Ingredients and additives are essential components when focusing on functionality, health, and sustainability.
What can ingredients do?
Ingredients and additives to food products and animal feed play an important role in relation to the food products we consume today. Ingredients and additives contribute to the composition of the product, self-life, texture, flavor, color etc., which meet the consumer’s demands. Ingredients exist in many types and are added to both food products and animal feed. The consumer does not always consider the constituents of a food product and term ‘additives’ is often misapprehended. However, additives are typically natural and play an indispensable role when producing sustainable, tasteful, and healthy food products.
More than 120 ingredient companies are established in Denmark and contribute to the strong global position of the Danish ingredients and biotech sectors. These days, the consumers often consider how their actions influence the climate impact. According to this, the ingredients industry aims to deliver products and solutions which affects the climate changes at a minimum. The Danish ingredients company KMC, who produces starch-based potato ingredients, has launched a product that can be added to a broad variety of food products to boost the nutritional value.
In addition, micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals are added to animal feed. Companies like Vilofoss and Vilomix deliver functional food additives to animal feed, to ensure that our farm animals have good living conditions early in life.
Ingredients include many things
Ingredients also include more well-defined additives such as E-Numbers, aroma compounds, vitamins, enzymes, bacteria etc. Bacteria do not always lead to negative changes in a food product. Some companies like the biotech company Chr. Hansen delivers bacteria e.g., lactic acid cultures to food products. Lactic acid bacteria are essential when producing acidic dairy products such as yoghurt, cheese etc. Actually, 75 % of all globally produced yoghurts contain a Danish produced lactic acid culture. Lactic acid bacteria are also used by the company European Protein, who produces lactic acid fermented proteins, which improve the intestines of farm animals. An improved intestinal flora lead to a reduced use of antibiotics and reduced feed to the animals, since the digestibility is improved.
Other companies like Einar Willumsen produces flavorings and aroma extracts, which are added to beverages and food products in order to obtain specific tastes. For instance, this can be the well-known butter taste in a pastry. When a food product is processed a loss in flavor will typically occur. Strawberry taste is most often produced, using real strawberries, but the taste can also originate from aroma compounds, which with the correct composition taste like strawberries. By producing strawberry taste from flavourings, it is possible to reduce the use of natural resources, given that it will not be possible to produce enough strawberries to meet the consumer demands.
The ingredients sector contributes to the production of sustainable and healthy food
Without ingredients and additives many products would have a shorter shelf-life and a limited nutritional value. The addition of functional proteins from Essentia Protein Solutions can prevent the leakage of liquid from cold cuts making it suitable for sale. The biotech company Novozymes has developed specific enzymes that can be used in products with fewer trans fat acids, which for a long time has been known to contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
A growing number of companies make use of side-streams to produce new and innovative ingredients. A side-stream is a surplus product from another production, which would have been deposited. The company Arla Foods Ingredients uses whey proteins as a functional ingredient in many products. Earlier whey was considered a waste product from cheese production. More Danish companies are aware of the utilization of new plants and animals as ingredients. For instance, the company Enorm Biofactory delivers insects to the production of sustainable feed. Other companies work with alga, seaweed, starfishes, mussels – not components we typically associate with ingredients. The company Emmelev produces non-fossil biodiesel based on rape from Danish fields. A positive side benefit form this is the production of high-protein rapeseed cakes, which can be a supplement to other protein sources in cattle feed. Many ingredient companies in Denmark work with sustainability and contribute to the work towards achieving the UN sustainable development goals.
The company Daka Denmark works on reusing animal-based and organic residual products to produce biodiesel and biofuel. Innovative initiatives contribute to the goal of achieving the UN sustainable development goals.
The authorities’ work with ingredients
The Danish authorities have a close focus on the Ingredients sector and its great potential. In 2019 a new governmental strategy for ingredients was published, in which the work group Forum for Future Ingredients was established. The aim was to assist the ingredient sectors in managing barrios and create sustainable growth. The forum is anchored in the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (FVDA) and consist of represents from industrial organizations, research institutions, companies, and a team in FVDA. Also, the public private partnership Food Nation has in relation to the Danish Ingredient activities launched a new branding material, which aims to promote de Danish ingredient companies on the global markets. See the video below:
The Danish Ingredient Sector