The flavour makers ramping up their innovation capabilities

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Flavour will make or break a product, involving the senses of taste, smell and touch (mouthfeel). Pic: GettyImages
Flavour will make or break a product, involving the senses of taste, smell and touch (mouthfeel). Pic: GettyImages

Related tags Flavours Colours ofi Griffith Foods Univar Solutions Kalsec Sustainability Clean label natural herbs

ofi (olam food ingredients) has opened a herb processing facility in Egypt, culinary-centric Griffith Foods has renewed its contract as a Worldchefs Global Partner; and Univar Solutions and Kalsec have strengthened their collaboration in Europe.

Herbal hit from ofi

Parsley ofi
Pic: ofi

ofi - the world’s biggest producer of dried garlic and dried onions, as well as a global leader for chilies, pepper and tropical spices - has inaugurated a herb processing facility in Beni-Suef, Egypt to meet growing demand.

Demand for herbs is increasing worldwide, leading to annual growth of 6.44% (CAGR 2023-2028) in market size, driven by the consumer demand for clean label products that aren’t laden with artificial additives and preservatives.

Drying herbs concentrates their flavour, enabling manufacturers to add a flavour punch. Certain herbs offer a healthy alternative to sodium; in fact, oregano has been shown to reduce salt cravings. They also sport a long shelf life - making it suitable for both professional and home use.

According to Data Bridge Market Research, the dried herb market is forecast to clock in at $2.89bn by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 5.4% (2022-2029).

Egypt is one of the biggest markets for the processing, exporting and growing of herbs, with Upper Egypt providing the ideal growing conditions.

The new ofi facility is expected to process 3,000 metric tons of herbs every year - including basil, fennel, marjoram, parsley and dill - sourced directly from around 1,000 local farmers. The team will also work closely with ofi’s innovation centres around the globe to create optimal solutions for its international customer base.

“Herbs play an important role in contributing to food’s colour, fragrance and taste, and potentially as a flavour replacement to sodium and sugar,”​ said Brijesh Krishnaswamy, president for spices by ofi.

“With careful processing, dried herbs often retain a deeper, spicier flavour compared to their fresh counterparts, providing a convenient, shelf-stable ingredient for bulk buy. As such, choosing the right herbs - and where you acquire them from - is crucial in terms of retaining integrity and vibrancy.

“Our Egypt teams are focused on maintaining strong relationships with the farmers in our supply chain, advising on quality, while our innovation teams can demonstrate to our CPG, retailer and foodservice customers the savoury and culinary opportunities available, including in combination with our wider spices, nuts and dairy product portfolio.”

The new facility will operate under Dehydro Foods - a subsidiary of ofi - and will create 75 job opportunities.

It will also work towards ofi’s sustainability goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The company maintains oversight of all growing practices and operates world-class facilities to manufacture on trend sustainable ingredients.

Griffith Foods and Worldchefs

Griffith Foods' Custom Culinary team
Griffith Foods' Custom Culinary team

The global family-owned developer of customised ingredients has renewed its contract as a Worldchefs Global Partner.

Throughout its 70-year history, Custom Culinary - a business entity of Griffith Foods - has maintained a singular mission: to provide foodservice and food processing professionals with authentic flavour solutions.

Combining food science, technology and the culinary arts, its products are developed in collaboration with a team of award-winning chefs, who bring their expertise and taste influences to the table, along with a solid book of local providers of cleaner ingredients.

“Custom Culinary has been a natural partner for Worldchefs in their commitment to helping culinary professionals perfect the art of flavourful food with purpose,”​ said Ragnar Fridriksson, Worldchefs MD.

“Their support of Worldchefs’ Feed the Planet programmes, culinary competitions and their understanding of industry and consumer trends all reflect the dedication of their global team to building a better food future.”

Custom Culinary - along with its 104-year-old parent company - under understands its critical role in addressing food waste and sustainability and works across the food ecosystem to deliver on the company’s sustainability journey and commitments. Teams from both entities strive to support food developers weave culinary inspiration, nutrition and a sustainable mindset into each product.

Founded in 1919, Griffith Foods’s product capabilities range from seasonings and breading to marinades and sauces, blended to exacting specification that are culturally authentic, clean label and wholesome.

Europe to benefit from expanded partnership between Univar Solutions and Kalsec

Sunset over Kalsec's headquarters in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Univar BV - a subsidiary of ingredient and chemical specialist Univar Solutions - and natural ingredients provider Kalsec have expanded their distribution agreement to include France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The agreement builds on the duo’s existing relationship in the Nordics, the UK, Ireland, Colombia and Mexico and authorises Univar to exclusively distribute Kalsec’s natural taste & sensory colours and food protection ingredient solutions for savoury applications in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

“We started our journey with Kalsec in 2021 to bring our customers more taste, natural colour and antioxidant solutions across a broad range of specialty food applications,”​ said Kevin Hack, global VP of Food Ingredients for Univar.

“By offering a vast selection of Kalsec’s quality, natural ingredients to more customers in Europe, we’re helping to shape the future of food by providing innovative and sustainable solutions, recipe development, reach and distribution.”

Foodology by Univar Solutions are poised to help brands of all sizes with product development challenges, from ingredient innovation to recipe testing through its Solution Centres and test kitchens. Univar keeps track of market trends and is fully committed to sustainable practices and meeting its environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.

Added James Smith, VP and MD, Europe, Kalsec, “Growing our pan-European partnership with Univar Solutions enables us to leverage our joint technical and personnel support capabilities to provide additional customers with more natural and sustainable solutions and local expertise.

“We are pleased to work with a partner that shares our values in supply chain sourcing and helps support our purpose of unlocking the potential of people, nature, and science to nourish the world.”

Kalsec has been serving the manufacturing sector in Europe for over 27 years with ingredients derived from natural herbs, spices and vegetables, and translated into easy-to-use liquid extracts.

As a certified B Corp, Kalsec also makes ethical and sustainable decisions that serve customers, employees, communities and the environment.

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