Features

  • 15 Jul
    FCOJ futures – July Report from Jack Scoville

    FCOJ futures – July Report from Jack Scoville

    Continuing problems for Florida as US domestic demand slides, and Brazil muscles in on the export trade.  Tariff wars with EU continue.

    Orange Juice futures in New York have had a tough time trying to rally over the last few months.  In fact, prices are down after trading as high as USD1.32 per gallon.  Now prices are below USD1.00 per gallon and could easily go lower.    The problem is the weather right now.  Hurricane season is underway in the Atlantic, but there are no signs of hurricanes or even tropical storms anywhere.  It is still very early in the season, but the conditions right now are not good for hurricane development.  Hurricanes need calm winds and warm ocean temperatures to form and thrive.  The temperatures in the ocean are just about warm enough, but not quite at the warmest levels to really allow hurricanes to form.  But, the big problem is the wind.  There is a strong wind blowing from Africa into the ocean and across to the west near the islands in the Caribbean and into Florida.  One can see dust from the Sahara making all the way to the US on the satellite images used to help predict the weather.  There are no signs that these winds are ready to calm down, and there can’t be much in the way of storm formation until they do.  Hurricanes can be very destructive to oranges production in Florida since the state is so flat and the growing areas stick out into the sea on the peninsula.  Instead, just regular storms and showers are being reported and this is great for production.

    The biggest production losses often come from hurricanes.  One incredibly powerful hurricane once traversed below the equator to brush South America.  It picked up the greening disease there then turned north and devastated parts of Florida.  The losses were hug that year from the storm and the greening disease was deposited on the crops that did survive.  It took a few years but eventually the greening disease manifested itself and grew to create the big crop problems of a couple of years ago.  The disease seems to be under control now as USDA and others are looking for a very significant rebound in production to near or above 70 million boxes.

    Demand is the other issue that is hurting prices.  US domestic demand remains weaker as Orange Juice is considered by many consumers to be a bad way to get Vitamin C in the morning.  That is not true, but it is what people think and the growers and the state of Florida have had a hard time fighting the perception.  Domestic consumption will increase if Orange Juice prices get cheap enough, but consumers will stick with alternatives until the price gets a lot cheaper.  That could take a lot more time.  Export demand has also taken a hit.  The US is having a little trade war with the EU, and agricultural products are involved.  Much of the attention has been placed on autos and other industrial goods, but just now the US government has announced new tariff on dairy products.  The EU continues to make it very hard to by our GMO Corn and Soybeans, but the tariff war now is bout industrial products.  FCOJ has been caught in the crosshairs of the war.  The EU is the largest importer of FCOJ in the world, but Florida has been knocked out of the race due to the Trump tariffs.  All that demand is going to Brazil now and Florida producers are left out in the cold.  This problem will take a long time to fix even in the trade war ends tomorrow.

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 15 Jul
    Cargill: a driving force in sugar reduction and sweet alternatives

    Cargill: a driving force in sugar reduction and sweet alternatives

    Judd Hoffman, Cargill’s segments leader of Cargill Starches, Sweeteners &

    Texturizers talks to Editor Caroline Calder to find out more about meeting the growing demand for label-friendly ingredients.

    Worldclass ingredients

    Cargill Starches, Sweeteners & Texturizers sector processes corn, wheat, seaweeds, fruit-peels, sunflowers, rapeseed and soy to manufacture a comprehensive collection of value-added ingredients dedicated to the food & beverage, papermaking & corrugating, pharmaceutical, and animal nutrition industries. They take a unique approach to each of these categories to enhance customer relationships and fuel sustainable growth, say the company.

    Nutrition

    In the nutrition space, the company focuses on fiber and protein innovations, while industrial offerings are designed to supply renewable solutions that drive value for our customers. The portfolio includes sweeteners: glucose syrups, glucose-fructose syrups, dextrose, low-caloric polyols and zero calorie stevia-based sweeteners, starches: native, functional, modified, maltodextrin, lecithins (fluid, de-oiled, fractionated and modified), carrageenans, pectins and biopolymers (xanthan and sclerogucan). 

    FJF: Label friendly – what is your definition of label friendly for the sector and what products have you developed specifically for the fruit juice industry?

    JH: Consumers want to understand what is in their food and familiar ingredients are growing in popularity. These types of ingredients which are nature-derived and simple – mean for us  label friendly solutions.

    At Cargill, we’re approaching the label-friendly challenge from two angles. First, we’re investing in research and development, charging all our teams to take a creative look at the botanical sources available to us. We’re coupling that work with our extensive formulation expertise, partnering with our customers to re-think their recipes.

