Belgium-based international ingredients supplier Puratos is collaborating with US start-up ReGrained to bring upcycled ingredients to commercial bakers at scale.
“What's exciting about this partnership is Puratos global footprint and resources to support that level of innovation, while we bring a unique, in demand ingredient for the commercial market,” a spokesperson for ReGrained told FoodNavigator.
ReGrained has developed patent-protected technology to upcycle spent brewers’ grain into its SuperGrain+ ingredient. “Our patented technology, which we co-developed with the United States Department of Agriculture, leverages a thermo-mechanical process to upcycle nutritious plant matter safely and efficiently from food processing by-products,” co-founder and CEO Dan Kurzrock explained.
SuperGrain+ delivers a ‘minimum’ of 3.5-times the dietary fibre and two-times the plant protein of whole grain fibres while lowering net carbs. The supplier has also developed its Upcycled Food Lab, an innovation platform that enables collaboration with food makers to develop and launch ‘scalable and highly marketable’ upcycled food products.
For its part, Puratos brings an ‘unparalleled depth of global expertise in natural fermentation, health and wellbeing, enzyme-based technologies and consumer insights’ to the partnership.
“This partnership offers powerful tools for the commercial baking industry to unlock the upcycled food opportunity at scale,” Kursrock suggested. “Together, we can bring clean, elevated nutrition, superb flavour and real sustainability to some of human civilization’s most time-honoured food traditions.”
The ReGrained spokesperson revealed that the collaboration is not focused on a specific geography – rather it represents an important route-to-market for the ReGrained ingredient to reach large-scale international customers. “The collaboration doesn’t have a geographic focus, but rather those food makers working at a mess distribution level,” we were told.
Upcycling up, up and away
Announcing the agreement, ReGrained and Puratos said that their ‘complementary’ areas of expertise mean they are well-positioned to offer solutions ‘at the forefront of macro trends’.
Consumer tastes and expectations for baked goods are ‘rapidly’ shifting to products that are ‘more healthful’, lower in carbs and higher in fibre, they claimed.
Shoppers are also increasingly aware of the environmental footprint of the food they eat, the companies said citing Mordor Intelligence data that shows 42% of consumers are conscious of food’s environmental footprint.
Addressing good waste – and the potential impact his has on the climate crisis – is another topic that is rising up the agenda. Spoonshot research reveals awareness has grown 71% since 2019. Meanwhile a fresh report from Ecovia Intelligence predicts consumer demand for upcycled foods will ‘surge’ in 2022.
Ecovia researchers say new product launches and standards are making upcycled foods more visible, with the Upcycled Food Association’s certification scheme launched last year. ReGrained is identified as an ‘early adopter’ of the UFA logo.
“2022 is expected to be the year that upcycled foods make their mark. Consumers are turning to upcycled foods as they become aware of the environmental and economic impacts of food waste and losses. Food producers are investing in upcycled foods as they help them achieve their sustainability goals. By creating high-value items using waste, upcycling also helps the food industry make the transition towards a circular economy,” Ecovia said.
Complementing Puratos health and wellness strategy
The tie-up also aligns with the strategic goals of international bakery supplier Puratos, which is focused on expanding in key, high-growth areas of the bakery segment.
“Puratos aims to be the most reliable partner in innovation for the baked goods and chocolate market, which is why we invest so heavily in research and development,” explained Michael Gleason, product manager for Bakery USA. “We’re committed to helping the next generation create a better and healthier world for all. ReGrained’s leadership in upcycled food innovation is a great fit with our strategic mission.”
The company is extending its reach in the health and wellness category and has completed a number of recent acquisitions to support this drive. Earlier this month, Puratos announced the purchase of Profimix, a Czech supplier of improvers, bakery mixes and confectionery items.
Unveiling the deal, Puratos highlighted a ‘joint focus’ on health and wellbeing, which it described as a ‘cornerstone’ of future growth. Profimix focuses on health and wellbeing products that have a high content of grains, seeds, proteins and vitamins.
Puratos noted that in its Taste Tomorrow research, 79% of consumers ranked grains and sees as the number one contributor to health and taste in bakery.
“The acquisition of Profimix will allow us to offer customers greater flexibility, services, speed in innovation and access to healthier products,” claimed Tomas Novak, General Manager of Puratos in the Czech Republic.
In another deal announced this month, Puratos revealed it has acquired THT, a Belgian company with ‘strong expertise’ in probiotics. The aim, the company said, is to bring to market more innovations linked to gut health.
The move was part of Puratos’ ‘continuous investment’ in gut health, with Taste Tomorrow research showing 72% of consumer have an interest in this area.
“Through the acquisition of THT, and its probiotics business, Puratos reaffirms its commitment to strongly invest in the scientific knowledge of gut health and the discovery of new powerful ingredients that improve the health and wellbing of people everywhere,” CEO Pierre Tossut stated.