As Europe continues to discuss the long-awaited harmonisation of front-of-pack nutrition labelling, BLC is offering reformulations of food products to help food companies improve their performance on FOP labels like the French Nutri-Score and Italian NutrInform. Targeting players in dairy, bakery, culinary and confectionery, BLC hopes its expertise into facilitating saturated fats and sugar reductions gives the Mars’ and Danones’ of this world the opportunity to get a better score on their products.
BLC says its mix of application expertise and in-depth market knowledge in applying fat solutions for sugar and SAFA (saturated fat) reductions can result in more nutritionally balanced options for the consumer. For instance, BLC’s Sweetolin product, as introduced earlier this year, is a fat system solution that enables up to 50% less sugar in the final confectionery product without compromising taste experience via the use of specialty fats that mimic the properties and functionality of cocoa butter.
Renee Boerefijn, Innovation Director EMEA at BLC, explained the company's specialisation lies in applying innovative lipid solutions to improve the nutritional profile of foods without compromising on taste experience. For example, the company was able to reformulate a biscuit with an ‘E’ Nutri-Score rating to one with an ‘A’ rating by combing seed and tropical oils to make them functional as a cream filling fat.
"Combing speciality fats with, for example, lectins and with some flavourings, gives the effect of boosting the sweetness in a chocolate product,” he elaborated. “It is really based on the understanding that we have of the interaction between the fat and the chocolate and the taste and the flavour and how that releases, which we have studied at great length, and how that impacts the total indulgence.” He added that thanks to its expertise in fractionation, it can deliver the same functionality in terms of taste and texture whilst delivering a healthier profile.
“Our oils and fats solutions are proof that more conscious and more nutritious does not have to mean less taste,” he told FoodNavigator. “Having extensively tested our proposition on products across categories, we believe we have cracked the code or food manufacturers looking to win in the market for the foreseeable future.”
Gearing up for Nutri-Score
While European regulators are gearing up to make front-of-pack nutrition labeling mandatory by the end of 2022 (with Nutri-Score the current front runner) the company’s task has also been helped by the shift in attitude towards fat, Feike Swennenhuis Marketing Director EMEA, BLC told us.
"We have decades of experience and fat was always kind of the naughty thing: the little devil that makes things very nice and tasty. But there is the realisation nowadays that fat is not bad at all, it can deliver a healthy profile as well and help move nutritional labels into a better space."
He added "Of course we want consumers to enjoy their Magnums, chocolate bars and ice creams. That's the pleasure they deserve, but we can help to drive a better nutritional choice for them.
"COVID has accelerated concerns about health, which will only become more and more important in the next 10-15 years to drive both indulgence and health in the food we consume as a society."
There are other drivers for healthy products and better food labelling, believes Swennenhuis.
"Food labelling is a proven way within categories to help consumers choose healthily. Secondly, don't forget that there's a whole generation of millennials and Generation Z which are being brought up in a different, more purposeful way. They have a drive to make healthier choices, which wasn’t there 10 years ago."
While BLC is targeting players in dairy, culinary and confectionery, Boerefijn is particularly excited by the possibilities in the bakery sector.
"Labels [in this category] can vary from E to B and there will be a big push to improve them,” he said. “We see that with cake, with cookies and with pastry as well. In all these areas we have obtained better Nutri-Scores whilst preserving indulgence.”