The Wheat Marketing Center together with the Food Innovations Center held another excellent advanced course on the manufacturing of dried Asian style noodles. Asian style noodles are popular all over the world for their convenience, low price and the long shelf life they provide the end use consumer. Asian noodles are packed in plastic cups or formed in a square and wrapped in plastic. Many countries lack refrigeration for foods that need to be used in a few days or weeks. Asian noodles are perfect for all climate conditions and easy to prepare and serve.
This class has taught many hundreds of people from all over the world on the science in making a good quality dried noodle. The course was held in the Old Alber’s Mill along the Willamette river waterfront near downtown Portland and ran the entire week of August 7th. This time the course was held for a group of food industry people from Nigeria which included people from the milling and baking industry.
The Wheat Marketing Center holds other short courses on many other products that also use the NW soft wheat that is grown exclusively in the NW region of the US. Soft winter wheat is lower in protein than the hard winter wheat variety that is used in bread type doughs. Higher gluten is desired for good cell structure and strength, lower gluten level is desirable for making flat breads, cakes, cookies and Asian style noodles.
The course includes in depth sessions on using phosphates, wheat protein isolates, resistant starches and hydrocolloid as ingredients in making high quality dried Asian style noodles. They included a session on making the seasoning that goes into the individual serving packets for each package. The seasoning blend in the packets is key in making the product taste and smell desirable in every country that produces them. No matter the flavors they choose they have to decide on how to enhance those flavors.
In the seasoning session we told the students how their flavor enhancing chemist tool belt included Salt, Glutamic acid in the form of MSG or Yeast Extracts as well as Nucleotides and Peptides. The proof of the performance of the yeast extracts, was when we showed the students the three demo’s I’d prepared. I used the Provesta 349, poultry enhancing yeast extract in a chicken broth, the Provesta 347 extract in a beef broth and the Provesta 512 extract in a vegetable broth.
At .025% we showed them how much a little bit of the yeast extracts can affect the seasonings flavor and have an overall umami effect on the broth. All agreed the broth was much fuller and flavorful using the yeast extracts. They finished the week making their own dried Asian Noodle product and all were going to use the samples of Ohly yeast extracts that I left for them.
The Ohly yeast extracts and other products work in all varieties of food products. If you’re working on a food product that needs some extra flavor enhancement or to bring out certain flavor notes.
Please get in touch with your local SPI Group representative and ask for an Ohly product list and demonstration on how they would work in your product.
Many times we are asked, “Why should we use soy proteins in their processed food products and blended protein beverage and bar solutions?” One of the very best reason is price stability over the long term.
In recent years, we have seen the prices of WPC/WPI and Caseinates/MPCs soar
above their historical average prices by 50 to 60% . All these milk based proteins are subject to global and domestic effects on the producing country’s supply and demand for fluid milk for retail dairy products including fluid milk and cheese as well as conversion into butter and skim milk powder or caseinates/milk protein concentrate powders. In addition, strong demand for Whey proteins have resulted in long leadtimes and short supply while dairy companies try to balance out their cheese production against this demand. Although present prices appear stable, milk-based proteins remain volatile to any supply versus demand imbalance.
In contrast, isolated soy protein (90% protein) and soy protein concentrates (65% protein) are very price stable. The prices for isolated soy proteins has remained stable only increasing due to subtle soy crop-related changes, capital improvement,energy,labor and transportation and inflation while at the same time improving in flavor, quality and improved functionality. (Over the past three decades, the average cost of domestically produced soy isolates has increased only 2.5% per year.)
A primary reason for this price stability is that 85% of world’s soybean production is crushed into soybean oil and meal. Of the meal,98% is converted into animal feed and only 2% is further processed into soy flour and proteins. With a bountiful supply of raw material, soy protein shortages and price spikes are rare.
As we develop the nutritious foods of the future and consider the positive nutritional and physiological value of blended proteins, let us recall the most price stable of all: Soy protein.
