Throughout the years, advances in food production and processing technologies have brought upon consumers both the best and the worst of products, from the highly nutritious down to delicious junk. Easy access to processed foods and empty calorie products is a major reason for the rise in lifestyle diseases across the globe, and the F&B industry has been partly blamed and criticised for this. As consumers are now more selective about their food and beverage purchases, and specifically conscious about ingredients, the process of balancing taste and nutrition to create appetising products is a challenge for some manufacturers.
With the goal of helping companies address this challenge, Ringier Events, together with business partner, Kerry, hosted the ASEAN Food and Beverage Ingredients Summit: Formulating with Innovative Ingredients and Solutions, on 8 July 2021. This online conference was attended by over 200 delegates representing many F&B brands in Asia.
Presentations came from Kerry, Chr. Hansen, Roquette, and PT Indesso Aroma, and a panel discussion touched on how manufacturers can meet the demand for functional products.
Southeast Asia is the fastest growing market for food and beverage, and its demand for healthier food and fortified products has been on the rise, with probiotics, plant-based proteins, botanicals and nutraceuticals becoming more recognised by consumers. As the pandemic further raises awareness about health of mind and body, the opportunities in the functional food and beverage category are growing.
From left: Genny Tan, AH&N Business Development Manager, Kerry Asia Pacific & Southeast Asia; Jie Ying Lee, Senior Strategic Marketing Manager, Beverage, Kerry Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa
Wellmune® for immune health and more
Jie Ying Lee, Senior Strategic Marketing Manager, Beverage, Kerry Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, talked about the opportunities in functional beverage formulation on the back of changing consumer priorities and trends influencing new product development. With the top three trends relating to better immunity, digestive health, and hydration, Kerry decided to present on Wellmune®, a yeast beta glucan for immune health for beverage fortification.
According to Genny Tan, AH&N Business Development Manager, Kerry Asia Pacific & Southeast Asia, Wellmune® is clinically proven to improve the immune system, as it protects against the effects of stress and also promotes mental clarity. Positioned for use in different products, this ingredient supports the immune system by entering the gut where it is absorbed and broken down by the cells; Wellmune then attaches to immune cells that help fight foreign bodies. The good news is the product is safe for children, active adults, and seniors. Many brands have already incorporated Wellmune in their products, including nutrition bars, infant formula, snacks, coffee, and other beverages.
Eliza Tsun, Regional Sales Manager, Roquette
Based in France, Roquette has for a long time tapped the qualities of pea protein to bring flavour and nutrition to products. In fact, even before plant-based became a global trend, Roquette had already filed its first protein patent in 1974. Today, the company envisions itself becoming a leader in plant protein specialities for human nutrition. It also looks forward to the opening of its 18,000sqm facility for pea proteins this year.
Roquette Regional Sales Manager, Eliza Tsun agrees the opportunities in the plant alternatives category is vast. Interest in plant-based will continue to grow as consumers see the apparent benefits: a complete AA profile, low in calorie, saturated fat and cholesterol, and good source of fibre. And with sustainability a top concern for food producers, plant-based alternatives become the better option to animal proteins. Ms Tsun said pea crop production for instance requires less water compared to bovine meat and even soy production, and emit low CO2. Compared to sunflower and soy and bovine meat production, pea uses less land.
With NUTRALYS®, Roquette’s offers a range of plant protein ingredients for virtually any food or beverage, from coffee to ice cream to cakes, and so on. According to Ms Tsun, NUTRALYS is the first pea protein supported by clinical trials to assess its performance in muscle mass development as well as satiety management.
For plant-based meat alternatives, Roquette can provide a range of solutions to the current generation of meat analogues, which can be in restructured, structured or emulsified formats, Ms Tsun said.
Ross Crittenden Ph.D., Senior Director – Commercial Development for Plant-based Solutions, Chr. Hansen
While plant-based food and beverage continue to gain acceptance with consumers, their success depends highly on sensory qualities. According to Ross Crittenden Ph.D., Senior Director – Commercial Development for Plant-based Solutions at Chr. Hansen, fermentation has a role to play in adding texture, flavour and nutrition to plant-based products, and gives the example of yogurts during his presentation at this conference.
For good-tasting plant-based yogurts (also called vegurts), ingredients like flavour maskers, stabilisers and aromas have to be added to the list. But according to Mr Crittenden, cultures designed for robust fermentation of plant bases can meet consumer demand for taste intensities, creamy texture, clean label, health and sustainability. He talked about Chr. Hansen’s Vega™ Culture Kit, explaining how this culture kit can be used by manufacturers “to improve and differentiate their plant-based products through the power of good bacteria”.
The result is the Vega™ Culture Kit, which makes fermentation simple while allowing producers to focus on features such as flavor, texture, probiotics, and bioprotection against spoilage by yeasts and molds. The presentation highlights how this culture kit can be used by manufactures to improve and differentiate their plant-based products through the power of good bacteria.
Arianto Mulyadi, Director, Corporate Communication & Sustainability, PT Indesso Aroma
Botanical extracts, which are products derived from different parts of a plant concentrated into liquid or powder form, are widely used in food and beverage production. In Indonesia, PT Indesso Aroma is a certified manufacturer of botanical extracts, and the global leader in clove oil and Indonesian essential oils including their derivatives. In 2001, the company which is also a provider of seasonings and aroma chemicals, built its Aroma Chemicals production facilities in Cileungsi (West Java) equipped with state-of-the-art extraction with recovery units and spray drying technology. Extraction methods used there are mechanical pressing, distillation, fractionation, polar and non-polar solvent extraction, supercritical fluid extraction with CO2, wave vibration, and pressurised hot solvent.
At this conference, Arianto Mulyadi, Director, Corporate Communication & Sustainability, PT Indesso Aroma, shared the production of botanicals at the company, highlighting the benefits of the eco-friendly supercritical fluid extraction for obtaining active ingredients with authentic results, without leaving harmful residues. The wave vibration and pressurised hot solvent extraction methods are also used as these increase the yield of active ingredients.
Food and beverage manufacturers incorporate natural extracts in their products as flavouring agent and to add authentic character, or if they want to avoid sedimentation in their products; to secure a natural claim, such as when a producer desires to have a natural claim on their vanilla ice cream, the product has to contain vanilla extract. Extracts are also added for consistency and efficiency during mass production.
The use of botanical extracts for non-flavoring for health and wellness benefits has been trending. Extracts of green coffee, green tea, ginger and other rhizomes are used to cater to the nutraceuticals, nutricosmetics and cosmeceuticals segments. Mr Mulyadi cited a Mintel report showing that in 2018, about 27% of global product launches had a botanical/ herbal function claim.
Mr Mulyadi further talked about Indesso’s Naturarte, a double encapsulation technology used to produce water-soluble powders which are derived from fruit juice concentrate, purees, essential oils and botanical extracts. The range of extracts obtained from fruits, flowers, and spices, have a shelf life of two years. Applications include ready to drink and confectionery products.
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