Clean Label News Bites

Polar vs. Non-polar Antioxidants & The Antioxidant Paradox

Oil in beaker - oxidationResearch shows that use of a polar antioxidant in an oil-in-water emulsion, such as salad dressing, almost totally neutralizes the antioxidant effect. This occurs because the polar antioxidant is drawn to the water-soluble portion of the emulsion and away from the oil. The antioxidant cannot prevent rancidity in the oil phase. Conversely, using bulk oil as an example of a nonpolar substance, polar antioxidants better prevent rancidity than nonpolar antioxidants, which have similar chemical properties to that of the oil.  Although research shows there are some exceptions to the rule, the antioxidant paradox still exists. (Posted June 10, 2018)  More information…

Healthfulness of Natural and Artificial Flavors

Natural artificial flavorsA feature on National Public Radio by Natalie Jacewicz explored whether natural flavors are healthier than artificial flavors. “The U.S. FDA defines ‘Natural Flavor’ as oils, resins or other extracts derived from natural sources, (such as) plants, meat or seafood.” Natural flavors and artificial flavors are essentially made the same way, but from different ingredients – natural flavors by extracting chemicals from natural ingredients and artificial flavors from synthetic ingredients. (Posted January 14) More information….

Consumer Research Reveals Trust Issues with Food Health and Safety

Consumer TrustConsumers’ desire for “transparency” has often been said to be an important aspect of the clean label trend. Research conducted by The Center for Food Integrity (CFI), shows that consumers don’t necessarily trust those they hold responsible for food health and safety, including food manufacturers, farmers and regulatory agencies. “If you’re held responsible and trusted for ensuring safe and healthy food, you are seen as a credible source,” says Charlie Arnot, CEO of CFI. “However, if you’re held responsible, but not trusted, that’s a dangerous disconnect that can’t be ignored.”  (Originially Posted January 9, 2018)  For more information…

Kroger’s Simple Truth Brand Expands Clean Label Brand

krogerKroger announced expansion of it’s clean-labeled brand—Simple Truth®—early in the 1Q of 2018. Originally introduced in the 4Q of 2012, the line includes more than 1,400 products across multiple categories. Kroger’s Our Brands showed a strong performance from 2011-2017, increasing 37 percent, or rising from $15B to $20.5B in annual sales. Sales of Simple Truth also demonstrated a healthy performance with 19 percent growth in the 3Q of 2017.  (Original Post January 3, 2018) For more information…

Healthfulness of Natural and Artificial Flavors
Natural artificial flavors A National Public Radio feature interviewed Gary Reineccius, Flavor Chemist, University of Minnesota; Chef Bruce Mattel, Associate Dean of Culinary Arts, The Culinary Institute of America; and Charles Platkin, Director, New York City Policy Center, Hunter College. It explored whether natural flavors are healthier than artificial flavors. (Posted on January 14, 2018) More information…

Choosing Natural Sweeteners for Formulations

Freezing Point Depression Chart

In formulating products, consumer attitudes, regulations and other factors are considered when choosing a sweetener. A presentation by Merlin Development notes that colligative properties (e.g., Freezing point depression, Boiling Point Elevation, Osmotic Pressure, Vapor Pressure (Water Activity) as well as functional properties (Flavor/Sweetness, Water Control, Viscosity, Foam Stabilization, Cohesiveness, crystallization control, texture modification via glass transition) are key characteristics. (2015 Clean Label Conference presentation)  —  “Fruit and Vegetable Ingredient Toolbox: Opportunities for Clean Label Formulation” presentation at the  2015 Clean Label Conference
Chart courtesy of

Clean Labels Driven by Consumers, Global Food Distribution, Food Technologies

The Clean Label Movement has at least three impacts on packaging. They include verbiage on labels (e.g., claims and ingredient legends); the packaging material used, which communicates subtle impressions to consumers; and, the packaging materials, which might perform some of the functions of the ingredients used, such as prevention of oxidation. This and other comments are offered in an interview with Global Food Forums’ co-owner, Claudia O’Donnell. —–Packaging Digest, May 21, 2015

Panera Bread Announces a “Clean Ingredient” Initiative

In the spring of 2015, Panera Bread announced a “Clean Ingredient” initiative. “We are advocates for clean food. We’re committed to sourcing and serving high-quality ingredients without artificial additives including added MSG, artificial trans fats, and ingredients we don’t believe need to be in your food,” says the company website. Global Food Forums notes such goals tend to be more easily accomplished with the shorter and more controlled food distribution channels that occur in the food service industry.

Top 10 Most Influential Trends 2015

Eggs-150Natural Products Expos and NEXT Trend released a top ten list of most influential natural food and beverage trends for 2015. Global Food Forums portfolio of conferences are based on several of these trends including its annual Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar and its Clean Label Conference. Top 10 most influential natural food trends, 2015….


2015-NPEW-crowdThe desire for simple, easily understood ingredient statements has been an effort by many in the industry for over 30 years. Global food distribution systems and the rise of multi-national food companies is one driving force. Additionally, consumer interest in “natural,” transparent and easily understood packaged foods has been a major trend worldwide.One testimony to the strength of this trend can be seen in the growth of the Natural Products Expo West event. Organizers of Natural Products Expo West announced that the 2015 event grew by 7.2 percent to over 71,000 attendees with 2,700 exhibiting companies. (March 14, 2015 – Global Food Forums)


Global-additive-restrictionIn her presentation “Opportunities & Headwinds in Global Ingredient Regulations” at the 2014 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar, Carolyn Fisher, Ph.D, referenced how the company Decernis monitors 78,000 food and consumer product regulations in 180 countries and 16 economic areas. One purpose is to assist food companies in determining the regulatory barriers each ingredient— and thus the product itself— may face when it is marketed in a region. Global Food Forums defines “export-friendly” ingredients as those that have little to no restrictions in a broad range of global market area. This is one driving force behind simplified ingredient legends and “clean labels.” (April 21, 2014 – Global Food Forums, Inc.)


Do-natural-claims-LeatherheadA 2013 white paper “Do “natural” claims cut the mustard?” by Leatherhead Food Research suggests that “natural claims” may be devaluing the meanings of specific claims. Its survey of 500 US consumers shows they do not strongly differentiate between claims like “natural,” “organic” and “locally sourced.” Results show that 49% are willing to pay “slightly,” “somewhat” or “quite a bit more” for an organic product while 59% said they would pay the same  for a product claiming to be “natural.”Do ‘natural’ claims cut the mustard?—Leatherhead Food Research (July 30, 2013) This is a link to request the white paper from Leatherhead Food Research. Click here to see news item with access to a larger version of the chart at left.


Nielsen-natural-150 In its April 30, 2014 Journal eNews, NMI reports that products in the U.S. with the claim “natural” generated $43B in sales according to Nielsen Scantrack & Nielson LabTrends (52 weeks ending 12/21/2013). Products with claims on the presence of preservatives, vitamins & minerals, calories and salt or sodium as well as those with gluten free claims followed. All sported sales in the $22.3 to $26.9B range.Click here for more information.


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