International Food Network’s Martling Discusses PDCAAS

Posted on:October 18, 2013

The following is an excerpt from the Arla Foods Ingredients-sponsored “2013 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar Report.” A Global Food Forums, Inc. event, this in-person program provided compelling information for developers of protein-foods, beverages and nutritional products. Click here for a copy of the report.

An explanation of how to calculate types and levels of proteins needed to maximize a food’s PDCAAS value in a formula was provided in a presentation entitled “Using Protein Rich Components to Achieve Desired Labeling.”

“A 2012 consumer research study we conducted indicated that protein is an exciting category for consumers; they want it—they may not always know why—but they want it. This is a tremendous category that is not going to fade away soon,” began Scott Martling, Group Leader for the R&D firm, International Food Network. However, to maximize the protein content of a product sometimes is more a matter of adding the appropriate type(s), rather than just increasing levels overall.

For example, in the nutrition facts panel, the quantity of protein is listed in grams, but the % Daily Value (DV) is not always provided. In order to list the % DV, the protein quality must also be known as measured by the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS). Therefore, if the % DV is not listed, a consumer will not know the quantity of complete protein of a food.

PDCAAS scores for protein quality range from 0 to 1.00, Martling went on to explain. The score represents a ratio of the complete proteins in an amino acid.  A “Good Source of Protein” claim can be made on a product if it contains between 10-19% DV per serving; and “Excellent Source” can be stated if above 20% DV per serving.

As stated above, the DV calculation must take into account the amount of complete protein, not just total protein; therefore, the PDCAAS must be known. Martling noted there is a newer measure for protein quality called Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS), which may someday replace PDCAAS. However, DIAAS was not covered in this conference.

Considerations when selecting proteins for a product application include not only price, solubility and taste, but also percent protein, quality, type and function of a protein. Often, confusion exists over wet- vs. dry-basis protein percent. As a reminder, wet basis is the amount of protein per the entire ingredient, where dry basis means the amount of protein in the solids portion of the food. Ingredient manufacturers may list either or both, and their technical representatives are the best resource for answering this question. And, while some ingredients may be less expensive, they may have other undesirable constituents, i.e., more may be needed to achieve a desired effect. Therefore, it is often best to use the product that functions properly, even if the price is higher than an alternative, Martling advised.

A wide range of protein ingredients are available, ranging from milk, egg, soy, pea, quinoa and other plant sources, to newer trends, such as algae. Algae is an evolving, up-and-coming ingredient with up to 70% protein that is currently being grown in fermentation bioreactors—which are controlled, clean environments. Algae protein is being used in novel new products and has a lot of promise and potential.

A formulation strategy for choosing complimentary protein sources in order to obtain the highest quality of protein can be compared to a peanut butter sandwich. Peanut butter and bread have complimentary compositions, with peanut butter high in lysine and bread high in methionine. When combined, they become a more complete protein. Apply this principle to a real product, such as pasta, with a content of 40% complete protein or 0.43 PDCAAS. Reformulate by adding 25% lentil flour with a higher amount of complete protein, 0.71 PDCAAS, to complement the pasta and increase the complete protein.

Again, it is not just protein content, but protein quality, Martling reminded the audience. In order to bring the PDCAAS of a product to 1.00—that is, in order to have all of the proteins complete—protein ingredients need to be added that bring in the limiting amino acids.

Through all this information, the take-away should be leveraging ingredients with complementary ami­no acid profiles. Be conscious of quantity and quality of protein. Use specifications from trusted suppliers; and verify data using accredited labs. The benefit will be successful, high-quality, value-added products and happy consumers, Martling concluded.

Scott Martling, Group Leader, R&D for the International Food Network, can be contacted at, +1.607.257.5129 x 230 or A link to download Martling’s calculation-filled presentation is at the website


Developing Natural Foods & Beverages

Posted on:September 19, 2013

clean label conference logo-300X300X72The march towards foods and beverages with simplified ingredient legends and positioned as “natural” in the market place is not new. As R&D/ QC Director of a commercial salad, Mexican entrée and snacks manufacturing company in the early 1980s, I reported to the president of the company. His own background was in marketing with P&G. My department was directed to, if at all possible, formulate foods that “his wife would recognize.” This is a challenge for the food industry because consumers also want good economic value, which includes a decent shelf life to last through a distribution system, safe food products, decent tasting, healthful, and so on.

