Clean label reformulation with dietary fiber

FEATURED SPEAKER Fi Conference 2019
The biggest clean label challenge for F&B manufacturers is linked to including active and functional ingredients in clean label recipes without compromising on sensorial factors - how the products look, taste and smell. We caught up with Heidi Munck Graversen, Lead Project Manager, Innovation Department at CP Kelco, ahead of her presentation at the Fi Conference, to ask her how the use of dietary fiber aligns with the growing demand for clean label ingredients.

Heidi Munck Graversen

How have you seen the demand for clean label products evolve in recent years? How does improving dietary fiber content in products fit in this trend?
“Clean label is becoming the norm across the food and beverage industry; however, this term means different things to different customers. Three general categories exist: Free-From, Sustainable, and Simple. Consumers are looking for products which exclude certain ingredients, such as fat, sugar, hormones, antibiotics, and, in Europe, E-numbers. They also want to see sustainability measures, like organic, fair trade, or vegan.  In addition, they are looking for simple product labels, with recognizable ingredients that don’t sound like chemicals.“

“According to Innova Market Insights, nearly 28% of global food and beverage launches recorded in 2018 used one or more clean label claims (natural, organic, no additives/preservatives and GMO-free), rising to nearly 39% in the US.”

“Dietary fiber is perfectly aligned with clean label trends. Consumers understand and recognize the term ‘fiber’ and are increasingly aware of the importance of fiber-rich foods.”

What is the biggest challenge for F&B manufacturers when launching clean label products?
“The biggest challenge for F&B manufacturers is linked to consumer preferences and expectations, specifically in formulating products that meet their clean label needs. Combining active and functional ingredients in clean label recipes is challenging, particularly when you cannot compromise on sensorial factors -- how the products look, taste and smell. For instance, consumers expect a reduced-fat mayonnaise or dressing to have the same body, mouthfeel and taste as a full-fat recipe, and if possible, without emulsifiers included.”

Learn more about current challenges and future trends at the Fi Conferences.

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What makes citrus fiber so unique? What citruses are you using? What type of ingredients can be substituted by it?
“Our citrus fiber is a fruit-based ingredient made from locally sourced and abundant orange peel raw material from CP Kelco. Our raw material is a byproduct from juice production, and with our production site located in the major juice producing area in Brazil, our supply chain is optimized. From our perspective, this is responsible production, doing more and better with less, which is in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations.”

“The citrus fiber product is comprised of soluble and insoluble fibers, offering dietary fiber content above 80%. On top of contributing to the fiber content, citrus fiber offers the possibility to replace stabilizing and thickening agents and reduce the numbers of ingredients on a label.”

What are the possible applications in the food and beverages?
“Citrus fiber contributes to daily fiber intake. In Europe, citrus fiber complies with the EU definition of fiber. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has recently published a guidance document for the declaration of dietary fiber in the US. Citrus fiber is included as one of the fibers in the broad category of ‘mixed plant cell wall fibers’ and can be included in the total dietary fiber content of a formulation.”

“Key applications for citrus fiber include fruit-flavored drinks, drinking yogurts, dressings, condiments, sauces, bakery, soups and meats.” 

What are your predictions for the F&B industry over the next 3-5 years?
“We see the following developments:

  • Companies across the industry will be working to implement the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals such as optimizing production and reducing waste.
  • Clean and clear label will continue to impact the F&B industry, as consumers around the globe increasingly demand transparency, simplicity and sustainability of products and their ingredients.
  • Consumers will be increasingly adventurous, seeing innovation in food and beverage textures and flavors.
  • Plant-based and alternative proteins will continue to drive innovation based on consumers’ focus on health/wellness and sustainability.
  • The importance and evolution of social media & digitalisation will play a significant role in how food is marketed, sold/distributed and promoted among consumers.
  • Affordability will become increasingly important among consumers, particularly in emerging markets, as they seek both quality and value in their food and beverage products.”

Be sure to catch Heidi Munck Graversen's presentation on 'Creating clean label functionality with a natural combination of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers' at the Fi Conference 2019.