In recent years, more and more consumers are becoming health conscious, evidenced by them paying closer attention to the back of their food labels.
DEMAND FOR TRANSPARENT FOOD LABELLING
This development isn’t a result of the pandemic, but rather a consistent trend due to increasing consumer curiosity about where their food comes from and how it’s made.
This awareness is also reflected as one of the top 10 trends for 2023 by FMCG Gurus referred to as ’eagle eyes,‘ as consumers are on the hunt for transparency when it comes to nutritional profiles of products.
This development has fuelled the rise of clean label products, which can be described as products that are ’natural, contain only real ingredients, are syntheticfree, and are also free from artificial ingredients. According to a recent survey, roughly 78% of consumers worldwide expressed that they find clean label products appealing after understanding its definition.
With demand for clean label items soaring, manufacturers in the region can jump on the opportunity by creating cleaner, more natural food products for consumers. However, this transition may provide them with challenges on the taste and texture front.
THE STARCH OF A MORE NATURAL JOURNEY
To answer consumer demand and overcome technological challenges, food producers can tap into ingredients such as rice starch to get ahead of the competition. What differentiates it from other starches is its small granule size of 2 to 8 μm which allows the creation of creamy textures. This natural ingredient can be used in dairy and confectionery products, baked goods and convenient foods such as soups and sauces and helps to increase shelf-life and to improve product stability. One challenge for manufacturers consists in maintaining optimal functionality under varying processing conditions that range from gentle pasteurisation to more severe retorting, in both neutral and acidic foods.
Fortunately, there are already solutions to this problem. For example, BENEO’s range of rice ingredients includes a functional native rice starch. Thanks to a unique thermal production process, this ingredient offers enhanced technical properties to help achieve performance levels competing with those of chemically modified starches. It is the company’s first high performing rice starch that qualifies for both natural and clean label status worldwide.