Features

  • 14 Mar
    Essential oils

    Essential oils

    Breaking new ground in the analysis of juice with steam distillation

    The International Fruit and Vegetable Association held a series of Technical Webinars including a Quality webinar with Dr Eduard Wiedenbeck as a guest speaker

    Here we review the analysis of citrus fruit juices, particularly determining the quality of citrus essential oils according to their main constituent, D-Limonene.

    As 2021 was the FAO’s International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, it is inevitable to remind ourselves of the important role that citrus fruits play in maintaining our health. Oranges, lemons and grapefruits are rich in phytonutrients, a type of antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in our body and prevents many health issues.1 Nevertheless, both as consumers and as producers, we should take a closer look at the quality-related compounds that are present in citrus fruits, especially at D-Limonene, which is the main constituent of citrus essential oils. D-Limonene is mainly present in the peel of citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons, and is used by the plants as a natural insecticide protecting their nutrient-rich fruits from parasites. For us, the smell of D-Limonene is characteristic of a fresh orange scent which is not surprising considering that more than 90 % of the oil content of oranges is comprised of this compound. In our daily life, D-Limonene is used as a dietary supplement and as a fragrance ingredient for cosmetic products. Because of its refreshing scent, it is often used to mask the bitter taste of alkaloids and for all kinds of cosmetic products. And since D-Limonene is the main constituent of citrus essential oils which are found in the fruit peel, the compound is also present in fruit juice where it contributes to the flavour of the fruit. Due to heavily industrialized juice production with cold press extraction of oranges, it is unavoidable that this compound enters fruit juice in significant amounts.

    D-Limonene – beneficial or not?

    Although it appears to be safe and even positively accepted for most human-related uses, there may also be negative implications if D-Limonene is administered in higher concentrations. If this compound is applied to skin, it may cause irritation from contact dermatitis. This topical effect becomes even more significant when this compound is ingested at high concentrations with irritations in the throat as the consequence. Further studies show that the liver was identified as a critical target organ following oral administration of D-Limonene.2 But should we now stop consuming citrus fruits and their juice products?

    The answer is a comforting ‘no’. Thanks to responsible national authorities such as the European Fruit Juice Association (AIJN) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) which have set maximum levels that should not be exceeded, it is ensured that the consumer gets a taste of the highest quality of juice products. Thanks to these standards, D-Limonene is maintained at low enough concentrations to be harmless. How can one measure D-Limonene levels? An established method with steam distillation according to Scott and Veldhuis has proven its reliability since 1966.3 However, determining D-Limonene via manual steam distillation and subsequent titration analysis is usually tedious, slow and labour-intensive. Some quality control laboratories report that they need 20 minutes just to distil one single sample. Recently, efforts have been made to speed up the process by using a distillation unit with an integrated steam generator. As a result, the steam distillation time has decreased drastically from 20 minutes to 1 minute per sample! More details on these time savings can be found in BUCHI’s latest Application Note. In this case the juice industry should be on a viable way to facilitate a high throughput analysis that is still in line with the established method.

    1 Okwu, D.U.; Citrus fruits: A rich source of phytochemicals and their roles in human health, International Journal of Chemical Sciences 2008, 6(2), 451-471

    2 Lee B.M. et al.; Safety Evaluation And Risk Assessment Of d-Limonene, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health 2013, 16 (1), 17-38.

    3 Scott, W.C.; Veldhuis, M.K.; Rapid Estimation of Recoverable Oil in Citrus Juices by Bromate Titration, Journal of Association of Official Analytical Chemists 1966, 49 (3), 628–633.

     Dr Eduard Wiedenbeck is Product Manager for Kjeldahl Solutions at Büchi Labortechnik in Switzerland. He has presented this topic at the IFU Technical Webinars 2021. The webinar can be seen on-demand by clicking here.”

    https://ifu-fruitjuice.com/store/viewproduct.aspx?id=18465372

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 14 Mar
    Sugar reduction

    Sugar reduction

     

    We have the technology – the key to sweetness exists

    Tetra Pak provide some insight into their ground-breaking tech designed to keep our favourite beverages sweet and delicious, but less of the sugar

    There has been an abundance of attention around reduced sugar drinks, not least because of the much-discussed sugar tax. But juice trails its counterparts in this space.

    Tetra Pak, together with Sumol+Compal, has developed technology that can reduce the sugar content in juice to the exact requirements of the brand using a fermentation process. The fermented de-sugared juice is a true ‘clean label’ product with no additional ingredients.

    This innovative solution can reduce sugar in juice while maintaining its taste profile, colour, mouthfeel, and nutritional content. Using fermentation, it is possible to remove the sugar while keeping all the benefits of the juice, plus fermentation is trendy in the added value category. Indeed, almost a third of the USD1.5 billion invested in alternative proteins last year went towards companies using fermentation.

