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Improving nutrition and choice in the free-from sector Innovation opportunities using pulse-based ingredients in free-from products

corresponding

KARIN MEISSNER

Ingredion Germany GmbH, Grüner Deich 110, 20097 Hamburg, Germany

Abstract

Free-from is one of the top food-related health and wellness trends in Europe, with a recent study finding that 65% of adults have a positive perception of a gluten-free lifestyle and 20% alter their diet due to a food intolerance. This represents a significant market potential for food manufacturers. In this article, Ingredion looks at the nutritional properties of pulse-based ingredients and their function and application in formulating nutritious, naturally free-from products that support a range of consumer-friendly claims.


INTRODUCTION
Health and wellness continues to dominate the list of top food industry trends across Europe. In particular, the rapid growth of the free-from market, driven largely by a more mainstream adoption of a gluten-free lifestyle, presents a significant opportunity for food manufacturers and retailers. Already estimated to be worth over $3.91 billion globally, the gluten-free market is predicted to double over the next ten years (1) with the range and application of goods also expanding. However, a key challenge is to overcome the perception among consumers that free-from foods have a poorer nutritional profile than conventional products. Legumes, in particular pulses, are a functional, cost-effective ingredient that can both help improve the nutritional value of free-from products and work across a range of food industry applications.

GROWTH DRIVERS FOR FREE-FROM
There are a number of factors driving growth in the free-from sector across Europe.  While medical conditions, such as coeliac disease and allergies, have always necessitated free-from products, it is the overall rise of consumer interest in allergen-free foods ...




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