The price of many commodities has risen sharply in recent months – but there are numerous formulation alternatives, and companies increasingly are considering creative ways to cut costs.
In this final part of our special edition on dealing with higher commodity costs, FoodNavigator-USA looks at some of the ingredients that manufacturers are using to bulk out or replace more costly alternatives.
QualiTech is one ingredient supplier providing innovative substitutes for high value ingredients, and last week presented its stabilized corn germ ingredient Flav-R-Grain PBE as an option for extending peanut ingredients, as smaller peanut crops have coincided with higher demand.
“Flav-R-Grain can be used for breads, cookies, bars, cereals, baked goods and more or it can be blended with peanut flour to extend usage and give a cost savings,” said Kristy Ruhland, a food scientist at QualiTech.
Like many suppliers offering extenders for value-added ingredients, the company is also highlighting the health benefits of switching out real peanuts for its “nutty, whole grain” tasting corn germ.
“In the nut industry protein and fiber are key nutrients typically highlighted in marketing literature,” Ruhland said. “By using our PBE product a food developer may decrease the total fat and increase dietary fiber in their formulations making for a healthy product.”
Several companies are using otherwise discarded or overlooked by-products of food production, such as brans and fibers, to enable more cost-effective formulations.
Z-Trim, for example, is an Illinois-based company that supplies corn and oat fiber ingredients – by-products of the milling process – which can be used to switch out a number of more expensive ingredients.
“We always say that we don’t like to see commodity prices rise – but we don’t mind,” the company’s vice president of sales, Daniel Dugan, told FoodNavigator-USA earlier this year.
The company claims that its products can substitute or supplement the use of gums, dairy solids, fats and oils, all of which have seen price volatility in recent months. Many fiber or starch ingredients also allow companies to emphasize products’ health benefits, by reducing dairy fat or boosting fiber content, for instance, while reducing ingredient costs.
Among other companies marketing ingredients on a cost-reduction platform, National Starch recently introduced a tapioca starch for producing a thick Greek-style yogurt without the need for straining or whey wastage.
And Advanced Food Systems looks to balance ‘better-for-you’ formulation with reduced costs, with stabilizer blends, proteins and starches. Its ingredient systems are intended to replace some of the semolina in pasta to offset higher wheat prices, replace dairy ingredients to reduce fat and cut costs, and replace sodium phosphate for increased meat yields.
Click here for FoodNavigator-USA’s coverage of how manufacturers are also looking to flavors to offset higher ingredient costs.