    According to recent research from Mintel, there is a thirst from consumers globally for this type of product. In Spain, 75% of juice consumers cited sugar as a reason for limiting the amount of juices & smoothies they drink. Meanwhile in China, 43% of juice consumers consider sugar content an important factor in choosing juice drinks. In the UK, 42% of juice buyers say that health benefits would encourage them to spend more on juice drinks.

    1. Can you explain, in layman’s terms, the kind of technology being used to reduce the sugar content in these juices?

    We are using fermentation, a natural biological process to remove sugar while retaining all the benefits of the juice. The secret lies in combining a unique yeast strain with the optimal process and design parameters so that all sugar is removed, and re-blended with standard juice to achieve the desired final product.

    1. How is this technology applied to achieve the desired effect?

    Step 1. Fermentation:

    • Complete sugar removal down to 0% is achieved with optimal process and design parameters in combination with a unique yeast strain which gives consistent product quality – no off flavors, nor increasing the natural acidity present in a fruit juice, thus keeping fruit juice flavour and fundamental nutritional value.
      • By products: the yeast that is added in fermentation tanks is removed in the clarifier
      • By products: the alcohol which is created during fermentation is removed in the de-alcoholisation unit

    Step 2. Clarifier:

    • Removes the yeast cells to stop fermentation process
    • Secure product quality (no rupturing of yeast cells, to avoid sensory impact, very low pulp / turbidity reduction)
    • The yeast size, shape and floculation behaviour, make it possible to remove the yeast while only a minor amount of juice pulp is removed, keeping the juice nutritional and maintaining its sensorial profile
    • The process design does not break the yeast cell walls, meaning that there is no release of off flavour (yeasty) compounds into the juice

    Step 3. De-alcoholisation unit

    • Removing alcohol in a gentle way while keeping juice taste and aromas
    • The quantity is completely controlled
    • The product after the de-alcoholisation unit: a valuable ingredient of 0% desugared juice

    Step 4. Product formulation:

    • The final sugar level in the product is controlled by blending the 0% desugared juice with 100% juice in a normal juice line after the fermentation process
    • With this production line solution, we are able to keep the number of ingredients to a minimum, while maintaining good taste, colour, mouthfeel as well as nutritional content
    1. Were there any R&D challenges? How were these overcome?

    Some of the challenges faced when trying to find a refined process to produce de-sugarised juice included:

    • Watering down and adding low-calorie sweeteners meant that there would be a lower juice content and no increased nutritional density
    • Removing sugars using filtration technologies didn’t achieve the desired sensory result – it resulted in changes to the juice matrix and impacted nutritional value
    • Enzymatic conversion of sugars to a by-product had some impact on sensory result and may not be perceived as a natural process
    • Multiple yeast strains had to be tested to find the optimal solution
    1. Can you tell me more about the fermentation process? What method does your company use to achieve your desired result?

    We decided to use fermentation as it is a natural biological process that can remove sugar while maintaining the taste profile, colour, mouthfeel and nutritional content.

    First, the yeast is added to the juice. Once this has been done, the yeast is then removed by a clarifier, before the alcohol is then removed in a de-alcoholisation unit. This produces the de-sugarised juice and there is then the possibility to re-blend this 0% sugar juice with 100% juice to achieve the desired product, such as 50% sugar juice.

    The specific yeast strain used was selected after screening dozens of strains, and is used in various traditionally fermented foods such as wine or cider.

    1. Can you tell me anything about the patents on this technology? Once the word gets out, how do you foresee other companies making use of this kind of technology? Or is that not possible?

    This technology solution is similar to our revolutionised JNSD line that Tetra Pak launched last year, which was a new combination of existing technology (UV + filter). As such, the de-sugarised juice method is a combination of existing technologies, albeit in a new and unique way.

    Due to the fact that these technologies are already in use, it is not possible to patent. However, in order to achieve the desired quality and benefit from the expert knowledge developed during trials, customers need to combine equipment from Tetra Pak with the unique yeast strain from Sumol + Compal.

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 13 Jan
    Packaging – Welcome to the solution to cost and carbon reduction

    Packaging – Welcome to the solution to cost and carbon reduction

     

    Return Logistics – don’t waste valuable materials and don’t waste cost, say Octobox

    With our world changing rapidly, we are having to evolve constantly. Pivoting from our original goals to meet the demands or expectations of our supply chain or the end consumers. This is what makes the Juice Industry so exciting. Things change in commodities – potentially on a daily basis and today this also accounts for how efficient we manage our supply chain.