With that challenge in mind, topics and speakers for the 2013 Clean Label Conference, October 29-30, Oak Brook, Ill. were invited for their ability to provide practical, “how-to” advice in the formulation and development of natural, simplified, clean label products. The following lists them in alphabetical order.

— Claudia D. O’Donnell, MS, MBA, Co-owner Global Food Forums

2013 Clean Label Conference, October 29-30, Hyatt Lodge, Oak Brook, Ill.


GFF clover leaf bullet pointBringing Culinology to Clean Label Development – How and Why it Matters –Mark Crowell, Principal Culinologist, CuliNex, LLC

Product development is a complex, expensive process fraught with risk and uncertainty. Developing organic and natural products is a “whole ‘nother cat”. How do you maximize your chances of success on even the most difficult projects? Through the practice of Culinology! Learn from case studies and real world insights how a Culinology project approach is much more than the sum of its Culinary Art and Food Science parts.

GFF clover leaf bullet point Consumer & Market Trends: Opportunities for Simple, Clean & Pure AboundSteve French, managing partner, NMI

In today’s overcomplicated society, one of the hottest trends in consumer packaged goods is simplicity. And the notion of simplicity can impact many areas of an organization, including product development, marketing, manufacturing, and packaging among others. This session will delve into the complexity of consumer expectations and how they have changed over time, exploring such topics as natural, clean label, organic, GMO’s – and much more. Based on NMI’s extensive consumer research databases, the presentation will provide specific insight into opportunities for ‘simplified’ foods and beverages. Come explore tomorrow’s trends today!

GFF clover leaf bullet point From Wal-Mart to Whole Foods: What are Shoppers Looking For? — Linda Gilbert, Founder/CEO, EcoFocus Worldwide, LLC.  

Everyone would agree that product attributes are fundamental to food and beverage purchases. What is less known is how the labels of the products that groceries stock on their shelves not only influence what shoppers buy, but also have a bearing on a grocer’s own credentials with shoppers. Using multi-year trend data, this presentation looks at what is important to consumers as segmented by the grocery chains they patronize—from the natural and mainstream retailers to the big box chains. Discover the importance that shoppers at different stores place on various label attributes and natural choices. Find out how products on the shelves impact shoppers’ perceptions of the grocery retailers and their shopping behavior. Learn how food processors can help meet the challenge and the opportunity that clean labels offer retailers. Shopper segments studied include those frequenting big box stores (Wal-Mart, Costco and Target), regional chains (Publix, Safeway and Kroger) and natural grocers (Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s).

GFF clover leaf bullet point Opportunities and Limitations of Natural AntimicrobialsKathleen Glass, Associate Director, Food Research Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The long-term trend towards less-processed and more natural-appearing foods presents a fundamental challenge; food safety concerns often increase. This presentation looks at current research and practical applications of clean-label antimicrobial ingredients with a focus on cultured dairy products and RTE meats. An update on components from bacterium and fermented dairy-derived ingredients, along with a brief overview of plant-derived components, will be discussed.

GFF clover leaf bullet point A Food Scientist’s Approach to Working with Organics — Sharon Herzog, MS, Director of R&D, Country Choice Organic

A multitude of challenges present themselves in the development of traditional processed, packaged foods and beverages. When the goal is to formulate a product with organic components, the “tool chest” of functional ingredients narrows rapidly as one moves to organic-compatible, certified organic and even non-GMO certified ingredients. How do these ingredient categories different and what are some formulation strategies to create successful consumer-friendly products?

GFF clover leaf bullet point Packaging Does Much More than “Contain” – It Defines Your 1st Sale — Kenneth S. Marsh, Packaging Consultant and Executive Director, Woodstock Institute for Science in Service to Humanity

In the development of a new food product, packaging is often thought of last, and often as a cost item that must be minimized.  Many good products, especially those positioned as natural, have failed because of less than optimal packaging. Packaging choices impact ingredient options, shelf life, distribution requirements, marketing impact and more.  Packaging, for example, can reduce need for antioxidants.  This presentation provides an overview of the role that packaging can play in the successful launch of safe, cost-effective food products and present insights gained from real-world examples on how packaging offers opportunities far beyond its cost.