    Understanding customer needs in combination with high-level reformulation expertise ensures that Cargill can deliver tailor made solutions. Often, it’s a combination of ingredient know-how, recipe reformulation and adapting process conditions.

    Clean label is now part of nearly every manufacturer’s agenda, irrespective of category, and so will only continue to garner more attention as this is what consumers have come to expect.

    FJF: How does Cargill respond to the relentless drive towards sugar reduction or sugar alternatives whilst maintaining flavour/taste/structure?

    JH: Sugar reduction is indeed on top of manufacturer’s reformulation agenda for the years to come. In this sense, we notice:

    A move to include more nature-derived high intensity sweeteners, to reach both sugar & calorie reduction.

    Stevia is fast becoming a desired go-to-solution as it’s a label-friendly sugar reduction tool. Stevia-related market activity has increased, with a high double-digit growth year on year in beverage launches with stevia (CAGR of 22% between 2013-2018, source; Innova, 2019).

    Cargill has proven solutions to reach sugar reduction of up to 70%, by using Truvia™ and/or ViaTech™ and/or Zerose™ (our zero calorie polyol). This is an ideal combination as Zerose™ can mask off-flavours that can occur at higher dosages.

    A shift to different types of glucose-(fructose) syrups

    Not contributing to calorie reduction, but a good solution to gradually start making consumers more familiar with less sweet tasting products.  Due to their composition they are less sweet and allow lower sugars declaration on labels.

    At Cargill, we continue to expand our nature-derived sweeteners offer, a deliberate choice, as we stand behind 100% plant-derived solutions. Our stevia offering is one of our key areas today and in the coming years, with the ultimate goal to reach 100 percent sugar reduction. Combined with our texturizing solutions and R&D capabilities, we can help customers bring their innovative ideas to live.

    FJF: Any technological or scientific highs we can refer to that the company is most proud of in recent years

    JH: Stevia solutions – Truvia™ and ViaTech™  can offer sugar reduction of up to 70% and are often used in combination with Zerose™ erythritol.

    Extracted from the leaves of stevia rebaudiana, they deliver 200 times the sweetness of sugar without a single calorie. The Cargill IngredienTracker™ proprietary research has proved stevia to be well perceived by consumers, particularly among younger demographics. It is therefore fast becoming a go-to solution as it offers a label-friendly zero calorie option.

    Besides the significant improvements in sweetness quality, part of what sets the ViaTech™ portfolio apart from other stevia sweeteners is Cargill’s proprietary taste-prediction model, which can precisely predict which combination of steviol glycosides deliver optimal taste and sweetness.

    Our zero calorie polyol, Zerose™ erythritol, unlike other polyols as it is obtained through the traditional process of fermentation and has a caloric value of 0 kcal/g. Zerose™ creates synergy with high-intensity sweeteners, masking off-flavors that can occur at higher dosages and boosting taste. Other benefits are the highest digestive tolerance of all polyols and it is certified as ‘tooth friendly’ by Toothfriendly International.

    FJF: What’s new at Cargill?

    JH: Cargill has just announced it will break ground this year on the construction of a state-of-the-art pectin plant in Bebedouro, Brazil, with a completion date by end of 2021. It will produce HM pectin, a versatile texturizing agent derived from citrus fruits to help meet the growing and global demand for label-friendly pectins for fruit preparations, dairy, confectionery and bakery food applications.

    JH: “Consumers want ingredients in their foods they recognize. Pectin a nature-derived texturizer with superior functionality helps to meet these needs. The investment in Brazil in combination with our European pectin facilities illustrates our commitment to customers around the globe to provide innovative and label-friendly solutions.

    “Adding a new plant in Brazil is part of our comprehensive pectin strategy.  By growing our pectin footprint and investing in our plants in Europe (France, Germany and Italy), we aim to meet the growing demand for label-friendly ingredients. In this context we are also announcing the modernization of our pectin plant in Redon (France).”

    The Bebedouro location (Brazil) is in the center of the citrus region, offering an abundant supply of fresh peels needed to produce HM pectin. The construction of the new unit will begin in the first half of 2019 and expected to be completed by end of 2021. It is expected to add 120 new direct jobs in the production and support areas.

    “With a cost-competitive structure based on innovative production processes, the new plant only further strengthens Cargill’s commitment to Brazil’s growth,” commented Laerte Moraes, Cargill’s managing director of Starches, Sweeteners and Texturizers in South America. “The new plant represents an investment of approximately US$150 million. This will not only open global market possibilities for our pectin business but also boost the innovation of our portfolio and offers the option to expand our high-end pectin offering for the European markets.”