Most formulators and nutritionists realize that soy protein provides many functional and nutritional benefits in foods. These benefits include providing better yields and moist texture in processed meats and protein-based satiety when added to beverages or nutrition bars. However, in all cases, when added to prepared foods or nutritional products, soy is considered a definite allergen as it is listed as one for the 8 top allergens found in foods as follows:
- Tree Nuts
All of us are concerned about the labeling and health concerns of having an unwanted allergen in our product. But here are some facts which might help us to re-consider soy protein use:
- The largest survey conducted found only 0.0005 percent of adults are allergic to soy protein.1
Cow’s milk allergy is about 40 times more common than soy allergy.1
- The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology estimates that only 0.4 percent of children are allergic to soy protein. Of those, an estimated 70 percent will outgrow their allergy by age 10.2
When designing a prepared food or nutritional food for adults, it is vital to weigh whether our soy protein use or rejection is based on allergen labellling dictates or remote risk concerns about allergenic effects of soy protein products.
- Savage, J.H., et al. “The natural history of soy allergy.” J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2010. 125(3): p. 683-686.
- Vierk, K.A., et al. “Prevalence of self-reported food allergy in American adults and use of food labels.” J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2007. 119(6): p. 1504-10.
We hope you had the opportunity to attend at least one of the premier events SCIFTs put on in Anaheim, CA this March. This was the 30th anniversary of these events and it was one of the best. The Conference held the first half of the day was a wealth of information on topics of interest for the busy Food Industry professional. Highlights included the esteemed Elizabeth Sloan, PhD of Sloan Trends, giving a ‘sneak peek’ of her market insights on 2017-2018 food trends. Look for her full report to be published in IFT’s Food Technology magazine soon.
Other speakers and subjects included: insights from Debra Topham, MS, CNS, CFS on managing the new nutrition label changes set in place in 2016, Katie Wagner, founder of Katie Wagner Social Media, on how food industry professionals can harness the power of social media to engage our audience, build credibility and get our message out, Dr. Ash Husain discussed scientific advancements in sterilization processes for food safety, and we heard from Dan Solis, MHA FDA with updates on regulations and processes in food import and exports. Overall, it was very informative day.
In addition to the knowledge and expertise of the speakers, 5 student teams from Southern California Universities participated in the annual Student Product Development Competition. The teams utilized the conference theme: New World, New Tools to present their ideas to the panel of judges.
And last, but certainly not least – the day was capped off with the SCIFTs Suppliers’ Night hosted in the ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel. The event was sold out – vendors, customers, and students were able to meet with manufacturers and distributors of a wide variety of ingredients. The evening was capped off with a complimentary hors’ de oeuvre reception. If you did not attend, we encourage you to put next year’s event on your calendar – March 7, 2018.
When I first started selling soy protein in 1996, I had to learn what protein quality was. In the old days we used PER – a measure of the effectiveness for protein to maintain health in rats. I am sure mothers around the world would have been comforted in knowing that the nutrition of their infant formula was based on what a baby rat needs – not a baby human. In the 80’s & 90’s a new protein quality measure was emerging, this one called PDCAAS – it measures the amino acids needed by humans and is based on the needs of preschool aged children. It remains the standard measure for protein quality today.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, protein is the building block of the human body, there is a minimum amount of specific, what we call “essential,” amino acids required for our bodies to function and remain healthy.
PDCAAS measures the essential amino acids present in protein sources to indicate protein quality. Egg is a perfect protein. Milk based products like whey protein and casein are perfect proteins.
Soy is a perfect protein.
Please remember, proteins are groups of amino acids and most foods contain protein. It’s just that not all proteins have all the essential amino acids.
Below are some common PDCASS values:
Whey Protein 1.00
Whole Egg 1.00
Soy Protein 1.00
Beef Protein 0.92
Pea Protein 0.88
Yes, we really listened to food safety music! Every year we support the Northern California IFT section’s joint event with the UC Davis Food Science Department. We love sponsoring food science students and having the opportunity to talk with them over dinner.
This year’s event was one of the most entertaining IFT events we have ever been to! Instead of a speaker, we were thrilled to listen to Food Safety Music, performed by Dr. Carl Winter’s hilarious and educational food safety music parodies.
We loved hearing “You gotta wash your hands” (Sung to the tune of the Beatles “I wanna hold your hand”), but I think the favorite was “We are the microbes” (we are the champions).
The whole evening was perfect and the songs appealed to students, professors and industry members alike!
At SPI Group, we are strong supporters of local IFT events – and we may have just been to our favorite events with the Alamo IFT section! We loved going to Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX to hear Dr. Shannon Walker discuss her experience with long duration space flight.