GFF clover leaf bullet point Emerging and Applied Clean Label Starch Technologies  — Sakharam K. Patil, President, S.K. Patil & Associates

Starch has long played a crucial role in food acceptability. Historically, modified starches were developed to help manufacturers answer consumer demands for economical, yet superior textured products. As attention turns to “pantry-friendly” labels, momentous growth is expected in the use of simply labeled, yet sophisticated starches. Dr. Sakharam Patil’s presentation discusses the current and emerging technologies behind physically and enzymatically altered starches offering clean label opportunities. Practical advice on applications and evaluation techniques will be provided.

GFF clover leaf bullet point When Natural Isn’t Good For You: Managing Food Safety, Litigation & Regulatory Risk — Anthony “Tony” Pavel, Partner, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, LLP

The challenges are daunting. Food companies offer consumers economical, convenient, great tasting, safe and nutritious foods with availability never before known to man. However, careful consideration must be made when communicating the natural positioning of such products. The characteristics of the ingredients, processing and even packaging used, regulatory guidelines and regulatory environment, as well as the increasingly litigiousness of “consumer” groups must all be assessed in the development and marketing of good-for-you foods and beverages. This session will explore the legal and regulatory implications stemming from the interrelated issues of food safety, ingredient labeling and claims as the industry works to meet consumer demands for less processing and fewer ingredients, while expecting longer shelf life and enhanced nutrition.

GFF clover leaf bullet pointFlavorings: Clean and Friendly — Gary Reineccius, PhD, Professor and Department Head, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota

The sensory experience on eating is the key to market success. While great health claims may sell the product once, few will continue to purchase the product if it does not satisfy sensory expectations. This presentation first will explore the options in natural flavorings, for example, is the flavoring natural, all natural, or “from the named source,” and what does each designation mean. Flavoring composition will be linked to the current labeling laws. Emphasis will be on how food formulators can work within these laws to get clean, customer friendly labels. Time will also be devoted to the costs associated with clean labels: nothing is free.)

GFF clover leaf bullet point  Natural Antioxidants: Maximizing Effectiveness for Shelf-life ExtensionFereidoon Shahidi, Department of Biochemistry, Memorial University of Newfoundland

The use of antioxidants for stabilization of foods and beverages has been in practice for shelf-life extension and quality preservation purposes. The drive toward products with consumer-friendly ingredients has created great interest in natural antioxidants, mainly from plant sources as well as certain processing by-products. In addition to structural characteristics of the ingredients themselves, the system in which the antioxidants are used and storage conditions of products are important factors that must be considered in different applications. How can one maximize antioxidant function, and what are the promising areas of researcher for such ingredients? These and other relevant questions will be considered from both the theoretical and practical angles and their implications discussed.

GFF clover leaf bullet point Strategies and Insights into Clean Label Development — Leslie Skarra, CEO, Merlin Development

More is required in the formulation of clean label products than the replacement of technical-sounding ingredients with natural-sounding ones. In order to best optimize such consumer-friendly foods and beverages, an understanding of product processing and packaging is required.  A comprehensive approach to developing cost-effective, clean label products with long term stability and replicable quality will be provided. Formulations tips, tricks and tactics will also be suggested.

GFF clover leaf bullet point Taste Physiology and Considerations in Sweetener Choices –Alex Woo, Managing Director and Founder, W2O Food Innovation

The desire for sweetness is inborn in humans. The subject of label-friendly sweetness enhancement in food and beverage formulations is complex. An update will be given on the emerging understanding of taste perception and how it can assist in the design of clean-flavored, simple products. Insights will be provided into the use of sweetener and taste enhancer ingredients from thaumatin to stevia, from cane sugar to fruit concentrates and plant extracts.

GFF clover leaf bullet point Going Au Naturel: Coloring Considerations –Ronald Wrolstad, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Food Science Emeritus, Oregon State University

While neither the US nor European Union has defined natural colorings or natural foods, when it comes to food colorants, consumers increasingly have certain expectations when reading a product’s ingredient legend. Naturally derived colorings provide consumer appeal and perhaps even health benefits. However, working with these ingredients often proves challenging due to differences in stability, functionality, sourcing, range of hues and cost when compared to their synthetic alternatives. From anthocyanins and betalains to caramel and chlorophyllin, this presentation will discuss the limitations and realties of replacing artificial food dyes with “natural” colorants approved for use in food and beverages.