     

    Cargill History

    Minneapolis-based Cargill was founded at the end of the American Civil War around 1865, by William Wallace Cargill. The company has grown from a grain storage facility into an international producer and distributor of agricultural products such as sugar, refined oil, chocolate and turkey. Cargill also provides risk management, commodities trading and transportation services. Descendants of William Cargill and his son-in-law John MacMillan have owned common equity in the company for over 140 years. Cargill employs 140,000 people in 67 countries.

    www.cargill.com

     

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 16 May
    Fruit juice tastes so good for Turkey

    Fruit juice tastes so good for Turkey

    Editor Caroline Calder finds out how the Turkish fruit juice industry is fairing today, with some key questions to juice association MEYED.

    “In the last five years Turkey has shown a significant hunger for imported products, and this trend is mainly driven by urbanisation,” Euromonitor International nutrition analyst Dimitrious Dimakakkos commented in a recent interview.

    “This has resulted in the traditional food markets being substituted by modern grocery retailers, and multinational branded products (have) found more space on the shelves of supermarkets.”

    Reports say that 18.9% of Turkey’s GDP is taken up by the food and beverage industry. Why? Turkey is the ideal location for agriculture production. The nation is the seventh largest agricultural producer in the world, for a wide variety of products. Turkey is also a heavy importer to cater to a huge internal market of 76 million people, and an important hub for producers to reach the Middle Eastern and North African markets around it.

    CC- When was the association founded? 

     MEYED – The Turkish Fruit Juice Industry Association (MEYED) has been established in 1993 in order to bring the companies in the Turkish fruit juice industry together under the same roof. As the only representative of the industry, MEYED has 39 members.

    From the first day of its foundation, MEYED has brought industry’s stakeholders from the areas of agriculture, food processing and health, expert academicians and the professionals from the industry together in order to put forward solutions for the common issues and contribute to the development of the industry.

    CC – What has changed over the years?

    MEYED – Our industry and our association has continued to grow every year. Many new companies have joined us during this period. With the developing technological infrastructure, products of the desired quality are produced and exported.

    The export of fruit juice industry started with symbolic figures in the 1970s but by the 2000s it had a big increase. In 2018, the export value approached 300 million dollars. Today we export our products to more than 130 countries.

    CC – Who are your members typically? 

    MEYED – members are all the fruit juice producers and some supplier companies from packaging and auxiliary material industries.

    Most of the products produced for export are concentrates and widely exported concentrate types are like apple, citrus, cherry, pomegranate.

    In the domestic market, consumers prefer mostly nectar types such as peach, apricot and cherry. Producers focus on production in line with the preferences of consumers. However, they are not limited to them, many product options are offered to the consumers.

    CC – What are the biggest challenges for your members that you can help with? Geography, politics, transport, trade?

     

    MEYED – One of the most important issues in our industry is the losses in the raw material supply chain. In order to find a solution to this problem, it is important to work in coordination with farmers and other stakeholders.

    Before the harvest period, agriculture and procurement experts come together to determine the yield estimates for that year. The whole sector designs the logistics and production processes in a coordinated way. MEYED creates the necessary environment to provide them to work together.

    CC – What aspects are unique to the Turkish industry?

    MEYED – Consumers around the world mostly drink orange juice. But consumers in Turkey generally prefer the nectars. The most preferred flavour is peach nectar, it is followed by cherry and apricot nectar. The industry offers products to the market in accordance with these preferences. Turkey has an important position in the world in the production of concentrates of these products.

    CC – Where do you see growth for the industry

    MEYED – Fruit juice and nectar consumption in Turkey is about 8-9 liters per person in a year. It is still quite low compared to other countries.

    But Turkish fruit juice market is growing rapidly and with the effect of healthy nutrition trend, consumption in our country is expected to continue to increase.

    CC – Do you get involved in marketing and branding?

    MEYED – We have a digital platform where we promote fruit juice with its positive impacts on agriculture, economy, nutrition. We believe in continuous communication based on scientific facts and statistical figures.

     Round up of export and Import trade

     Turkey’s Fruit Juice Foreign Trade (Million $);

    [Import and export trade – fig 1]

    The availability of large quantities of fruit allowed the establishment of exportoriented, sophisticated and efficient fruit juice plants in Turkey. Exports of fruit juices and concentrates started with a symbolic quantity of 6 tonnes in 1970, and after that showed a rapid and steady increase, reaching approximately 103 thousand tons in 2012. Generally, apple, citrus (mainly orange) and pomegranate juice concentrates are produced for exporting. In addition to them, sour cherry juice and some fruit nectars, mainly peach and apricot, are produced for the domestic market and some are exported as well.

