Ingredion targets health, reduced salt and sugar, enhanced protein and plant power

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Ingredion Ingredients plant based Snacks reduced sodium Fat Sugar reformulation HFSS SNACKEX

Back after the COVID hiatus, Ingredion took advantage of the highly on-point and in-person Snackex 2022 – organised by the European Snacks Association in Hamburg, Germany, at the beginning of July – to showcase its solutions to help producers stay ahead of the curve.

BakeryandSnacks caught up with Tanya DeCastro, technical account manager of Bakery, Snacks and Confectionery, to find out how the company can help produces in today's challenge-packed environment.

DeCastro said Snackex had always been on the company’s radar, and presented an opportunity to showcase its realigned portfolio that zeros in on taste, texture, nutrition.

Post-COVID climate

“We need to show our peers and, and also tech producers, what we could do for them,”​ she said.

“I think the pandemic has changed everybody completely and [we’re reducing] the number of regular meals we're eating [in favour of] snacking opportunities. I think today consumers will snack two or three times a day, whereas in previous times, it may have been like in elevens or an afternoon tea type snack.”

Janin Zippel, strategic marketing manager of Bakery, Snacks and Confectionary, EMEA, added, “EMEA is the largest snack market globally and is predicted to achieve 6% annual growth between 2021 and 2026 [according to Euromonitor].

“Coupled with a growing consumer appetite for healthier snacks with as many as 50% of European consumers looking for healthier snacks all or most of the time [Mintel] in the current post-Covid climate, this presents a significant opportunity for snacks manufacturers to tap into this developing market.”

Aligned to the growing consumer demand for more discerning snacks, the company showcased its latest ingredient innovations to help producers develop low sugar, low salt, protein enriched and high fibre snacks that deliver the same eating experience as traditional snacks.

Such as its Vitessence Pulse proteins and Homecraft Pulse flours, and its Hi-Maize 260 resistant starch, which enhances the nutritional profile of treats like crackers.

Ingredion’s Erysta is a polyol produced by fermentation, which supports functional build back and sweetness, enabling manufacturers to create reduced sugar products. Its natural flavour modifier NSF-13 improves targeted flavour tonalities, notably brown notes, while reducing potential bitterness, while its Precisa Crisp texturisers – based on corn, tapioca, potato and sago starches – enables formulators to create customised textures in sheeted snacks.

Becoming more agile

“We are looking further ahead to solving these challenges and becoming more agile on how we respond,”​ said DeCastro.

“We’ve also got lot experience in how to rebalance [snacks] nutritionally. For example, if you take sugar from a product, you can potentially change the colour or the way in which flavour is released. We are skilled in how to rebuild some of those missing elements that that may occur. It’s looking at visual appearance, textual appearance and shelf life: they all go hand in hand.”

We delve into this subject and many others in our video interview of DeCastro.

Ingredion Incorporated turns grains, fruits, vegetables and other plant-based materials into value-added ingredient solutions for the food, beverage, animal nutrition, brewing and industrial markets. The Chicago-headquartered company serves customers in more than 120 countries and brought in 2021 annual net sales of nearly $7bn.

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