CP Kelco has a new fiber ingredient made from citrus peels. The Atlanta-based company said its Nutrava Citrus Fiber product line responds to consumer demand for clean-label products.
The new product has gelling, thickening, stabilizing and water-binding capabilities, the company said. It may be used to replace starch, eggs or oil in formulations. Potential applications include fruit-flavored beverages, drinking yogurts, dressings, condiments, sauces, bakery items, meats and soups.
CP Kelco introduced its Nutrava Citrus Fiber ingredient at the recent 2019 Association for Dressings & Sauces Technical Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.
CP Kelco could find success with its Nutrava Citrus Fiber product because dietary fiber sourced from citrus fruit is increasingly appearing in baked goods and other items. It's a functional add-on offering health benefits and a clean label. Naturally sourced citrus fiber also contains bioactive compounds such as polyphenols, vitamin C and flavonoids, which help boost its wellness credentials.
The market for citrus fiber is expanding along with the demand. According to Bakery and Snacks, Global Market Insights projects the global citrus-based fiber market, valued in excess of $1.2 billion in 2017, will grow by more than 6% by 2024.
The ingredient's use as a starch, eggs or oil replacement in product formulations is another major asset. Consumers often want to limit their consumption of those ingredients when possible, and more ingredient and food manufacturers are responding.
Dietary fiber is attracting increased attention among people who want to access its health benefits through their diets. Research shows it can limit blood glucose and potentially prevent Type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and heart disease. Most consumers don't get the minimum daily 28 grams recommended, since the average consumption is about 15 grams a day. In June 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted petitions for eight non-digestible carbohydrates to augment fiber content in foods.
Citrus fiber is considered a "mixed plant cell wall" fiber because it can be sourced from foods which have gone through other processing, such as juicing. According to Modern Farmer, 3.8 million tons of citrus peels are wasted annually, so productive ways to divert some of that to ingredient production is another asset. Left over fruit and vegetable waste that might otherwise end up in landfills is also being repurposed into beverages, packaging, bioplastics, compost and topsoil.
With all these factors enhancing citrus fiber's profile, CP Kelco faces competition in the space. Companies developing similar products include Cargill, Ceamsa and Florida Products, as well as Wisconsin-based biotechnology firm Fiberstar, Inc., which is producing a branded product called Citri-Fi made from orange pulp. As manufacturers try out these citrus fiber-sourced ingredients, the level of adaptability and acceptability they find could bring even more such products to market.