That’s according to Brenntag, which introduced seven concepts of functional and healthier bakery, confectionary, nutraceuticals, vegan, and dairy products at Food Ingredients India (FI-India) held in Mumbai between August 17 and 19.
One example is a yogurt containing the functional ginger ingredient marketed under the brand Ginfort. The prototype claims to support anti-inflammation, promote joint mobility, and improve gut health.
Gummies containing the soluble corn fibre ingredient Fibersol-2, Ginfort, pectin, and malic acid for supporting gut health and anti-inflammation are some of the other examples.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia at the tradeshow, Sherlyn Sim, regional manager, market insights and innovation (Nutrition) Asia Pacific, said that the examples showed how plant-based, natural, and functionalities such as high dietary fibre could be incorporated into the usual dietary habits in India.
The idea is that consumers could switch to healthier food options without changing their food habits.
“The beauty is that natural and healthy products can be good tasting as well. In this case, we have come up with different food and beverage applications on how to use a particular functional ingredient so that consumers could still 'eat normally.'
“Although we are an ingredient distributor, our goal is not just to sell ingredients, but food ingredient solutions based on our market insights, R&D, and supply chain management,” she said.
Asked the prevailing consumer trends, she pointed out that there was a preference for plant-based products among Indian consumers.
However, the focus for the company is not about educating consumers the benefits of plant-based diets since the vegetarian and/or the vegan lifestyle is already mainstream in India.
The company’s strategy is therefore showcasing how different ingredients could provide similar benefits to plant-based applications.
“A lot of Indians are vegans or vegetarians and thus, it is about introducing new ingredients providing the same benefits. For example, aside from soy protein, what are the other plant-based proteins that could be used?” she said.
In this case, the company has developed a fibre rich pea protein drink suitable for vegan consumers which was also showcased at the tradeshow.
Earlier, the company also introduced plant-based concepts on Japanese tonkatsu (pork cutlet).
“We want to show how the same theme of plant-based could be applied across different products,” she said.
India also has a rich tradition of using spices and herbs, such as the use of turmeric in their daily diets.
As such, the company has been leveraging on this tradition by introducing advanced version of spices and herbs. This means clean label, bioavailability enhanced versions, or showing how the ingredients could work synergistically with other ingredients.
“We are thrilled to delight our visitors to experience food and beverage applications like mayonnaise, gummies, green tea, vegan cakes, and vegan drinks using natural, healthy and sustainable solutions with immunity-boosting, anti-inflammatory and gut health protection properties,” added Lokesh MA, regional commercial director of nutrition for South Asia, Brenntag Ingredients India Private Limited.