January 2012/Prepared Foods -- New functional and nutritional ingredients, including those with clean labels; those targeted toward heart and bone health; plus an ingredient for skin hydration were all topics of discussion at one 2010 Prepared Foods’ R&D Applications Seminar-East.

The presentation, titled “Beverage Nutritional Ingredient Solutions,” was given by Rodger Jonas, director of national sales, PL Thomas. Jonas began by discussing clean label ingredients, starting with alternative natural red colorings. Beetroot, anthocyanins and carmine are most common presently; but, Jonas says, carmine has “many issues,” while anthocyanins carry shelflife questions.
There is help, however, in the form of a proprietary, natural red lycopene that has a unique red shade with none of the blue notes common to some other red colors. “This is an advantage,” says Jonas, “if the shade fits the customers’ requirements.” He also notes that care must be taken if a match to an existing shade is required.

The technical advantages to using this proprietary, natural red lycopene include: its unique shade; the pH stability (and a red color at neutral pH); stability to vitamin C; it is non-migrating; temperature stability; and its use as a carmine replacer.
Moreover, Jonas avers, the proprietary lycopene provides a red color at a wide range of pH, unlike anthocyanins (where the shade changes with pH) or carmine (which precipitates at low pH). Lycopene has been successful, where a stable, natural red color is required. Jonas also states: “Lycopene is an alternative to carmine and lakes.”

PL Thomas has developed a clear micro-emulsion based on solubilized lycopene. “The application provides a range from yellow to orange to blood orange,” states Jonas. The product is designed to increase the range of clear, natural color options. Its target markets include clear applications; application as a possible alternative to Quinoline Yellow and/or Sunset Yellow; and to allow delivery of whole-tomato extract in a clear format to the nutraceutical market.

Further advantages to lycopene micro-emulsion are it is “non-ringing” in beverages; there is no taste carry-over from either tomato oleoresin or from the emulsifier; and it is formulated to minimize foaming and to allow ease of dispersion.
Another new functional ingredient discussed by Jonas was ubiquinol. Its benefits include energy (“ubiquinol sparks 95% of your body’s cellular energy production”); antioxidant capacity (“ubiquinol is one of the most powerful lipid-soluble antioxidants known for protecting cells from free-radical damage”); and ubiquinol is “essential to maintaining and protecting heart health.”
Micro-encapsulated ubiquinol powder is stable in dry air atmosphere and is dispersible in water. Applications include beverage formulation (dry and liquid), baked goods and snacks.

Other functional ingredients Jonas highlighted included grapeseed extract, which he said “may prevent the development of frank hypertension,” and açai extract. Açai extract, or “nature’s Superfruit,” is nutritionally rich; available in a dry, soluble form; is high in antioxidants; has a pleasant taste; and has many purported health applications (i.e., headache/cold remedy, cardiovascular maintenance, energy booster, weight management aid).
Ceramides are “a major constituent of intercellular ‘cement’ at 30-45%,” Jonas said. They also are, he notes, “essential for skin barrier function.” Dry skin is a lipidic imbalance of intercellular cement plus cellular membranes’ disorganization. One 2005 clinical evaluation of oral supplementation of natural ceramides on skin dryness showed a marked decrease in skin roughness (84% softer, compared to placebo), and “100% of women with considerable itching at Day Zero noticed a dramatic decrease at Day 90.” Skin hydration was also improved by 95% for women in the natural cera-mides group, Jonas stated.

“Beverage Nutritional Ingredient Solutions,” Rodger Jonas, director of national sales, PL Thomas, Rodger@plthomas.com, www.plthomas.com
—Summary by Barbara T. Nessinger, Associate Editor