Changing consumer taste rulesfood additives industry

Changing consumer taste rules the food additives industry

5:42 AM, 9th November 2016
Neelesh Chauhan, Commercial Director – Starches & Sweeteners/Specialty Ingredients, Cargill India.
Neelesh Chauhan, Commercial Director – Starches & Sweeteners/Specialty Ingredients, Cargill India.

In an interview Neelesh Chauhan, Commercial Director – Starches & Sweeteners/Specialty Ingredients, Cargill India with Chemical Today magazine speaks about the ways in which food additives are changing with consumers’ demand for better, healthier and tastier food.

By Shivani Mody

Global trends in the food additives market.

Food additives play a key role in the food & food processing industry as they bring in value through functionality, palatability, health, taste or texture improvements etc. The food & food processing industry is growing globally, resulting in the increase in demand for food additives. While the food and food processing industry is experiencing a single digit growth in matured markets like the US and Europe, in the emerging markets such as India, China and Africa the food and food processing industry is growing at a faster pace thereby promoting growth in the food additives market as well.

Growth dynamics of food additives industry in emerging markets.

In emerging markets, the growth of the food additives industry is directly linked to the growth of the food processing industry which is showing traction due to factors including growing economies, a rise in the disposable income, increase in spending power, increasing the number of working women and more people consuming processed food. The growth rate of the food additives market ranges from 5-30 percent!

Global trends in the starch market.

Starch is one of the most popular additives used not only in foods but it also has a number of non-food applications like paper, textiles & pharma etc. Therefore, the demand for starch as an additive is experiencing an upward trend and growing at a faster pace in emerging markets.

Demand for low-fat options and low wastage costs, which are driving demand for fat replacers and antioxidants.

These trends will continue to grow as consumers are becoming more and more health conscious and are seeking more value from every buck they are spending.

Potential for hydrocolloids in emerging markets.

Hydrocolloids form an important part of food additives/ingredients as they provide textural functionality to the processed food. Its demand in emerging markets is growing because of the growth in processed foods industry.

The role of sweeteners in the food industry.

With increasing health concerns and rising awareness among people, there is a trend of replacing sugar with healthier sweeteners like stevia. This trend is growing at a rapid pace, but we have a long distance to cover. However, complete replacement of sugar might not be possible because sugar has its own benefits like bulking, taste etc.

Complexities involved in the food supply chain.

Food processing can be a key growth engine for the Indian economy. It will have a critical role to play in overall economic growth. India has set an aspiration of tripling the food processing levels to 20 percent by 2020. Realising this aspiration will not be easy. There are several barriers along the food value chain that prevent the Indian food processing industry from taking off. There are barriers at each stage of the food value chain like – farming, procurement, processing and consumption. Together they impact the volume, cost and quality of the food processing industry. For instance, fragmented land holdings and inefficient production techniques with poor access to credit are some challenges that have to be addressed at the farming level.

Cold storage is another issue. There is currently a gap of approximately 30 MT in cold storage capacity and this gap will further increase over the next decade. Appropriate cold storage capacity will lead to a direct reduction in transit losses, which is the most significant factor in food wastage. The quantitative and qualitative improvement in our transport vehicles is another subject, which needs attention.

Challenges in the food additives industry.

Like food processing industry, the food additives industry is also facing multiple challenges. It includes regulatory challenges resulting from low/no usage of many functional food additives into processed foods. Since many of these additives are not manufactured in India due to lack of technology, they are imported; and importing these food additives is difficult on account of cumbersome regulatory and customs procedures. High import duties also make these additives very expensive and since the consumers in India are very cost sensitive, food processing industry is not willing to use them.

There are also challenges on account of inefficient supply chain including transportation, infrastructure etc. These challenges are also restricting manufacturing of these additives in India. Although things are improving, one needs to speed up the improvement.

Cargill’s food ingredients and starches & sweeteners business.

Globally, Cargill is a pioneer in both the businesses – starches & sweeteners and speciality food ingredients. We innovate, develop, manufacture & market the entire range of these products across the globe which includes starches, glucose syrups, high maltose syrups, dextrose syrups, polyols, maltodextrins, hydrocolloids, stevia, various health ingredients, lecithins, to name a few. We have also initiated all these businesses and product lines in India recently, including a state-of-art green field corn wet milling facility, which will produce sweeteners & maltodextrins. Cargill’s entry into India in these businesses will not only establish new benchmarks of high-quality products & services but will also provide varied options to the customers and consumers.

Processing technologies used by the company.

Cargill, being a global food and agri major, ensures that it uses the most modern and sustainable technology. For instance, our newly built Corn Wet Milling facility at Davangere, Karnataka is built on zero liquid discharge technology, which means we do not discharge any liquid outside our facility and everything is recycled by using this ultra-modern technology. This reinforces our commitment towards the environment.

Addressing customer demand for natural food additives.

There is a rich innovation pipeline which Cargill works on constantly to introduce products as per market/customer needs & demands. For instance, our brand Truvia (made from Stevia leaves) – a natural sweetener, is one of them.

Innovations in functional food ingredients.

Most of the Cargill’s speciality food ingredients are functional ingredients. This means they add some kind of functionality to the food/processed food, in terms of taste, texture, health, shelf-life etc. This again is a continuous process at Cargill.

© Chemical Today Magazine


See the Interview Coverage in Chemical Today magazine (Pg 18)

View the interview on Mobile, download the Chemical Today magazine app 



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