In a world of increasingly label-conscious consumers, this year we launched our Natural and Clean Label platform to create food and beverage experiences that are great-tasting, natural and traceable. Combining our mastery of taste and naturals with our world-class science and consumer understanding, this new platform enables us to create the most authentic taste profiles in full transparency. Our goal is to go far beyond the label to offer the authenticity, familiarity and transparency consumers expect. We have the ambition to provide end-to-end traceability in a format that consumers can understand and trust – from the source of the ingredients and country of origin all the way to the production process.
SUGAR AND SALT REDUCTION
The global increase in sugar consumption has led to a rise in health concerns such as obesity and diabetes. Firmenich provides flavor solutions to customers who want new and innovative ways to reduce sugar while providing tasty products. We were among the first in the industry to do so. Our TasteGEM® portfolio is our most advanced range of technical flavor solutions designed to make healthier food and great-tasting beverages. These innovations enable customers to reformulate their brands and create new products to meet consumer demand in a wide range of product categories including beverages, dairy, sweet and savory.
Responding to the mid-calorie beverage trend
In recent years, consumption has shifted from zero-calorie beverages to mid-calorie beverages, primarily driven by negative associations with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. Stevia came to the forefront as a natural alternative, but lingering off notes present challenges for developers.
Building on Firmenich’s next generation TasteGEM® solution, TasteGEM™ SW8, this year we launched TastePRINTTM, a flavor technology that uses stevia, a natural sugar substitute. This technology can achieve up to 100% sugar removal naturally, while creating the fantastic taste experience that drives consumer preference. TastePRlNT™ Sweetener Solutions offer an optimized blend of flavors (modifiers, maskers, tonality) and non-nutritive sweeteners, making Firmenich a one-stop solution for our customers’ sugar reduction needs.
In 2018, we removed more than 150,000 tonnes of sugar from our customers’ products, representing 420 billion of calories.
Solutions for savory
Consumer desire to reduce salt consumption is a market trend inspiring innovation at Firmenich. Our SaltPrint® portfolio allows customers to reduce salt levels in many different products including soups, dressings and meats. With our unique umami solutions, which can be combined with SaltPrint®, we deliver great flavor profiles that taste even better with less salt.
Find out more about our flavor division
IMPROVING PLANT-BASED PROTEINS
With the global population predicted to reach more than nine billion by 2050, the rising consumption of animal-based proteins is not sustainable, yet many plant-based proteins are seen as a bland alternative to “the real thing.”
Our scientists and chefs are helping bring more plant-based proteins to the mainstream by improving their flavor and authenticity of texture, as well as mouthfeel. Starting with pulses, grains and seeds, we have just completed an in-depth sensory and physical chemistry analysis of these proteins. Based on our promising results, we look forward to expanding our work across more plant-based protein alternatives.
Advanced Natural Flavor Solutions for High-Protein Beverages
Protein Shield Flavors is a new line of natural flavor solutions addressing challenges associated with high-protein beverage products, such as bitter and astringent aftertastes. Combining key tonalities with our TasteGEM® technology, Protein Shield Flavors mask the impact protein can have on taste buds while enhancing the overall flavor profile and mouthfeel.
Well received by the industry, Protein Shield Flavors received the award for “Most Novel Food Ingredient” at the 7th Active, Performance & Sports Nutrition Summit in the Netherlands in June 2017.
Global Savory Center of Excellence for Green Protein
Our new Center of Excellence for Green Protein – in Vienna, Austria - is designed to enable our customers to deliver sustainable protein solutions that taste great and offer a high nutritional profile. Bringing together flavorists and sensory and application experts, the center will work hand in hand with our customers to shape the future of proteins.
To find out more about our work on Reimagining Protein, watch out the video
Firmenich has been an active member and sponsor of the Juice CSR Platform since its inception in 2013. The Juice CSR Platform is a sustainability initiative for the fruit juice industry, which aims to support, guide, and inspire stakeholders to integrate corporate social responsibility (CSR) throughout the supply chain. The platform facilitates collaboration among all sector and supply chain stakeholders to address sustainability-related opportunities, challenges, and concerns.Firmenich is the only flavor house associated with the European Fruit Juice Association (AIJN) Sustainability Expert Group, which helped to launch the Juice CSR platform. In 2015, we became a board member of this multistakeholder, global organization focused on increased sustainability in the fruit juice industry.
Many of our flavors, like citrus, are often created with by-products from the juice industry. By collaborating and sharing knowledge with juice industry stakeholders, we are working to ensure the sustainability of certain crops and flavors central to our operations. Our approach is threefold: strive to create more efficient production methods, focus innovation on the future when we may need alternative solutions, and support increased sustainability throughout the juice sector.
In FY17, the Juice CSR Platform focused on three supply initiatives: identifying hotspots in the orange supply chain in Brazil and the apple supply chain from Poland (the Platform wrote an inventory report on CSR issues in Poland’s apple supply chain), and fostering dialogue with pineapple processors in Thailand.
In FY18, Firmenich signed the Sustainable Juice Covenant, joining forces with leading European beverage and food companies to create 100% sustainable juice and puree by 2030. Under the coordination of IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, and with the support of AIJN, the European Fruit Juice Association, this coalition will work on the certification and verification of their supply chains, and jointly set up projects to address specific sustainability issues such as smallholder farmers inclusion, working conditions, soil erosion and degradation, as well as climate resilience.
DEVELOPING INNOVATIVE AND EFFICIENT PROCESSES
Manufacturing our products and technologies has an impact on the environment through our resources consumption.
Aroma recovery: Tapping Waste Streams for Sustainable Flavor Development
Aroma recovery: Tapping Waste Streams for Sustainable Flavor Development Firmenich’s Naturome™ line is a family of liquid extracts produced from carefully selected fruits and food materials. No chemical reaction is necessary for extraction and no additives or preservatives are used. One way we create our Naturome™ products is through a volatile recovery process that takes advantage of waste streams in the food and beverage world. To do this, we work with producers at their sites, where high quality, fresh raw materials are sourced for production.
Coffee from Brazil
A natural coffee material used in many Firmenich flavors comes from a Brazilian instant coffee manufacturer, where we capture waste streams generated in the brewing process. During this process, coffee extract is concentrated and volatiles are lost to evaporation. We condense and recover these volatiles for shipment to our Brazilian factory where we concentrate them to create authentic natural coffee flavors.
Turning waste from seafood
For decades, the Firmenich seafood facility in Ålesund, Norway, has processed natural raw seafood material to create seafood extracts and flavors for food and beverage customers worldwide. In recent years, we have explored ways to further extract value from this process and developed natural food ingredients derived from marine protein.
To continue building leadership in this area, in 2017, we sponsored a symposium in Norway to share the latest science and research on the health benefits of marine proteins and peptides. The event was hosted by Legasea Biomarine Cluster, a consortium of Norwegian companies, including Firmenich, dedicated to biomarine science and technology. More than 100 leading scientists joined the Crown Prince of Norway in Ålesund, the epicenter of biomarine ingredient production, for the event.
Doing more with less - Solessence
For many years, we have created more efficient processing techniques that allow us to better manage raw materials. Through our proprietary Solessence® methods, we maximize processing to produce 100% yield with no losses. Our newest generation Solessence® M offers micro emulsions that use all the flavors in citrus oil in their existing state rather than using solvents to extract them. This process minimizes waste and conserves citrus oil.