Tree of Life
The baobab tree has many names, including the monkey bread tree, the cream of tartar tree and the upside-down tree. In Africa, baobab fruit pulp’s uses vary, from a traditional snack to mixing with other foods. The citric and tartaric acid found in the pulp has given it the popular name of “cream of tartar,” and it is often used as a baking ingredient. Other uses are as a milk-curdling agent, as yogurt or ice cream flavoring, or as a source of calcium for lactating or pregnant women. It is also a novel nutraceutical ingredient with a high natural vitamin C content; strong antioxidant properties; a natural source of calcium, phosphorus, iron and potassium; a good source of vitamins B2 and B3; and the presence of citric, malic and succinic acids. Herbal Teas International, a U.S. distributor of unique African botanicals, provides baobab fruit pulp in two formats: natural--a milled and sifted, free-flowing, light-colored powder that is non-water soluble; and as a free-flowing, depectinised powder that is water-soluble and clear in solution. Herbal Teas International, 800-559-1147, www.rooibosdirect.com

Taking Stock
One line of broths and fats is used to make full-bodied soups, sauces and other savory products. Hormel meat stocks are 100% natural, water-soluble, high-protein stocks available in dried or frozen form. All are derived from slowly cooking bones, muscle and meat to extract the flavors and aromas most important to the finished product and flash-sterilized to ensure product wholesomeness. Hormel offers beef stocks in paste or dried form, as well as pork, turkey and chicken stocks. Specialty products include stocks and broths, meat ingredients, gelatin desserts, puddings, drink pre-mixes and specialty fats--all represented by recognized brands, including Great Beginnings®, Building Blocks®, Herb-Ox® and others. Hormel Specialty Products, 507-437-5609, www.hormelingredients.com

Wellness Boost
A leader in the probiotic bar category has announced two probiotic strains will be added to its wellness bars to boost the bars’ digestive health and immunity benefits. Attune Probiotic Wellness Bars lead the category of daily wellness products that put the power of probiotics in a portable form designed for busy lifestyles. The two strains, from Danisco, are HOWARU™ Dophilus and HOWARU Bifido. Danisco’s range comprises the most documented probiotic strains commercially available worldwide and is recognized for its immune-enhancing properties and long-proven efficacy on gut health. Attune wellness bars fortified with HOWARU probiotics are an easy, tasty and safe way for consumers to maintain and strengthen their immune and digestive systems. Attune Foods, 415-277-4901, www.attunefoods.com , Danisco, 608-395-2617, www.danisco.com

Immunity Defense
An all-natural, multifunctional product from the bark and wood of larch trees can help support healthy immune function and has antioxidant capacity. ResistAid™, from Lonza, consists of the soluble polysaccharide arabinogalactan and bioactive flavonoids and is produced via a water-extraction patented process. Products carrying the ResistAid quality seal on the packaging show the consumer they contain the natural immune ingredient. As part of a healthy diet, ResistAid helps support a healthy immune system, because Larch arabinogalactan (LAG) has a stimulatory effect on it, according to the company. Specifically, natural killer cells, cytokines and macrophages may be supported by LAG supplementation. In addition, ResistAid has antioxidant capacity and supports natural immune function by increasing beneficial immune cell populations, so the immune system is better able to function and handle immune stressors. Lonza Inc., 201-316-9200, www.lonza.com

In Good Form
A well-known world leader in starches has expanded its starch portfolio with the introduction of a quick-dispersing, cold water-swelling starch. HiForm™ 12754, from Cargill, is manufactured to provide performance that is not only superior to finely granulated cold water-swelling starches, but also comparable to agglomerated, cold water-swelling starches. HiForm 12754 starch delivers both value and ingredient functionality to customers. With its exceptional creaminess and smooth texture, it is a versatile option for many retail and foodservice applications, including dry mix soups, sauces, gravies, cold processed salad dressings, fruit pie fillings and puddings. The starch addresses dispersion issues and provides less dusting than other starches in its category, says the company. It also offers benefits including a slight, coarse granulation; a smooth, short texture; and a bland flavor profile that will not mask flavors in food systems. HiForm 12754 starch is heat-, shear-, acid- and freeze/thaw stable, which translates to a stable viscosity in abusive or acidic storage conditions and a smooth texture, even after freezer or refrigerator storage. Cargill Texturizing Solutions, 877-650-7080, www.cargilltexturizing.com

