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Clean Label Remains in the Spotlight

At last year’s IFT trade show, it was clear that clean label was no longer a trend—it was the rule. At the IFT16 Annual Meeting and Expo in Chicago, clean label seemed to be the star of the show and it was evident by the number of ingredient companies offering “simple,” “natural,” “safer” and “cleaner” ingredients.

One of the ingredient companies showcasing its clean-label capabilities was Corbion. The theme of the Corbion booth was “Make it with Corbion.” To “Make it Cleaner,” Corbion showcased a variety of products like its ENSEMBLE™ non-PHO emulsifiers, its clean-label product line of dough conditioners, Pristine®, and its natural solutions for uncured meats, Verdad® Avanta™. Corbion invited attendees each day to listen in on a “Tech Talk” where an expert from their team highlighted a different product and capability to help manufacturers make healthier, safer, fresher and tastier food and beverage applications. In addition to its “Tech Talks,” Corbion also sampled a variety of applications—from non-PHO ice cream to sausages in buns. Based on what I sampled at the booth—Corbion was definitely making those applications tastier, too!


Another ingredient company that featured ingredients around the clean-label “rule” was Land O’Lakes Ingredients. Featured at the Land O’Lakes Ingredients booth was a new dairy seasoning for snack food manufacturers, Thai Chili Ranch, which was a savory blend of rich, flavorful ranch with the tangy sweet taste of Thai chili. To help snack food manufacturers meet the clean-label demand, Thai Chili Ranch is formulated without artificial flavors, PHOs or FD&C colors. In addition to featuring clean-label ingredients, Land O’Lakes Ingredients also hosted a daily presentation at its booth, The Colors We Eat. During the presentation, the Land O’Lakes Ingredients R&D team discussed the challenges facing the dairy powders industry in the move away from artificial colors to more naturally sourced options.


There were several other companies on the trade show floor using clean label as the theme for their booths:

  • Kerry displayed messaging on its booth stating, “We make products that people enjoy and feel better about” and used a whole wall of its booth to highlight its clean-label capabilities.
  • Without using the term “clean label,” Cargill positioned itself at IFT16 as “Improving nutritional profiles to meet consumer demand.”
  • Another company meeting the clean-label demand without using the term “clean label” was Kalsec—promoting its Natural Spice and Herb Flavor Extracts, Colors and Antioxidants.


As more ingredient companies offer clean-label solutions to food and beverage manufacturers and consumer demand is being met, it will be interesting to see what the next trend/consumer demand will be that will become a “rule.”

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