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10/11/2022 – Corbion / Preservation / Food / Lactic Acid / Biochemical / Antioxidants / Gulfood

CORBION: Preserving What Matters

With global leadership in lactic acid and its derivatives, alongside expertise in food preservation stretching back over a decade, Dutch food and biochemical company Corbion will promote a much wider array of nature-based preservation solutions – including vinegars, ferments and plant-based antioxidants – at Gulfood Manufacturing in Dubai from 8-10 November (Hall 8, Stand H8-4). 

Ahead of the international event, Dr Mostafa Karzazi, Corbion’s Director of Sales for Western and Southern Europe, sat down with Food & Beverage Networker to describe how the company’s approach to food preservation extends well beyond effective pathogen and spoilage control, to protect other important aspects of product quality and performance.

Q. What products and solutions does Corbion offer to the market, and what innovations will be showcased at Gulfood Manufacturing this year?

Dr Mostafa Karzazi: “At Gulfood Manufacturing, we will be showcasing Corbion’s full solution capabilities. Corbion is much more than an ingredients supplier. We offer ingredients solutions, predictive tools and services (such as technical support) for a variety of categories, including meat, bakery, refrigerated food and confectionery. Our knowledge and capabilities can guide customers to overcome their challenges, whether that is related to food safety, shelf-life extension, natural mold inhibition or taste and texture optimisation.” 

Q. A key strapline for Corbion is ‘Preserving what matters’. Could you elaborate upon what this means to your company and for your customers?

“Our mission is to champion preservation in all of its forms. We feel a true responsibility to work with our customers to deliver state-of-the-art, sustainable food solutions that preserve a world we’ll be proud to have our children inherit. This is why we offer an innovative portfolio of ingredient solutions that not only help preserve food, but also help preserve food production, human health and, ultimately, the planet. When looking to tackle short- and long-term goals, we can optimise existing products, provide ready-to-implement ingredients, or create custom, proprietary formulations.”

Q. In which segments of the food industry do Corbion’s innovations find application?

“In the Middle East and Asia, we primarily focus on processed meat (preservation, food safety, salt reduction), refrigerated food (preservation, food safety, salt reduction), dairy (acidification, fortification), bakery (natural mold inhibition) and confectionery (sourness and stability). We offer a wide variety of ingredient solutions and preservation technologies for these segments, including lactic acid and lactates, vinegar-based ingredients, and natural antioxidants. We also provide online modelling tools to help our customers speed up their new product development and get to market faster.” 

Q. Beyond the ingredients, does Corbion offer any additional support or services to customers?

“Yes, we have a deep knowledge of the market and offer a variety of science-based modelling tools to help our customers reduce guesswork and risk, tackle complex calculations and accelerate the R&D process. We also provide regional technical support, and our application and R&D labs in The Netherlands work with customers to optimise their formulations and differentiate from competitors. 

“Examples of the modelling tools we offer include Corbion’s Listeria Control Model, which enables customers to easily identify the most effective and cost-efficient Listeria control method. It harnesses more than 20 years of Listeria control study data in a wide variety of applications, and uses pH, water activity (Aw), salt content, and other parameters to determine the optimum antimicrobial to achieve the desired level of Listeria control, giving users a speed-to-market advantage. 

“Another key example for the confectionery sector is the Corbion Sourness and Stability Calculator, which supports hard candy manufacturers by providing the required sourness level, while managing the pH and thereby controlling the sugar inversion of candy.”

Q. With Corbion’s history stretching back over a century, what factors have been most important to the company’s growth to become an international leader in the field of food preservation today?

“One key factor is our microbiology knowledge: Corbion’s expertise is the benchmark for understanding the behaviour and defence mechanism of many different micro-organisms (pathologic or not).

“We are also firmly focused on problem solving: It’s important to us that we offer our customers a full solution package rather than pushing a single ingredient. This has served as a point of differentiation for us in the marketplace.

“Innovation has also been key to our success: The constant re-investment in innovation, aligned with real customer needs drives us as a company to arrive first in market with the latest technology.”

