Speaking to NutraIngredients-LATAM, Amandine De Santi, Customer Marketing Manager, EMEA, Naturex, talks us through industry demands for nutritious plant-based, takeaway choices.
Naturex, which is now part of Givaudan, after the Swiss flavor manufacturer completed the acquisition of Naturex in September 2018, is turning its attention to plant-based nutrition that provides consumers with healthy eating options, on-the-go.
Healthy, wholesome and convenient
In 2018 and 2017, food and beverage launches tracked with an on-the-go labeling claim increased by 23%, Innova stated. Naturex has launched its ultimine iron wholefood fermented mineral to satisfy these calls and give consumers 15% of their recommended daily value of iron.
Nutritional food choices that reflect a balanced diet and mindful eating trends are on the rise. As are growing plant-based options for vegan, vegetarian and increasingly popular flexitarian diets. Arguably, however, the marriage between healthy eating and convenient takeaways has remained niche and non-mainstream.
Authenticity, wholesome and healthy takeaway concepts are ranking high on the list of nutritional priorities for consumers with busy schedules, leading shoppers to look for on-the-go eating options.
Full of Taste
While “today’s consumers are increasingly demanding natural, healthier, and more nutritional products”, Amandine De Santi, Customer Marketing Manager for EMEA at Naturex, highlights they “aren’t necessarily willing to compromise on taste”.
The relationship between on-the-go eating concepts and nutrition-based ingredients is proving important as brands seek to answer calls for foodstuffs that marry meat alternatives with hassle-free takeaway options.
Describing nutrient-rich ingredients as “key because they can be used for fortification in such products”, De Santi highlights that the formulation and launch of ingredients such as ultimine create “an integrated solution that combines flavor, function, and nutrition”.
Pairing plant-based ingredients with on-the-go convenience
Sharing insights on the importance of selecting plant-based ingredients to marry on-the-go eating concepts and nutrition-based ingredients, De Santi explains there are several reasons supporting manufacturers’ choice of plant-based ingredients when creating a nutritional concept for consumers on-the-go: “The most obvious being that they respond to consumer demand for naturalness and simple ingredient lists.”
Plant-based ingredients and, in particular, botanicals are also “intuitively” associated with specific health benefits. For example, “50% of consumers associate lavender with improved sleep”, De Santi reveals, suggesting the addition of botanicals in marketing strategies and packaging labels resonates strongly with consumers.
Nutritional plant-based ingredients can often provide solutions that are “gentler to the body”, as is the case with ultimine iron, a whole food fermented mineral made using Koji fermentation, De Santi explains.
The natural source of iron, which has been clinically proven as “highly bioavailable”, strives to achieve the “gentle on the body” appeal by avoiding the production of free reactive iron, which is linked with oxidative stress and cellular aging due to its slow release into the blood.
Focusing on its naturally processed and scientifically studied properties, De Santi says that Naturex selected ultimine iron for its “plant-based vegetable protein application because it helps to reconstruct the nutritional profile of a meat product by providing a similar iron content”.
Appealing to consumers seeking meat alternatives, “ultimine iron is a particularly good choice for this type of application because tests have shown that its iron content, as well as other taste and color parameters, remain stable over time.”
Naturex has formulated a range of colors, natural preservation ingredients, specialty fruits and vegetables, and phytoactives, as it promotes natural ingredients. As more and more consumers opt for meat-free or meat-reduced diets, Naturex is using coloring foodstuffs to flavor texturized vegetable protein (TVP) filling.
To offer healthy plant-based, on-the-go options that retain their flavor, Naturex is using TVP filling that contains Givaudan flavors and is colored with Naturex’s range of coloring foodstuffs to give it both a meat-like taste and appearance.