Natural Products Insider

MAR-APR 2019

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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naturalproductsinsider . com 77 Biotechnology practically every category of food and beverage from end-to-end across the supply chain," she said."Even the most ancient of traditional foods—bread, wine, cheese, yogurt and beer—are all being made today with the use of food biotechnology." Benefi ts of Biotechnology The appeal of biotechnology is best evidenced when reviewing its power in action. Laulund offered a range of examples. "Through biotechnology, and especially microbiology, we can apply good bacteria in enabling food producers to produce products with less added salt, sugar and fat because cultures can deliver the desired taste and texture, and probiotic bacteria can sharpen the health profi le of a yogurt that is already perceived as healthy," he explained. "Other types of bacteria ensure that fresh food stays fresh for longer, reducing food waste. In general, natural, sustainable food ingredients enable food producers to produce more with less and accommodate consumer demand for healthy, safe and sustainable products." In the case of Lycored's portfolio, Raz pointed to the company's tech-savvy processes, such as "clean extraction methods to produce concentrated, stable and biologically available carotenoids-based formulations and products." He said the technologies allow for increased effi ciencies and the ability to get "more out of less" from the actual botanical source—benefi ts that are environmentally friendly and increase supply stability to a growing population. Raz said Lycored starts with the very basic natural source, the seed. "The non-GMO [genetically modifi ed organism] breeding program is just the fi rst step. From farming to processing, every step of the way involves a state-of-the-art technology." The result, he said, is "new breeds of tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables that contain more of the valuable nutrients." Marc den Hartog, senior vice president of innovation platforms at Corbion, said the company has "seen the advantage of biotechnology in enhancing the nutritional profi le, environmental benefi ts and culinary performance of algae oil." He noted the microalgae the company uses as basic stock was originally found in the sap of a chestnut tree in a German botanical garden in the 1800s, and "is a natural producer of oil and protein, and is the foundation of our food chain and the basis of all plant life." He said some of the company's products "are made by simply applying the centuries-old technique of fermentation to algae." In the case of its AlgaWise ® Algae Oils, the company starts with algae, then looks to nature "to fi nd the best traits from descendant oil-producing plants, such as saffl ower or olive," he stated. The traits are then introduced to the algae's oil-producing pathways, which den Hartog said yields "an oil with even more good fats and less saturated fats." Global Efforts Many suppliers are demonstrating their commitment to biotechnology by allocating signifi cant resources. In 2017, DSM opened its Rosalind Franklin Biotechnology Center in the Netherlands, where the DSM Food Specialties global headquarters are located. According to a press release, the company opened the facility "to accelerate DSM's biotechnology R&D capabilities for applications in food and nutrition, feed, fuel, pharma and bio-based materials." At the time of its opening, innovations under development in the biotechnology center included the production of fermentative steviol glycosides as well as a new technology turning an inedible agricultural by-product of rapeseed, or canola, into valuable plant protein for a wide range of uses in food. Wubbolts said Corbion has explored the power of biotechnology for more than 80 years by collaborating with leading laboratories, recruiting biotechnology experts and investing in advanced research facilities, as well as manufacturing assets for the fermentation of organic acids in Europe, the United States, Brazil and Thailand. Chr. Hansen is also contributing its biotech expertise in benefi cial bacteria as part of the Bac4CroP project. In late 2018, the Danish Innovation Fund awarded a grant to Chr. Hansen, University of Copenhagen and the Danish Technological Institute (DTI), which joined forces to develop natural solutions for sustainable agricultural production. Jacob Baelum, project manager of plant health innovation at Chr. Hansen, said, "Natural microbes in the form of benefi cial bacteria are a natural way to protect plants and crops, and can contribute to improved yield and crop quality within agriculture. The Bac4CroP project is aiming at revealing the underlying processes important for the interplay between microbes and the plant." He anticipated this would help "accelerate the development of new microbial-based products for future agricultural production that can spur the conversion away from chemical pesticides and fertilizers and thereby provide agricultural solutions that will ensure high yields obtained in a highly bio-sustainable fashion." According to the American Academy of Microbiology report, "How Microbes Can Help Feed the World," microbial solutions to improve plant health have the potential to increase crop productivity by 20 percent and reduce fertilizer and pesticide requirements by 20 percent within 20 years. The Future of Biotech Shelke said a common use of today's food biotechnology is "meeting market demand for fresh-like foods with intrinsic nutritive values and sensory attributes including fl avor, odor, texture and taste in such a way that the public does not even realize the extent of biotechnologies that have been applied to their foods." Which brings things full circle. Biotech at some level is already deeply engrained in the supply chain. In line with general best practices, when it comes to biotechnology, den Hartog said communication will serve industry best. "The most important thing that ingredient suppliers can do is to be transparent and clear about how we make our products—this is important for consumers to make informed choices," he stated. His colleague Wubbolts added biotechnology is no longer optional. "With a global population predicted to reach 9 billion by 2050, society will need all kinds of solutions to produce enough food, clothing and shelter with fewer resources and with less environmental and adverse social impacts," he stated. "While many of these problems are exponential, many of society's solutions so far have been incremental. We must innovate and seek breakthrough solutions to meet these problems." The results, he noted, will enable manufacturers "to rethink their supply chains as they seek to create healthier and more sustainable products." Wubbolts concluded, "We need many different solutions, and we will need all kinds of collaborations to make that happen."

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