    Historically the juice industry was born into steel drums, a very robust packaging which was required to ship the cargo in open hatch reefer vessels. With the introduction of reefer containers this type of packaging was no longer required, but nevertheless not changed by most industries, as the steel drum had evolved to an industrial standard. The supply chain had adapted to this type of packaging from filling, to handling, to tipping as well as recipes for blending were based on 200L units.

    Things change; It is no longer necessary to accept the cost of steel drums, which have doubled or tripled in price depending on your location, it is not economic to accept the high tara weight or their very high carbon footprint. All of this for a one-way packaging? These facts can be difficult to explain to consumers, hence why more and more Juice Industries are changing to returnable packaging with the aim to reduce both their cost and their carbon footprint.

    So, how does this work?

    Simple, the packaging has to fold that well, that when its empty you can carry say 400 empty units in one 40” container, but when full only 20 units are used to ship to your destination. The ratio is 20 to 1 in this example. This reduces the cost of returning each unit to five-to-ten dollars per trip. Can you buy this new packaging material at the same cost of the return? The answer is ‘no’, this is how you save cost.

    You have saved the cost of buying new packaging and continue to do so with every trip you make. You also saved carbon emission – at NO cost, to the contrary you can now certify your carbon reduction and sell it or even advertise it to your customer as a benefit.

    No matter what you produce be it concentrate, NFC, puree or pulps, determine which market you have not been able to reach, because your logistic cost including the packaging are too high and Change the cost.

    We were asked to write about return logistics options for the juice industry and of course we would like to promote our own product the Octobox, but more important is that you keep your industry cost to a minimum and help us all to reduce carbon emission – especially where the alternative is so easily available.

    There are quite a few solutions for returnable packing material on the market, please take your time and find the solution best suitable for you. If we at Walton Industrial Containers can be of help or assistance, please contact us and we will help you find a solution for your specific product and destination.

    Or visit us at www.octobox.co.uk – we want to hear from you.

    Walton Industrial Container/Octobox

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 13 Jan
    Lemon Juice – Quality aspects of Argentinian lemon juice

    Lemon Juice – Quality aspects of Argentinian lemon juice

     

    Lemon fruit is a rich source of nutrients, including flavonoids, citric acid, vitamin C and minerals (e.g. potassium), which provide numerous health promoting properties. Dr Soraya Bellini, Head of Food Chemistry at CIATI in Argentina, discusses.

    Argentina

    Lemon production is limited to a small number of countries and regions because of the plant’s extreme sensitivity to low temperatures. Argentina is one of the southernmost countries around the world, with tropical weather in the North and produces around 3,542,000 tonnes of fresh citrus fruits annually. Of the 364,800 tonnes exported in 2020, 68% corresponds to lemon, 22.5% to orange, 9.2% to mandarin and 0.2% to grapefruit. Argentina is the second exporter of lemons and it is the first exporter of concentrated lemon juice and essential oils.

    Argentinian lemon industries are integrated companies so they have control throughout the entire production chain. 70% of fruit production goes to by-product production, such as concentrated juice, essential oils and dry peel or pectins. Nowadays, the industries are producing Not From Concentrate Juice (NFC), obtained by simple fruit squeezing and a mild pasteurization.

    All these products are obtained from first quality fruit and they are commercialized in internal and external markets.  Most companies work under a GSFI (Global Food Safety Initiative) or another quality system and most of them work with SGF (Sure Global Fair), which is a voluntary control system.

    The levels of different compounds vary in juices prepared from different lemon cultivars, maturity stage, growing region, cultural practice, storage conditions of fruits, extraction procedure and thermal treatment of juice. The Argentinian lemon juice has distinctive chemicals characteristics with respect to lemon juice in the rest of the world such as: colour, flavour, pulp ratio and soluble solids/acidity ratio, presenting advantages in the international market.

    Quality controlled

    Regarding the parameters that characterizes the absolute quality requirements such as environmental, hygienic and industrial requirements are all inside the range of values established in the reference guideline (AIJN, 2019) and lemon juice from Argentina presents high concentration of vitamin C, which is another valuable quality characteristic in this product.

    Characteristics

    Concentrated lemon juice from Argentina does not contain heavy metal elements such as arsenic (As), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), Tin (Sn) and mercury (Hg).  The industry is evaluating these pollutants including nickel (Ni). The results in more than 1700 analysis, are below the limit of quantification in As, Cd, Sn and Hg (Table 1). Only 1% of samples have resulted positive in Pb, but the values are within the AIJN range.

    Table 1: Limits of quantification of heavy metals on concentrated lemon juice.

