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EAS Offers New Strategic Consulting Service

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

At a press conference on Tuesday, July 19, EAS Consulting Group (booth 4728), a consulting, training, and auditing firm that specializes in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory matters, launched a new strategic consulting service to the food industry as they struggle to develop new foods and dietary supplements that meet the demands of today’s health conscious consumers.

Edward Steele, chairman and CEO, explained that EAS, which has been around since 1960 under various names and leadership, has developed a strong reputation in the food and supplement industry for being the go-to source for all things FDA-related. With more than 150 consultants worldwide, many of which have decades of experience in the regulatory field or industry, EAS has been in the business of helping the food industry comply with applicable laws and regulations. “This service will take it one step further by working with R&D, regulatory, and marketing managers who have to navigate in the absence of clear regulation,” explained Steele.

Bruce Silverglade, a well-known food attorney with many years of experience in the area of food law, nutrition labeling, and claims, has recently joined EAS and will be serving as the nucleus of its new strategic consulting service for product development and labeling. Other recent additions to EAS’ expert consultants include Neil Smith, formerly in regulatory affairs with Mondelez, and Chris Chatzidakis, who was most recently with ConAgra in R&D.

This core group, in addition to the larger group of EAS consultants, will be able to help address questions such as: Should your company disclose GMO ingredients, create “non-GMO” product line, or stay the course? What are the risks of self-defining “natural” foods including the risk of class action litigation challenging such claims? The new EAS strategic consulting service will provide solutions to companies confronting daunting product development and labeling issues by taking a holistic approach that considers a company’s marketing objectives and the current regulatory, compliance, and enforcement environment at the federal, state, and local levels.

EAS will be adding additional food industry veterans in support of this new service as needed. It sees a growing demand for highly experienced thought leaders to help executives in the food business market their products to meet the demands of the consumer while navigating the increasing complexities of the ever changing regulatory environment.

Ingredients to Boost Clean Label Efforts

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Ask any food manufacturer to list the hottest topics in the food industry, and clean label is sure to be at the top of the list. As consumers continue to push food manufacturers to produce lightly processed food products with ingredients that are easy to understand, ingredient manufacturers have developed ingredients from starches and preservatives to sweeteners and flavor enhancers that help product developers meet these demands for clean label products. Here is a sample of some of the ingredient suppliers at IFT16 showcasing their clean label ingredients.

  • Gummy bears Biospringer (booth 2448) launches Springer Organic Baker’s Yeast Extract for flavor enhancement and taste modification. The ingredient is produced from yeast without any chemical additives, according to the company, and it can be used to enhance savory notes in snacks, dressings, sauces, soups, gravies, and vegetarian products.
  • Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients (booth 561) is introducing four new ingredients brands and two new ingredients that can replace high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. The new brands are Carolina Original cloudy sweet potato juice, Carolina Clear clarified sweet potato juice, Carolina Craft dehydrated sweet potato ingredients (sweet potato flour and granules), and Carolina Sweet clean label sweetener. The two new ingredients are made from purple sweet potatoes. Purple sweet potato juice concentrate is rich in anthocyanins and has a purple hue. Purple sweet potato granules can provide fiber and other nutrients to baked goods and snacks.
  • To help food manufacturers produce fresher and safer food while still adhering to clean label demands, Corbion (booth 1221) will feature several ingredients made from naturally derived sources. Learn about Verdad Avanta for meat and poultry products and Opti.Form, which provides control of Listeria. Purac Powders lend a long-lasting sour taste to acid-sanded confectionery while Ensemble gives developers an alternative to partially hydrogenated oils. Stop by the company’s booth to try doughnut, bagel, turkey, ham, sausage, ice cream, cheese spread, and candy product concepts made with these ingredients.
  • Parker Products (booth 740) is introducing a line of cake inclusions for ice cream applications made without artificial flavors and colors, partially hydrogenated oil, preservatives, and allergens such as dairy, soy, and nuts. The colorful and flavorful inclusions are crunchy when dry, but once incorporated into the ice cream, where they absorb fat and moisture, they take on the dense mouthfeel of real cake.
  • PLT Health Solutions (booth 2026) will showcase the new PhytoShield Flavor Enhancer that can help improve the shelf life of products while satisfying clean label requirements. The company has demonstrated that the ingredient is effective against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, fungi, molds, and yeast. The flavor system’s antimicrobial activity is a synergistic effect created by the reaction of flavor components, polyphenols, bioflavonoids, and organic acids, according to the company.
  • Scelta Taste Accelerator from Scelta Mushrooms (booth 2012) is an alternative to flavor enhancers like MSG and autolyzed yeast extracts. This ingredient is made of vegetable extracts and is potassium-free.
  • TIC Gums (booth 3426) is debuting new texture and stability ingredients that meet labeling requirements such as organic and non-GM. Ticaloid PRO 181 AG emulsifies and stabilizes oils in nondairy milk alternatives like the toasted almond coconut milk that will be sampled at the booth. A gelatin-free gummy confection still has the sensory characteristics of a gummy made with gelatin thanks to Ticagel Natural GC-581 B. Dairyblend Natural IC CL hydrocolloid blend replaces monoglycerides and diglycerides in hard-packed ice cream applications.

