Achieving the balance between new, innovative ingredients and consumer acceptance


Director of Toxicology, Burdock Group Consultants, Orlando, USA

Food manufacturers are constantly working to revitalize classic food products to meet current food trends and consumer preferences. In addition, food ingredient innovation may provide health and/or technical benefits to the consumer, but may not meet other intangible consumer trends. Innovative ingredients incorporated into processed foods provide consumers with an ever-widening array of choices to meet individual needs, from new ingredients to a removal of gluten, to natural sweeteners that replace sugars and use of plant-based protein alternatives (1). Food product innovation can improve the nutritive value of foods, but the innovative products must be acceptable to the consumer (2). Needless to say, the road to innovation, improvement or just reformulation is not always easy or short.

New ingredients must be shown safe under the conditions of use, as well as be accepted by the consumer. Researchers from the University of Guelph (Canada) have recently reported the extraction of cellulose nanofibrils from ground-up banana stems (called rachis) that, when added to ice cream at varying concentrations, help increase the thickness of the ice cream, increasing the time befor ...