Clean label trend opens up new application opportunities for citrus fiber

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Citrus fiber is a clean label alternative to mono and diglycerides, carageenan, titanium dioxide and other ingredients featuring on retailers' 'unacceptable ingredients' lists, says Fiberstar
Citrus fiber is a clean label alternative to mono and diglycerides, carageenan, titanium dioxide and other ingredients featuring on retailers' 'unacceptable ingredients' lists, says Fiberstar

Related tags: Clean label, Coffee

The quest to rid product labels of phosphates, carrageenan, titanium dioxide, mono- and di-glycerides and other substances gracing food marketers’ ‘unacceptable ingredients’ lists has created new growth opportunities for Fiberstar’s citrus fibers, which are sourced from byproducts of the juicing industry.

The fibers are now widely used to replace phosphates, enhance yield and maintain moistness in meat products, or to replace eggs, fat, mono and diglycerides or various gums and hydrocolloids in bakery products.

However, they are also being used to replace clouding agents such as titanium dioxide or gum arabic in juices and other beverages; to replace stabilizers and emulsifiers such as carrageenan in plant-based beverages, protein shakes, coffee drinks; and to replace tomato paste in pasta sauces, said CEO and president John Haen.

Citri-Fi 100​ is made from citrus pulp while the newer Citri-Fi 125 is made from pulp and peel. In the US, they are typically labeled as citrus pulp or citrus flour in USDA-regulated products such as meats and egg products, and labeled as citrus fiber in FDA-regulated products such as almond milk or baked goods.

He added: “We’ve got trials going on with gums and citrus fibers as the only stabilizers in beverage systems. Citrus fiber is naturally lipophilic; it loves to bind oil and it’s great for stabilizing flavored oils and other oils in a system that would otherwise separate out. We've had a lot of interest in companies looking at using it as a stabilizer and natural emulsifier in drinkable yogurts and smoothies as well.

“We’ve also had great success with Citri-Fi 125 in partially replacing tomato paste in pasta sauces and other products as it enhances flavor, thickness and body, so we’re quite excited about that, as it delivers large cost savings.”

Citri-Fi 100 contains soluble and insoluble fiber but is typically used in small quantities for its technical properties rather than to help companies make fiber claims, said Haen. 

Interested in clean label trends? Sign up for our FREE to attend webinar​: Where next for clean label? on May 23. The event, sponsored by Farbest​, ADM​, Ingredion​, ​and Cargill​,​ explores... 

  • The evolution from clean label 1.0 to clean label 2.0 
  • Who really cares about clean label?
  • How do consumers understand different elements of clean label?
  • What does it take to clean up labeling?
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