Trends and opportunities in the enzymes space

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28 Aug 2017 --- As the uses of enzymes become increasingly varied, it is always interesting to find out the exciting places the market for the crucial catalysts is going. Today, in the first part of a special report, NutritionInsight looks at the latest market opportunities and consumer trends in the world of enzymes.

Market opportunities for enzymes
“The opportunities we see are any replacement of chemicals, any increase in healthy diet or improved digestion,” Ralf Neumann, Customer Solutions Director Baking Enzymes at AB Enzymes, tells NutritionInsight. However, challenges could come from “a biased view on GM technology,” Neumann adds.

“Univar Food Ingredients [has] a long-standing, successful relationship with [the] world leader in biological solutions, Novozymes,” says Abigail Dillon, EMEA Product & Marketing Coordinator at Univar Food Ingredients. The company certainly has many suggestions for where future opportunities for enzymes could lie.

When it comes to baking, Dillon tells NutritionInsight that products “supporting the trend for freshness over an extended shelf life” is something to keep an eye on, along with “supporting imminent EFSA legislation to reduce Acrylamide levels in baked goods.” Dairy products of the future may be “supporting a growing consumer trend for low lactose/lactose free food products,” while beverages may be “supporting a growing trend for grain-based beverages such as soya/oat/almond/rice by improving mouthfeel, flavor and quality.”

In the future of brewing, there are opportunities for “creating process efficiency, energy reduction and raw material flexibility in the brewing process – including ‘fakeahol’ alcohol-free versions,” according to Dillon. There is also an opportunity in the area of “improving the texture and freshness in gluten-free products.”

Meanwhile, Enzybel has seen the opportunity to move from plant-derived enzymes into animal-derived enzymes. “We [have been] world-leading producers of plant-derived enzymes [for 15 years] – Papain, Ficin, Bromelain – and let’s say that from today on we are in animal-derived enzymes,” Enzybel Sales Director Erwin Kooij told NutritionInsight at Vitafoods 2017. “We [have created] a new company – Enzybel Pharma – and [we’re going to] direct ourselves [toward] the pharma business.”

Trends for consumers
“There’s a lot cooking these days,” remarks Rasmus von Gottberg, Novozymes Vice President, Global Marketing, Food & Beverages, of consumer trends. “If you take the consumer side of things, one of the trends that interests us and that we note is the drive toward authenticity and naturalness. There’s another drive toward sugar reduction, and this is both at consumer level and at government level, given the economic cost and the health concerns related to obesity.”

“Obviously, you have a whole snacking trend – on-the-go food, ready meals – which affect the entire supply chain and value chain in the food industry and where the growth profits might be,” Von Gottberg adds. And protein’s popularity is a trend not to be ignored: “Protein is pretty hot these days – specifically alternative protein sources, such as plant protein, but also incorporation of daily proteins into, for example, medical nutrition sports drinks […] or snacks.”

When it comes to what consumers want, we should still be paying attention to gluten-free baking, according to Dillon. “Gluten-free baking has long been supported with enzyme use in the industry, however it’s not a trend that is ceasing to thrive, and with recent reports that gluten-free food products lack the nutrition and quality of the standard versions, enzymes are definitely able to help support this by improving the quality and standard of gluten-free varieties,” Dillon comments.

In addition, lactose-free dairy products may still be worthy of attention. “Lactose-free dairy products are not a new trend; however, it’s longstanding and it’s one that we don’t see fading away due to health requirements,” Dillon adds. “The development of enzymes further support lactose-free into more complex products including ice cream. As enzymes are processing aids, they are not required to be declared on label and therefore can be used in clean and clear label food products – a trend that is booming at present and looking to take an even stronger position in 2018 and beyond.”

Enzymes could also have an important supporting role to play in continuing to expand the enjoyment of the taste of alcohol through non-alcoholic drinks. “Alcohol-free versions of alcoholic beverages are very on trend in 2017 with looks to become even more innovative in 2018 and beyond,” Dillon remarks.

Remember to check back in at NutritionInsight for the second part of the report, examining innovation and sustainability in the enzymes space, on Wednesday.

By Paul Creasy

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