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Ingredia takes chia to natural-focused China

By Kacey Culliney from Geneva , 28-Jun-2012

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China’s trend towards natural ingredients with health benefits should ensure the success of Ingredia’s chia product for bakery, the firm has said.

The French ingredient firm’s chia product, Benexia, is rich in omega-3 and comes in seed form, oil and powder.

FoodNavigator-Asia spoke to Thierry Foucher, managing director for Asia Pacific at Ingredia, about targeting the China’s functional bakery market.

Foucher said that Chinese consumption habits are changing with Western preferences merging with local tastes, and within the bakery sector this is driving a lot of innovation.

“In China everything that you eat has always a meaning regarding the health,” he said.

“They have very strong feelings to using natural ingredients,” he noted, particularly in light of food safety concerns.

Native to Latin America, chia is an ancient seed that has been rediscovered but is still new to the Chinese market, according to Foucher.

Ingredia is dedicated to marketing this product to China and the wider Asian region but he said China will be the biggest market.

However regulations need to be considered, particularly as Benexia comes in different forms – such as the seed itself and powders.

The firm has a base in Singapore which will ease any regulatory hurdles but it is also reliant on the knowledge of its distributors and local partners.

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