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Nektium is taking steps to secure the long-term sustainability of its Rhodiolife® Rhodiola rosea extract by switching a significant proportion of its raw material sourcing to cultivated plants. The move – an industry first on such a large commercial scale – will reduce reliance on under-pressure wild-grown supplies.

Rhodiola rosea is one of the most powerful adaptogens found in nature, offering a range of cognitive and sports nutrition benefits. It grows wild in the remote Altai mountains in south and central Asia at the intersection of Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and China. The rapidly growing market for adaptogens has increased demand for Rhodiola rosea roots, leading to concerns about over-harvesting.

In response, Nektium has worked with its long-standing local partner to establish fields that offer conditions optimal for the controlled growing of Rhodiola rosea. Together, they have converted barren land in undeveloped, unpopulated locations, ensuring minimal impact on communities close by. After a successful trial, initial exploratory fields were extended to provide full-scale sustainable cultivation sufficient to satisfy market demand at an industrial level.

The plant material used to grow Nektium’s cultivated Rhodiola rosea for Rhodiolife® was originally taken from wild-harvested Siberian plants growing near where the fields have been established. This means there are no physical or phytochemical differences between Rhodiolife® produced from wild-harvested roots and that produced from cultivated raw materials.

Debbie Thoma, Marketing Manager at Nektium, said: “As a responsible supplier of botanical ingredients, we are acutely aware of the importance of conservation, and this initiative will help to secure a sustainable and reliable source of Rhodiola rosea roots for years to come. In addition, cultivation in a controlled setting results in a more predictable and secure long-term raw material supply, which leads to improved price stability, superior safety, and more effective quality control. It also offers greater peace-of-mind around authenticity, which is especially significant in an age of widespread adulteration.”

Rhodiola rosea’s adaptogenic activity is usually attributed to four principal compounds – salidroside, rosin, rosavin, and rosarin – all found at high concentrations in the roots. Nektium’s Rhodiolife® standardised Rhodiola rosea ingredient was launched 25 years ago, since when it has earned a reputation as a high-quality and effective botanical extract. It is also available certified drug-free for athletes by the third-party Banned Substances Control Group.

SIG opens next round of SIGCUBATOR applications

With start-up companies already benefitting from SIG’s SIGCUBATOR accelerator program, SIG is once again offering new food and beverage innovators an amazing no-strings opportunity to get their exciting new product idea to market. Interested start-ups can apply now at no cost via www.sigcubator.com until 28 February 2022.

This is the fourth time SIG has opened-up its SIGCUBATOR accelerator program to forward-thinking food and drink start-ups and small businesses, eager to partner with SIG at no cost or obligation, to help launch their products. It is these small entrepreneurial start-ups who are increasingly driving industry innovation and value creation. However, many don’t have the volume to produce big batches with co-packers or the expertise and financial ability to invest in their own production plant. This is where SIG can offer an incredible opportunity.

SIGCUBATOR takes innovative start-up ideas on a ‘consumer-centric’ journey, from testing prototypes in SIG’s test centre in Germany, through to a successful launch to market. SIG is there to help at every step, giving expert advice, consumer-focused insights, and access to its extensive global network within the food and beverage industry.

SIG partnering with start-ups and co-manufacturers brings opportunities to all three parties: SIG’s expertise, filling capabilities, and industry network help talented start-ups launch innovative concepts, which can then be commercially filled at one of SIG’s co-packing partners. This creates space for further innovation to assure a speedy launch to market. For co-packers, such partnerships help them enter and experience new and attractive beverage categories and grow these innovative segments in the future. For SIG, working together with forward-thinking food and beverage start-ups is key to driving innovation and value creation.

Food and drink start-ups can apply now at www.sigcubator.com. All ideas are welcome – as the famous saying goes “mighty oaks from little acorns grow”. SIG can also be contacted directly at sigcubator@sig.biz after the closing date.

Diana Food (part of the Symrise Group), a leader in natural ingredients for Food & Beverages, announces that the company has organized and instituted on June 24 a new training session specifically for farmers located in the French Alps who supply fruits for baby food.

The program, which focuses on best practices for soil biodiversity, is designed to improve the quality and yield of the key crops used in baby foods.

Many farmers follow traditional agronomy practices passed down from previous generations, with limited awareness of how a deeper understanding of the nature of their soil can improve output. With this training, Diana Food agronomists are able to show farmers the role soil plays in producing fruits and vegetables that capture all the inherent goodness of their terroir. By combining this new technical knowledge with the farmers’ traditional methods, yield quality is very high.

According to Aurélie Pellé, Global Fruit Product Line Director at Diana Food, “Consumers are looking for products for their babies that are as close as possible to homemade. They want baby foods that are natural, clean, and simple with no added flavours, colours, or preservatives. This is why agronomy is so important to the category. Growing the best, cleanest fruits and vegetables allows minimal processing and an end product that is very close to what nature intended.”

Diana Food offers a large range of baby food ingredients that support the specific nutritional needs of children in the age groups of 6 months to 3 years, beginning with the introduction of solid foods into the diet. Fruit product streams include banana, apple, and strawberry; vegetable streams include carrot, tomato, and spinach. Diana Food production sites are FSC 22000 certified, which enables the company to provide ingredients that meet the health and safety standards this category demands: very low levels of contaminants, low microbiology levels, and low levels of chemical contaminants and foreign bodies.