Salty Award
The 2008 Frost & Sullivan Ingredient of the Year Award in the European functional ingredients market was presented to Jungbunzlauer, for successfully introducing sub4salt® in the European food additives market. This highly beneficial food additive is used as a substitute for salt and is capable of reducing sodium content in processed foods by up to 50%. High levels of sodium consumed with food are associated with hypertension and, subsequently, cardiovascular ailments. However, reducing sodium in food products is a major challenge for manufacturers, as it negatively impacts palatability. Jungbunzlauer has effectively met these challenges with sub4salt, which is superior to the common substitutes of salt, as its usage does not compromise on food taste and quality. No other competing product has yet been able to match the effectiveness and price competitiveness of sub4salt, says the company. Jungbunzlauer Inc., 800-828-0062, www.jungbunzlauer.com

Having Visions
Now there is good news for sufferers of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). ZeaGold® Natural Zeaxanthin is Kalsec’s all-natural, highly bioavailable form of zeaxanthin, type 3R, 3’R-zeaxanthin, for use in dietary supplements, functional foods and beverages. Scientific evidence shows a strong correlation between high blood serum levels of zeaxanthin and a reduced risk of cataract formation and AMD. Recent data indicates that zeaxanthin may be the most powerful antioxidant found in the eye. Research suggests 6mg of the xanthophylls lutein and zeaxanthin per day is associated with a reduced risk of AMD, but the average daily intake is about 1.0-3.0mg. Because the body cannot synthesize zeaxanthin, filling the gap without changing dietary habits calls for a highly bioavailable nutritional supplement, such as ZeaGold Natural Zeaxanthin. Derived from paprika and not chemically synthesized, ZeaGold Natural Zeaxanthin is an excellent source of a broad spectrum of vegetable carotenoids and antioxidant nutrients. It may be used in functional foods and beverages and is a natural way to optimize the ratio of zeaxanthin to lutein in eye health formulas. Kalsec, 800-323-9320, www.kalsec.com

Old is New
The latest wave to hit whole-grain innovation is ancient. For millennia, civilizations cultivated unique, staple grains for their nutritional value and distinctive taste. As years passed and societies changed, mainstream knowledge and availability of many ancient grains were lost. Now, they are lost no longer. The new ConAgra Mills™ line of single ancient grain flours and multigrain blends unlocks the compelling flavor and nutritional merit of the ancient diet. Bakeries, foodservice operations and food manufacturers now have access to these specialty grains. ConAgra Mills can help bring these inspirational, storied grains to mainstream and artisan customers. Milled from amaranth, millet, quinoa, sorghum and teff, these products can add excitement and great-tasting, whole-grain nutrition to today’s most popular foods--from breads and pizza crusts to breakfast cereals and bars. ConAgra Foods Inc., 800-851-9618, www.conagramills.com

Innovative Concept
One supplier has dedicated a group to dissect upcoming consumer behaviors in favor of their clients’ products. WILD Flavors’ N.E.X.T.™ (New Emerging eXciting Trends) team’s mission is to drive and support innovative concept ideation. Some examples of the WILD N.E.X.T. team’s 2009 product trends are:
  • Holistic sleep.
  • Health from the sea.
  • Ancient and whole grains.
  • Distinct regionalization.
  • Return to home cooking.
WILD Flavors Inc., 859-342-3600, www.wildflavors.com

Say Cheese--in Spanish, Please
The Hispanic population is the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. today, with the U.S. Census Bureau projecting the group will reach 55.2 million by the year 2020. Consequently, it is no surprise that Hispanic-influenced cheeses have been growing in popularity, showing up more frequently on grocery shelves and restaurant menus. With a wide variety of functions and flavors, Hispanic cheeses can add new appeal to entrées, snacks, sauces, appetizers, side dishes and salads, presenting new market opportunities for cheese processors and food manufacturers. The 44-page Hispanic Cheese Reference Guide, now available from Dairy Management Inc.™, provides a comprehensive primer on more than 60 types of Hispanic cheeses from Latin American countries, including translations, origins, flavors, mouthfeel, melting points and detailed production tips. To obtain a free copy of the Hispanic Cheese Reference Guide from DMI, send an e-mail to techsupport@innovatewithdairy.com. Dairy Management Inc., www.innovatewithdairy.com


It’s a Wrap
It is easy to apply popular spice or flavor blends to products during cooking or packaging. FLAVORSEAL® Flavor Wraps™ Spice and Flavor Transfer Sheets allow processors to apply spices and flavors faster, more evenly and with the controlled consistency that is important to their brands. Consistent, uniform spice coverage reduces leakers, enhances eye appeal and helps maintain the integrity and safety of processor brands. The sheets come in dissolvable and non-dissolvable versions and are ready to use with no mixing, blending or dispensing equipment required. The dissolvable sheets dissipate quickly after being vacuum-sealed, providing even and consistent coating. No messy liquids to manage, and no dry spices are wasted. The Non-cooking Spice Transfer Sheets are non-dissolvable and easy to use, providing uniform spice coverage with no extra cooking. CMS, 866-769-1500, www.cmsflavorseal.com