Frost & Sullivan’s Shanahan on Global Protein Ingredients

Posted on:September 16, 2013

The following is an excerpt from the Arla Foods Ingredients-sponsored “2013 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar Report.” A Global Food Forums, Inc. event, this in-person program provided compelling information for developers of protein-foods, beverages and nutritional products. Click here for a copy of the report.Soy proteins dominate plant protein market, as shown in this chart of global plant protein ingredient share.

Protein Ingredients, a Global Market
The protein ingredient market is highly competitive and fragmented. There are many sources of proteins that compete for a limited number of end applications. “This makes the importance of quickly identifying and addressing opportunities and threats critical,” explained Christopher Shanahan, Global Program Manager, Food Ingredients & Feed for Frost and Sullivan, in his presentation “Overview of the Global Protein Ingredients Market.”

A large variety of protein ingredients exist from both animal and plant sources. Dairy, egg and gelatin comprise the animal sources, with a wide range of dairy types that include milk protein concentrates (MPC); whey protein concentrates (WPC) and isolates (WPI); whey protein hydrolysates (WPH); and caseins and caseinates. Plant proteins include those from soy, wheat, peas, rice, potato and canola. Soy proteins are available as soy protein isolates, concentrates and textured soy protein.

Shanahan relayed that the global market volume demand for proteins was 2.3 million metric tons in 2012 and predicted revenue CAGR to be 5.5-6.0% for the years 2012-2018. In 2012, the largest ingredient share of the global animal protein market was held by egg proteins at 40%, followed by casein and caseinates at 13%, with gelatin and WPC35 (i.e., 35% protein) each at 11%. MPC had a 10% share, with WPC80, WPI and WPI at 7, 5 and 3%, respectively, according to Frost & Sullivan analysis. Soy proteins dominate the plant protein market.

Protein fortification in food and beverages is a key imperative to meet global challenges in nutritional deficiencies, noted Shanahan. Animal proteins typically provide complete protein, but soy is one of the few plant sources that also provides a complete protein. There has been a notable shift toward plant-derived proteins that offer similar or superior functional properties. Sensory properties are key to successful penetration of plant protein ingredients into applications dominated by animal proteins, as well as for development of new applications.

Shanahan explained, “The soy industry has enjoyed success by proactively positioning itself as a sustainable food/protein source; however, low consumer awareness of non-soy proteins has restrained growth of other key plant proteins.” Interestingly, cost-competitiveness is a low-impact driver, despite the cost difference between plant and other proteins being significant (between 30-50%). Health and wellness trends are the primary engines of growth in the protein ingredients market. “Among functional ingredients, proteins score very high in terms of future potential, due to their unequivocal health benefits and greater consumer recall of this benefit,” he added.

Weight management is a fast-growing segment. Positioning as a satiety ingredient is a key advantage for protein ingredients, especially since proteins are perceived as natural. Gluten-free or soy-free claims are possible with animal protein ingredients. On the other hand, environmental impact of animal proteins, primarily dairy, has been the subject of debate. Regulations around sourcing, processing, packaging and labeling are currently being tightened. “This is advantageous for animal proteins, which have had ample time to stabilize their positions regarding regulations,” offered Shanahan.

Pointing out that he was “protein impartial,” Shanahan noted that all proteins tend to have competitive advantages in one area or another. Dairy proteins enjoy the best nutritional and flavor profile, and they remain dominant in specific end-use applications, such as sports nutrition. Egg and gelatin are difficult to replace in bakery and confectionery applications. Plant proteins enjoy lower carbon footprints and higher sustainability, as well as low price and desirable nutritional profiles. Plant proteins score lower on sensory properties, and genetic modification is an issue for greater acceptance in Europe, he said.

Increased potential exists for dairy and plant protein blends; condition-specific nutrition; and improving protein delivery through further research and development.
One ongoing challenge is that a significant structural shift in price growth has occurred in the last 10 years. “Rising raw material costs, and the associated difficulties with transferring the increase to customers, will likely affect profit margins during the next decade,” he said.

