New flavors and innovative technologyPublished: 01-02-2016, | Member: Verstegen Spices & Sauces
Peruvian flavors and a marinade for stale bread are just two of the many innovations Verstegen Spices & Sauces recently put on the market. This on-trend company is developing sustainably produced ingredients that contribute to healthy, great tasting food products.
Developing exciting new flavors and technological solutions such as sodium replacements is the main focus of Tim Boumans’ work. Boumans is R&D manager at Verstegen Spices & Sauces and talks about the company’s drive to keep innovating. “We’re continually looking for products that are new and different, and that have an added value to our customers in some way. Quality is our number 1 requirement, and we also set great store by corporate social responsibility, or CSR.”
Boumans knows all about Peruvian cuisine’s current appeal. “Our trendwatcher and marketers are always on the lookout for what’s hot and what’s trendy. Three years ago they discovered new herbs and spices in Peru and started the process of registering them in compliance with food safety regulations and making them available to our European customers. One of the herbs in this new Peruvian flavor concept is ‘Huacatay,’ a traditional Peruvian green herb with an idiosyncratic flavor somewhat akin to dill and mint. In addition, we also included three new chilies: Mirasol, yellow and Panca chili peppers, each of which have their own specific taste and heat.”
In response to the salt reduction trend, Verstegen is developing healthier alternatives. One of the greatest challenges the food industry is facing is the reduction of sodium, additives, fat and sugar. Verstegen’s R&D department is responding to these challenges, but has decided its priority is not to compromise on quality, color, stability or sustainable production. The result is Verstegen’s Pure concept, which, according to Boumans, shows that healthier does not mean less tasty. “Health conscious and delicious can go hand in hand. Verstegen’s Pure products are proof of that. ‘Pure’ products do not contain MSG, are free of allergens and phosphates and contain a minimum of sodium.” The Verstegen product line has an easily recognizable label that includes a green ‘Pure’ logo.
Helping consumers make healthier food choices is a philosophy that fits Verstegen’s mission statement. The company is the first herbs and spices manufacturer and the first food manufacturer in Europe to be CSR Performance Ladder Level 4 certified. In the CSR Performance Ladder certification standard, level 4 stands for social responsibility and sustainability throughout the entire production chain.
Verstegen is also devising solutions that help create a circular economy in the food industry. To reduce food waste, the company has developed a special oil marinade for bakers. Bakers can use it to marinade their stale, unsellable bread, which they can then turn into ‘crostini’ crispbreads by drying it in their ovens. Verstegen expects to market more of this type of waste reduction solution over the next few years.
Speaking about Verstegen’s future, Boumans says, “We are trying to get several projects off the ground in which we’re going to collaborate with other innovative food companies. Working with other players on the market and exchanging knowledge is key if you want your innovations to succeed. Innovation is not a solo effort. We hope to meet new business partners by joining the Food Valley Society.”