The constant search for the new 'breakthrough' functional ingredient shows little sign of abating, and this month's roundup of novel food launches highlights two such ingredients looking to make headway in the food industry. In yogurts, a new ingredient is promising to lower body fat and increase muscle, while in the food mixes category a new "super vegetable" is staking its claim.
Muscle-building is on the agenda for Old Home Foods in the US, where the company has launched the first yogurt that claims to increase muscle tone and reduce body fat. Old Home Safflower Power Yogurt, available in a variety of flavors, is said to be naturally sweetened and low in calories. The key ingredient is CLA (with 1.5g present in each serving), which is said to be clinically proven to tone and reduce fat. Consumer awareness of CLA is probably very low, so it will be interesting to see how this will be communicated to consumers, and whether the ingredient will gain any further traction in the yogurt or other categories.
'Super' functional qualities are also in evidence in the new GreeNoodle Non Fried Noodles Soup Mix, now being distributed in the US by Eon Foods. The mix contains the "super vegetable" moroheiya, which is touted as being "more nutritious than spinach, carrots, or broccoli in most aspects". The vegetable also goes by the name Jew's mallow, and has apparently been grown in Egypt since ancient times. If the vegetable is all it is advertised to be, we could be seeing a lot more of it in the future.
Meanwhile, in Brazil, functional properties are being used to promote a new variety of cereal bar marketed under the Woman Care Fit brand name. The bar is said to be low in calories and to contain green tea and other ingredients to accelerate the metabolism. As well as its functional benefits and its explicit marketing towards women, this product stands out through its flavoring of Pao de Mel - a type of Brazilian honey gingerbread - which makes for an unusual new flavor direction for the snack bar category.
Food Function Boutique is another company looking to cash in on the functional confectionery trend with its new range of Ador Chocolate. The new range reportedly helps consumers with weight loss and oral health care, as well as aiding general well being, thanks to the inclusion of a natural appetite suppressant called Pinno Thin, which is an extract of pine nut oil. While a handful of products claiming to use pine nut oil as an appetite suppressant have hit the market in the past, this is the first to do so in the chocolate space and the first to use the branded Pinno Thin ingredient.
Staying with chocolate, Belgian manufacturer Baru is launching its Baru Chocolate Paired Dragees range, presented as fruits and nuts paired with single origin chocolate, herbs and spices. The company asserts that the flavor combinations developed were not a matter of chance, but were based on a mapping of the flavor properties of each ingredient at a molecular level. The "exciting new creations" include white chocolate with dried cranberries, ginger and Ceylon green tea, milk chocolate with roasted almonds and black olive, milk chocolate with dried cherries and dried raspberry, and dark chocolate with candied lemon zest and rosemary. The chocolate, almond and olive blend is particularly unusual, so it may only be the more daring consumers who are prepared to take a chance on these flavor combinations.
Finally, an Easter egg experience with a difference has been brought out in Brazil. Cacau Show's Cacau Show Ovo Explosivo Chocolate Egg is promised to "explode in the mouth", an effect reinforced by the packaging graphics. The 'explosive' effect is apparently provided by the sugar component of the chocolate, although Cacau Show is somewhat reticent to elaborate on exactly what form the experience takes, other than to say that it will delight young and old alike. Nonetheless, the appeal of this taste sensation could entice consumers to the brand.