The clean label movement is one of the most influential trends shaping new food and beverage product development today. Consumers are paying more attention to ingredient labels, and have become increasingly wary of preservatives and artificial additives meant to enhance a product’s flavour, appearance or shelf life.
Here are three considerations influencing consumers’ perception of a clean label:
1. Simplicity: Consumers view recognizable ingredients, such as those that might be found in a household pantry, as natural and healthier. According to Mintel1, consumers believe that the fewer ingredients a product has, the healthier it is.
2. Transparency: In addition to clean ingredients, consumers look for brands to be transparent about their manufacturing processes. Minimally processed foods are typically perceived as cleaner and more natural.
3. Traceability: Awareness of food production methods and their impact on health and the environment has also increased in recent years. Consumers want to know if their foods are from sustainable sources, and show a growing preference for plant-based ingredients.
To meet demand for cleaner formulations, food manufacturers are increasingly seeking out natural ingredients that not only reduce the need for artificial preservatives, but also add unique flavors, texture, or nutritional benefits to enhance consumer appeal.
In this market, freeze-dried fruit and vegetables, which are all-natural and have a high degree of traceability, can provide real value. Ideal as an ingredient, inclusion, or topping, freeze-dried fruit and vegetable powders are facilitating clean label innovation across multiple food categories, including beverages, snacks, bakery, confectionery and dairy.
Freeze-dried powders are a winner for clean label formulations
Versatile and easy to blend, freeze-dried fruit and vegetable powders are ideal for adding natural flavors, vibrant colors, and nutrition to a variety of food and beverage applications.
“Unlike other drying methods, freeze drying locks in an ingredient’s authentic colour and flavour, and preserves full nutritional value,” explains Kathy De La Bastide, Group R&D Manager at Chaucer Foods. “Freeze-dried powders are 100% natural, making them an immediate value-add for products appealing to a health-focused and clean label consumer.”
Freeze drying also produces ingredients with a low moisture content and a long ambient shelf life. Low water activity makes freeze-dried powders easy to incorporate in dry, baked applications, such as pastries and snacks, and reduces the need for artificial preservatives.
“By incorporating freeze-dried fruit and vegetable powders into their protein drinks, frozen desserts,
or baked goods, product developers can leverage the authentic flavors, colors and nutrition of fresh fruit and vegetables to support their cleaner and better-for-you formulations,” says De La Bastide.
Chaucer offers a wide selection of freeze-dried fruit and vegetable powders – from seasonal berries to exotic citrus variations – which can be customized for a range of different applications.
1“Clean Label: Shifting consumer perceptions.” Mintel. March, 2020.