Slovenian natural extracts supplier Vitiva is introducing a new version of its Inolens rosemary extract, targeted at increasing the shelf-life and stability of food grade oils and fats.
The price of oils and fats has soured in recent times, in parallel with other food commodities. Reasons for the price increase are manifold and include diversion of grain crops to the biofuels industry and climatic factors.
For food manufacturers, this has led to a need to cast about for ways to maximise the use of oils in formulations or find ways to minimise their use.
Vitiva's solution - based on carnosic acid and antioxidants - is billed as an alternative to synthetic antioxidants to increase shelf-life, such as gallic acid and salts, BHA, BHT and TBHQ. Company CEO Ohad Cohen says these have been implicated in undesirable effects like allergies and possibly even carcinogenicity.
"This influenced Vitiva's decision to avoid using them in its formulations," he said.
A company spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment on precise shelf-life extension or how much of a saving this could bring about for the processor. But Vitiva said: "New Inolens 4 offers a natural solution at a competitive rate".
The Slovenian firm, which offers a range of rosemary extracts optimised for different uses in the food and cosmetics industries, points out that the oxidation process for frying oils is especially pronounced since they are exposed to high temperatures and multiple frying cycles.
In addition, natural solutions to oxidation have, in the past, been seen to affect sensory qualities like flavour, odour, and colour.
Since many rosemary ingredients are green in colour, this makes them unsuitable for use in sensitive products like oils, marinades, and fillings for baked goods.
Inolens 4, however, is claimed to have green colour values up to five times lower than its predecessor, and red colour values up to 15 times lower.
This is said to make it suitable for mayonnaise, dressings, sauces, marinates, and light coloured confectionery and bakery fillings - as well as straightforward edible and frying oils.
Vitiva is not the only firm aiming to make oils last longer.
Last year Dutch firm Jan Dekker launched a new ingredient blend of all vegetable/vegetable-based stabilising agents, called Dekkafry.
Dekker says natural antioxidants are used to enhance the performance of the frying oil and extend the fried food's shelf life, while anti-polymerising agents (in some variants used in conjunction with organic acids) are included to improve the heat stability of the oil.
Citric acid, meanwhile, is included to deduce the deposition of brown degradation products on the steel surface of the fryer caused by metal ions.