Processed food manufacturers are finding themselves in a confounding situation. The processed food industry’s turnover from artificial to natural ingredients continues with a vengeance, and food additives are ground zero. Consumers’ preference for clean labels has continued to expand, and the food additives industry is running hard to keep up. For example, major industry R&D investment is driving the release of new naturally sourced colors applicable to a growing number of food categories. The industry is also finding new solutions to support shelf stability and minimize impacts on flavor. Similarly, consumer distaste for MSG and MSG-like compounds continues to encourage development of new naturally-sourced flavor enhancers by the likes of Kikkoman, Nikken, Synergy Flavors, and many others.
Extracts from algae, rosemary and monk fruit could soon replace synthetic ingredients and food additives such as Blue No. 1, BHT and aspartame that label-conscious grocery shoppers are increasingly shunning.
Research is enabling this shift from artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives to naturally derived ones, and could soon yield many more natural options, reports Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.
Melody M. Bomgardner, senior editor at C&EN, notes that the trend has built momentum as concern over negative health effects of artificial ingredients and additives grows. Recent studies have suggested a link between some artificial colorings and hyperactivity in children. Others have suggested that certain synthetic preservatives may cause cancer in rodents.
These results are sinking into the consumer psyche. By 2013, almost a quarter of U.S. consumers reported that they read food labels to check for artificial colors and flavors. That's 15 percent more than the …
Will the industry rise to the occasion and make new and better-performing natural additives available for use in clean label processed foods? Many promising advances appear to be in the works. New natural preservatives are under development, available natural colors continue to expand, naturally sourced stabilizers and fat replacers are growing – but how will these changes affect food additive markets, and how will consumers respond? Packaged Facts’ report, Food Additives: The U.S. Market, takes an in-depth look at the current food additives industry including consumer trends, industry R&D, possible regulatory changes, and other key/critical market factors, and projects estimated growth through 2018. Packaged Facts’ detailed analysis provides additive market breakdowns for 16 categories of food products, across 8 categories of common food additives, providing a comprehensive, highly detailed account of values and trends in the U.S. additives market.
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