Dr. Walker described how she trained at the Cosmonaut training center in Russia, using training suits that weigh a couple of hundred pounds! They do their training in large pools where they will spend 6 hours underwater. After 3 years of training, Dr. Walker went to the International Space Station where she spent 6 months living and working. She said that one thing that she loved was seeing 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets every day, since the International Space Station orbits the earth once every 90 minutes. She showed us her many photos taken from space including hurricanes and spectacular shots of Northern and Southern lights.
Since we are food scientists, we of course asked her about the food! She told us that there are approximately 200 different foods and beverages in the International Space Station pantry. The foods are mostly soft and have to stick together – the main issue is that the food can not have any crumbs at all since the crumbs could get in to the space station filter system. She told us that they have to add salt and pepper in a liquid form, from a dropper bottle!
We were fortunate enough to tour both the Space Food Research Center at Texas A&M university, where they make retorted pouches, as well as the food lab at Johnson Space Center. Contact us for more details and photos of space food!
Psyllium is a soluble fiber made from the seed husks of the Plantago ovata plant. It’s considered a soluble fiber and helps move food through the digestive system so that your body can break it down and convert it into essential nutrients. Without enough fiber in a person’s diet to help move food though the gut will adversely affect gut bacteria, making it harder to metabolize and absorb the nutrients.
The fibers purely mechanical function is absorbing water. It does this in a person’s large intestines when used as a laxative and is the bulk forming fiber in laxative products like Metamucil. 60% of psyllium is used for applications dealing with digestive health.
Psyllium not only alleviates many digestive conditions but also aids in supporting lower cholesterol by decreasing lipid levels and lowering blood sugar levels. Psyllium promotes a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure and strengthening heart muscles. When the fiber forms a gel, it slows down the uptake of fats and sugars from the food, causing blood sugar and cholesterol to rise more slowly after a meal.
One study shows that at least 6 weeks of daily psyllium intake is an effective way for people who are obese or overweight to control their cholesterol and blood sugar levels with very few side effects.
In the food industry psyllium fiber is used as a thickener in ice cream and frozen desserts. A 1.5% volume by weight ratio of psyllium mucilage exhibits binding properties that are superior to a 10% volume by weight ratio of starch mucilage.
The viscosity of psyllium mucilage dispersions is relatively unaffected between temperatures of 68 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit, by pH between 2 and 10 and by salt concentrations of up to .15 ppm.
These functional properties of Psyllium make it an excellent source of natural dietary fiber and may lead to and increased use the food industry. If you have any questions about psyllium or any dietary fibers please contact your SPI Group sales rep for more information on psyllium and the other fibers SPI Group distributes.
The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970. It was organized in response to population growth with an eye toward the impact every human makes on the Earth. Denis Hayes, the chief organizer of the first Earth Day said at that time, “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”
The FAO and the UN predict global population to reach 9 Billion by 2050, this means we will need to to increase food production by 70%. Demand for protein (an essential nutrient for growth and health) is expected to rise between 50 and 90% assuming developing countries continue to consume low end quantities of 25 grams of protein per day per person and developed countries consume 50 grams of protein per person per day.
In the USA, 50% of consumers have a goal consumption of protein per day. 87% know that protein builds muscle, 72% know it can help you feel full, and 63% know it is an essential part of weight loss programs.
These statistics prove that whether you’re feeding hungry populations or educated segments, the demand for protein will continue to grow, straining our resources and causing prices to rise and supply to tighten. This blog is the first in a series titled, Creating Protein Strategy. Each month we will discuss different considerations in your creation of a protein strategy, and we will highlight how soy protein is a key element in many ways. But this is not just about soy. It’s about diversification, flexibility, nutrition, flavor, safety and environmental impact. Reduce your reliance on one protein and hedge your strategy to create a strong protein platform for your company’s future and the future of our planet.
SPI Group is honored to have podcaster/food scientist Adam Yee feature Russ Nishikawa, VP of Business Development, on his podcast My Food Job Rocks!
The My Food Job Rocks! Podcast was developed to inform people about cool jobs in the food industry. Every week, Adam interviews people from all walks of life from jobs ranging from Product Developers, Sales Managers, Food Writers, and CEOs.
In this episode, Russ talks about his food science journey, and explains his involvement in the growth of SPI Group for 25 years. He is involved in new ingredient business development with key customers and targeted market segments, working with new ingredient from new and existing suppliers and determining how applicable the product benefits are to each end product and customer, and maintaining a very technical approach to understanding the value of each ingredient to our customer’s needs
Check out Adam’s podcast featuring Russ Nishikawa here.