Innovative ingredients can drastically alter the properties of food and drink in many ways. This means that the flavour, composition, texture, colour, nutritional value and much more can be tailored to create unique and interesting products.
Here we round up five of our top ingredients news stories of the year.
This year, artisan tea company Tea Forté launched its Bleu range made with butterfly pea flowers to give each beverage a striking blue colour.
Tea Forté said the plant has immune-boosting antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. The Bleu line is available in the US in five varieties: blossom, blush, ginger, hibiscus and mint.
Arla soft protein bars
In June, Arla Foods Ingredients announced it had introduced a new whey protein solution that it claims keeps protein bars ‘soft for at least a year’.
A common complaint among consumers of protein bars is that they lose their chewy texture by the time they are eaten, reducing shelf life.
To address this challenge Arla has developed Nutrilac PB-8420, a whey protein that ensures protein bars retain the cohesive texture for 12 months, or more in ambient storage conditions.
© NTU Singapore
Spent grain beer
Scientists from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (NTU Singapore) invented a new process to turn spent brewery grains into a valuable product that can grow beer yeast.
Spent grain amounts to as much as 85% of a brewery’s waste. This is of little value, so the discarded grain is often used as compost or for animal feed.
Researchers at the university said the new conversion process turns brewer’s waste into a valuable liquid nutrient, as similar commercial liquid nutrients are sold for $30 per litre.
Probiotic drinks with live bacteria
UK-based startup Alive Biome launched a new probiotic drink designed to deliver live bacteria, vitamins, and botanicals.
The company unveiled two drinks featuring citrus and raspberry flavours, both containing high volumes of probiotics in the form of live bacteria and essential vitamins, created to aid good gut health.
When the user is ready to release the ingredients into the water, the cap has a simple twist mechanism which breaks the seal. Before drinking the consumer is advised to shake for 20 seconds to ensure the probiotics are thoroughly mixed with the water.
Low-calorie sweetener meringue
Earlier this year, Israeli company Lampados International launched a next-generation sweetener that contains one-tenth of the calories of sugar.
Liteez is shaped like a meringue, but can be melted into hot drinks or baked into snacks as a substitute to more calorific sweeteners. They are egg-free, sugar-free and vegan – and two pieces of Liteez provide around 2kcal, compared to the 20kcal in a single teaspoon of sugar.
The product was developed by using just six plant-based ingredients.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2017