MINNEAPOLIS — Cargill will introduce Clear Valley® Omega-3 Oil, a revolutionary new canola/flax seed oil blend, at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Food Expo July 18-20 in Chicago. Cargill recently completed a GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) self-determination for the ingredient, which will allow food manufacturers to make a "good source of ALA (alpha linolenic acid) omega-3" or "excellent source of ALA omega-3" Nutrient Content Claim(1) on the front of the package. The new oil contains up to 30 percent of ALA omega-3 and provides a minimum of 160 milligrams of ALA in most applications. Clear Valley® Omega-3 Oil, which is patent pending, is now available for product trial testing.
"As heart-health is top of mind for many consumers, Cargill developed Clear Valley® Omega-3 Oil to help manufacturers who want to seamlessly deliver heart-healthy products to this market," said Willie Loh, Ph.D., vice president in Cargill's oils and shortenings business. "This is not a small opportunity for our customers. Seventy-seven percent of consumers have used heart-healthy foods in the past year(2), and 63 percent of consumers are trying to add sources of omega-3 to their diets(3)," said Loh. Loh further discusses the subject of healthy oils innovation on the Cargill Innovation Exchange.
Distinct functionality benefits for food processors
According to Loh, food industry leaders want to capture the growing market opportunity for new products backed by heart-healthy package claims, but there are formulation challenges in incorporating ingredients like omega-3s and fish oil into many products. Specifically, incorporating the volume of polyunsaturated oil required to make an omega-3 claim is difficult in products that already have a low fat content, such as crackers and cereals. In addition, fish oil, a primary source of omega-3s, can impart a "fishy" taste and does not possess a long shelf life.
"Clear Valley® Omega-3 Oil solves these problems because it is made with a unique blend of canola and flax seed – so unlike fish oils, it is taste neutral and won't interfere with established flavor profiles," said Loh. "In addition, it is shelf stable for more than nine months, making it ideal for cookies, cereal bars, crackers, snacks and spreads. Consequently, there's no need for our customers to modify their recipes or formulas – they can simply replace their existing oil with Clear Valley® Omega-3 Oil."
Cargill focus on heart health at IFT
Visitors to Cargill's booth at IFT can sample a granola bar prototype that contains the new Clear Valley® Omega-3 Oil and Cargill's Barliv™ barley betafiber, and supports heart-health claims on the package.
Both ingredients were key in the development of the granola bar. "Recent studies show that 71 percent of consumers are interested in barley beta-glucan and reducing their cholesterol,(4)" said Scott Fabro, product manager, Cargill Health & Nutrition. However, he added, "it is difficult to deliver sufficient beta glucans in small servings without creating a 'cardboard-like' taste or a very 'dense' finished product."
Barliv™ barley betafiber is a concentrate of barley beta-glucan that contains a minimum of 70 percent barley beta-glucan soluble fiber. It is authorized as a source of beta-glucan for a U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) health claim: Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include three grams per day of beta-glucan soluble fiber from barley betafiber may reduce the risk of heart disease.
"Barliv™ barley betafiber offers a formulation solution by combining the inherent heart health benefits of oats and barley with the performance in the applications our customers need," said Fabro. "It is a natural beta-glucan extract that can be readily formulated into food and beverages – even small serving sizes, such as inclusions for cereals and bars. In finished products, Barliv™ barley betafiber is invisible to the eye and imperceptible in taste, smell and mouthfeel. This opens the door for our customers to develop new and innovative products targeting heart health."
To learn more, visit Cargill's booth at the IFT Food Expo or visit www.cargill.com/food.
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 138,000 people in 67 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit www.cargill.com.
(1) On products that contain less than 1 gram of fat per serving
(2) NMI's Health and Wellness Trends Database 2008
(3) Americans' Awareness, Knowledge and Behaviors Regarding Fats; 2006-2008 American Heart Association
(4) 2009 Health Focus® Trend Report