How do food ingredients become known as enablers for reaching the global goals


Immerse yourself into one of Denmark´s most exiting industries and come up with your proposals as to how the Danish food ingredient industry can enhance the awareness and acceptance of food ingredients in solving some of the global challenges that we face.

Keywords: Ingredients, food, healthy living, nutrient deficiencies, UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), awareness, sustainability, consumer behavior

Focus area: Today we face a global challenge to transform our food systems and our food consumption patterns in order to secure a sustainable future.

Just to mention a few:

What we – as consumers – choose to eat and how that food is produced will be highly influential as the global population increases and becomes wealthier. Food produced in an even more sustainable and resource efficient way than we know today is needed.

It is generally accepted that food consumption is a key factor for health. Our dietary choices are identified as the primary modifiable risk factor in many parts of the world and the current prevalence of diabetes, malnutrition and obesity are huge challenges today. Specialty ingredients that help manufactures to create foods, beverages and supplements that improve health through better nutrition is key to solve that challenge.

Hunger is the leading cause of death in the world and today 850 million people are hungry around the world. By promoting sustainable agriculture with modern technologies and fair distribution we can produce nutritious and secure food for the benefit of the whole world’s population.

The Danish food ingredient industry is a Danish stronghold that already contribute with solutions to the above-mentioned challenges.

Unfortunately, the knowledge about food ingredients and their positive importance in everyday food are limited. One reason for that is “the hidden presence” of ingredients in food. Food including “hidden ingredients” wrongly gives the consumer the impression that the product is of lower quality, that the unknown substances are dangerous (the E-number debate), and it challenge the consumer´s perception of naturalness. However, the purpose of the ingredient sector is to upgrade residual products from the production to high value products. An example is whey – a residual product from cheese production – that becomes valuable milk powder. The ingredient sector helps the food industry to produce resource-efficient and sustainable products however this currently not know by the public and the consumers.

In that respect we would like to have your (new) ideas and solutions as how to promote an understanding of and an acceptance of food ingredients aimed at the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The food ingredient industry supports all SDG´s. However, in this challenge we focus on SDG no. 2, 3, 8 and 12. Below are examples describing the value of Danish ingredients in a number of different challenges that we face globally.

Danish produced rennet helps farmers to produce high quality cheese

Farmers in the mountains of Columbia produced until recently cheese using traditional rennet of very low quality. This had the consequence that much of the cheese had to be discarded because it became infected with impurities.

This has now changed. DuPont™Danisco© has developed a rennet that guarantees cheese of high quality. The rennet makes it possible for the farmers to produce cheese directly from the milk they receive from the cows and in just 30-40 minutes to modify the milk´s protein.
The rennet is an easy and efficient method for the Columbian mountain farmers to produce high quality cheese meaning less waste. This gives a stability to their relatively modest income.

Creating shared value in addressing social challenges
Two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. Nutrient deficiencies can contribute to increased morbidity and mortality among children, hence an adequate supply of micronutrients is crucial to a child´s development.

Fortifying staple foods is an effective and sustainable solution to improve the nutritional status particularly among low-income population groups. In order to achieve this, staple food producers add selected essential micronutrients such as vitamin A to staple foods such as flour or oil.

BASF´s Food Fortification Initiative offers product solutions, technical assistance and scientific capacities to contribute to reducing micronutrient deficiencies around the world.

Safe and natural protein source for PKU patients

People with PKU are born with a defective enzyme, which means that they cannot break down the amino acid phenylalanine. Lack of the enzyme causes a form of poisoning and leads to severe mental retardation if a strict diet is not introduced from birth. Dietary treatment consists of reducing all-natural protein intake from the diet and instead covering protein needs with specially designed medical foods containing synthetically produced amino acids (protein) without phenylalanine. Persons with PKU must therefore not have milk, meat, eggs, fish and other common protein foods.

Arla Foods Ingredients has purified a casein glycomacropeptide (CGMP) with a very low level of phenylalanine. The product is an outstanding natural protein source for people with PKU and a great alternative to synthetically produced amino acids. The product provides benefits such as improved compliance due to better palatability and potentially improved satiety, bone health and gut health.

