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“There are many opportunities to make foods even better”

Published: 06-09-2016, | Member: DSM Food Specialties

Global food safety and quality are improving, but there are still many opportunities to make food products healthier and more-sustainable, say Bibi Duyvesteyn and Krijn Rietveld from DSM. Enabling better food for everyone is the new vision of DSM Food Specialties (DFS). “We want to make high-quality, healthy, sustainable and safe foods available for the broadest possible group of consumers, worldwide”, says Krijn Rietveld, Senior Vice President of Innovation.

The company’s broad, science-based product portfolio ranges from antibiotic residue tests for cattle farmers, to enzymes, starter cultures, yeast extracts, and biopreservation systems for food processing. The majority of ingredients are produced via fermentation. DFS is part of the Nutrition cluster of DSM, together with DSM Nutritional Products – the world leader in vitamins, carotenoids, nutritional lipids and many other nutrition and health ingredients.

Sophisticated toolset
Health and sustainability are now almost on a par with taste and flavor. “Worldwide, we track major trends like sugar reduction in the fight against obesity, natural preservation, and salt reduction”, illustrates Bibi Duyvesteyn, Head of Brand and Marketing Communications. “By combining technologies and ingredients we can provide our clients with a sophisticated toolset that supports tailor-made solutions for major health challenges.”

One example is Maxilact®, a lactase that breaks down dairy lactose into galactose and glucose – ‘sweeter’ sugars than lactose. “Manufacturers then need less sugar for milk drink products, yoghurts and desserts, for example”, explains Rietveld. Maxilact® allows sugar reductions of 20% -50% (in combination with other ingredients). Maxilact® is also used to produce dairy products suitable for lactose-intolerant consumers.

From stevia to natural preservation
DSM’s sugar-reduction strategy has led to the development of a new fermentation process that converts glucose into steviol glycosides, the natural-sugar substitutes extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant. “Availability of the stevia leaves and the cumbersome extraction process is creating a gap between supply and the rapidly increasing demand. “Our new fermentation technology offers tailor-made, natural, sweetener substitutes of consistent quality, with shorter lead times and sustainability benefits in water and land use”, explains Rietveld.

Natural preservation benefits from one of DSM’s latest innovations, Delvo®Cid+, a natamycin-based product obtained via fermentation technology. “This solution protects beverages, such as ready-to-drink tea and fruit-flavored drinks, against molds and yeasts”, says Rietveld. “It reduces the need for artificial preservatives, while extending shelf life, meaning fewer losses in the value chain.”

Concentrated yeast extracts
DSM’s salt-reduction strategy relies on yeast extracts. “We can enhance the taste of reduced-salt foods and establish tailor-made flavor profiles”, says Rietveld. One recent innovation, Multirome®, is extracted from baker’s yeast. It offers up to 50% salt reduction in a wide range of products, from chips to soups and dressings. The product also reduces costs, as it needs only half the previous amount of yeast. There are sustainability benefits as well. “Our calculations show an 80% reduction in carbon footprint with our new process.”

The importance of health claims
The need for health claims is increasing. This requires strict regulation, which is a positive in separating science-based claims from ‘nice stories’. Many of DSM’s Nutritional Products can support health claims.

A recent addition to the portfolio is Fruitflow® , which maintains healthy blood-platelet aggregation. In 2009 the extraction of Fruitflow® from tomato extracts was the first technology to be approved by the European Food Safety Authority, under the (then) new Article 13(5) for proprietary and emerging science. Its health claim ‘Helps maintain normal platelet aggregation, which contributes to healthy blood flow’ was approved in the same year. The effects, similar to low-dose aspirin, were proven in eight human trials. “In recent years DSM clients have launched more than 50 local consumer healthcare brands containing Fruitflow®”, says Rietveld.

Fruitflow’s® popularity underlines the value of an approved health claim to DSM. “Our customers put the claim on the packaging, but we must guarantee that such a claim can be made”, says Duyvesteyn. “Strict EFSA regulations make dossier-compilation a challenge. In spite of this, we compile dossiers for all our ingredients and inform our customers which claims can be made and what ‘recipe’ a claim needs.” Nutrition and health claims are possible for a significant part of the DSM portfolio.

Rietveld and Duyvesteyn are looking to the future with enthusiasm and confidence. “As consumers become more aware, they force healthy and sustainable products from niche into mainstream. At DSM we support manufacturers to meet emerging trends, cleverly combining ingredients and technologies and providing them with tailor-made solutions.”

DSM Food Specialties