    Heavy metals LoQ (Limit of Quantification)
    Arsenic 10 µg/kg
    Cadmium 6 µg/kg
    Lead 10 µg/kg
    Mercury 10 µg/kg
    Tin 1 mg/kg

    5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) is not present in direct fruit juice, but it is naturally generated during heating or storage processes in the Maillard reaction as well as sugar caramelization and degradation. Therefore, 5-HMF can be used as an indicator of thermal abuse and prolonged or improper storage. In all lemon juice samples tested, concentration of 5-HMF was much lower than 1 mg/l. The maximum value allowed is 20 mg/l (AIJN, 2019).

    With respect to the evaluation of identity and authenticity, when comparing the results of Argentinian lemon juice with AIJN parameters, we can see other characteristics that differentiate it from other countries juices.

     

    The organic acid composition is one of these parameters, for example:

    • L-malic acid values are usually in the upper part of the AIJN range and 60% of results are above 4 g/l.
    • D-Isocitric acid has different values with respect to lemons of tropical weather. The Argentine results are near the minimum of AIJN´s range (average value 285 mg/l), while South Africa has a maximum value of 350 mg/l. These low values make the ratio citric acid/d-isocitric acid high. Although the average of ratio citric/isocitric acid is within AIJN´s value, more than 20 % of samples are above maximum AIJN value. Argentine authentic juice can present values up to 240.

    On the other hand, sugar composition is another parameter that is different. The average values are shows in the Table 2. Although all sugars are within AIJN´s ranges, the average in Argentine juice is below the international average. The level of sucrose is lower when it is compared with Mediterranean juice.  This is due to the weather conditions in the area, having wide temperature ranges.

    Table 2: Sugar content in Argentine lemon juice at 8 °Bx.

    Sugars Level in juice
    Sucrose (g/l) 2.1 ± 0.8
    Glucose (g/l) 5.5 ±1.2
    Fructose (g/l) 5.1 ± 1.1
    Glu/fru 0.94 – 1.3
    Sugar free extract (g/l) 65 -78

     

    Formol Number (also known as formol index) is another parameter of the Argentine fruit juice which is lower than AIJN ranges for the different kinds of juice, and the lemon is not the exception where the average value in Argentina juice is in the minimum of the AIJN range (AIJN, 2019). Although the Formol Number value is low, the amino acids values are within the range. The Table 3 shows the comparison, and some of them are below the range average. We can also observe that Lysine is the amino acid which presents more variability between seasons.

    Table 3: Aminoacids content in Argentine lemon juice at 8 °Bx.

    AMINO ACIDS AVERAGE (mg/l) AIJN RANGE (mg/l
    Aspartic acid 477 300 – 800
    Glutamic acid 192 160 – 400
    Threonine 14 10 – 30
    Asparagine 406 130 – 600
    Glycine 10    7 – 25
    Valine 14     8 – 35
    Proline 267  100 – 800
    Isoleucine 9.7 3 – 10
    Leucine 5.4  3 – 10
    Lysine 5.3  5 – 10
    Phenilalanine 14.7  8 – 40

     

    Conclusion

    This article summarizes the different characteristics present in genuine lemon juice from Argentina, as a conclusion, lemon juice from Argentina is within the ranges established by AIJN for certain parameters, however some of them are in one extreme of the range. It also presents some distinctive characteristics that differentiates it from other countries juices. Argentina lemon juice industries work on their self-quality control to guarantee the commercialization of its products, being Argentina one of the leading countries in the production of concentrated lemon juice.

    References

    http://www.alimentosargentinos.gob.ar/HomeAlimentos/Cadenas%20de%20Valor%20de%20Alimentos%20y%20Bebidas/informes/LIMON_Resumen_Cadena_Septiembre_2019.

    AIJN (Association of the Industry of Juices and Nectars of the European Union) (2019). Code of practice for evaluation of fruit and vegetable juices 6.6. Reference guideline for lemon juice – Revised September 2019.

    Dr Soraya Bellini is Head of Food Chemistry at CIATI in Argentina. She has presented this topic at the IFU Technical Webinars 2021. The webinar can be seen on-demand by clicking here.”

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 09 Nov
    Functional juice trends

    Functional juice trends

     

    Attributes for a Healthy Life

    Sudipta Bhattacharjee, Research Analyst with Zenith Global, defines functional juices as those providing a health benefit beyond their basic nutrition content, incorporating physiologically active added components.

    The functional juice market has been growing steadily year on year, with the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating further growth. The pandemic has changed consumers’ attitudes towards health and immunity, as well as focusing on the health benefits of ingredients in products they are consuming. Although the aspect of ‘functional’ juices might have been a trend in previous years, experts expect that this will continue well into the future. The concept of a healthy life with a key focus on immunity has been brought to the forefront throughout the pandemic.

    Target market

    Young people and parents are often the target market for many functional juice companies. Amongst younger consumers, functional juice provides innovative flavours making a great addition to a busy lifestyle. However, in future years, strong marketing and sales campaigns are needed to appeal to all demographics so that a wider consumer base can reap the benefits of functional juice and lead healthier lifestyles.

