Cargill invests in reformulation solution: ‘There are benefits to our soluble fibres that go beyond what’s currently available’

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

Cargill invests in fibre production for sugar reduction Pic: Droits d'auteur  SCoutts
Cargill invests in fibre production for sugar reduction Pic: Droits d'auteur SCoutts

Related tags Soluble fibre Cargill reformulation

Cargill is investing €32m in Europe to add soluble fibers to its existing portfolio of starches, sweeteners and texturizers.

Cargill said the new soluble fibre ingredient will enable sugar reduction up to 30% as well as calorie reduction and fibre enrichment in confectionery, bakery goods, fillings, cereals, ice cream and dairy. The company said use of the ingredient allowed manufacturers to maintain the desired appearance, taste and texture.

“There are benefits of our soluble fibers that go beyond what’s currently available on the market. Initial customer feedback and research indicates improved organoleptic properties in terms of colour, taste, tolerance, mouthfeel, as well as stability and easy handling in various food and beverage applications,”​ Jan-Peter Scheurwater, Cargill’s global strategy and business development director, sweetness, told FoodNavigator.

The new product line will be based on patented, advanced proprietary technology in order to offer ‘great taste and mouthfeel’, combined with enhanced product quality.

Cargill soluble fibre products are expected to be launched in 2021 and the company said it intends to expand ‘quickly’ into other categories and add more market innovations.

First move into soluble fibres

Cargill said that the investment, its first move into soluble fibres in Europe, is part of its continued efforts to offer ‘on-trend solutions’ – such as the need to reduce sugar and calorie content.

Market research from Innova showed an increase in European product launches with fibre claims of 23% while launches with sugar-reduced claims rose 16% over the past five years. Low sugar claims are showing the 'strongest' growth.

“Calorie and sugar reduction remains a key priority for many manufacturers amid growing interest from health-conscious consumers,”​ said Scheurwater.

“As a holistic provider of sweetness solutions, Cargill is addressing this need by developing fibre ingredients which enable improvement of the nutritional profile, including sugar and calorie reduction, in consumer products.”

In particular, Scheurwater told this publication, the new ingredient helps companies reformulate without sacrificing familiar organoleptic properties. “While reformulating existing recipes to reduce calories and sugar, the food manufacturers often prefer to stay as close as possible to the original product loved by consumers. This becomes a challenge when using new ingredients. The Cargill soluble fibres offer superior clean taste, while adding back the bulk of nutritive sweetness in sugar reduced recipes – helping food manufacturers to improve mouthfeel and viscosity.”

He suggested this will enable finished good manufacturers to ‘gradually increase the degree of sugar substitution’, whilst maintaining the desired appearance, taste and texture.

As to the inputs used to produce the soluble fibres, Scheurwater said that the company would utilise sustainably sourced European grains. “The new fibre range will be produced based on nature-derived and sustainable raw material. More specifically we will use sustainably certified European grains, such as corn or wheat.”

Scheurwater did not reveal details on the production capacity of the European line. “Targeting early 2021, our investment is to cater for the growing demand of solutions in sugar reduction with enough capacity to answer our customers' formulation needs. Samples are already available for customers but would require a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA).”