SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - North AmericaEU edition | APAC edition

News > Suppliers

Read more breaking news

 

 
Dispatches from IFT 2014

RIBUS: consumers avoiding 'chem lab' ingredients; GMOs the biggest agro development since the tractor

By Maggie Hennessy , 09-Jul-2014
Last updated on 10-Jul-2014 at 16:46 GMT2014-07-10T16:46:51Z

RIBUS: consumers avoiding 'chem lab' ingredients; GMOs the biggest agro development since the tractor

During the IFT 2014 show in New Orleans, FoodNavigator-USA caught up with RIBUS Inc. CEO Steve Peirce for an update on its all-natural and organic rice-based ingredients and the sustainability of rice in a world that faces staggering levels of food waste. 

And we couldn’t resist prodding Peirce a bit for his views on GMOs and their role in feeding the world, given his pedigree as an ag-economist and former Monsanto employee now working on the natural and organic sector.

Consumers continue to seek alternatives to artificial, “chemistry lab” sounding ingredients, which has sales of RIBUS’ natural and organic rice hull-derived anti-caking agent Nu-Flow on the rise. Even though organic food and beverage manufacturers are coming up on the Nov. 3, 2014 deadline for swapping silicon dioxide for organic rice hulls on the heels of changes in legislation around organic, manufacturers and consumers appear most concerned with clean label.

“While organic sales [of Nu-Flow] are going straight up, natural sales are going up even faster and higher,” Peirce said. “It’s a time when the consumer is much more informed. People are getting concerned with what they’re putting in their body, and we’re offering a natural alternative to the chemistry lab-sounding words.”

As cleaner ingredients come to the fore, so does a demand for more responsible practices for harvesting and processing them. Indeed, given that 30% of our food supply globally is thrown away each year—either through spoilage or excess food that’s thrown away, manufacturers and suppliers are looking for ways to more efficiently use ingredients.  

“One of the words everyone’s heard a lot about over the last few years is sustainability,” Peirce said, adding that with statistics like 30% global food waste, such topics should be at the forefront. “When you look at the rice plant, 70% is white rice, we’ve been eating that for centuries; 10% is bran, and RIBUS is able to use that to make new rice and baked products; and 20% is the rice hull, which is used for Nu-Flow, So for the first time, we’re able to use 100% of harvested rice for human consumption, whether through food or dietary supplements.”

GMOs have revolutionary potential; Monsanto didn’t help raise enough awareness early on

When discussing consumer perception and chem-lab ingredients, the highly contentious issue of GMOs will inevitably come up. Peirce says it’s hard to deny the revolutionary potential of this technology to help feed a growing population, though GMO supporters started on their back foot with a dearth of information early on.

There are a lot of people opinionated on both sides, and I respect all opinions,” Peirce said. “I have an ag-economics degree. I do believe that the GMO is one of the biggest agronomic developments almost since the tractor. It has the potential to revolutionize a lot of things. I truly feel on the negative side, I don’t think Monsanto helped the scientific community and consumers with their awareness early on, so people built up maybe a resistance in attitude to whether we want to do this, and Europeans led the charge.”

Still, questions abound when it comes to GMOs, and Peirce says that the best way to empower consumers is to keep an open dialogue, particularly in such a fragmented market. “Many American consumers feel like they have the right to know. I think through conversations and knowledge, people will have choices, whether they’re buying organic, natural or conventional.”

Related products

Related suppliers

As soda sales fall, kombucha rises

As soda sales fall, kombucha rises

Tumbling soda sales have opened the door to the mainstream market for a variety...

Bonafide Provisions expands bone broth's appeal with Drinkable Veggies

Bonafide Provisions expands the reach and appeal of bone broth with Drinkable Veggies

As recently as two years ago, bone broth was virtually unheard of by the...

Defining dietary fiber at the 2017 IFT show

VIDEO: Should we define dietary fiber on the basis of what it is or what it does?

