The laboratories of Danish speciality vegetable fats and oils company Aarhus Olie are busy developing new products for the food manufacturer. At the Food Ingredients Europe 2001 show in London, this November, the company announced the addition of two new products to its portfolio. FoodNavigator.com caught up with Aarhus Marketing Manager, Lars Gravholt, to find out more.
FN: TripleFill™ is the new filling fat for confectionery manufacturers. Why did Aarhus develop this new product?
For many years we have heard a wish from chocolate producers that they would like to see filling fats that combine several properties in one vegetable fat. A filling fat that is non-lauric, non-temper (do not have to be pre-crystallised during processing) and that there are no trans fatty acids.
Some manufacturers have told us that the ideal filling fat would be one that combines all of the above three properties. So, we have been working with that for quite a long time. Finally we have succeeded in the form of our new product, TripleFill™.
Trans fatty acid is a consumer issue, the other two, non-lauric/non-temper, are processing issues. Using TripleFill™, producers are able to speed up lines because there is little cooling required for the chocolate due to the fact that it crystallises quickly and hardens very fast. It also eases the problem of bloom caused by fat migration from fillings into chocolate or compound coatings.We believe that TripleFill™ meets the industry demand.
FN: What has the response been like?
It's positive. Absolutely. It was only launched yesterday (at the FiE show) so it is a bit early to say however we have already had serious discussions with serious customers. We are currently in the developing phase. It's so new. We have to get into close collaboration with a limited number of customers and we must carry out further tests together with the customers. It's not that it is finished.
FN: Will your customers be mainly European?
No. I believe that some of the multinational chocolate companies will be interested and we believe that it will be quite a success. There are certain issues that will have a decisive effect on the success of TripleFill.™ and we will target areas where trans-fatty acids are an issue, for instance Scandinavia and Great Britain and maybe the States. But we are also trying to get into geographical markets where trans-fatty acids are not an issue. Places where maybe it is not the right time to push a product like TripleFill™ but instead some of our other products.
FN: In fact you are extending your portfolio to meet all issues?
Yes, with TripleFill we are filling a gap.
FN: You launched a second product, Barrier fat™76, here at the show. Can you tell me more?
We have never had this kind of a moisture barrier before. The focus of the application was to create a barrier between a dry component and a wet component. What happens normally is that the water from the wet component will migrate into the dry component i.e., making the wafer or the biscuit soft, instead of crunchy. Our new product, a very thin layer of barrier fat, will stop this from happening. So when the consumer eats the biscuit, it will still be crunchy with the wet feeling inside. That is the application.
FN: Do you have any more barrier fats? Is Barrier fat™76 just an update of an old one?
We have other kinds of barrier fats. For instance, one for chocolates with liquid fillings. However, Barrier fat™76 is not a product formulated from one in our existing portfolio. The number, 76, indicates what kind of melting properties the product has. We can have barrier fats with maybe ten different small variants with different melting properties.
FN: Aarhus this month launched a new web site? Is the company on board the e-commerce train?
We want to give our customers the best service. With a login name and password our customers will have access to personalised product information, tracking of orders, contract status and FAQ's.
Many ingredients companies display a clear reticence to push forward their Internet activities. Why has Aarhus made the first steps and invested in its new e-service?
This is phase one. We divided our e-business activities into three phases. Our next step is to integrate the web site within our own systems. By tapping into our own systems customers will be provided with even more sophisticated services. Phase three is to connect directly with our customers, but this is some time ahead in the future.
We started this project because we believe we have to do something special. Today, it isn't enough just to have a good product and the right price. We need to make a difference.
FN: Initial response from customers?
Positive. It will make their every day lives easier.