Chicken Delight
One company is excited to introduce an organic chicken powder in response to consumer demands for organic products that provide full flavor and clean labels. Henningsen Foods’ Organic Chicken Powder broth has a meaty, cooked chicken flavor and quickly rehydrates to a golden brown. The product contains natural antioxidants, which aid in the preservation of flavor and extended shelflife. Applications include convenience foods, soup mixes, gravies, seasoning blends, flavors and other savory products.

HFI’s Organic Chicken powder is USDA-approved and available in poly-lined, 50lb boxes. Henningsen Foods, 800-228-2769, www.henningsenfoods.com

Tastes Like Chicken
A new range of chicken flavors can be simply labeled “yeast extract.” Maxavor® Chicken YE from DSM Food Specialties is an innovative, 100% natural ingredient that is the first of its kind to deliver an authentic chicken taste direction to a diverse range of savory foods. This enables manufacturers to respond to growing consumer demand for clean labeling. It is easy to use, guarantees a high-impact, authentic flavor delivery and generates real mouthfeel and specific aromas to a range of savory applications--from noodles and soups to sauces, dressings and seasoning mixes. DSM Food Specialties, The Netherlands, +31 (0) 15 279 26 85,

Condition-specific Shot in the Arm
Consumers are picking up on functional foods that differentiate themselves by targeting specific health conditions. A new market research report just released from Packaged Facts, “Food and Ingredient Trends Addressing Specific Diseases and Other Health Conditions,” explains which foods benefit what conditions. Food has come to occupy a focal position in the prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases, and consumers have become very attuned to innovative food products that offer a condition-specific shot in the arm (even if standard diet and exercise guidelines sometimes get short-changed.)

This brand-new report looks at certain health conditions, including obesity, heart health, cancer, brain and nervous system health, and the specific foods that target them. For example, soy plays a role in maintaining healthy bones and may even help to prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women, even though it is unclear whether these benefits are due to its protein or its isoflavones, daidzein and genistein. “Food and Ingredient Trends Addressing Specific Diseases and Other Health Conditions” presents a comprehensive scrutiny of functional foods geared to specific health conditions in the U.S. market. It looks at key health factors influencing consumers’ food choices, the issues and opportunities facing manufacturers, and key ingredients that target specific health conditions, culminating with an analysis of key players in the good-for-you market. For further information, visit: www.packagedfacts.com /Food-Ingredient-Trends-1767539. Also, go to www.NutraSolutions.com and type in “Ingredients for Health Reference” to see the latest reference listing commercially available ingredients to assist the industry in formulating products for specific health conditions.

Great News for Dieters
A new study finds that people may consume fewer calories while continuing to eat their favorite foods. The study, commissioned by Tate & Lyle, the manufacturer of PROMITOR™ Soluble Corn Fiber and PROMITOR Resistant Starch, reports that products manufactured with either product have been found to produce lower glycemic and insulin responses. The lower responses may help to prevent the roller-coaster of sugar spikes and crashes, which could lead to improved weight management and better blood glucose control, especially for those battling diabetes. The study’s results were published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in December 2008. Tate & Lyle’s PROMITOR Dietary Fiber can be easily incorporated into a large range of food and beverage applications, without compromising great taste and texture. The PROMITOR Dietary Fiber range can be used to help promote digestive health and immunity, and obesity and weight management for the entire family. For more information about PROMITOR™ Dietary Fibers, visit www.promitorfiber.com . Tate & Lyle, 800-526-5728, www.tateandlyle.com

Oral Health Update
Data is now available on the effectiveness of a new oral cavity probiotic. Frutarom USA Inc.’s BLIS K12, from BLIS Technologies Ltd. in New Zealand, has new evidence to support why this probiotic organism seems so effective in protecting the oral cavity. BLIS K12 is the world’s only probiotic specifically designed to protect the entire oral cavity, which includes the throat, mouth, gums and teeth, says the supplier. Under specific conditions, it has even been shown to protect the nasal sinus from infection. BLIS K12 is known as an advanced probiotic, because, unlike other probiotic organisms, it will produce antibacterial peptides (called BLIS) when it is under threat from a potential disease-causing bacteria, the supplier adds. Studies on the potency of the antibacterial effect of the advanced probiotic organism demonstrates that it is hundreds of times more effective than even most traditional antiseptic throat lozenges, if used as an oral antiseptic. Frutarom Industries Ltd., 201-861-9500, www.frutarom.com

