Lean, green and healthy

Today marks the start of Food Ingredients Europe 2019, the pre-eminent exhibition for new ingredients, technologies, and the challenges and trends that affect the industry.

It’s one of those events where there is something for everyone, particularly at a time of demand for sustainably sourced and healthy foods.

Looking for inspiration in the growing plant-based sector? Try the Plant-based Experience where celebrity chefs are on hand to conduct cooking exhibitions and provide tasty treats.

Feeling adventurous? The free-to-attend Expo FoodTec Hub offers insight into food processing technology, food fraud, supply chain management and product line safety.

Personally, my inner food geek will come out in full force the moment I step foot into the Parc des Expositions de Villepinte.

I will start with plant-based ingredients. The will is there, now food makers have promising ingredients and raw materials to produce more and better plant-based food products.

Hopefully, any blind tastings will send my taste buds into overdrive. I expect to bite into foods that are fulfilling in taste and texture.

Another area we’re keen to look into is clean label. Despite being understood in different ways by consumers and the industry, food companies are developing products and changing recipes to accommodate the tag.

The trouble is the lack of clarity in and around clean label has made it hard for food scientists to do their jobs, especially with most food and beverage products requiring more than five simple-sounding ingredients.

One main challenge  is adapting products alongside evolving consumer demands.

There’s a real need to satisfy an ever-diverse range of diets, trends and lifestyle choices while assuring consumers that ingredients are simple and recognisable.

It will be interesting to see how the assembled solutions help with the design of new or the reformulation of tried and trusted products.

Can food makers add, take away or replace ingredients to boost their products’ nutritional profiles while retaining texture, flavour and visual appeal?

Cost control is another, often overlooked aspect that needs to be balanced as end-product price is a determining factor of success.

There are also numerous pressures to manage, including fluctuating raw ingredient prices, optimising processes and minimising waste.

I’m sure Food Ingredients Europe 2019 will provide some awe-inspiring ideas.

See you there, we’re on stand #7E99

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