More than 1000 exhibitors showcase products at world’s biggest food fair

The Food Ingredients Europe 2022 (Fi Europe) event, the world’s largest fair of buyers and suppliers of food and beverages ingredients was held in Paris, France from 6-8 December.

Fi Europe 2022 provided opportunity for attendees to build new partnerships and network with suppliers and buyers. The event was held both in-person and online with more than 1000 exhibitors and more than 20,000 attendees (online and in-person). More than 135 countries were represented. Following is a brief overview of some of the many new products that were showcased at the event.

Evera launches clean label 100% natural ingredients

At Fi Europe, new Brazilian company Evera presented more than 18 natural ingredients sourced from orange surpluses, including two new solutions: Fiberfeel and Tastelift. This is the first time Evera has presented its products in Europe.

New ingredient Fiberfeel is a fibre with a puree texture extracted from the noblest part of the orange, which, among many benefits, acts as a natural texturizer for various types of food such as jellies, breads, sweets, sauces, and fillings, among others. The product has two variations: the “OP” version, which has the original orange flavour and is sweeter; and the “OF” version, which has a neutral flavour and low caloric index. The ingredient is a 100% natural, clean label.

Also launched at Fi Europe, Tastelift, made from orange peel, can be applied to enhance the flavour and natural freshness of oranges in beverages, in addition to being used in sauces, toppings, and fillings, among others. Evera is part of the Brazilian company Citrosuco, one of the largest global producers of orange juice. It seeks to make the most from orange surpluses, such as bagasse, peel, leaves, flowers, and seeds – produced by the parent company, Citrosuco – to produce ingredients for different industries. With investments around US$9 million for research and development, and initial production installation, the company, to date, has 18 products for more than 90 applications, including plant-based foods such as ketchup, mayonnaise, smoothies, and vegan hamburgers.

Currently, production is focussed on supplying the food and beverage industry.

“After years of studies, we managed to achieve unprecedented results in the market, which will contribute to revolutionize the way that we consume food, bringing greater nutritional value and more healthiness. We are optimistic with Evera’s operation and our expectation is to be able to deliver around 3 to 5 thousand tons of new products in the first year,” said John Lin, Evera’s chief business officer.

European market

With a global market for ingredients for food and beverages ranging between $80 billion and $100 billion per year, Evera, in the first year of operation, focused on the United States and on Western European countries, such as England, France and Germany, where there is already great interest in new natural ingredients. Evera is expected to benefit from commercial relationships already built by Citrosuco.

“With a market as promising as Europe, we hope that business will contribute to Evera’s growth expectation. The company, which begins operations with annual revenues of $150 million, is expected to grow between 7% and 12% in the first year of operation. Our ambition is to become one of the largest specialized companies in the development of natural ingredients in five years,” said Lin.

BENEO takes plant-based chicken to the next level at Fi Europe

Following the acquisition of Meatless B.V. earlier this year, BENEO used this year’s Fi Europe exhibition to announce the next step in its plant-based protein strategy. Foreseen for the second quarter of 2023, the ingredient manufacturer will expand its portfolio with its first semi-finished product: plant-based chicken chunks. With a unique recipe and highly efficient patented process technology, BENEO offers manufacturers a scalable and effective way to tap into the plant-based trend, with the most authentic chicken imitation products.

Nearly half of consumers across the globe are now interested in plant-based foods and beverages. In Europe, the market for plantbased fish and meat substitutes is worth €3 billion and expected to grow by 14% CAGR over the next five years. This new solution from BENEO enables manufacturers to meet the rising consumer demand for alternative meat products, while providing them with easy-to-process, semi-finished products.

Having a pleasant taste and texture is the number one shopping motivator for flexitarian meat and fish alternative consumers. With an authentic fibrous chicken-like structure, a juicy mouthfeel and irregular shape by design, BENEO’s vegan chicken chunks offer food producers even-more recipe versatility. The semi-finished plant-based product will come in fresh or frozen form and is made with main ingredients such as myco- and pea protein, combined with

flavouring. With a carbon footprint three times lower than regular chicken, this plant-based alternative also caters to the increasing consumer interest in more environmentally friendly solutions.

In the past it has been challenging to combine high quality taste and texture with scalability and a competitively priced plant-based alternative. Through Meatless’ unique and patented processing technology, it is now possible to create semi-finished products in an easily scalable way. The highly automated process therefore delivers crucial cost efficiencies for food manufacturers in today’s economic climate.

Jos Hugense, founder of Meatless commented: “When it comes to plant-based meat alternatives, taste, texture, and sustainability are king for consumers. There is incredible market potential for those food producers who can harness all three. Thanks to our new technology process we have been able to do just that, creating low-processed, short-ingredient-list imitation chicken chunks that deliver, both in terms of outstanding sensory quality and cost-effectiveness. Manufacturers wanting scalable, easy-to-implement solutions that don’t compromise on taste or enjoyment need look no further.”

Antioxidant power for humans and animals

At Fi Europe 2022, AstaReal presented its range of scientifically backed natural astaxanthin products with a special focus on vegan capsules and its new feed-grade product Novasta EB15.

