Most sustainable ingredient supplier: Roquette Algility
Algae are mighty mites—they just might save the world. Roquette’s Algility microalgae-based ingredients are natural, gluten free, non-allergen, 100 percent vegan and non-GMO. Its whole algal flour and whole algal protein offers processed food companies provocative solutions to making food healthier. Imagine replacing eggs, butter and milk with healthier algae that’s produced in fermentation tanks, not on a CO2-producing farm. Now imagine being able to tweak the algae further to spike its omega-3, or protein, profile. All without losing taste or texture. Yum!
Most transparent chain-of-custody supplier: AlaskOmega
Caught in Alaska, refined in Ohio. Let’s just call it a Made in the USA fish oil, with a transparency model that can identify down to the bay where the source fish were caught. The company also, since 2005, boasts a Marine Stewardship Council certificate—the most stringent sustainability agency in the world. The certification is for Chain of Custody of Alaska Pollock oil, which includes processing, storage, trading, transportation and wholesale. The company offers a range of ethyl ester and triglyceride concentrates ranging from 150 mg/g EPA + DHA to 800 mg/g.
Best whole-food ingredient supplier: Select Ingredients
Introducing the world’s newest superfruit—the sassyberry. The newly commercialized sassyberry should give acai a run for its money. Besides conquering acai’s antioxidant status from its deep purple phenolics, flavonols and anthocyanins, sassyberry doesn’t need acai’s sweeteners to taste good. It’s also non-GMO, with no additional ingredients or preservatives. Got a smoothie bar? This is as fresh as it gets. That’s because the harvest process begins with a steam infusion followed by a flash cooking that all happens in only 9 seconds. This innovative process safeguards the aroma, flavor, color and nutrients.
Best organic ingredient supplier: Ribus
Nu-FLOW is the clean, organic solution to silicon dioxide—that dreaded, non-nutritive flow agent used in many supplements and which can now be eliminated from the National Organic List because a natural and organic substitute is available. Made from simple organic rice hulls that are sterilized and ground into a fine powder, Nu-FLOW makes labeling supplements as organic a whole lot easier.
Most innovative ingredient supplier: Mazza Innovation
Responding to the clean-label phenomenon, the PhytoClean method is a patented technology that uses temperature and pressure to trick water into behaving like an organic solvent. The result is a line of high-quality, clean bioactives extracted without organic solvents such as ethanol. Now you can get your polyphenols, alkaloids, glycosides and specialty carbohydrates for integration into foods, supplements or beauty products, all with clean-label declarations.
Best gluten-free ingredient supplier: J.G. Pizzey
Gluten free is certainly more than a fad at this point. But wouldn’t it be great if gluten-free foods were not only just missing all gluten but also nutritious? BakePur Flax fixes all that by providing nutrition to go with functionality. Who wouldn’t like a gluten-free product that also serves as a good source of omega-3s? Bread, muffins, rolls and cookies just found a healthy new friend.
2015 Engredea Editors' Choice Awards
The 2015 Engredea Editors' Choice Awards were awarded to leading-edge ingredient suppliers that are responding to shifting consumer market demands around clean-label, sustainable and transparent ingredients. “Health is a given. What else can you do for me?” is the new ethos manufacturers are asking the supply sector. From gluten-free to whole-food ingredients—including a nod to best botanical supplier in the wake of the recent New York attorney general’s action against major herbal products—we give you the fourth annual 2015 Engredea Editors' Choice Awards. The envelopes, please.
Best probiotic supplier: Ganeden Biotech
This has been a banner year for the pioneer of spore-forming probiotics, as Ganeden boasted 17 new finished products featuring its BC30 strain of Bacillus coagulans. Among the launches is a new telescoping straw lined with its probiotics—hello, children’s beverage market! Did we mention that the winner of the 18th annual NutrAward for the best finished product featuring a functional ingredient is Garden of Flavor’s HPP beverages featuring Ganeden BC30? Ganeden has built its business the right way, starting with a strong foundation of science that now numbers 20 published studies showing efficacy of its ingredient for digestive health, immune function, even utility as an adjunct for rheumatoid arthritis. With a solid research dossier, it has gone big in integrating its probiotic into finished-goods products that allow consumers to get their probiotics without changing their daily habits.
Best botanical supplier: Novel Ingredients
Particularly in response to the latest New York attorney general’s rampage against botanicals (if not before), the mantra among botanical suppliers is simple: test, test, test. Test materials when they arrive in the facility, test them when they leave. Novel Ingredients has invested in QA/QC resources and rings the bell on the quality spectrum. Their willingness to stand tough against the proliferation of misinformation on the safety of their bitter orange product is also worthy of recognition.
Best clean-label ingredient supplier: Ingredion
Novation native starches allows food and beverage manufacturers the ability to create clean-label products for custards, dairy desserts and salad dressings. Sourced from Non-GMO Project verified plants such as tapioca, rice, corn, potato and sago, the Novation line meets consumer labeling preferences while still withstanding the rigors of processing and providing shelf stability.