Q. What key trends can you identify in the market today, and how is Corbion responding to those dynamics?

“The top three trends that we have identified and monitoring are:

1. ‘Shared responsibility’. Consumer influencers, greener credentials, and legislation and regulations are the three main pillars of this trend. In alignment with our purpose of ‘preserving what matters’, Corbion offers a wide range of natural-based preservation solutions to ultimately help reduce food waste. These solutions, combined with our science-based modelling tools, enable our customers to achieve their preservation goals and speed up time to market. Our extensive knowledge on regulations and legislation around issues such as labelling can also help us better support our customers in new product development.  

2. ‘Yes to Sustainability, Yes to Nutrition’. Given our purpose, ‘preserving what matters: food and food production, health, and the planet’, sustainability is at the heart of what we do, and hence we are well positioned to benefit from the global drive for more sustainable products and solutions. We are supporting this goal by aligning our Advance 2025 strategy with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically with SDG 2 (Zero hunger), SDG 3 (Good health and well-being), and SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production). These are the goals where we believe we can create the most significant impact, given our footprint, the nature of our business, and the environment in which we operate. Our functional ingredients portfolio and our natural-based preservation solutions for categories such as meat alternatives are examples of how we can help producers meet consumer demand for this trend. 

3. ‘All about my food (in my phone)’. In today’s tech savvy world, consumers are able to make more conscious decisions about the food they purchase. They want to know how sustainably the food they purchase is produced and commercialised, and how good the products they purchase are for them and for the planet. Everyone has the option to check ingredient lists and nutritional values at the store before buying their food. This adds pressure for our customers to offer well-scored products (in systems like NutriScore, for example), shorter and clearer ingredient lists, and relevant claims for consumers who are becoming more discerning and demanding. Corbion supports these demands by providing customers with extended and proprietary insights in consumer behaviour, along with solutions on how to address these findings.”

Q. What is Corbion’s current R&D focus, with regards to improving existing products and/or developing new ones?

“As collaborative innovation and the need for evidence of functionality and sustainability continue to trend, we have refocused our in-house R&D to support an accelerated execution of our Advance 2025 strategy. Within our sustainable food solutions business unit, we have identified three primary areas to strengthen our leadership and expand our portfolio. This includes a continued focus on our preservation and functional systems portfolios, along with maintaining our lactic acid leadership. 

“We have also aligned our R&D programmes with our sustainability goal of preserving our planet (SDG12 responsible production and consumption) and moving toward a circular economy. Bio-based ingredients and materials from Corbion play an essential role in promoting SDG12 and help to create a circular economy. SDG12 also includes food waste reduction as a sub-target, and we contribute to this goal as well through our work to create zero waste, improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and implement our new circular production technology in our manufacturing plants.”

Q. What are Corbion’s plans for the future?

“Our Advance 2025 strategy builds on Corbion’s fundamentals and strengths by aligning the business with global market trends. This will be achieved by increased investments in key growth areas such as natural food preservation and lactic acid, while at the same time reducing the breadth of our business portfolio.

“For the sustainable food solutions business unit, we will focus on three primary segments: preservation, functional systems and single ingredients.

“In the area of preservation, we will expand our natural preservation offerings beyond the meat industry into other markets, including the bakery and savoury foods segments. Within the meat segment, we are continuing to collaborate with producers to develop better plant-based meat alternatives, as they present similar safety and freshness challenges to more traditional meat products. Additional development of fermented ingredients based on patented technology will help to further extend and diversify our already strong portfolio of Verdad® vinegars, ferments, and multi-functional solutions, and open up exciting opportunities to deliver value in a wider array of applications.

“In functional systems, we will continue to focus on delivering more natural solutions, such as natural pH modulation in bakery, and texture and stability enhancers in other markets like savoury foods and dairy.”

Visit Dr Mostafa Karzazi and the Corbion team from 8-10 November at Gulfood Manufacturing in the Dubai World Trade Centre (Hall 8, Stand H8-4).

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