AstaReal AB is part of the AstaReal Group, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese pharmaceutical company Fuji Chemical Industries. The company produces natural astaxanthin at facilities in Sweden and the USA.

A lingering consequence of the pandemic is consumers valuing their health more deeply than ever before. Many are making a conscious effort to support and enhance it by paying closer attention to their diet and the benefits of supplements. At the same time, there is growing demand for products aligning with the health of our planet. Here, microalgae-derived astaxanthin, one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, plays a promising role. AstaReal is the global pioneer in the field, and its ingredients continue to receive multiple scientific and clinical backing.

AstaReal offers the most researched brand of natural astaxanthin on the market. Its health attributes are backed by more than 70 human clinical studies, and include improved vision, stronger cognitive function, better muscle health and smoother skin texture. With potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties based on its unique protection against free radicals, astaxanthin also has a strong ability to balance and strengthen the immune system.

AstaReal derives natural astaxanthin from the microalga Haemato-coccus pluvialis and offers it in many different forms – as algal biomass, a cold water-dispersible powder or oil extract. At Fi Europe 2022, AstaReal presented these bulk products and the various dosage forms. These include its vegan softgel capsules, gummies and sachets. Gummies are appealing for their “non-pill” and “on the go” taking, in particular, they promise huge potential for younger consumers and those looking for convenient applications. Moreover, vegan capsules are in tune with plant-based trends, which are opening up new market opportunities. Targeting benefits for skin health, muscle performance and vision, the company is well equipped to meet consumer-led demands.

AstaReal’s valuable ingredient is also available for animals. Its recently launched feed-grade Novasta EB15 delivers astaxanthin-containing algal flour in a shell of fully hydrogenated rapeseed oil. This encapsulation stabilizes the antioxidant and protects its power even in challenging production processes. This means it can be safely delivered in various kinds of feed formulations, including soft chews and pellets.

Peter Ahlm, head of marketing & sales at AstaReal AB, said: “At AstaReal, we have been producing and researching natural astaxanthin for over 30 years now. This gives us unique insights into its potential for the health and well-being of humans and animals alike. Based on that, we see it as our duty to carve out a special role for it on the market. As astaxanthin naturally aligns with emerging trends, such as a plant-based lifestyle, personalised nutrition, and immune health, we are convinced that its popularity will continue to soar.”

Taiyo introduces new variants for Sunfiber, Sunphenon and Vegemeat range

Among the latest additions to Taiyo’s product lines are special Sunfiber variants. They are suitable as prebiotic dietary fibre enrichment for baby food, pet food and applications such as fortified gummies or bakery products. Furthermore, the expert for natural-based functional ingredients presents health-promoting green tea catechins from the Sunphenon range and shows how Vegemeat can allow for the creation of a protein-rich meat alternative based on grained pea protein, and with an optimal nutritional profile.

Sunfiber is a soluble prebiotic dietary fibre produced from the guar bean which promotes the acitivity and multiplication of beneficial probiotics in the gastro-intestinal tract. Sunfiber VB can be utilised in baby food, and Sunfiber AF in pet food. Because of its slow fermentation, Sunfiber does not cause uncomfortable bloating, cramps or other digestive discomfort. All variants of Sunfiber decrease the glycaemic index of food products, which helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Furthermore, the prebiotic dietary fibre supports the health and function of the intestinal tract, and increases overall wellbeing. Sunfiber VC is characterised by its low viscosity which perfectly suits technological requirements. The functional ingredient makes baked goods crispier and fluffier, and is suitable for use in fruit gummies. Sunfiber VC also dissolves well in fluids such as milk beverages or supplements in the form of syrups and shots.

Green tea catechins in the Sunphenon range are innovative ingredients. Their health-promoting properties differ depending on the catechin: Sunphenon XLB can be used in oral hygiene and disinfectant products to make it more difficult for viruses to penetrate. Sunphenon EC is a myostatin blocker that can positively contribute to muscle growth. In sufficient doses, it can also have beneficial effects against diabetes and obesity. The Sunphenon EGC variant is an amylase and glucosidase blocker that can also have a health-promoting effect in type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Vegemeat is a 100% natural and allergen-free, peabased meat alternative. Its authentic, minced-meat-like texture makes it ideal for dishes such as meatless bolognese and lasagne. It contains valuable nutrients not found in meat or other meat substitutes, such as glucomannan, vitamin B12 and iron bioavailable through Taiyo’s SunActive Iron. Vegemeat is available in seven variants, adapted to a wide variety of target groups and dietary require-ments. Vegemeat has a high protein content of 78g per 100g far exceeding that of soy, while its fat content is very low at only 0.3g per 100g. Vegemeat consists of just four ingredients – pea protein, strawberry juice concentrate, salt and glucomannan – and has no inherent flavour and therefore no off-notes to mask.

“Consumers are increasingly questioning a product’s ingredients and looking for natural and plant-based alternatives with added health benefits,” said Dr Stefan Siebrecht, managing director of Taiyo’s German subsidiary. “Taiyo is therefore presenting innovative solutions and products that enable the industry to meet these demands.”