"Current food trends present a plethora of technical challenges for formulators, and Cognis has developed a number of innovative products for specific application needs," said Marion Schlude, food technology marketing manager at Cognis Nutrition & Health. "Fast, delicious and healthy are what busy consumers demand and we are working hard to find solutions that help manufacturers deliver successful retail products," she added.The firm's new Cegemett Fresh mold inhibitor claims to act as a natural preservative in a wide variety of applications, including meat, bakery, confectionery, dairy and beverages. According to Cognis, one of the ingredient's strong points is that it allows manufacturers to provide 'cleaner' labels, in response to increased consumer demand for natural products. Made from a blend of plant extracts and delivered using a variety of carrier systems, Cegemett Fresh claims to be able to extend shelf life and inhibit mold growth by killing bacteria in food products. In this way, it could also help protect against pathogenic micro-organisms such as salmonella and E coli, said Cognis. The ingredient, which has been used for several years in European countries in meat applications, was found to also have potential for use in other applications. Cognis is currently conducting extensive research to confirm its functionality and effectiveness across the application spectrum. In bakery applications, the firm believes the new ingredient could replace the common preservative calcium propionate. Although it is still conducting tests to determine to what extent the chemical ingredient can be replaced, independent testing by an Australian food group has found that calcium propionate can be replaced completely, said Cognis. In carbonated beverages, the ingredient could be used to replace sodium benzoate, a common preservative that has recently been at the center of health concerns. In confectionery, Cegemett Fresh could work well to prevent yeast growth resulting from the high sugar content of products, said Cognis. In dairy applications, such as sliced cheese, it could act as an effective surface treatment to prevent mold growth. Results from the firm's testing of the ingredient are expected by the end of 2007, after which point Cognis said it will actively start to market the product in the US market. For the time being, Cegemett Fresh is available in powder form and is being promoted by the company for use in bakery applications, where its functionality has been verified, said the firm. Cognis is also using the IFT ingredient show to launch its new Spongolit 560 aerating emulsifier on the US market. This has been available in Europe for several months, and claims to allow cake manufacturers to remove trans fats from their products by eliminating the need for hydrogenated oils. According to the firm, the ingredient can be used in combination with liquid oils, such as sunflower or corn oils, to achieve the same texture and taste as products made with hydrogenated oils. Cognis told FoodNavigator-USA.com that a primary benefit of Spongolit 560 is that it can be used in an 'all-in-one' production process, where all ingredients are added and mixed at the same time, thereby avoiding certain formulation restrictions encountered with some other products on the market. The ingredient is particularly designed for use in cakes made from whipped batters, said the firm. Cognis is also promoting its Lamequick range of whipping agents, designed for use in a variety of desserts. Based on vegetable fat, aerated emulsifiers and milk protein, the line has been on the market for several years. Cognis said it is now introducing an extension to the range, Lamequick CE 7203, which is non-hydrogenated and which can be used to achieve products with more desirable nutritional profiles. The firm is also introducing its new Lametop S 80 DATEM emulsifier, which was launched in the US several months ago, and which is designed for use in yeast-raised applications, including bread, rolls and croissants. DATEM is an acronym for Di-Acetyl Tartrate Ester of Monoglyceride, which are used too strengthen doughs by building a stronger gluten network. The Lametop S 80 product contains the mximum level of tartaric acid as allowed by the US Food and Drug Administration. According to Cognis, because its manufacturering process ensures high ratios of baking active molecules of tartaric esters, it allows for high performance at lower levels - thereby also providing a cost advantage to manufacturers. Cognis is also launching a number of functional food ingredients, or ingredients that bring health benefits to food products. These include a new Omevital Omega-3 fish oil for foods and beverages, as well as Tonalin CLA ingredients for body composition and Vegapure free sterols for heart health. The functional ingredients will be covered by FoodNavigator-USA.com sister site NutraIngredients-USA.com.