Food division focuses on clean label, freshness, and fortification solutions
Text by Kelly Townsend
In a market that is becoming increasingly health-conscious, finding the balance between creating a product that meets a consumer’s health standards and one that still meets their taste expectations can be a challenge.
Delavau Food Partners is a company that creates those types of solutions. Described as a “know-how” company by Vice-President and General Manager Jeff Billig, Delavau works with food companies, such as nutritional bar companies or coating manufacturers, to solve problems using existing ingredients to give products a new functionality, such as an extended shelf life, clean label reformulation, or calcium fortification. “We’re not sitting back and creating products on our own,” says Billig. “Much of what we do is market-driven, customer-driven… what we’re really trying to do is let them direct our effort.”
Sometimes a customer request is not as clear-cut as extending a product’s shelf life. At times, Billig says, customers will bring additional challenges into the mix, such as a cost limit or specific ingredients that can’t be included on a label. “Because of that, we need to be experts in all of the various ingredient technologies that exist out there so we can choose the best combination of ingredients that are going to create a functionality and the outcome as defined by our customers,” says Billig.
A more recent market trend, Billig says, is a renewed interested in creating a calcium claim in consumer products. Delavau’s response is its patented calcium fortification technology, introduced in August 2015. Delavau researched the “optimal particle size and surface area of the calcium,” which allows the company to incorporate calcium into a variety of confectionery and bakery systems without compromising the taste of the product or the efficiency of the manufacturing process.
“Companies that are meeting a health halo are definitely interested in providing a holistic experience for their customers, and many of those companies are interested in adding calcium as part of that holistic offering,” Billig says.
Not only has the response from customers been positive, Billig says Delavau has been approached by various manufacturers curious to know if the fortification technology used for calcium can be applied to other vitamins and minerals, as well as proteins and fibres.
“What we’re finding is that our customers, or potential customers, are finding other ways to look at adopting the technology that goes beyond that traditional perspective,” Billig says. He gives the example of a company that was interested in utilizing the calcium technology to reduce the amount of sugar in a chocolate product by replacing it with calcium, without compromising the product’s sensory experience. “That was an interesting take that, quite honestly, we hadn’t thought of ourselves.”