“All of this information is interesting, but how can it be utilized to a company’s advantage?” Shanahan asked rhetorically. By filtering opportunities and threats, mega-trends and specific opportunities can be identified. Through detailed analysis of specific opportunities, actionable data and outcomes in each market can be recognized, he advised. Protein opportunities can be assessed through a systematic-growth consulting approach. Changing economics; concerns with food safety, health and wellness; and “going green” are addressed, and opportunities are optimized with this Growth Model.

The core objective is to identify a company’s “Growth Zone,” or those opportunities which have been optimized and validated based on strategic objectives and capabilities, taking the opportunities in the marketplace into consideration.

Christopher Shanahan, Global Program Manager, Food Ingredients & Feed for Frost & Sullivan, may be contacted at or +1.210.477.8419. A link to download his presentation is at the website


The Food Science of Protein Properties

Posted on:September 11, 2013
Egg yolk proteins increase oil-in-water emulsion of mayonnaise.

Egg yolk proteins stabilize the oil-in-water emulsion of mayonnaise. The addition of an acid, such as vinegar, assists by lowering the pH and increasing protein unfolding.

The following is an excerpt from the Arla Foods Ingredients-sponsored 2013 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar Report. A Global Food Forums, Inc. event, this in-person program provided compelling information for developers of protein-enhanced foods, beverages and nutritional products.  Click here for a copy of the report.

Key protein properties and activities include hydration (important to solubility and viscosity-providing abilities); protein-protein interactions (e.g., precipitation and gelation); and surface properties, such as emulsification and foaming. How proteins are processed and re-hydrated directly impacts solubility. Solubility depends on the properties of both of the protein and the solvent, as well as pH, temperature, concentration and the charge of other ions. Lowest solubility occurs at a protein’s isoelectric point where the molecule’s net charge is zero. There is no electrostatic repulsion between molecules, and they aggregate.

Casein and soy protein have an isoelectric point of about 4.6. A protein will unfold; that is, it becomes increasingly denatured the further it is above or below its isoelectric point. Under more acidic conditions, proteins are more positively charged, which is an important consideration for many beverages. The charge becomes more negative as the solution’s pH increases.

Photo of a gelatin dessert

Gelation is an example of an important protein-protein interaction.
Photo Courtesy Gelita

Gelation is an example of an important protein-protein interaction. For example, casein and whey proteins form a gel structure typically found in yogurt. If the protein content is increased, such as through the addition of milk or whey protein concentrates or by ultrafiltration, a tighter, more cross-linked, denser protein gel network is formed. This is structure is typical of Greek yogurt.

Fundamental food science can also explain proteins’ ability to stabilize emulsions. Since proteins are amphiphilic, i.e., molecules that have affinity for both polar water and non-polar phases of food, such as oil, they tend to locate at oil-water interfaces. This reduces interfacial tension between the two phases, and the emulsion is stabilized. In order for this to happen, proteins must move to the interface, unfold (denature) and expose their hydrophobic groups to interact with the lipid (i.e., oil) phase.

For example, egg yolk proteins stabilize the oil-in-water emulsion of mayonnaise. The addition of an acid, such as vinegar, assists by lowering the pH and increasing protein unfolding. As proteins are adsorbed onto the interface (surface) between the water and oil phases, viscosity also increases. This further increases protein’s ability to hinder oil droplet coalescence (oiling out) in the mayonnaise. A number of issues enter into consideration when choosing a protein-based emulsifier. Factors affecting foam formation and stability include a protein’s solubility; surface viscosity at interfaces; isoelectric point; and ability to form good foams at pH extremes. For example, casein is such a great emulsifier that the fat in whipped cream does not hinder foam creation. However, egg whites work best with low-fat foams, such as angel food cake.

Proteins differ in their functional characteristics and, thus, their appropriateness for a specific formulation challenge. For example, whey proteins tend to have medium emulsifying and film-forming abilities; a large range of gelation and whipping capabilities; and are stable to heat, but less so to acid. Soy isolates tend to have medium-to-high emulsifying and film-forming capabilities; low-to-medium whipping ability; medium gel-forming ability; and are relatively unstable to heat and acid. Much is known about proteins that are commercially available. The challenge is to match protein functionality with what is needed in an application.

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