Q&A: How to deliver fortification that consumers want

by Laurie Gorton
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Premixes of vitamins and minerals can be customized to target specific fortification needs.
 

Fortification ingredients can help formulators reach the health-and-wellness shopper. Premixed vitamins and minerals address the need to add “that something extra” to baked foods. In this exclusive Q&A, Abby Ceule, senior industry director, bakery, Corbion, discusses with Baking & Snack the trends and strategies involved.

Baking & Snack: Among your fortification and enrichment ingredients, which are attracting the most interest from bakery formulators right now?

Abby Ceule: In the industry today, bakery formulators are looking for products that will help meet consumers’ growing demand for foods that provide nutrition beyond expectation -- providing a variety of health benefits.

Therefore, we see a lot of interest in our Nutrivan line of customizable vitamin and mineral premixes. This line provides bakery formulators the option to either choose from an already-developed premix targeted to specific health benefits or work with our team to create a completely customized premix to meet individual needs.

What do your customers tell you about their reasons for seeking such nutritional additions to their products?

Many customers are looking for fortification ingredients because consumers are concerned about deficiencies in their daily vitamin and mineral intake. Over the past few years, dietary trends have really played a big role in the development of new products in the bread category. With consumers looking for more from their bread, there is an opportunity for bakers to develop new products that tap into those trends.

Today’s consumers tend to look beyond package claims to the ingredient labels when making purchase decisions to decide if a product meets their health and wellness needs.

Therefore, our customers are continually looking for solutions and ways to incorporate nutritional fortification into their products to deliver baked goods that meet not only quality and taste expectations, but also consumers’ nutritional demands.

What aspects of the North American diet set the stage for fortification that moves beyond the conventional enrichment?

Consumer diets have evolved to be more focused on health and wellness. They are listening to their bodies and have become more aware of what vitamins and nutrients their bodies need to not only help with their physical appearance but also to maintain their personal wellness. So when they purchase food and beverages, they pay more attention to not only the ingredient statements but also the nutritional information.

We’ve witnessed the clean-label movement pick up momentum in the industry over the past few years, and this movement has caused some challenges in addressing the need for more nutrients in food and beverages. Formulators recognize that we need to develop products that respond to more substantive nutritional deficiencies in the US diet while using recognizable ingredients.

What advice can you give to a formulator who’s considering such fortification strategies for the first time?

With fortification formulations, there are a variety of factors to consider — challenges in formulations, cost issues and resource availability. When evaluating those factors, it’s best to partner with an ingredient supplier that can work side-by-side with you to help create a food or beverage product that delivers the flavor, texture and quality that consumers expect. It’s also best to have a partner that can help provide you with the information needed to educate consumers on what nutrients are included in the food and beverage products they’re consuming and the benefits those can bring to consumer diets as many of them — when listed on ingredient/nutritional statements — are often viewed as chemical sounding.
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