    Research indicates over 75% of adults consume vitamins and minerals in supplement form. However, functional juice provides consumers with an easier way to consume their daily vitamins and mineral intake. Additionally, functional juice is suited for on-the-go consumption, particularly amongst young professionals. During 2020, on the go consumption considerably reduced as consumers took up working or studying from home. As there has been a greater onus on a hybrid work lifestyle in 2021, on the go consumption is expected to steadily rise post-pandemic, benefiting the functional juice segment.

    Innovation

    Functional juice shots have been increasing in popularity for on-the-go consumers. In the past, these typically 50ml to 100ml sized shots would be sold in specialist cafes and juice bars. However, there has been an expansion of functional juice shots into the retail sector. This has been driven even further by the pandemic as the majority of restaurants and cafes were closed. Alongside retail growth, higher demand has risen for online delivery services such as those offered by US-based company Uncle Matt’s Organic who produce functional juice shots containing live probiotics and vitamins C, D, and zinc. Supermarkets such as Wholefoods in the US and Sainsburys in the UK have also been widening its offerings of functional juice shots in stores, highlighting retail expansion into this growing category.

    Trends

    Other trends in this market include no additives and no added sugar in functional juices but consumers are now requiring more from juices. This includes juices with enhanced functionalities such as vitamins C, D, and zinc which has all been proven to strengthen immune systems, as well as reducing symptoms of fatigue. Pairing this alongside natural immunity-boosting ingredients such as ginger also coordinates well with a healthy lifestyle. In Western countries, there is a trend of incorporating ingredients traditionally found in Eastern countries such as ginger, turmeric, and ginseng in functional juices. For example, Suja Juice in the US, offer immunity juice shots all containing probiotics and ranging from turmeric, reishi mushroom and ginger flavours. In the UK, Plenish offers a lemon and ginger variant containing vitamins A and C for a healthier immune system.

    Countries within the Asia-Pacific region such as Japan and Australia continue to lead the way for immunity boosting functional juices. Asian giant POKKA offer juice made with vegetables such as its carrot juice enriched with antioxidants as well as vitamins C and E available in the Singaporean market. Australia’s Bae Juice created a hangover juice containing Korean pear which helps to absorb alcohol, reducing symptoms such as headaches and sore throats.

    Experimenting with both vitamins, minerals and natural immunity boosting ingredients in functional juice not only improves physical health but also has a positive impact on mental health. Research suggests regular amounts of magnesium, zinc and iron in consumers’ diets has been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce symptoms of stress. Functional juices allow for a broader healthier lifestyle encompassing both mental and physical wellness. For example, market leader PepsiCo’s Tropicana updated its functional juice range in late 2020. Available in the UK, the Tropicana + range contains added vitamins C, B6 and magnesium and are more clearly labelled to make it easier for consumers to understand the benefits of each drink in the range.

    Benefits

    Whilst incorporating several different ingredients certainly has increased benefits, functional juice does not require a multitude of ingredients for it to be beneficial. New Zealand based brand ’73 Citrus proves this as the company launched a sparkling orange juice with liposomal vitamin C in 2021 which helps to increase absorption and increase immunity.

    Functional juice has solidified its position in the market, as a core component in consumers’ day to day lives and has proven to be a popular option within the soft beverages’ category. Functional juice is a key attribute for a healthy lifestyle and an integral aspect of a stronger body and mind.

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 09 Nov
    Botanicals – bringing an authentic taste to beverages

    Botanicals – bringing an authentic taste to beverages

    Consumer interest in botanicals is growing and can help your brand stand out on the shelves, writes Michel Aubanel from Kerry.

    Consumers who want clean label and sustainable ingredients are attracted to products that contain botanicals. This is especially true in beverages, where botanical flavours add a refreshing and natural ‘pop’ to taste. The use of botanical ingredients such as sage leaf and rose bud is also growing in categories including bakery, dairy and confectionery.

    BOX: The interest in using botanical ingredients in food and beverages is on the rise worldwide, with regions including Asia Pacific, North America and Europe leading the way. The global botanical extracts market—which includes all uses for botanicals—is projected to reach USD 7.59b by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 8.7% between 2017 to 2025, according to Market Watch. The market for foods and beverages that contain botanicals is projected to be valued at USD 1,489.3b by 2025, growing at a CAGR of around 3.2% between 2019 and 2025, according to Zion Research.

    In food and beverages, consumers tend to consider botanicals ‘premium’ ingredients. Local palates and availability dictate which botanicals are most popular. In this article, I explain why the use of botanical ingredients in food and beverages is growing, focusing on botanical taste, ease of use and perceived health benefits.

