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Defining ingredients!
Saturday, 01 May, 2010, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Irum Khan, Mumbai
The food ingredient market is expected to reach $30 billion by 2010-11. India is witnessing a 14–16% growth in the ingredient market. Healthy food ingredients are steadily making their way in the ingredients arena and are game to play it big. The market is up for healthy and natural ingredient makers. India’s population of 1,13 billion make for a promising domestic ingredient market. The players who intend to chase and survive in this market will inarguably need to produce innovative ingredients at economical prices. The manufacturers of ingredients have an important social responsibility as they are instrumental in shaping the health profile of the society There are companies like DSM, EAC, Roquette, Solae, Grifith Labs, Pristine Organics, Cargill Flavours, AB Mauri, Sonarome ITC Colours, Phytotec Extracts, which are taking a lead in the market.

Category-wise, the market holds enormous growth potential for snack food, which is estimated to be worth $3 billion and growing at a rate of 8-20% annually. Juices and carbonated drinks are also high growth segments, at 25% per year. The dairy industry, already the biggest in the world, is forecast to cross $108 billion in revenues by 2011.The bakery industry is growing at 18-20%. This will only see significant opportunities for the food ingredients market.

“The bigger the industry, the greater is the need for a regular supply of ingredient with consistent quality,“says a source from speciality ingredient making company.

“Food ingredients like colours, flavours, speciality functional ingredients, vitamin, minerals, essential amino acids, fatty acids, active herbal & spice extracts, dietary fibres, biologically active cultures, fat and sugar replacers, enzymes and antioxidants will play vital role in the growth of Indian food industry,’ says Chetan L Hanchate, Consultant – Food Processing and CEO, Centre for Processed Foods.

With the growing awareness on health ingredients, speciality ingredients based on carbohydrates, proteins and fats, tailor-made as per the food manufacturer's need, will be placed high on demand.

Speciality ingredients are defined by their ability to impart a distinct performance benefit to a formulated product. Says Dr J S Pai, “ Speciality ingredients are those ingredients which might be advantageous in processing or for preparing certain products.”

With the growing awareness of health ingredients in India, the demand for protein based speciality ingredients is growing. Speciality protein ingredients in powder are convenient to use. Soya proteins -- soya protein concentrates, soya protein hydrolysates and soya protein isolates (excluding soya meal), milk proteins - whey protein concentrates, whey protein isolates, whey protein hydrolysates and wheat gluten are the protein based formulations witnessing a rising demand .

Proteins are important in the daily diet. They are not only critical nutrients but contribute to functional properties in a number of applications like solubility, water-binding, stability and emulsification. Proteins, as defined by Dr J S Pai, are large molecules made of amino acids joined by peptide bonds formed by carboxyl and amino acids. Proteins in nature are made up of 20 different amino acids arranged in a sequence typical of that protein.

According to Dr J S Pai the market for speciality protein is going to be sizeable in the country because the rate of its growth is rapid.

Pulses are the easiest source of protein. However, with the rising prices of pulses the protein intake through diets has been challenged.

With financial constraint an important aspect to overcome, the food manufacturer need to develop high protein ingredient based on milk or soya at affordable price.

Most of the protein based products are either in ready mixes for beverages or more recently in energy bar forms. There is also some trend in high protein foods which is still to pick up. Companies producing protein based products are Heinz, GSK, Ruchi Soya, Cadbury, Amway, Hexagon, British Biologicals, Abbott, Raptakos Brett, FDC, Fresenius Kabi, Prosoya etc.

Indian diets especially in south and in rural areas are poor with respect to proteins as National Sample Survey Organisation's report on Nutritional Intake in India . For adults the daily recommended intake of protein is between 50 and 60 grams but children, pregnant and lactating women require more. Although the national average for daily protein intake is about 57g (both urban & rural), it is far lower in states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Orissa, while the intake is much better in northern states like Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. As noted by Dr Pai, the major source of protein for these states was pulses, whereas Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan were leaders in consumption of milk and milk products.

With growing awareness, the market for various milk based protein formulations is also growing.

Whey protein forms one important speciality dairy ingredients. Whey protein is the serum or watery portion of milk that remains after the manufacture of cheese.

According to UBIC market research, whey proteins are the group of milk proteins that remain soluble in whey after precipitation of caseins at pH 4.6 and 20 degree C. Whey proteins represent the major proteins in human (breast) milk, in contrast to that of cow's where casein is the major protein. Whey proteins can usefully replace or supplement meat proteins, soy proteins products, modified starches and hydrocolloids gums in processed meats.

In native state, whey proteins are highly soluble and adeptly perform emulsification and whipping functions in a food application. They have no flavour on their own and are compatible with cooked meat flavour and spice/seasoning blends. Their capacity of water binding make possible to improve cook yield and to have a positive economic impact. They give firmness texture and facilitate retention of moisture during process and cooking. In baked goods, whey proteins are used to enhance crust-browning, bread flavour and crumb structure. The use of whey proteins is especially interesting in acid food products like beverages. Whey proteins impart a smooth mouth-feel and are bland of flavour. They can emulsify fat-containing beverages and aerate shake-type drinks and impart a low viscosity useful in dietary product or convalescent food.

Whey proteins provide an economic source of high-nutritional-quality proteins which makes them particularly useful in sports nutrition. They have efficient metabolic efficiency and are easily digested.

Whey protein isolate is the higher yield of protein currently available, and it comes from milk. Because of its chemical properties, whey protein is the easiest to absorb into the muscle. Most of the whey protein in market contain mostly whey protein concentrate with some whey protein isolate mixed in. Pure whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate are also available in the market. Comparing the two, whey protein isolate is more expensive than concentrate because of its higher quality ( more pure), and have a higher biological value (BV). Whey protein isolate contains more protein with less fat and lactose per serving. Usually, isolates contains 90-98% protein while concentrate contains 70-85%. Studies have shown whey protein isolate to have immune boosting properties.

In addition to whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate, there is also whey protein hydrolysate. Whey Hydrolysate undertakes higher processing than either whey isolate or con
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