Q&A: What’s Next in Functional Food Innovation?

April 2021

Concerns about health and nutrition continue to be major influences on the food purchasing decisions by consumers, including a preference for simple, natural ingredients. Freeze-dried fruit and vegetables can be an ideal way to add color, flavor and nutrition to functional foods and supplements while also maintaining a clean label.

We talked with Shaby Fisher, Global Marketing Manager for Chaucer Foods, about the latest trends in the nutrition and supplements market and opportunities for innovation with freeze-dried ingredients.

1. Which trends are driving innovation in the nutrition and supplements market?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, health remains top of mind. Consumers are focusing more on their physical and mental health and are increasingly looking to the nutrition and supplement market to fill those needs.

In the past year, immunity has been a growing trend, and we are now starting to see mental wellness as an important factor in addition to that. Products that aid in sleep, that help you focus, or help you relax are among those sought out the most.

2. How are freeze-dried ingredients being used in new nutritional products?

There are many freeze-dried ingredients that can plus up the amount of nutrition or wellness in a product. After all, fresh fruits and vegetables contain so many benefits, and freeze-drying helps to preserve those important benefits while being shelf stable.

Ginger, for example, is prized for its health benefits, from helping with digestion to reducing inflammation. This makes freeze-dried ginger ideal for adding to teas, smoothies and other functional food products. It’s available in pieces as well as powder to suit a wide variety of applications. Other popular ingredients for nutrition products include freeze-dried beetroot (a great source of fiber), and freeze-dried orange, which adds bright color, flavor and immunity-boosting Vitamin C.

3. What are some trending flavor or ingredient combinations in this category?

You’ll want to combine ingredients for a boost of nutritional benefits. Popular combinations include ginger and apples to help with digestion, or turmeric with raspberries or strawberries to provide extra antioxidants. There are also many vegetables, such as carrots, beetroot and spinach, used in combination with fruit to add natural sweetness to beverages, better-for-you bakery, and snack formulations.

Learn more about how you can use freeze-dried ingredients in your functional food and beverage applications, or contact us at customer.services@chaucerfoods.com to request a sample or more information.

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