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Innovative Solutions For The Food Industry

WACKER Media Kit
Food Ingredients Asia, September 2017

INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR THE FOOD INDUSTRY

Rising affluence, changing demographics and growing health awareness among consumers in many regions of the world are increasing the demand for natural products and ingredients, as well as for fat-reduced and fat-free food products. At the same time, consumers are more frequently opting for dietary supplements or food products with additional benefits, so-called functional foods, to enhance their wellbeing. In many countries, vegetarians account for a growing part of the population, which fuels the need for food solutions without animal-derived products. Furthermore, the demand for processed food is set to rise steadily in the next years.

For these reasons, the market for dietary supplements and novel food solutions is growing globally. With its portfolio of cyclodextrins, cysteine, hydroxytyrosol and solid resins for gumbase, WACKER offers solutions for the special demands and needs of these sectors.

Cyclodextrins for Food Applications

Cyclodextrins are ring-shaped sugar molecules (oligosaccharides) that have been known to science and research for over 100 years. According to the number of glucose units, a distinction is made between α-, β- and γ-cyclodextrin: α-cyclodextrin consists of six, β-cyclodextrin of seven and γ-cyclodextrin of eight glucose units. As natural starch conversion products, they can be biotechnologically produced for industrial use by enzymatic degradation from starch-containing raw materials, such as corn or potatoes. They are non-allergenic, vegetarian and are produced from renewable raw materials.

Cyclodextrins’ special ring-shape creates an interior cavity, similar to a donut, in which they can take up other, primarily hydrophobic substances. In this way, the sugar molecules can bind ingredients, release active agents or stabilize sensitive substances and interfaces. So, in the food industry, cyclodextrins have important functions like masking an unpleasant taste or stabilizing sensitive food ingredients such as vitamins. In addition, they can be used as soluble fibers, and their emulsifying properties can be applied.

New Approaches to Vegetarian Applications

Processed food such as mayonnaise, ready-to-eat meals and desserts often contains emulsifiers or flavors derived from animal sources – a taboo for many people who only consume vegetarian or vegan food. Cyclodextrins offer a plant-derived and cholesterol-free alternative here: the ring-shaped sugar molecules are naturally occurring carbohydrates that WACKER produces enzymatically from plant-based raw materials such as corn or potatoes. Thanks to their special structure, they can stabilize oil-in-water emulsions and thus replace conventional animal-derived emulsifiers, e.g. egg yolk in mayonnaise and salad dressings or caseinate (milk protein) in instant coconut milk powder.

Similarly, WACKER’s fermentation-generated cysteine can be used as a vegetarian-grade raw material for flavors and as a dough softener in bakery applications. Unlike many other manufacturers who extract this amino acid from human or animal sources such as hair, feathers or pig bristles with the aid of hydrochloric acid, WACKER produces cysteine by fermentation in a patented biotechnological process – the first company in the world to do so. Since it is manufactured from purely plant-based raw materials, WACKER’s cysteine is both halal and kosher, as well as entirely vegetarian and even vegan.

Functional Solutions for Dietary Supplements

Many plant extracts have components that are believed to offer health benefits: catechins in green tea, for example, are said to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, while red ginseng reputedly strengthens the body’s immune system. The downside: the extracts usually have a bitter aftertaste. Cyclodextrins can help to mask these bitter flavors, while retaining the health benefits.

Many plant extracts have components that are believed to offer health benefits: catechins in green tea, for example, are said to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, while red ginseng reputedly strengthens the body’s immune system. The downside: the extracts usually have a bitter aftertaste. Cyclodextrins can help to mask these bitter flavors, while retaining the health benefits.

Another functional solution WACKER offers for dietary supplements is nature-identical hydroxytyrosol. Hydroxytyrosol, a secondary plant metabolite, is considered one of the most effective antioxidants in nature. Antioxidants are among the most popular dietary supplements, due to their ability to scavenge free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. Hydroxytyrosol is reported to strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and improve bone and joint health. Above all, it is said to protect blood lipids from oxidative damage, an effect that prevents cardiovascular disease and lowers the risk of stroke.

