Videos in the Food R&D Roundtable Series

Part I

Clean Labeling (runtime 12:10)

Part II

Ingredient Replacement (runtime 9:50)

Part III

Organic Foods (runtime 4:40)

Part IV

Future of Hydrocolloids (runtime 5:09)

Part V

Hydrocolloid Benefits (runtime 7:19)

Part VI

Food Industry Developments [this video] (runtime 5:18)


Matt Patrick: Okay. Well, to wrap up now, I think what I'd like to do is just go around and have each person on the panel tell me about something that's going on in your area in the hydrocolloid industry that's kind of got you pumped up right now, it's got your focus, it's got your attention, that you're excited about. You don't have to take along doing it. Let's walk through that. So, Blair, anything going on in the regulatory area that's kind of got you all fired up?

Blair Brown: One of the big things people are looking into right now is ethical responsibility and social responsibility. So we're seeing a lot of questions on the regulatory side about your supply chain and your kind of employee practices and where your raw materials are coming from and fair trade and labor standards. So we're seeing a lot of the questions about that so that'll be very interesting to see how that plays out especially as we're talking about where all of our raw materials are sourced from. We have very good relationships with our suppliers and we have people kind of on the ground in a lot of those more remote parts of the world where we get products from. So it'll be very interesting to see how that plays out within the rest of the industry, but that's a big topic right now.

Matt Patrick: Okay. Great. Mat, how about in the world of procurement?

Mat O'Connor: The one I can think of is really food safety modernization. It's an FDA regulation that's coming down and it's requiring food manufacturers who import into the US to meet certain minimum standards for food safety. But I am seeing a big focus in the industry of folks cleaning up their factories to make sure what they deliver is safe for consumption.

Matt Patrick: Okay. Great. Mike, how about in the world of research? Anything got you pumped up that you can actually talk about that's not too secret?

Mike Flemmens: I think the most generic thing is the company as a whole has a very good understanding of how to use our products in food, whether it's replacing gluten, whether it's building viscosity or texture, but we've never ventured much beyond the boundaries of food. So are there areas that our products could touch outside of just the food industry, whether it's an environmental impact or is contact or performance. What application can we replace some of the nastier chemistries in the world with a kinder, gentler, food based product? Because if I can eat it, I sure don't mind putting it on my pet or on my skin.

Matt Patrick: That's great. Steve, how about you in the world of product development? Anything?

Steven Baker: My answer kind of goes in contrast to what you said. I kind of feel in the bakery industry, the gums are underutilized. I've seen a lot of my formulations before I joined the company they didn't include gums. And I could see lots of areas where gums can give a benefit to the finished product whether its machinability, whether it's in texture, a little bit more moistness, a little bit more shelf life, and just better customer acceptance. So there are a lot of things out there that I still want to explore to see if we can make better products and help out the customer.

Matt Patrick: It sounds like we're going to be able to taste more bakery products in the lab. That's great. Karen?

Karen Constanza: I think right now protein has been pretty hot on my radar, protein beverages specifically, just finding that balance between achieving stabilization and a product that consumers actually want. So I think that's really exciting because gums play so nicely into texture and stabilization.

Matt Patrick: Well, it sounds like we're going to get some healthy beverages to have while we're eating Steven's baked goods.

Karen Constanza: Yes.

Matt Patrick: That's great. And Dan lastly, what's got you fired up for the short term?

Dan Grazaitis: I think it's kind of like what Mike talked about. We have a good understanding of gums, and when I first started working here a lot of what we did was based around viscosity. And when we're talking about viscosity, I want 1500 centipoise. And you can basically take any of our gums and get to that level. But if you actually look at it and see it in person, they're going to look completely different each one. So really understanding what's driving their if you want to call it texture or the rheology or the actual chemistry behind getting to that point and then being able to mix and match and manipulate it to whether it's to create new products or to match products or just have a really better understanding of these gums at a basic level I think is really exciting because then you can do a lot more if you know what each one's doing specifically.

Matt Patrick: Okay. Great. Well, sounds wonderful. It sounds exciting. Thank you all for spending some time gathered around the table. It's been wonderful and maybe we'll see you back here again before too long.