    The Netherlands and Germany constituted 35% of Turkish fruit juices and concentrates exports in 2012. The United Kingdom, the USA and Italy were among the key export markets in 2012.

    The growth of opportunity for exports is obvious, just looking at total imports of agricultural products from Turkey to the USA in 2018 the figure totalled USD1 billion. Leading categories included: processed fruit & vegetables (USD191 million), tobacco (USD173 million), snack foods (USD121 million), other vegetable oils (USD116 million), and fruit & vegetable juices (USD89 million).

     

    Background:

    The fruit juice and concentrate industry has become one of the progressive agroindustry sectors in Turkey. This export-oriented industry has flourished rapidly due to the modern production units, new investments and strong support of abundant fresh fruit production. Fruit juices of various types (concentrated, mixed, sweetened etc.) are very popular primarily because of their nutrient content. The products of this sector are also good alternatives to carbonated beverages.

    Fruits processed into fruit juice and concentrates are apples, pears, apricots, peaches, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, lemons, sour cherries, strawberries, pomegranates and grapes.

    Meyed.org.tr, ustr.gov, foodturkey.com.tr

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 16 May
    IFU Technical Conference – Athens

    IFU Technical Conference – Athens

    A report on findings of the 6 March workshop, by IFU Executive Director John Collins

    The annual IFU Technical Workshop (in conjunction with SGF and AIJN) took place on the 6th March at the Electra Palace Hotel close to the Parthenon in Greece.

    Dirk Lansbergen, IFU President, welcomed the large international crowd including juice colleagues from North and South America who came to enjoy a wide range of technically informative presentations. IFU are grateful to Biosystems of Spain for their sponsorship of the workshop, who also had a display area showing their range of enzymatic based test kits. It was followed by a Greek networking dinner at the Garden of Zappion, which was sponsored again by GfL Laboratories and KSY blends for the first time. During dinner the IFU commission excellence award was presented to Dr David Hammond for his dedicated contributions to the Methods of Analysis Commission and Legislation Commission.

    ‘cans are the most

    recycled beverage

    container in the world’

     Workshop – focus on sustainability

    The IFU workshop first session consisted of a series of short presentations, followed by a panel discussion with questions from the audience on the Sustainability of Packaging. It was opened by Norman Gierow if SIG who showed that SIG have 2 sustainable carton alternatives utilising plant-based polymers which won the 2018 German Packaging sustainability award. They also offer the world’s first alternative straw solution, the straight paper straw, designed for the beverage carton. Next Tim Neal of O-I reminded us that glass bottles are 100% natural, reusable and infinitely recyclable, being a circular economy champion for over 40 years. He also included information on the technological evolution of glass manufacturing.

    Claudia Bierth from Ball Packaging Europe stated that cans were the perfect choice for the circular economy and in fact cans are the most recycled beverage container in the world. It was shown that the carbon footprint of cans has significantly improved since the 1980’s.  With high recycling rates and additional user benefits of fast and efficient filling plus favourable logistic solutions cans should be considered for packing juices.

    Although not from the packaging industry David Berryman presented some of the challenges faced by the significant use of plastic materials in the supply chain. He gave an example of the successful recycling efficiency of PET achieved in Germany as a model to perhaps follow and also how the industry as a whole may move forward switching from petrochemical sources to renewable materials and how plastic waste may be broken down by the use of enzymes.

    A robust debate amongst the panel and with the audience closed the session leaving the participants with insights of the sustainable comparisons suited for different needs and the opportunities for improved sustainability.

    A question of sugar

    Our next session concerned the processing of juices and juice-based beverages. There has been much ill-informed comment in the media about the natural levels of sugar present in pure juices. Dr Martin Foltz of Doehler gave an overview of that communication landscape and then provided a technological review of how sugar levels may be reduced, considering the impact on product design and legal status. Apart from product reformulation there are opportunities with fermentation/bio transformation and physical separation. A number of products are available to the consumer that are clear in appearance, however without careful manufacturing controls, undesirable hazes and clouds may develop.

    Professor Dr Frank Will of Hochshule Geisenheim University provided a detailed explanation of the main aspects to control and the necessary analysis required to complement them. Being in Greece we were delighted that Mario Chronis from Aspis could give us an overview of how the Greek fruit processing industry has developed, the range of products available and challenges faced in the future. We then had a chance to see operations in action the following day with a Technical Tour to the Aspis factory included a tasting of some of their tasteful juices.

