Staying ahead of the clean label curve


Today taste and health have assumed new levels of importance and consumers would rather like to see as little “industrial” ingredients on packaging. As a result, they are questioning retailers, demanding clean label products, or voting with their feet and simply changing to authentic and natural brands. So what is the best way to achieving a sustainable clean label product? Symrise have been perfecting and developing new authentic taste solutions, to help manufacturers achieve natural taste at the right price.

Clean Label


What exactly is Clean Label? Views differ greatly but it is generally based on having a shorter list of natural ingredients on foodstuffs rather than using synthetic colours and flavours, or those that are genetically modified. The remit from today’s health conscious consumers is great taste plus transparency and authenticity.
Many of the big retailers are now requiring manufacturers to reformulate to meet consumer desire for natural ingredients. However, the global demand for authentic flavours has led to an increased preference of natural food sources, among them exotic and domestic fruits, spices and botanicals.
Some suppliers have been working hard for the past few years to achieve sustainable natural sourcing and have also had the vision to come up with appealing concepts and natural taste solutions that make the most of Mother Nature. Symrise for instance, has developed new savoury food solutions, such as fried onion and fried garlic oil with concentrated flavour notes that offer the same flavour intensity and cost in use as the ingredients used before, all on a natural basis. The company will showcase a selection of those products at Food Ingredients Europe 2017 in Frankfurt.

Developing a clean label strategy
Five years ago, SymLife became a key pillar of the Symrise strategy – offering a unique portfolio of ingredients and taste solutions that were far more advanced than the basic taste balancing being achieved elsewhere. Under the SymLife banner the company, in particular, worked to produce improved stevia derived flavor solutions for healthy food concepts.
Today, the company is focussing in its development activities on naturalness. In this context, the company can talk about its latest food processing developments with advanced solutions for natural flavours in meat and vegetables. Vanilla and onion are some of the key drivers here and the
company has invested considerably in securing a sustainable natural source.
In the vanilla market for instance, the company has a programme to support 7000 farmers in Madagascar with a far-reaching intervention support package to deliver full security of supply and high quality. The farmers benefit with improved incomes as well as health care and education for themselves and their families, while the company achieves cost and quality reassurance, for instance by ensuring that the crop is picked at the optimal time.
A great deal of research goes into making these natural taste solutions palatable, with R&D teams all the time bearing in mind cost effectiveness and authentic results. In particular, consumers right now are looking for great tasting high protein, high fibre, and good for you products and the big retailers are listening and reacting accordingly. Replacing sugar and salt has been particularly high on the agenda and this requires skilful flavour development.
Price continues to be a big driver when it comes to food purchasing. At the same time, authentic taste and quality is of growing importance and this will continue. In fact, consumer demand for this is likely to grow, whether in beverages, desserts, meat snacks, baby food or pet food. Those companies looking at new ways to achieve great natural taste solutions are ahead of the clean label curve.

Be sure to catch Frank Hoeving’s presentation ‘Answering the requirements of consumer preferred labelling’ at the Fi Europe 2017 Conference during the Clean Label & Natural Ingredients Session on Wednesday, 29th November 2017 14:30- 17:15.