    What are botanical ingredients?
    When you transform raw material such as basil leaves, chamomile flower or cardamom seeds from their native format to a liquid format, you create a botanical extract. In food and beverage, botanical ingredients have a concentrated taste and a longer shelf life than fresh ingredients, which makes them especially appropriate for use in such products.

    What are the advantages of working with botanical extracts in food?
    Botanical extracts bring an authentic taste because they are derived directly from plants, usually from the leaves, flowers or fruits. Some botanical extracts are obtained from frozen raw materials while others from dried; the state of the source material can change the flavour intensity. Typically, frozen materials produce a more authentic and distinctive taste than dried ones.

    In addition to the previously mentioned botanical ingredients, other well-known or popular botanicals include mint, ginger, hibiscus, rhubarb, and various roots. Kerry’s taste portfolio includes individual botanical extracts as well as botanical blends, such as those made from elderflower, rose bud, chamomile, white tea, ginger, cinnamon, clove and cumin. Some customers even approach to us with a creative brief that includes specifications such as “provide a botanical extract that delivers the sensation of the seashore, from the salty water to the native plants.” The resulting formulations can provide enhanced taste complexity to products ranging from waters to spirits to wafers.

    Are botanicals sustainable?
    Because botanicals are natural, brands that include them in food and beverage products may choose to highlight their sustainability stories. For example, our botanical extracts such as vanilla and citrus have transparent sourcing and supply chain; some of our partners choose to make this information available to consumers through on-pack callouts and social media messaging. Some botanicals also feature recognizable certifications such as organic or Rainforest alliance certified, which brands may also showcase in their products. Some are sourced through local cooperatives in various regions, allowing farmers to remain based in their locality and avoid delocalisation to cities.
    Why do consumers buy beverages and food products containing botanicals?
    While botanicals add an authentic taste to products, many also come with perceived health benefits.

    For centuries, plant botanicals have often been associated with traditional medicine, aromatherapy and herbal infusions. Extracts such as ginseng have associations with energy, immune health and stress management.

    Kerry’s European study on botanicals revealed that while 95% of European consumers have heard of botanicals and 83% believe botanicals offer health benefits, only 11% believe they truly understand all the benefits of botanical ingredients. This makes clear that there is a need for education around botanicals, including how they might benefit a person’s health.

    Botanicals requires careful wording and regulatory review to ensure phrasing is allowed and appropriate. We’ve seen some effective campaigns that speak to the customary uses of botanicals by native people. This can convey tradition without being subject to scientific scrutiny.

    Botanicals and emotions

    New consumer research from Kerry also revealed that botanical extracts generate several moods and emotions with consumers including energy, excitement, peacefulness and fun.  The research, which uncovers the psychology behind botanical preferences and the perceived benefits consumers derive from consuming botanical food and beverages, examined 44 emotions that consumers associate with botanical extracts. Kerry surveyed over 6,500 consumers across 12 countries in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa to discover attitudes towards over 55 botanicals flavours and ingredients.

    The research shows that botanical flavours connect with consumers on a highly positive level, beyond flavour and taste. Consumers also think about botanicals as being energetic, interesting, useful, trustworthy and safe. For example, a beverage with guarana, ginseng and ginger can carry a similar connotation of ‘energy’ as a coffee or energy drink would to the consumer. Meanwhile, ingredients such as saffron, bergamot and honey are considered premium.

    Innovation

    In a very highly competitive marketplace, brands are constantly attempting to stand out and interestingly 87% of consumers say that botanicals provide a unique taste experience. Meanwhile, according to Innova research, the use of botanicals on front of pack will result in a 23% price premium. Formulating with botanicals can certainly win consumer hearts, especially by using top appealing flavours such as mint, honey and cinnamon. Manufacturers should emphasize the link between botanical flavour, their corresponding emotions and perceived health benefits they evoke to create flavours that meet consumers’ daypart and occasion needs. These insights can be leveraged to connect with consumers to deliver a stronger taste experience in food and beverages and support product development.

    A longer version of this article was previously published on the KerryDigest. Visit www.kerry.com/insights/kerrydigest for more insights from industry leaders.

     

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 11 Sep
    FCOJ – Outlook – Jack Scoville’s latest report

    FCOJ – Outlook – Jack Scoville’s latest report

    FCOJ Autumn report

    Price action in FCOJ has been generally positive with higher prices seen over the last couple of months.  It is mostly a weather related rally, with damage to fruit being seen in exporter countries around the world.   Conditions have generally been good in Florida for harvest and fruit development, but that is about the only place where generally good conditions are reported.  The market is on edge even with the good current conditions as the state is in the hurricane season and the season is approaching its peak.  Florida has been lucky so far.  It has avoided the storms that have moved into the Gulf.  People and agriculture farther west in the Louisiana area have not been nearly as fortunate as there has been widespread damage there.  But Florida has gotten by and has just been brushed by a minor system that brought a decent amount of rain, but no big winds and not really all that much heavy rain to citrus groves.  The season will soon reach its peak and then the chances for a deadly and damaging storm will be much less.