    ‘The new combination of

    micro filtration with heat processing

    now offers bottlers improved

    sustainable processing opportunities for the future’

    Coconut water has become more popular in recent years and Dr David Hammond showed us the differences between coconut water, milk and cream with pictorial and schematic demonstrations of the manufacturing process. The analytical composition was reviewed in order to show what authentic product should analytically look like.

    Rounding off the session we were delighted that Maria Norlin of Tetra Pak gave us the Worlds first presentation on Tetra Pak’s new low energy technology for the processing of juices and still juice based drinks. The new combination of micro filtration with heat processing now offers bottlers improved sustainable processing opportunities for the future.

    Final analysis

    The next session provided a focus on analysis. Colour is an important quality criterion for juice products and Christian Jansen of Hunter Lab reminded us how consumers react to colour and then showed different scales that can be used for measurement. It was completed with a practical application for use by manufacturers. Brix measurement is very common in the juice industry but how well is the science of measuring soluble solids understood? Mathis Kuchejda of Schmidt and Haensch took us back to basics with the theory and how it is applied with commercial measuring equipment, guiding the audience through some of the challenges presented by the user.

    Moving onto microbiology Carina Post of Doehler presented the topic on heat resistant mould, informing the workshop of the main species of concern with their characteristics, spoilage types and control strategies that should be applied.

    The juice industry is proud of the authentic nature of its products and the care that goes into maintaining that enviable status. As one of the leading organisations in this field Dr Susanne Koswig of SGF International presented a definition of fraud, along with the control strategies that are applied along the supply chain. Demonstrating successful outcomes, continued vigilance is necessary, and it was shown how SGF continues to partner and support the juice industry to that end.

    The workshop was completed by myself representing the IFU on the Codex Alimentarius structure and operations. Some of the key guidelines impacting the juice industry were reviewed and that changes that are coming along were also shown.

    It was announced that the 2020 workshop will take place in March in Vienna.

     

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 15 Mar
    Russia and a growing thirst for juice

    Russia and a growing thirst for juice

     

    Features of juice consumption in Russia

    According to the Russian Union of Juice Producers, the Russian juice market equates to some 2.5 billion litres of juice products per year.

    On average it reaches nearly 15 litres per capita consumption, which means Russia has a great potential for consumption growth say the union. Russians consume on average one glass of juice a day.

    History

    The history of the juice industry in Russia began more than 120 years ago, in 1897; the first production of pasteurized grape juice was opened in the Crimea. From this point on juices have become an important part of the Russian diet.

    By 1990, the canning industry in the territory of modern Russia produced about 550 million litres of juice and nectars, but consumption significantly exceeded this figure and the missing volume was imported from the southern republics of the Soviet Union, as well as from Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Poland. At that time, most enterprises produced juice and nectars from local raw materials, mainly from apples and tomatoes. Usually juices were packed in glass bottles or jars of 1 and 3 litre.

    Active introduction of carton packaging and aseptic filling began with the development of the what the union called the ‘new’ Russian juice industry, starting with Tetra-Brik Aseptic equipment.

    Today juice production industry in Russia has made great strides: advanced technologies and international quality standards are being introduced, research is being conducted on the effect of juices on the human body, and the raw material base is being strengthened.

    Russian taste preferences

    According to surveys, residents of Russia primarily prefer apple (17%) and mixed with apple (28%) juices, followed by multifruit (13%), orange (13%) and tomato (8%).

    Traditional Russians drink derived from berries taken as ‘mors’* – such as cranberry mors, blueberry mors, cherry mors.

    *Mors (Russian: морс) is a non-carbonated Russian fruit drink prepared from berries, mainly from lingonberry and cranberry (although sometimes blueberries, strawberries or raspberries). It’s made by boiling berries with sugar or just mixing pure juice with sweetened water.

    Key producers

    Russian Union of Juice Producers unites enterprises producing about 90% of all juice products manufactured in Russia. The main players of the juice market are such companies as: PepsiCo, Multon, Sady Pridonya, Progress, Southen Juice company, Sunfruit-Trade, Firma Nectar.

    About 65% of Russian juice products come to the shelves at retail in the form of nectars, 20% are juices, and 15% are mors and juice-containing drinks.

    Production geography

    According to researchers Nielsen, half of Russian production of mineral water falls on 9 regions: Karachaevo-Cherkessia , Moscow Region, Stavropol Territory, Lipetsk Region, Novosibirsk region, Tatarstan, Samara region , Sverdlovsk region and Krasnodar region.

