©Food Ingredients Europe
Frankfurt boasts a corporate image that is underpinned by something charming and authentic. It’s a city of contrasts. It comprises both modern skyscrapers and historic buildings; a busy urban atmosphere and peaceful green spaces; and serves as both an international financial hub (it’s home to the Central European Bank) and a diverse cultural scene.
In keeping with the theme, our journey from sunny Bath to one of Germany’s most populous cities (the fifth most, to be precise) was marked by another stark contrast – an urban landscape blanketed in snow. It certainly felt like a festive introduction to Food Ingredients Europe 2023!
Our week commenced with a delightful Monday night dinner hosted by Beneo. The FoodBev team was treated to a Spanish tapas twist on some German classics: mini bratwursts, pan-fried salmon, Bundkäse (a creamy cheese dip), a smorgasbord of local breads, and golden-fried potatoes and aubergines. To finish, a platter of delectable treats, including macarons and mousses. The evening set a high standard for the food and beverage companies that would be demonstrating their latest innovations and solutions. And they did not disappoint!
Beneo’s German-inspired tapas spread
The event opened on Tuesday morning, and while it took some time to get started – the festive weather putting a damper on many attendees’ travel plans – Frankfurt Messe was as large and sprawling as ever. Once in full swing, FiE became a vibrant hub of discussion, with buzzing aisles, live demonstrations and fruitful collaborations, which FoodBev had the opportunity to engage with, albeit wishing for more time to explore further.
A special thanks to Arla Foods Ingredients, ADM, Carbery and Synergy, Nexira, Rousselot, Prinova, Agrana, Alland and Robert, Biospringer, Cargill, Beneo, Loryma, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, Lasenor, Bunge, CP Kelco, GNT and Exberry, Roquette, Edlong, Mycotechnology, Chick P, Goodmills, Corbion, Jungbunzlauer, Rasio, Valio, Glanbia, Meurens, Martino Rossi, Plantaneers, Angel Yeast and many more who invited us to discuss the latest ingredients and sample concepts, application formats and flavours for their latest solutions. Keep an eye out for some exciting features containing interviews with some of these ingredient companies throughout 2024, in FoodBev, The Plant Base and The Cell Base.
Whilst walking the FiE expo halls, FoodBev spoke with some of the biggest F&B companies to discuss the event and their trend predictions for 2024. Listen to some of the major players’ voices here:
FoodBev’s key take homes from FiE 2023
If we had to pinpoint a singular overarching theme for this year’s FiE, it would undoubtedly be plant-based. Despite industry concerns about declines in sales and revenue, companies – both large and small – were eager to showcase their latest developments, with two key elements leading the charge: taste and texture.
From ADM’s plant-based authentic dim sum, corn dogs and flaky alternative seafood chunks to Beneo’s pink and juicy shrimp and Cargill’s perfect breakfast sausage, the event was brimming with inspiration for food manufacturers seeking to enhance the quality of their faux meat products. Companies in all halls offered ingredients and solutions to those common challenges of taste, texture and flavour when creating vegan products.
A couple of ADM’s concepts at FiE 2023
This low-pressure processed offering boasts a concise ingredient list, aligning with clean label demands. During their demonstration, Beneo introduced two new plant-based products: mincemeat, enriched with mycoprotein for added fibrousness, and beef bites, crafted from pea flakes to introduce a delightful juiciness. Meanwhile, Beneo’s innovative meatless rice flakes play a dual role in providing a fish-like texture and imparting a white fish colour to the final product. The meatless vegan binder not only enhances the cohesiveness of the mass but also improves the bite, resulting in a freeze/thaw-stable product.
Roquette’s FiE portfolio was extensive. From nemossa, an innovative plant-based fusion of nem (Vietnamese fried rolls) and samosa, made with Nutralys textured pea protein, to its indulgent no added sugar cookies made with Nutriose 10 soluble fibres and SweatPearl maltitol, the plant-based ingredient provider had all bases covered.
Some of Roquette’s prototypes including the no-added sugar cookies
Loryma presented its natural wheat solutions, which can be used in applications such as plant-based, bakery and sports nutrition. The contained functional mixture of wheat proteins, starches and the gelling agent (Lory Stab) produces an elastic and irreversible thin surface coating. This coating convincingly replicates chicken skin and achieves a delightful crispiness during the final preparation. Moreover, it serves as a protective layer, preventing the meat alternative inside from drying out. Loryma’s stabilisation process also makes it possible to replace egg in baked goods like muffins by combining different ingredients.
Mycotechnology demonstrated FermentIQ PTP, a shiitake fermented pea and rice protein powder that increases the nutritional potential of plant proteins by improving protein quality and digestibility. It reduces off notes and increases the intensity of flavour in plant-based proteins, while also improving solubility. From bitter blockers and flavour clarifiers to a new honey truffle sweetener that is said to be “2000 times sweeter than sugar,” Mycotechnology’s portfolio was innovative and vast.
