The FDA final rule on the labeling of trans fatty acids (TFA) is the first significant change to the nutrition facts panel since the Nutritional Labeling and Education Act was finalized in 1993. The TFA ruling has given many companies an incentive to remove as much trans fat from their products before January 1, 2006, as possible.

However, if TFAs are replaced with polyunsaturated oils, antioxidants may be required to extend the shelflife of foods by quenching free radicals, thereby delaying oxidation, degradation, and loss of nutrients, pigments and flavor in foods. When natural antioxidants are used, the finished product's label can be very consumer-friendly.

Fortium[r] brand products, by Kemin Food Ingredients Inc. (Des Moines, Iowa), are all-natural food ingredients that extend the life of meats, seasonings, salad dressings, nuts, breads, bakery mixes and other high-fat matrices. Kemin's Fortium T products are a proprietary formulation of mixed tocopherols and delta-rich tocopherols. Mixed tocopherols consisting of alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherols generally are used for preservation.

Delta-tocopherols possess the most antioxidant activity. “Alpha-tocopherol, which is commonly known as vitamin E, is a great vitamin for your body, but does not scavenge the free radicals and oxygen as well as the gamma and delta isomers,” says Kristen Robbins, associate scientist at Kemin Food Ingredients.

Fortium T20 natural antioxidant is formulated to contain much higher levels of delta-tocopherols than other mixed-tocopherol products. Also, since it is in a liquid form, Fortium ingredients do not possess the disadvantage of dry ingredients, which may be difficult to disperse in a food. However, if desired, Fortium T easily can be plated on a dry carrier for customers accustomed to a dry form.

The Fortium R product line is based upon a unique, proprietary rosemary extract that is produced with a patented process. It is more efficacious in some applications, has less of an odor, will not clog application nozzles and offers better dispersion.

Rosemary extract is approved as a natural flavoring and is subject to use under GMP rules. However, “It works just as well as many synthetic antioxidants in most applications,” says Robbins. “The single most important advantage that rosemary-based Fortium has over tocopherol-based Fortium is that a food formulator can list it as a natural flavoring or spice extract on the label.”

“Customers who switched from other rosemary extracts to ours have commented that ours have superior flow properties, and do not contain sediment or fine particles to clog application nozzles. Our filtering process assures that,” she informs.

The oil-soluble liquid and dry Fortium R10 rosemary extracts are more diluted and, therefore, are more easily and uniformly dispersible throughout the product matrix. The concentrated Fortium R20 rosemary extract is applicable to processed meats, fats and oils, sauces, dressings and snacks.

The Fortium R20-WD rosemary extract is a water-dispersible product suitable for use in salad dressings or emulsified products. “Processors have the flexibility of adding it to either the oil phase or the water phase. When the emulsion is formed, the rosemary will migrate to the oil-water interface which, due to its very high surface area, is the most critical area for oxidation to occur,” Robbins adds.

Fortium R20-WS (concentrated) and Fortium R10-WS (diluted) rosemary extracts are more suitable when added into a low-fat, more water-soluble matrix such as canned soups, broths or brines, dressings or marinades and beverages.

For more information:
Kemin Food Ingredients Inc., Jeff Sporrer