    As for sweet carbonated beverages, their main share is produced at the plants of Coca Cola and PepsiCo companies located in the Moscow, Leningrad, Samara, Orel, Sverdlovsk, Novosibirsk and Rostov regions, as well as in the Primorsky, Krasnoyarsk and Krasnodar regions.

    The production of juices and nectars is concentrated in St. Petersburg city and the Leningrad Region. Such regions as Lipetsk, Moscow , Volgograd, Perm, and Krasnodar also accounted for a significant share of production.

    Juice packaging

    Three main packaging types are spread on the Russian market: aseptic bags made of combined material (packaged juices), glass packaging – from simple 3litre jars to branded bottles of unique shape, and PET bottles. Approximately 85% of juice products are packaged in carton, about 12% in glass. A new type of packaging – PET bottles – in Russia holds no more than 5% of the market, while in Europe plastic bottles won an average of 30% with variations from country to country.

    About us

    Russian Union of Juice Producers (RSPS) is a voluntary non-profit organization that unites 24 enterprises developing the market of juice products in Russia. Since 1999, RSPS supports equal conditions of competition in the industry, develops and implements technical regulations and national standards, conducts systematic scientific research of juice products, promotes healthy diet and lifestyle.

    Source: Russian Union of Juice Producers, Nielsen data

     

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 15 Mar
    Aloe Vera

    Aloe Vera

    Aloe Vera

    The Supercharged Rehydration Ingredient – an overview of the opportunity by IPS-Ingredis – the industry is expected to grow around 10% annually over the next 6-8 years.

    It generally takes us around 30 seconds to assess the health of a person. We take into account skin colour and resilience, brightness of eyes, the way someone walks and how they generally hold themselves—do they look strong or fragile, active or sedentary?

    We are what we eat and drink, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the colour and texture of our skin. This can be damaged by smoking or drinking alcohol, spending too long in the sun without skin protection, or consuming diuretics such as strong tea and coffee—even herbal teas with hibiscus or ginger.

    In contrast, foods such as cucumber, celery, water melon, strawberries, courgettes, and cauliflower have high water content that benefits skin hydration. There is one ingredient that is particularly beneficial, and as such, has seen substantial growth in use within the health and fruit drink arena: aloe vera. 

    Skin-cell nourishment

    Also known as Lily of the Desert, this cactus-like plant contains the complex carbohydrate acemannan which nourishes skin cells and detoxifies. Rich in vitamins C, E and beta-carotene, and one of the few plants to contain vitamin B12, aloe vera contains proteolytic enzymes which help repair dead skin cells. The gel has been used for centuries as part of Ayurvedic medicine in the treatment of minor cuts and sores, but it is in beverages such as fruit juice, cold tea blends, yoghurt, and milk-based drinks that it is meeting the needs of millennials and health conscious consumers looking for ingredients that help the skin rehydrate naturally.

    Gut-soothing rehydration

    The alkaline pH balance of aloe vera makes it safe to drink first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and it has a reputation for soothing digestive complaints such as heartburn and gastric ulcers. Unlike most juices, it contains no sugar and few calories yet is rich in antioxidants, boosting immunity and energy levels. A such, the adoption of aloe vera for plant-based beverages has been substantial and looks set to continue.

    Trends and availability

    Trends in aloe vera beverages include ‘between meals’ drinks such as Healthy Choice After Breakfast Juice; OKF’s Alo Exposed: a clear, refreshing, juice drink with aloe vera pieces and honey, also available as Alo Light Refresh with cucumber and cantaloupe; plus Kiki Health Organic aloe ferox juice. Available in Japan is Perfect: the grape and aloe beauty drink, while others evidencing the trend include Simplee Aloe with superberries, and tea companies such as Tetley and Clipper, who are now offering green tea blends with aloe vera in teabag format. Recent additions include T’Best, Ego Drink and Alpro coconut milk yogurt drink. According to Statista, the market was worth USD1.6 billion in 2016 and is expected to be worth USD2.3 billion by 2021.

    Roxanne Sagun, Trade Manager for South East Asia at IPS-Ingredis said:

    “Demand in the industry is expected to grow around 10% annually over the next 6-8 years. Supply for the aloe drinks business has grown about 10-15% each year since 2014, and is expected to have similar growth for the next couple of years.”

