicals in animal nutrition.

Joining the SA team at the beginning of 2021, Stefanie has been responsible for the creation of the company’s new and exciting botanical product range in close cooperation with the global botanical team.

About Doehler:

Doehler is a global producer, marketer and provider of technology-driven natural ingredients, ingredient systems and integrated solutions for the global food, beverage and nutrition industry. Doehler is all about mastering sensory performance and nutrition.

Doehler’s comprehensive product portfolio of natural ingredients ranges from natural flavours, natural colours, natural health ingredients, a broad range of plant-based ingredients to ingredient systems and end-to-end solutions. Focused on science, technology and innovation, we shape the future of nutrition.

Our customers are at the heart of all we do and are the reason why we exist. With more than 45 production sites, 75 offices and application centres, Doehler creates value for customers in over 160 countries. More than 8,500 dedicated employees, including 1,000 people in R&D and technology, are committed to making our customers successful.

“WE BRING IDEAS TO LIFE.” describes Doehler’s integrated and entrepreneurial approach to innovation. This also includes innovation services, market intelligence, advice on food safety and microbiology, as well as sensory & consumer science. Doehler also runs its own venture unit with more than 85 active ventures. Smart ideas have a way of becoming great products.

Every day, millions of people around the world enjoy products created by Doehler.