December 2011/NutraSolutions -- The natural trend movement has had far-reaching consequences for food manufacturers and consumers alike, with greater emphasis from a health claims perspective being placed on front-of-pack--such as  “natural,” “no additives/preservatives” and “minimally processed” claims. Short and recognizable ingredient lists; the use of natural colorings and flavorings; and the spread of organic offerings available in most market categories demonstrate the increased global demand of “as natural as possible” products that are produced in an ethical, sustainable manner. Ingredient sourcing is increasingly under the spotlight, with, for example, free-range and local produce claims experiencing a surge. Analysis from Innova Market Insights revealed a 51% increase in global product launches with a free-range claim from 2009-2010, suggesting this trend and other ethical and sustainable claims will continue to flourish in the future.
--Lu Ann Williams, Innova Market Insights, helpdesk@innovami.com, www.innovadatabase.com
 

Sweet Spot: Blueberries
Convenient blueberry formats provide sweetness and enrich products, naturally. The inclusion of natural blueberries means clean labels and the ability to tout a product’s nutritional benefits. They add real flavor bursts to baked goods and snacks. Consumers view blueberries as a value-added, healthy ingredient; they equate blueberries with antioxidant power and readily accept them as an ingredient in almost any product. Blueberries and blueberry formats can mean reductions in sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners--in everything from baked goods and snacks to beverages and dairy. U. S. Highbush Blueberry Council, bberry@blueberry.org, www.blueberry.org

 Fortified for Health
Fortitech Inc. is a developer of custom nutrient premixes for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. Fortitech premixes integrate functional ingredients from a comprehensive selection of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, nucleotides and nutraceuticals that are used in a wide range of products, including baby formulas, cereals, bars, dairy products, nutrition and sports drinks, juices, snacks, waters, candies, supplements and more. Nutrient premixes offer numerous benefits to manufacturers. They streamline the production process, because a nutrient premix is a single source of multiple nutrients. As a result, manufacturers save on labor, cost and testing. Fortitech is expert in delivering multiple nutrients in a single premix, while preserving three key elements of successful premixes: taste, stability and texture. Fortitech Inc., David Borisenok, borisenok.david@fortitech.com, www.fortitech.com

 Seal of Approval
The Nexira Group (formerly Colloides Naturels International) recently received additional regulatory approval for its Fibregum™ product line of all-natural, soluble dietary fiber, based on acacia gum. Health Canada has recognized the Fibregum brand of acacia gums as a dietary fiber source in Canada. Further, it has approved the classification of Fibregum as “traditional dietary fiber” and not a “novel fiber.” The body clearly stated a “no objection” to the sale of Fibregum acacia gum as a dietary fiber for labeling purposes in Canada. This positive decision contributes to the growing regulatory acceptance of Fibregum acacia gum worldwide. (Editor’s note: On November 7, 2011, the companies of Iranex Group--CNI [Colloïdes Naturels International] and Bio Serae Laboratories--officially became Nexira. Media contact for Nexira Group: Teresa Yazbek, 908-707-9400, yazbek@cnius.com)
 

 Think Out of the Box
With Think Newtrition™, BASF launches a new global market initiative to strengthen the company’s position as a partner and driving force in the food, beverage and dietary supplement market segments, while aligning nutrition products with the needs of today and tomorrow’s consumers. To help foster a dialog with customers, BASF is launching this new market initiative to identify new ideas, concepts and solutions for successful products that meet producer, retailer and consumer demands all over the world--including diverse cultures and eating preferences. Detailed information about Think Newtrition can be found at www.newtrition.basf.com. BASF Corporation, www.basf.us 