    The demand for aloe vera products continues to grow in the northern and western hemispheres, with more research-based evidence coming to light that indicates significant health and beauty benefits from this super ingredient. Though aloe vera has a naturally bitter taste, it is usually diced and blended with honey or sweeter fruits in beverages. The growing possibility of flavour infusions like these in aloe vera drinks makes it an attractive formulation for beverage companies around the world. The aloe vera ingredient is still growing in market presence and availability, so knowing where and how to source the ingredient becomes equally important in developing the right profile for shelf products.

    Ross Cumming, Chief Operating Officer at IPS-Ingredis added:

    “The IPS-Ingredis Digital Platform, supported by our team of international trade experts, enables global buyers to extend their reach in sourcing trending ingredients such as aloe vera, wherever they may be in the world.”

    IPS-Ingredis and Aloe vera

    Global trade company, IPS-Ingredis, has developed one of the very first online platforms for sourcing ingredients. The platform enables buyers anywhere in the world to access key product details and market insights that support the overall buying decision. Not only are we experiencing a global shift in consumer preferences towards healthier and alternative ingredients, but the industry is also becoming more accustomed to these modern methods of trading in raw materials. Aloe vera is one of the popular ingredients available on the IPS-Ingredis Digital Platform, with registered users having access to technical specifications and ability to submit digital quote requests 24/7.

    Sourcing aloe vera and alternative ingredients worldwide has never been so convenient, with the IPS-Ingredis Digital Platform.

     

    About IPS-Ingredis

    Sourced with the utmost care to ensure the best product profile for your goods. Supplied by a team focused on the optimal way to get you what you need, quickly and reliably. IPS-Ingredis helps you secure quality ingredients, concentrates, additives, and flavours, in a cost optimized way. From anywhere around the world. Now on the first worldwide digital trading platform. Email: rushee.ramchuran@ipsingredis.com, Tel: +971 56 422 5725 www.ipsingredis.com.

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 15 Mar
    Northern Ireland and the ‘Brexit backstop’

    Northern Ireland and the ‘Brexit backstop’

    Brexit and the ‘Backstop’

     

    Comment from Michael Bell, Executive Director, Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association

    “Given our land border with the EU and our reliance on export markets, it is clear that we face unique challenges posed by Brexit. It is important to stress that whilst Great Britain imports 50% of its food and drink, Northern Ireland exports 80%, so we are particularly sensitive to any potential barriers to export.

    “The ideal outcome for the industry would be that we can continue to trade with the EU as normal – without any changes to tariffs and standards. We have submitted technical papers to the government on behalf of the industry to advise on the particular issues which face the NI agri-food sector and we have provided information on solutions that would minimise disruption to trade.

    “We are actively involved in engaging with government to avoid a no-deal situation at all costs as this would be devastating to our industry and would result in immediate chaos along the supply chain. We currently have no reassurances about our ability to continue frictionless trade with other key markets post-Brexit. It is very difficult to develop solid contingency plans whenever there has been little to no information about what will happen after March 29th. Businesses cannot invest in alternative arrangements when they don’t know what those arrangements should be!

    “As a representative body for the leading agri-food businesses in Northern Ireland, we have voiced our support for the backstop as it offers vital assurances to our members. We recognise that some amendments may be required to the current backstop proposal, and we are happy to engage with politicians as they continue to seek a solution.”

    NIFDA

    NIFDA is a voluntary organisation committed to helping Northern Ireland food and drink companies compete successfully and to representing and promoting their interests.  It was established to provide services to enhance, promote, inform, educate and develop our members’ business.

    NIFDA’s vision is a strong and united membership working together towards a sustainable and growing internationally competitive food and drink industry in Northern Ireland. We are committed to maximising the growth potential of the industry and growing turnover to £7bn by 2020 by export led growth.

     

    What is the backstop?

    The backstop is a position of last resort, to maintain an open border on the island of Ireland in the event that the UK leaves the EU without securing an all-encompassing deal.

    At present, goods and services are traded between the two jurisdictions on the island of Ireland with few restrictions.

    The UK and Ireland are currently part of the EU single market and customs union, so products do not need to be inspected for customs and standards.

     

    By Caroline Calder Features News
  • 15 Mar
    Toxic metals – getting it straight

    Toxic metals – getting it straight

    The Juice Products Association (JPA) is calling on consumer reports to stop raising unnecessary alarm about levels of heavy metals in fruit juices and other foods and to base its recommendations on transparent, substantiated science.

    In response to the Consumer Reports article, “Arsenic and Lead are in Your Fruit Juice: What You Need to Know,” JPA stated, “The article needlessly and irresponsibly alarms consumers. There is no scientific evidence indicating that the presence of trace levels of heavy metals in juice has caused any negative health outcomes among individuals at any life stage.”