    Brazil has not been so lucky with the weather.  The country suffered from a freeze event that hurt many crops.  Coffee was damaged as were winter grains crops like the winter corn and winter wheat.  Citrus was also severely damaged and a lot of fruit loss is suspected.     The damage to the citrus crop is big news for international buyers.  Brazil is the largest exporter of FCOJ in the world so the big loss of oranges will hurt its international trade and will raise prices generally around the globe.  Europe will be very hard hit as Europe has imported a lot from Brazil over the last several years but might not be able to get as much juice and will be paying higher prices for the juice it does get as the year moves on.  Brazil has also been an exporter to the US so prices will be creeping higher there as well.

    Florida can supply wheat missing from imports from Brazil, but will also have to service the European demand so demand for FCOJ from Florida could be very high and prices might go too high for the US market.  People here and in Europe might turn more to vitamins to cover the losses in the FCOJ market supply.

    Mexico would be able to help offset the losses from Brazil but the country has had weather problems of its own.  Northern growing areas have been in drought this year and production has suffered.  Central and southern Mexico are in generally good condition but the drought in the north has cut the overall production back at least a little bit.  This will impact Mexico’s ability to export at a time when everyone will be looking for FCOJ.  So, the outlook for higher prices remains intact for now and New York futures traders will be looking to extend buying in the market on any price setbacks.

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 11 Sep
    Protein-enriched juice drinks – the next big beverage trend?

    Protein-enriched juice drinks – the next big beverage trend?

    Protein

    What if you could give consumers the same, refreshing experience of a morning glass of juice while also helping them squeeze in the many health benefits of protein, too? Here Joe Katterfield, Sales Development Manager, Health & Performance Nutrition at Arla Foods Ingredients, explains why protein and juice are perfect partners.

     

    ‘Kitchen Medicine’ and the rise of functional beverages

    Arla Foods Ingredients recently worked with Health Focus International on a global consumer study to identify the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the way we eat and shop for health. One of the trends it highlighted was ‘kitchen medicine’ – a heightened interest in nutrition and an increased willingness to pay a premium for functional health through diet.

    The proportion of people globally opting for foods and beverages that provide protective, preventative health benefits grew to 17% by October 2020, up from 12% at the start of the year, while those choosing products for specific medicinal purposes grew from 9% to 12% over the same period. The number of people taking vitamins, minerals and supplements once a week or more for general health also grew, from 45% to 62%. The study also found that consumers are willing to pay up to 10% more for foods and beverages which provide immunity benefits.[1]

    Among the categories to benefit from this trend are fortified and functional beverages, the global market for which is forecast to grow to USD 125 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 5.1%.[2]

    The mainstreaming of protein

    While the past year and a half has of course seen surging demand for immune health benefits, over the longer term, there has been another big nutrition story. Protein-fortified products used to be primarily the concern of the sports nutrition sector, but have gone on to achieve huge popularity with mainstream consumers. This has happened for several reasons – a growing body of scientific evidence for protein’s health benefits (in areas like satiety, weight loss and muscle growth), positive media coverage, and high-protein diets like keto and paleo.

    The focus on consuming the right amount of protein has never been higher and consumers are now used to seeing high-protein versions of their favourite products. This includes the beverage category, where high-protein and source of protein claims increased by 8.6% between 2015 and 2020.[3]

    Protein – reinforcing juice’s feel-good reputation

    Juices of course have a traditional association with wellness. They can be an ideal way to replenish the body’s sugar reserves, while delivering vitamins, minerals and the many other healthy ingredients in fruit and vegetables.

    However, media headlines about the effects of excessive consumption on dental health and diabetes risk have increased consumer caution around high-sugar choices, leaving manufacturers looking for new ways to keep juice’s feel-good reputation alive and well. This is creating new demand for innovative functional beverages, and protein-enriched juice drinks represent a particularly exciting opportunity in the sector. Like juices, protein has a powerful association with health, and unlike some beverage ingredients, it doesn’t set alarm bells ringing – in fact it’s likely to increase appeal.

    Overcoming issues with taste and mouthfeel

    The demand for high-protein products more mainstream consumer groups has increased the importance of delivering great taste and mouthfeel.  As a result, lot of our R&D is now focused on helping manufacturers overcome common challenges relating to the taste, texture and mouthfeel of protein, which can limit its commercial appeal.

