May 2012/Prepared Foods -- Food marketers understand the appeal of brands offering health and wellness benefits such as reduced calories or added nutrients. But, what if all those “good-for-you” extras could be delivered in products that taste absolutely decadent—boasting a rich and creamy mouthfeel, for example, or bursting with bright fruit flavors? It could potentially open the door to that intriguing category of prepared foods: “healthy indulgence.”    
milk and peaches

An innovative breakfast menu presented at the 2011 IFT in New Orleans demonstrated how a proven array of label-friendly texturizers and stabilizers—combined with deep formulation expertise—can turn this promising “healthy indulgence” concept into actual beverages, sauces and condiments. The IFT menu featured a variety of main course and beverage offerings, both sweet and savory, and was a combined effort of CP Kelco (a producer of hydrocolloids) and Univar Inc. (CP Kelco’s exclusive distributor partner in the U.S. for food and beverage applications).

“The innovation secret,” says Beth Warren, director of marketing, Univar Food Ingredients, “is to understand the landscape of unique and versatile properties offered by texture modifiers to create more indulgent taste profiles. With the support of CP Kelco, Univar provides customers with formulation tools to accelerate commercial success.”

CP Kelco’s comprehensive ingredient choices include pectins, biogums, carrageenan and whey protein concentrates—all derived from natural, renewable raw materials. “Our versatile portfolio offers solutions for texturizing, stabilizing and particle suspension in formulas across the pH spectrum, helping manufacturers turn even the most challenging prototypes into appealing consumer products,” notes Kathleen Deely, CP Kelco’s marketing manager for North America.

The high-performance attributes of CP Kelco’s KelcoGel APM-B hydrocolloid system (a gellan gum blend) acted as a dual-function stabilizer in a unique Peach Melba refresher beverage. Made with milk, fruit juice concentrates and calcium-fortifying tricalcium phosphate, the beverage delivered a fun surprise in every sip—small pieces of real peach. Functioning almost imperceptibly within the formula, CP Kelco’s hydrocolloid system served as a protective colloid to stabilize acidified proteins during heating and worked as a suspension agent, distributing peach pieces uniformly throughout the beverage, without adversely affecting mouthfeel.

CP Kelco ingredients provided similar functionality in an iced coffee beverage, while demonstrating a label-friendly alternative for the shelf-stability issues often seen in packaged iced coffee products. Typically, chemicals such as buffering phosphates are used to address the creaming that occurs when half-&-half is added to heat-treated formulations. A combination of CP Kelco’s GENU Hi-pHive carrageenan and Genuvisco J-DS carrageenan eliminates the need for chemical buffers in packaged iced coffees, while assuring a bold, rich and creamy taste profile with authentic coffee flavor.

The possibilities extend beyond breakfast. CP Kelco hydrocolloid systems offer a number of intriguing options for modifying texture, rheology and other physical properties of packaged foods—using ingredients made only from natural raw materials, such as citrus peel, sugar beets and seaweed. By providing tools to cut sugar, reduce fat or add nutrients without sacrificing taste, CP Kelco and Univar are proving how satisfying it can be to put “healthy indulgence” on the menu. pf


—Barbara T. Nessinger, Senior Editor


For more information:

Univar Food Ingredients • Redmond, Wash.

Beth Z. Warren, director marketing


CP Kelco, U.S., Inc. • Atlanta, Ga.

Kathleen Deely, marketing manager


Decadently Dedicated

Demonstrations at the IFT event featured a delicious variety of seemingly indulgent (and yet healthy) toppings and fillings for breakfast crêpes. The team’s hydrocolloid expertise improved the taste profile and nutrition benefits of the indulgent beverages served at the breakfast, as well.

•          A low-fat (40% reduced fat) hollandaise sauce added a rich, creamy texture and tart flavor to a crêpe stuffed with smoked salmon and wilted baby spinach. Made with a proprietary CC microparticulated whey protein concentrate blend as a texturizer, the sauce boasts exceptional heat stability and consistency throughout processing.

•          A low-sugar fruit topping garnished a fruit crêpe filled with fresh strawberries and low-fat sour cream. Made with proprietary pectin, the strawberry topping offers a pleasant, smooth texture and excellent syneresis control in a low-calorie formulation.

•          A sweet crêpe featured a luxuriously indulgent, low-fat (10% butter fat) chocolate mousse filling. A proprietary carrageenan/pectin blend provides texture and syneresis control in the mousse, while stabilizing its foam structure. Proprietary whey protein concentrate adds mouthfeel and improved whipping performance.