A Cost-effective Salt Alternative
In 2003, the American Health Association challenged the food industry to reduce added salt in processed and restaurant foods by 50% within 10 years. Over the last several years, guidelines have demonstrably reduced what was once thought to be a safe level of sodium. Consumers are urged to ingest no more than 1,200mg per day of sodium, down from 2,400mg that was once thought to be safe. SymLife Salt™, from Symrise Flavor & Nutrition North America, effectively addresses salt reduction, says Thomas Barry, vice president, Savory Business Unit, Symrise. He further explains, “The most current generation of SymLife Salt further improves the effectiveness of this high-performing product, which was already serving to create less salt-laden foods and beverages. This improved product demonstrates that we are living up to our mission of ‘…always inspiring more.’ That’s something our customers will recognize in our flavor development and product applications specialists, who are available to work with them to create custom formulations that will not compromise the flavor profiles that consumers are looking for in healthier, lower sodium products.” SymLife Salt can provide up to 50% sodium reduction in applications such as soups, sauces, meat and poultry, and snack seasonings. It is retort, freeze/thaw and shelf-stable, and performs well, even under rigorous processing conditions, says the supplier. Symrise Flavor & Nutrition, www.symrise.com

Pure and Sweet
The world’s leading developer and producer of high-purity Rebaudioside A (Reb A) announced that the FDA issued a no objection letter. The FDA has no objection to the conclusion that PureCircle’s Reb A, at a minimum specification of 95%, is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) among qualified experts for use in beverages, foods and tabletop sweeteners. This response from the FDA clears the way for high-purity Reb A, the first all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener to be adopted as a key ingredient in mainstream food and beverage production. PureCircle is the world’s largest supplier of high-purity Reb A (with the industry’s leading vertically integrated supply chain) to secure the consistent, reliable supply of high-quality, high-purity Reb A to manufacturers who want to offer their customers healthy, natural, great-tasting products. The ingredient has a superior taste profile and displays excellent pH and temperature stability--making it suitable for use as a sweetener ingredient across all food and beverage applications. Purecircle USA, 217-877-3791, www.Reb-A.com , www.purecircle.com

Year-end Regulations
The December 8, 2008 issue of Prepared Foods’ electronic newsletter (the E-dition) carried an exclusive brief on regulations impacting foods and beverages. In it, attorney Mark Hostetler, Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP, advised that the Consumer Product Safety Improvements Act (CPSIA), which defines “children’s products” and establishes limits on lead and a ban on phthalates, should be reviewed by producers who market food products in packaging that might contain lead or phthalate(s). While the definition of “consumer product” in the original act does not include/exempt food, the use of lead-based printing inks in a food contact surface, for example, would bring the product under Consumer Product Safety Commission jurisdiction. Producers should review their product packaging and particularly the certification and registration obligations under the CPSIA.

The E-dition also noted that in August, then-Senator Obama introduced S. 3358, the Improving Foodborne Illness Surveillance and Response Act of 2008. The legislation would seek to put in place systems to identify and investigate food pathogen and illness outbreaks, increase surveillance, data collection and incident registries. The legislation will die with the end of the current Congress, but new and similar legislation in the new Congress may enjoy the interest of the White House.

Mark Hostetler can be reached at mhostetler@blackwellsanders.com. To sign up for PF’s E-dition, go to www.PreparedFoods.com and click on “subscribe to e-newsletter” on the left-hand side of the home page. A link to archived E-dition (previously named e-flash) issues can be found on the www.PreparedFoods.com home page.

Generation Y and Flavors
The January 5, 2009, issue of Prepared Foods’ electronic newsletter (the E-dition) provided exclusive information from a new report on Generation Y and its food and flavor preferences. “Gen Y,” the largest demographic in history consisting of approximately 75 million Americans between 13–28 years of age, is passionate about big flavors that pack a punch. They are drawn to bold and complex flavors that turn mealtime into a culinary trip around the world. According to a recent study by the Center for Culinary Development (CCD) that explored Gen Y’s attitudes and eating behaviors, more than 50% eat global foods and 46% like to layer flavors and customize recipes. For the well-cultivated palates of this influential group, food is an adventure where unusual ingredients combine to create exotic taste sensations with each bite.

For more information on the Center for Culinary Development and the Gen Y research, visit www.ccdsf.com . To sign up for PF’s E-dition, go to www.PreparedFoods.com and click on “subscribe to e-newsletter” on the left-hand side of the home page. A link to archived E-dition (previously named e-flash) issues can be found on the www.PreparedFoods.com home page.