Muscle maintenance – keeping active and alive
During senior years of life, numerous factors may alter the way we eat, what we eat and how much we eat. Danish Crown Ingredients develop innovative ingredients formulated as convenient in-between meal supplements of high quality protein peptides. Some of the products are developed to people where reaching a target level of daily protein intake is critical for their health and recovery.

Hydrocolloids reduce sugar in food and beverage
Reformulating to address e.g. sugar reduction is a top priority for many food and beverage manufacturers due to an increasing consumer demand for healthier, nature-based products. Replacing sugar is not just a matter of simple substitution with another sweetener. CP Kelco produce a range of hydrocolloids that enable reformulation of products so that consumers can give up sugar but without giving up the satisfaction of great taste and texture.

Connecting with smallholder farmers to enhance livelihoods

An estimated 450 million people earn most of their income by working on their family smallholding. With their experience and knowledge of local conditions they play a vital role in feeding the planet. However, smallholders often face barriers that prevent them from unlocking their full potential.

Smallholder inclusion is a key objective for AAK. AAK actively ensure that smallholders are not excluded from the supply chains because of high sustainability requirements. Furthermore, AAK initiate projects across their supply base to encourage and support smallholders. Strengthening the connections to the smallholders and helping them flourish will make the supply of sustainably sourced ingredients more secure and more transparent.

Keep dairy great and fresh with natural food cultures
Food waste is a global challenge. 17% of all yoghurt is wasted every year in the EU, which equals a total of 1,5 million tons of yoghurt. To help the dairy sector maintain the freshness of fermented milk products, such as yoghurt, for longer periods of time, Chr. Hansen has identified natural microbial food cultures with an ability to delay spoilage from contaminants such as yeast and mold. Yoghurt waste in Europe could be reduced with 30% if shelf life was extended with seven days.

Food ingredients in plastic packaging reduces food waste and improves food safety
Fogging in packaged food such as salad, vegetables, fruit and meat is undesirable since it reduces the visibility of the product, makes packaging less attractive, and the presence of water droplets may cause deterioration of product quality – which will lead to food waste.
With the right blend of sustainably sourced and sustainably produced, plant-based emulsifiers and know-how, Palsgaard helps food packaging manufactures and their distribution chains to keep food appealing for longer. When added to plastic packaging film, emulsifiers serve as antifogging agents, placing themselves at the surface of the plastic packaging and distributes the moisture as a clear, thin layer of water. And, as they are already food-grade they will be completely safe to use and will replace the use of petrochemical additives that may have transferred unwanted substances into our foods. This is of great importance since the consumers are increasingly choosing ready meals and pre-prepared food.

Certified raw materials are important for a sustainable food chain
The seas are full of life. Life, which plays an important role for millions of people around the world. They are both dependent on the oceans as a source of food and their livelihoods. We all have a shared responsibility to promote sustainability and take care of the resources that we use. Essentia Protein Solutions includes responsibility for sustainability using raw materials derived from sustainable fisheries (MSC certified).

Natural flavor
The supply of some natural flavors is limited by their natural occurrence. This applies, for example real vanilla or flavor from strawberries. With their great insight into the complex chemistry, Einar Willumsen, produce aromas with the same flavor experience as aroma derived from natural ingredients. For example, 10 times more strawberries should be grown globally if the world´s need for strawberry flavor for ice cream should only be covered by natural ingredients.

Challenge: With the above examples as inspiration we challenge you to come up with creative ideas and solutions to enhance the awareness and acceptance of food ingredients as a way to fight the global challenges.
There are numerous ways to solve this challenge so use your imagination and innovative mindset.
The solution can be related to new products, regulatory issues, health aspects, resource of sustainable aspects, marketing or organizational matters as long as you keep in mind that we want consumers to understand the benefit of food ingredients.

Considerations: It is entirely up to you whether you want to come up with a solution to be used by the broad ingredient industry or whether you want to focus on a single company.
You are welcome to use the bio-economy mindset in your solution.
During the developers weekend we will make sure that there are representatives from the ingredients industry to mentor you.