    The article claims that juice “may contain potentially harmful” levels of heavy metals. “Without any scientific basis for that claim, one could remove the word “juice” and insert any one of hundreds or thousands of foods people eat regularly as evidenced in the data published in the Total Diet Study issued by the US Food and Drug Administration,” said Patricia Faison, technical director, Juice Products Association.

    Consumer Reports’ analysis is not transparent. Its article advises consumers to limit juice consumption but does not disclose the actual levels of heavy metals found in the juices they tested. The Juice Products Association has requested the testing data from Consumer Reports for its own analysis and believes that consumers should also have access to the full testing data. Consumer Reports has declined to share this information.

    This media outlet is not a regulatory or scientific body, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The “risk assessment” information from Consumer Reports does not present a scientific assessment of risk to public health and does not appear to have been peer-reviewed, as is customary with scientific research. An assessment of health risk must be based on sound science and according to data recently collected by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Total Diet Study, there is no health risk from heavy metals in juices.

    “It is a fact that substances such as lead, arsenic and cadmium exist throughout the environment, and are absorbed by plants. Trace, harmless levels of these substances may exist in juice, and other foods,” said Ms. Faison. “Juice producers are very interested in reviewing sound science as a way to continuously improve our products and are committed to providing safe, high-quality, nutritious juice that meets or exceeds regulations established by the FDA for food safety. Companies conduct their own routine testing and are being innovative in their sourcing and production methods to further reduce levels. Consumers do not need to be concerned about the safety of juice.”

    Juice producers make safety a priority 365-days-a-year, and believe the concerns cited by Consumer Reports’ intermittent testing of selected products are unfounded. Consumers can be assured that juice is safe. Regardless of where the ingredients are sourced or where the juice is processed, all juice producers are required to manufacture products that comply with FDA regulations.

    The Juice Products Association is the trade association representing the fruit and juice products industry. www.sipsmarter.org.

     

    By Caroline Calder Features News
  • 16 Jan
    Fruit Juice shots gather pace

    Fruit Juice shots gather pace

    Diversifying could be make a big difference to fruit juice markets if the opportunity to follow the ‘probiotic’ high value shots have anything to go by. Shot-sized health-boosting juices are coming to the market.

    Consumers are increasingly interested in naturally-functional food and drinks. This increase in health consciousness, coupled with busy on-the-go lifestyles, has fueled innovation around smart, nutrient-rich snacking solutions. Tapping into this trend, health-promoting juice shots provide a quick, natural boost of nutrition in small to-go bottles. Though still niche, the share of juice shots in total juice launches in Europe has increased six-fold over the past four years, say Mintel.

    ‘Of all juices described as shots or

    boosters launched between

    October 2015 and September 2017

    in Europe, 39% were launched in Denmark’

    Nordic countries take a leading role in innovation

    Nordic countries, led by Denmark, are taking a prominent role in juice shot launch activity in Europe. Of all juices described as shots/boosters launched between October 2015 and September 2017 in Europe, 39% were launched in Denmark. Germany, Norway and Sweden follow with 13% of launches each. Repeatedly referred to as ‘the healthiest countries in the world’, Nordic countries put a strong focus on wholesome, nutrient-rich and naturally functional diets with brands like ‘Little Miracles’ juice shot series.  While in the UK interesting ‘garage’ brands like Moju drinks are calling the niche ‘performance shots’.

    Ginger dominates the scene in these products, but probiotic-rich ingredients are on the rise.

    Using concentrated doses of fruits, vegetables, plant extracts and herbs, juice shots are designed as a preventive measure to boost consumers’ overall wellbeing, but can also address specific health issues. These include boosting energy levels, supporting the immune system and digestive health, curing hangovers and relieving flu symptoms.

    Often combined with lemon juice, ginger is by far the leading ingredient in juice shot innovation. Dubbed a ‘wonder plant’, ginger has found its way into the diets of health-conscious individuals around the world, as it reportedly helps relieve pain and muscle soreness, lowers blood pressure and boosts the immune system. Meanwhile, fermentation is experiencing a revival in the food and drink sector, recognized for turning products into powerhouses of beneficial probiotics and friendly bacteria.  Probiotics are linked with better digestion, improved immunity, and a range of other health benefits, fitting in well with the concept of juice shots. Beyond traditional ‘superfood’ herbs and spices, juice shot brands can profit from embracing fermented, probiotic-rich ingredients.

    Sources: Mintel

    By Caroline Calder Features
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