    One of our solutions in particular is the perfect way to bring the benefits of protein to juice drinks. Lacprodan ISO.Clear is a whey protein isolate developed for the fortification of functional beverages without cloudiness, graininess or off-taste. It has a protein content of 90%, offers high heat stability and is clear in solution, making it suitable for pasteurized or UHT processed juice drinks.

    To showcase its potential, we recently launched a new protein-enriched juice drink concept. It shows how manufacturers can use Lacprodan ISO.Clear to deliver the benefits of whey protein isolate in a refreshing, great-tasting juice drink format with no added sugar. It demonstrates how juice drinks fortified with Lacprodan ISO.Clear can be positioned for a variety of markets, for example as a breakfast offering, a post-workout recovery drink, or a beverage for older consumers and medical patients who need extra protein.

    Juices containing Lacprodan ISO. Clear taste exactly the way juice drinks should, but with the benefit of high-quality, natural whey protein isolate. It’s also easy to add to existing recipes and works well with almost all juice types, including clear juice drinks. We’ve thoroughly tested these combinations with the commonly used production equipment and parameters used for juice manufacturing to ensure easy implementation into production set-up. Furthermore, the addition of protein to juice drinks can be further enhanced with other health-promoting ingredients such as vitamins, minerals and probiotics.

    A new spin on an established favourite

    In short, protein can be the perfect way to polish the health halo of juice drinks. It’s also a great strategy for differentiating products, especially in a market where novel functional benefits are increasingly sought by health-conscious consumers. And with ingredients like Lacprodan ISO.Clear it’s now possible to put a new spin on an established consumer favourite without compromising on taste.

    Arla Foods

    [1] Covid-19 data was collected by Health Focus International in October 2020 with approximately 500 respondents per country. The study covered USA, Brazil, China, UK, Spain and Germany.

    [2] Euromonitor International, 2020

    [3] Innova Database, 2020

    By Caroline Calder Features
  • 11 Sep
    Sugar reduction – Embracing the challenges

    Sugar reduction – Embracing the challenges

    Today’s consumers want a life that is healthier for themselves and the environment, and this journey often starts with food and beverages. Coralie Garcia Perrin, Global Marketing Director-Sweet Taste, Kerry reports for FJF

    According to Kerry’s ConsumerFirst research, 87% of consumers are trying to reduce their sugar consumption or consumer sugar in moderation. They are increasingly seeking products with reduced sugar and healthier credentials, challenging manufacturers to respond to demands without sacrificing the tastes consumers have come to love. The pandemic has accelerated this shift in consumer behaviour, with evidence that co-morbidities such as obesity and diabetes can lead to more severe COVID-19 outcomes.

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines recommend that for the prevention of obesity and tooth decay, adults and children alike must keep their consumption of free sugars to less than 10%of their daily energy intake (equivalent to about a dozen teaspoons of table sugar for adults).

    Taxation to lower sugar

    Meanwhile, some 50 countries or jurisdictions have implemented taxes on sugary drinks to discourage consumption and fight diseases that can be exacerbated by poor diets. Among the latest places to turn to taxation as a means of encouraging healthy habits and fighting obesity-related illness are Spain and Poland, which introduced new sugar taxes in January of 2021.

    Most consumers know that excess sugar intake negatively affects personal and public health. However, an increasing number are becoming aware of the negative environmental impact of sugar. Over 1,000 litres of water are needed to produce 1kg of sugar from sugarcane, emitting -042kg of C02. According to new research from Kerry, 49% of consumers are now considering sustainability when buying food and drink, and 62% want companies to take a position on sustainability.

    Taste challenges

    The creation of low-sugar beverages comes with taste challenges, with consumers demanding that products retain the flavour that they love. It is important for manufactures to get flavour right in order to ensure repeat purchase and foster brand loyalty. Issues around poor mouthfeel, lack of sweetness sensation and increased perceptions of acidity can also impact on the enjoyment of a product.

    Manufacturers can employ a number of solutions to tackle these problems, including the use of natural flavour systems and masking systems to increasing the perception of sweetness through flavour tonalities. Kerry’s Tastesense™ is a natural flavour solution that modifies the sweetness and flavour profile, providing for great taste in sugar-reduced beverages, enabling consumers to enjoy the pleasing taste and mouthfeel delivered by sugar, yet without the negative labelling impact. A recent life cycle analysis (LCA) carried out by Kerry showed that our Tastesense solution delivered a 30% reduction in sugar, saving 840 litres of water per 1kg.

    Appetite for change

    Consumers are actively embracing sugar reduction as a key component of improved nutrition. The global beverage and food industry are making enormous progress in reducing sugar in various products, and these measures are delivering more wholesome products to consumers. However, solutions must also consider the environment – this will help us achieve our goals around health and sustainability together.

     

     

    By Caroline Calder Features
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