 Reduce Sodium Naturally
Food and beverage manufacturers seeking more low-sodium ingredient options can try Salona™, a new low-sodium sea salt from ICL Performance Products LP. Salona allows for a 25-50% replacement of sodium chloride and is a natural mineral that is derived from the Dead Sea. As a natural compound, Salona is minimally processed to maintain low-sodium levels. Research shows there are 1.7g of sodium for every 100g of Salona, compared with 39g of sodium for every 100g of sodium chloride salt. It can be used in food and beverage products that contain salt and can be found in three granulations: fine, medium and coarse. Salona also can provide magnesium and potassium fortification. ICL Performance Products, Cindy Brewer, 314-983-7500, cindy.brewer@icl-pplp.com, www.icl-perfproductslp.com

 Blending Your Way
The Nutrivan™ line of premixes offers a variety of simple ways to deliver the most sought-after health and wellness trends and/or provides basic blends to deliver recommended daily intakes (RDI) of vitamins and minerals. In developing customized blends, Caravan Ingredients takes the following things into consideration: 1. the type of product being fortified; 2. serving size; 3. shelflife; 4. packaging; 5. unique processing conditions; 6. desired nutritional profile; 7. scalability--providing a custom blend in the most cost-effective way possible; and 8. time--in the form of rapid-response time on samples and pricing. Caravan Ingredients, www.caravaningredients.com  
 

 Menopause Relief
NovaSoy.com provides women with a chance to learn about menopause and how soy isoflavones can help relieve hot flashes. The site includes a product locator and symptom checker; research that proves the effectiveness of soy isoflavones; general information about menopause; and videos featuring real women talking about their experiences with menopause. ADM can include NovaSoy soy into products, making it easier to offer customers the relief they will be seeking with soy. ADM, NovaSoy, www.novasoy.com 

 Beautiful, Younger Skin   
Collagen, a natural protein, comprises 30% of the body’s total protein and is primarily located in connective tissue. VERISOL®, from GELITA, is specially optimized for beauty applications and offers firmer/smoother skin by delaying the natural aging process of connective tissue. VERISOL optimizes and enhances many products, from liquids to solids to coated tablets to dietary drinks--even luxury foods, such as chocolate. It has GRAS status, is a natural food, is highly digestible, is non-allergenic and has a clean label. Moreover, it can be easily implemented into existing formulas and does not compromise sensory profiles. GELITA USA, 712-943-0317, www.GELITA.com

 Natural Alternative to Hydrogenated Oil
Palm oil is an ideal natural alternative to partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, when a solid fat is required for functionality and stability in baked goods and snack foods. It is naturally solid at room temperature; no chemical processes are used in its production. The oil is extracted from the fruit by expeller-pressing, without the use of organic solvents. Color and odor are removed only using steam, vacuum and natural clay. Due to the low level of polyunsaturated fats and the presence of natural antioxidants, palm has excellent shelflife--without the need for synthetic antioxidants. This functionality and stability, coupled with a low cost, makes palm oil a popular choice for the elimination of trans fat in the bakery industry. American Palm Oil Council, www.americanpalmoil.com
 

 Oils for Nutritional Supplements
Arista Industries has expanded its oil division product line to include specialty marine oils, natural vegetable oils and industrial oils. The company’s Borage Oil and Evening Primrose Oils are both excellent sources of gamma-linolenic acid, which is good for use in nutritional supplements, as well as cosmetics. Arista specializes in delivering the finest quality, all-natural oils and specialty butters at competitive prices; it is supported by a firmly established network of major sources, giving the company the ability to deliver even hard-to-find products in a timely manner. Arista Industries Inc., 800-ALL-OILS, info@aristaindustries.com, www.aristaindustries.com

 Fully Reacted Mineral Salts
As the market for mineral supplements for health and nutrition products continues to grow and becomes more sophisticated, the need for good chemistry at the point of production becomes apparent. The use of mineral salts containing unreacted compounds can lead to formulation stability problems and inaccurate ingredient declarations on the finished product. Jost Chemical Co. is now manufacturing Magnesium Aspartate Dibasic Anhydrous and Magnesium Citrate Tribasic Anhydrous. Both are manufactured under systems that comply with cGMPs. Aspartate Dibasic has an “as-is” magnesium content of 14.2-15.7%, while Magnesium Citrate Tribasic’s is slightly higher, at 14.5-16.4%. Jost Chemical Co., 314-428-4300, www.jostchemical.com