Which ingredients should be classified as dietary fibers and why? Elaine Watson caught up...

Sugar Reduction: What’s next? At IFT, companies weigh in

How will added sugar labeling change the market? At IFT, companies weigh in

The controversial requirement to list added sugar on the nutrition facts panel has divided...

Corbion's trans fat-free emulsifiers allow manufacturers to 're-engineer' cakes

Corbion's trans fat-free emulsifiers allow manufacturers to 're-engineer' cakes

"The conversion away from partially hydrogenated oils is really an opportunity to re-engineer cakes...

Cargill R&D VP talks ‘processed’ food, EverSweet, at IFT 2017

VIDEO: Cargill R&D VP talks ‘processed’ food: ‘All food is made of chemicals’

To many consumers, ‘processed food’ is just another term for ‘junk food.’ It’s hard...

Entomo Farms talks edible insects at IFT 2017

Entomo Farms: 'We’re one of the most recognized [edible insect] brands across the world now'

Canadian bug powder supplier Entomo Farms is still doing most of its business with...

Clean meat labeling and regulation in focus at IFT 2017

VIDEO: Will we need a new regulatory framework for clean (cultured) meat?

Producing ‘clean’ meat by culturing cells – instead of raising or slaughtering animals -...

IFT 2017 green banana flour in focus

VIDEO: ‘Green banana flour has the functionality of a starch and the label of a fruit…’

One product that generated quite a buzz at the IFT show this year was...

Retail competition heats up as consumers seek more ethnic products

Competition among retailers heats up as consumers seek more diverse, ethnic products

Consumer demand for products that are authentic and ethnic is not only prompting brand...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The business case for kosher certification

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The business case for kosher certification

Ethical claims on food and beverages sold in the US are almost as ubiquitous...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Hemp is overcoming hurdles to become superfood

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: How hemp is overcoming hurdles to become the next superfood star

Nutrition-packed, environmentally sustainable and already notoriously well-known – although partly for the wrong reasons...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Seeds emerge as superfood powerhouse

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Nutrient-dense seeds emerge as superfood powerhouse

Nuts and seeds in the US are finally reaching superfood status, thanks in part...

Soup-To-Nuts podcast: 3 trends driving growth in bottled water

Soup-To-Nuts podcast: Three trends driving growth in the bottled water category

After years of steady growth in the high single-digits, consumption of water in the...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: grain-free vs ancient grain trends

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Gluten free movement spawns divergent grain-free vs ancient grain trends

As the tenacious gluten-free trend continues to grow and mature into a market behemoth...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Agency enforcement and litigation targets

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: FDA & FTC move forward with enforcement even with some regulations in limbo

New regulations and draft guidances may be on hold at many federal agencies until...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Evolving views on breakfast

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Evolving views on breakfast create challenges, opportunities for CPGs

Breakfast has long been known as the most important meal of the day, but...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: What snacks are hot and where consumers buy them

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: What snacks are hot and where consumers are buying them is evolving

US consumers are snacking more than ever, according to IRI data, but an analyst...

Soup-to-Nuts Podcast: Confections hold steady in face of war on sugar

Soup-to-Nuts Podcast: Confections hold steady in face of the war on sugar

Despite significant headwinds generated by the escalating war on sugar and increasing consumer preferences...

Soup-to-Nuts Podcast: Driving ecommerce with omnichannel marketing

Soup-to-Nuts Podcast: Driving ecommerce sales with an omnichannel marketing approach

Sales of food and beverage online may be lagging significantly behind those of other...

Key Industry Events

Live Supplier Webinars

Delivering differentiation in clean labels
Ingredion

On demand Supplier Webinars

Food Innovation editorial webinar
William Reed Business Media
Optimizing California Almonds for Plant-Forward Formulations
Almond Board of California
FoodNavigator-USA Flavor Trends editorial webinar
William Reed Business Media
FoodNavigator-USA Clean Label editorial webinar
William Reed Business Media
All supplier webinars