Keeping It Simple Is Not a Simple Proposition

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Stephanie MattucciSimple is in, and natural—at least in terms of specific natural claims—appears to be on the way out, Mintel global food science analyst Stephanie Mattucci told IFT16 attendees in a presentation at the Mintel Booth (4953) on Monday.

“It [natural] is still an attribute that consumers are looking for,” Mattucci said. “But we see products evolving in terms of their natural positioning.” The use of a natural claim on products peaked about two years ago when it appeared on 15% of product introductions, Mattucci said. It’s now down to just 11%.

Meanwhile, what does resonate are products with short, simple ingredient statements. Mattucci shared Mintel data that shows 53% of consumers worry quite a bit about potentially harmful ingredients in their food. And 59% of those Mintel surveyed agree that the fewer ingredients a product contains, the healthier it is. “Less is more,” said Mattucci. “In an effort to cope with information overload, consumers are retreating back to simple, easy-to-understand ingredients.”

“Simple ingredients are also being used to emphasize both quality and nutrition,” she continued. It’s a positioning that works on artisan products but also on mainstream brands like the new Post Organic Purple Corn Flakes.

Mintel presentationRather than making natural claims, food companies are focusing more on claims around genetic modification, no additives/no preservatives, and “free from.” No additives/no preservatives claims appeared on 21% of products introduced in the United States, Mattucci reported. That’s likely to be an effective strategy because new Mintel research shows that no additives/no preservatives claims have a positive impact on purchase intent. Free from claims also have considerable traction with consumers; 86% of those aged 25–34 say they purchased a product with a free from claim.

Genetically modified (GM) foods are also a significant hot button; 39% of consumers say they purchase GM-free foods. Of course, it’s not always a purchase influencer. Mattucci noted that when Mars added language stating that its M&Ms were “partially produced with genetic engineering,” it didn’t trigger any negative comments among consumers Mintel surveyed.

Mintel’s series of trend presentations will continue on Tuesday, according to the following schedule.

10 a.m. Innovating for the iGeneration
10:30 a.m.  Senior Solutions: Developing Products for the Aging Consumer
11 a.m.    The Value Paradox: The Challenge of Creating Products for the Budget Consumer
11:30 a.m.  Expert Q&A Panel on Consumers
12 p.m. What Does Product Innovation Really Look Like?
12:30 p.m.  Charting Flavor Expansion and Innovation
1 p.m.  Helping Consumers Cook Dinner: Innovation in Meals and Meal Kits
1:30 p.m.  Expert Q&A Panel on Product Innovation
2 p.m.    ‘Simple’ Isn’t So Simple
2:30 p.m.  Free-From for All: Alternatives Are Ready for the Spotlight
3 p.m.    From the Inside Out: The Embrace of Ingredients as Superheroes
3:30 p.m. Expert Q&A Panel on Ingredients and Claims

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