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Fibers from food waste offer clean label option

By Elizabeth Crawford contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dietary fiber, E number

Multifunctional fibers made from fruit and vegetable peals and pulps that would otherwise be thrown away can help manufacturers meet consumers’ growing demand for clean ingredient labels while also reducing food waste. 

Fiberstar and Florida Food Products both now offer clean, “green”​ fiber ingredients made from produce biomass that can thicken, manage moisture, improve product stability, replace eggs and oil and improve margins.

Last year, Fiberstar launched Citri-Fi 125, a cleaner, modern version of its Citri-Fi 200 and 300 ingredients. The new ingredient is made simply from citrus fiber from biomass, whereas 200 and 300 include guar gum and xanthan gum, respectively, a spokesman told FoodNavigator-USA at IFT’s annual conference in July.

Florida Food Products’ Fibercolloids, which launched two years ago, also are made from biomass but it is not limited to just citrus. It also currently is made from celery, but could be made from any vegetable or fruit biomass, said Edgar Anders, executive VP for the company.

“Fibercolloids is a new term that we have devised to describe fibers that have hydrocolloid functionalities,”​ such as the ability to create thermally stable, irreversible gels and the ability to emulsify, he said.

Both companies’ ingredients can help manufacturers clean up their labels because consumers are familiar with fiber and consider it natural. By comparison, traditional hydrocolloids have scientific sounding names that can confuse and put off consumers who want simple ingredient lists.

In addition, both firms’ biomass-derived fibers do not have e-numbers, which manufacturers in Europe are avoiding because of consumers’ negative perception.

Fiberstar’s Citri-Fi line also is non-GMO, Kosher/Parve and Halal and is gluten-free, all of which are trendy certifications.

Cost savings

In addition to offering natural labeling for consumers, both firms’ ingredients offer manufacturers cost-savings without compromising quality, the companies say.

Citri-Fi can hold seven to 21 times its weight in water, which can increase output and prolong shelf-life, a spokesman for the company said.

Both companies’ ingredients also can partially replace expensive eggs and oil in finished products and Anders notes Fibercolloids can replace pectin, which he says is in short supply currently. 

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