With consumers giving ever greater scrutiny to the ingredients listed on food packages, natural-source materials have a big advantage in the marketplace. In this exclusive Baking & Snack Q&A, Brittany Bailey, product manager for Kemin Food Ingredients, describes the company’s solution to taking out artificial preservatives in favor of natural substances that do the job.

Baking & Snack: Does Kemin offer natural-source antioxidants and/or antimicrobials (preservatives)? What are they and the sources from which they are derived? When were they introduced?

Brittany Bailey: Kemin offers a variety of natural plant-based extracts that can help preserve the appearance, taste and quality of food products without negatively impacting flavor, color and odor profiles. FORTIUM brand natural plant extract is based on our proprietary rosemary and curbs lipid oxidation, delaying the onset of rancidity in a variety of applications.

Our FORTIUM brand natural plant extracts provide a desirable alternative to time-tested synthetic antioxidants such as BHA, BHT or TBHQ. Our natural plant extracts also provide manufacturers with a stable, reliable and consistent supply.

Kemin is working on a buffered vinegar product with an optimized flavor profile that enhances product food safety with minimal sensory impact. It is considered a label-friendly ingredient as it is derived from a natural source of vinegar.

What benefits do these ingredients bring to baked foods and/or snacks? Why? What are typical usage levels? What advice do you give about using these ingredients in such formulations?

They enhance food safety and increases shelf life.

Do these ingredients fit the demands of “clean label” formulating? If so, how?

Our natural products are considered “label friendly” alternatives.

As food safety becomes more of a priority in the industry, manufacturers are hungry for label-friendly alternatives that are backed by science. Consumers demand labels that they can easily understand and ingredients they can recognize. Kemin remains dedicated to providing the industry with options that meet these demands.

Your readers will want to read “The confusing world of clean and natural food products,” a forum on this topic posted by Kemin at www.kemin.com/expertise-forum/the-confusing-world-of-clean-label-and-natural.

What adjustments must be made in processing conditions (pH, time, temperature, mixing procedures, etc.) to ensure optimum performance from these natural ingredients?

This all depends on the end product application. Kemin offers different formulas and delivery methods, taking into account the different mixing procedures, baking and storage temperature, as well as end product pH.

How are these ingredients to be labeled on packages?

The way in which ingredients are labeled on final product varies by region based on local regulatory requirements. Food manufacturers are usually the final decision maker; however Kemin works hand-in-hand to provide assistance. For most FDA-regulated products, Kemin’s natural ingredients can be labeled as “natural flavor.”

What products now on the market use these ingredients?

Kemin’s natural plant extracts are being used in a variety of applications from cereal bars, baking mixes to crackers and cookies.