©Mycotechnology’s plant-based charcuterie via LinkedIn
Israel-based start-up Chick P showcased its chickpea protein isolate, with a 90% protein content. Guests were able to try the protein isolate in various cheese concepts, from feta, parmesan and cheddar to a delicious and airy cheesecake. Good Mills unveiled its plant-based texturizers for meat and fish analogues, as well as a variety of flours designed to help bakers, from preventing dough sticking and reducing the residue left on machines to containing less dust and improving employee health.
ChickP’s cheese prototypes made from chickpea protein isolate
This year’s FiE made it clear that sustainability is no longer a trend but a vital imperative within the F&B industry. With the world facing environmental challenges, the sector’s significant footprint requires a shift towards mindful sourcing, ethical practices and resource-efficient processes to minimise waste. The event was underscored by the industry’s commitment to sustainability, providing a platform for innovation and collaboration.
Nexira, a producer of natural ingredients, spoke to FoodBev about its Acacia Program. This initiative not only champions sustainability and positive social impact in Africa but also underscores Nexira’s commitment to a reduced carbon footprint. It marks a significant stride in aligning our practices with the evolving demands for environmental responsibility.
Key objectives of the programme include: the involvement of 200 villages and 50,000 producers; work on 300,000 ha of sustainably managed forest; increasing in quality and productivity of gum acacia from 2,600 tons to 5,000 tons; and empowering women involved in the sector – Nexira’s Julie Imperato also emphasised that 30% of the women Nexira works within the programme are involved with the decision-making process.
Cargill, on the other hand, shared its comprehensive approach to sustainability by unveiling the implementation of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) across all its ingredients. This initiative encompasses certifying ingredients, establishing ‘on-the-ground traceability,’ and introducing eco-friendly practices throughout various segments of the supply chain.
The commitment to LCA competencies extends to the development of a cutting-edge carbon footprint screening tool, a key focus in shaping Cargill’s landscape in 2024, particularly in the research and development of alternative protein products. Moreover, regenerative agriculture remains a pivotal force propelling sustainable change at Cargill. As an industry titan, the spotlight is firmly on this company to make substantial strides and spearhead transformative initiatives.
OFI, global supplier of cocoa, coffee, dairy, nut and spice ingredients, emphasised the importance of traceability. The company is deeply involved at every stage of its supply chains – from plant to palate – which provides its customers with more value, control and greater reliability. OFI has procurement and logistics teams based throughout its growing regions, as well as manufacturing and innovation centres around the world. This presence at the source of its ingredients provides access to primary data on various factors from farmer yields and child labour risks, to water savings and deforestation monitoring. AtSource makes this data visible to customers, tailored to their individual supply chain. It allows customers to track the social and environmental footprint of their product from the farmer group, to their factory gate, advancing transparency and supporting sustainability reporting commitments.
An example of OFI’s AtSource dashboard
So many companies we spoke to said that sustainability would be the focal point of 2024. In fact, some even said that it would take precedence over the launch new products and innovations.
Sport, active and health nutrition
Sports nutrition is no longer limited to bodybuilders and professional athletes; it’s now for any consumer with an interest in maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. Many companies at FiE are recognizing the importance of broadening their audience in this sector.
Arla Foods Ingredients showcased a trio of fermented drink flavours made with clear whey protein. Surprisingly, despite its high protein content, Arla has managed to create a beverage that tastes great with no sedimentation. This product also earned Arla an award at our World Dairy Innovation Awards this year, and we take pride in seeing the company display this achievement on their exhibition banners.
Beneo unveiled a novel solution – Orafti β-Fit – derived from barley through an eco-friendly milling and dry enrichment process. The beta-glucans in Orafti β-Fit provide a convenient and flavourful means to enhance your products with fibres while allowing for on-pack claims with nutritional and health benefits. The 20% fraction of beta-glucans in this solution consists of soluble fibres known for their positive impact on cholesterol and heart health. Naturally occurring in cereals like oats and barley, betaglucans are polysaccharides composed of glucose molecules linked through mixed β (1-4) and β (1-3) bonds. Orafti β-Fit can be labelled as beta-glucan-rich barley flour. And all of this was presented in a tasty heat-healthy, cholesterol-lowering waffle!
GNT showcased the versatility of its Exberry concentrates. FoodBev was invited to a demonstration of colour mixing which showcased the different possibilities for colouring food with food.
Concentrates are classified as food ingredients rather than additives in the EU and many other parts of the world and Exberry’s concentrates are suitable for vegan, halal, and kosher diets.
The FoodBev team thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone in Frankfurt at Food Ingredients Europe 2023. Until next year! Stay tuned for some exclusive interviews from the event.
If you would like to advertise your latest ingredient development with FoodBev, please email [email protected].
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2024