Although hydroxytyrosol is a popular ingredient in dietary supplements and cosmetics, one drawback, until recently, was the way it was produced. In nature, hydroxytyrosol is found in olives and olive leaves – but its extraction is complex, labor- and cost-intensive, and produces a varying content of active ingredient in the end product. WACKER has now developed a novel process to fully synthesize this compound: Its new product, HTEssence®, features markedly higher purity with a defined amount of active ingredient.

The controlled production process not only offers supply security, but also ensures that HTEssence® does not contain any unwanted byproducts, impurities or contaminants. As a result, HTEssence® is free of all main allergens and pesticides and suitable for use in functional foods and dietary supplements, such as tablets, capsules, energy bars and functional beverages.

High-Quality Chewing Gum, Novel Confectionery and 3D-Printed Gum

Gumbase is the water-insoluble constituent of chewing gum, and acts as a carrier for sugar, sweeteners and flavors. Generally, gumbase is produced by a complex process involving several working steps and a number of different ingredients. WACKER has developed a solid resin that greatly simplifies this process, because it allows the formulation to have fewer ingredients. CAPIVA® S enables the production of a high-quality, elastic gumbase without the addition of elastomers and rosins. Furthermore, the solid resin ensures a better release of flavor, and the finished chewing gum is less sticky and easier to remove from surfaces.

The new CANDY2GUM® technology enables confectionery with a completely new mouthfeel – what begins as a piece of chewy candy turns into chewing gum after a short time. Since this innovative product is made in a boiling process, manufacturers can now add water-based, fat-containing and natural ingredients, such as fruit juice, cocoa and coffee.

Additionally, WACKER has developed the world’s first 3D printing process to use chewing gum. With CAPIVA® 3D, for the first time, chewing gum comes in a variety of customizable shapes: names, logos or lifelike miniature figurines, this new technology can produce gum in a wide range of colors, shapes and flavors – individually personalized.

Bakers use cysteine as the dough then becomes easier to knead. WACKER is the first company in the world to produce the amino acid by fermentation in a patented process. Since it is manufactured from purely plant-based and inorganic starting materials, WACKER’s cysteine is both halal and kosher, as well as entirely vegetarian, or even vegan (photo: Wacker Chemie AG).

Inclusion in cyclodextrin makes a hard-to-dissolve substance such as curcumin around 40 times more absorbable by the human body. As a free-flowing powder, CAVACURMIN® is ideal for use in tablets, capsules and drinks (photo: Wacker Chemie AG).
Spray-dried nature-identical hydroxytyrosol: The odorless, water-soluble powder HTEssence® is available in great purity and with a defined amount of active ingredient (photo: Wacker Chemie AG).

Lab test: WACKER’s innovative CANDY2GUM® technology creates a completely new mouthfeel and chewing experience – what begins as a piece of chewy candy turns into chewing gum after a short time. Now, manufacturers can introduce new flavors and ingredients, ranging from fruit juices, through chocolate, to plant extracts (photo: Wacker Chemie AG).

For further information, please contact:
Wacker Chemie AG
Media Relations & Information
Nadine Baumgartl
Tel. +49 89 6279-1604
nadine.baumgartl@wacker.com
www.wacker.com

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The company in brief:
WACKER is a globally active chemical company
with some 13,450 employees and annual sales of
around €4.6 billion (2016, excluding Siltronic).
WACKER has a global network of 23 production sites,
19 technical competence centers and 49 sales offices.

WACKER SILICONES
Silicone fluids, emulsions, rubber and resins; silanes; pyrogenic silicas; thermoplastic silicone elastomers

WACKER POLYMERS
Polyvinyl acetate and vinyl acetate co- and terpolymers in the form of dispersible polymer powders, dispersions, solid resins and solutions

WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS
Biotech products such as cyclodextrins, cysteine and biologics, as well as fine chemicals and PVAc solid resins

WACKER POLYSILICON
Polysilicon for the semiconductor and photovoltaic industries

 

 

 

 

 

 

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