 Wholesome Whole Grains
Grain Millers’ ability to custom-mill specialty grains and whole-grain derivatives, and its ability to blend and offer unique packaging solutions, sets the company ahead of the competition. Its proprietary, state-of-the-art systems allow the conversion of whole grains into highly functional ingredients. The company’s series of whole-grain derivatives provide functional and labeling benefits, and include products such as 100% natural oat fiber, stabilized wheat bran, whole-grain hydrocolloids, natural mold inhibitors, shelflife extenders, oat syrup solids and more. Grain Millers, www.grainmillers.com

 Special Effects
SensoryEffects® Cereal Systems provide customized manufacturing of natural and organic cereal foods and ingredient systems. Innovations include gluten-free, all-natural, multi-grain and multi-inclusion. Sensory Effects Powder Systems allow manufacturers and suppliers customized, spray-dried and blended emulsified powders for creamer systems, dairy replacers, nutritional beverage bases, specialty powders and much more. Innovations include trans fat-free, cold water-soluble, medical foods, instantization and more. Products can be certified-organic, kosher and/or SQF level III. Sensory Effects International, info@sensoryeffects.com, www.sensoryeffects.com

 Global Ingredient Source
Nutraceuticals International Group® is dedicated to sourcing and supplying fine-quality ingredients. They continuously search the world to find the newest, most innovative ingredients available and have an extensive network of international partners that manufacture new functional ingredients and develop state-of-the-art production methods. Ingredients are regularly tested by FDA-regulated and approved labs for physicochemical and macroscopic analysis. The company’s powders and extracts include fruits and vegetables, such as acai, sweet potato, jojoba and more. Nutraceuticals International Group, 800-651-2587, sales@nutraintlgroup.com, www.nutraintlgroup.com

 Less Means More
Z Trim® is a multi-functional cellulose ingredient derived from natural sources, such as oat bran or corn bran. This new generation of cellulose ingredients contributes multifunctional attributes in food formulations, including moisture management, texture and appearance quality, fat and calorie reduction, clean labeling and cost-control. Z Trim provides better eating quality; outstanding product performance; and, frequently, improved nutritional profiles in meats, sauces, dressings, microwaveable hand-held snacks, baked goods, fillings, toppings, prepared meals, ice cream, cream cheese and dips, among other food products. Z Trim® Ingredients, 847-549-6002, www.ztrim.com

 Kiwi for Clean Label
ApuraGreen™ is a whole-fruit kiwi pectin paste that is great for baked goods, such as bread, cookies, muffins, cakes and other pastries. The natural humectant allows for softer, fresher products with an extended shelflife; sugar and fat reduction; and a clean label. The ingredient has many clean-label aspects for food products. It is a single, natural ingredient from a whole fruit. It is GMO- and gluten-free, and GRAS, with no preservatives or additives. It allows for reduced fat, sugar and calories in a recipe with additional nutrients from the fruit base. Stratum Nutrition, www.stratumnutrition.com


 Bone Benefits of Hydrolyzed Collagen Evaluated
Osteoporosis is a critical disorder characterized by bone loss and an increased risk of fracture. Oral intake of Peptan™, from Rousselot, may have a positive impact in preserving Bone Mineral Density (BMD) before osteoporosis appears. In one study, the effect of Peptan hydrolyzed collagen was evaluated on the bone health of ovariectomized mice (OVX) of different ages. Animals were divided into different groups: one group ingested Peptan after OVX; another group ingested Peptan several weeks before OVX and continued over additional weeks; another ingested Raloxifene, a drug for osteoporosis. Twenty-six weeks after the OVX procedure, Peptan significantly improved BMD; Peptan ingestion for one month before surgery prevented a BMD decrease. Rousselot, www.rousselot.com NS