Consumer demand for organic ingredients is extremely high in the baby food category, with organic products more prevalent in the market than any other category. The Diana Food Baby Food portfolio meets this demand, with organic certification compliant with the European, American and Chinese markets.

Excellence in agronomy is at the foundation of Diana Food’s value proposition. Thanks to the company’s historical know-how, expertise and global network of agronomic experts, Diana Food is able to select the best varieties and the best growing conditions in order to maximize the potential of the species. With proximity to farmers and producers, Diana Food agronomists are fully involved in the cultivation cycle, guaranteeing traceability, transparency, and sustainability of agricultural practices. This expertise and experience from farm to fark makes Diana Food a trusted partner for developing wining solutions for Baby Food manufacturers.

Tetra Pak announces a project to expand its Châteaubriant plant, in France, dedicated to the design and manufacturing of caps, while ensuring increased production capacity to enable the future transition to tethered caps.

Tetra Pak announced an ambitious investment program dedicated to its factory in Châteaubriant, specialised in the production of caps. Spanning across a three-year period (late 2021-2023), this €100 million project will support the plant’s transition to the production of tethered caps by 2024. Tethered caps help to minimise litter, as the cap will stay attached to the package.

This step – that is in addition to the company’s commitment to invest approximately €100 million per year over the next 5 – 10 years to develop more sustainable packaging solutions – is key to ensuring that Tetra Pak’s customers in Europe will be ready to comply with the Single Use Plastics (SUP) Directive, an integral part of the wider approach announced in the Plastics Strategy and an important element of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan.

Charles Brand, President of Tetra Pak Europe & Central Asia, comments: “We are particularly proud of this investment project, which demonstrates how we consistently strive to provide customers with sustainable innovations and meet the rapidly changing demands of regulators and society. High-performance food packaging plays a critical role in feeding the world, but it must do so sustainably, so that food availability does not come at the cost of the planet.”

The Châteaubriant plant is a key manufacturing facility for Tetra Pak, serving food and beverage manufacturers globally, with a production capacity of approximately 5 billion caps in 2020. Awarded last year with the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) Advanced Products certification, the factory is also equipped to produce additional materials integrating attributed recycled polymers. Today, the site covers an area of over 30,000 sqm and features 19 lines dedicated to the manufacture of 6 types of caps.

The investment will be spread over two phases. The first one begins in late 2021, where the company will enlarge the industrial site to accommodate a 30 % increase in manufacturing capacity through the installation of ten additional lines that will be dedicated to the production of tethered caps. Then, between 2022 and 2023, approximately 50 % of the existing lines will be replaced, again to expand the access of F&B players to tethered caps.

The IFU Technical Webinars are the virtual equivalents of the IFU Technical Workshop in 2021, which had to be cancelled as a live event due to the COVID pandemic. The IFU Technical Workshop is the meeting point for the national and international juice industry, including R&D, quality, laboratories, suppliers, universities, etc. By holding virtual events rather than a live event, the association look forward to welcoming even more participants to the webinars!

Due to the continued short-term uncertainty around the COVID situation, the IFU has been forced to once again postpone the live 2021 Technical Workshop event which was due to be held in Parma on 14th June. This event is rescheduled for June 2022 and the association has transferred the program for this year into a series of 4 on line Technical Webinars as follows:

  • 25th May 2021 – Quality
  • 27th May 2021 – Authenticity & Safety
  • 1st June 2021 – Health & Nutrition
  • 2nd June 2021 – Sustainability & Legislation
International Fruit and Vegetable Juice Association (IFU): Technical Webinars 2021
(Photo: IFU)

Tickets
The ticket for all 4 webinars is EUR 249 for non-members, EUR 149 for members.
www.ifu-fruitjuice.com

SIG turns innovative food and beverage ideas into commercial reality

SIG is delighted to announce that the first of three application rounds in 2021 is now open for their SIGCUBATOR program. Food and drink start-ups and small companies eager for an amazing no-strings attached opportunity can apply at no-costs until February 28th at www.sigcubator.com.

SIGCUBATOR is SIG’s accelerator program for new businesses who need just the right spark to ignite the next novel food or drink innovation.

Anna Rabanus, Global Category Manager at SIG, explains the program: “We understand that getting a product off the ground is often a challenge for start-ups. The SIGCUBATOR program supports entrepreneurs with the production facilities, the knowledge and connections in the food and beverage industry. Our team of experts will be there to guide start-ups through the most crucial period of their innovation: from testing prototypes in SIG’s combiLab in Germany through to a final product and package concept that’s ready for consumers.”

SIG is keen to identify and engage with entrepreneurs at an early stage and attract potential like-minded partners who share the same vision for delivering nutritious food and beverages which excite and improve peoples’ lives in a sustainably packaged way. Forward-thinking food and beverage start-ups are one key to driving industry innovation and value creation. SIG will evaluate concepts based on their innovativeness within the space, their market entry strategy as well as principles of future acceleration in the market with co-manufacturing partners.

One new start-up business which has already successfully launched its exciting range of shakes to market via SIGCUBATOR is UK-based GROUNDED. Filling two SKUs in SIG’s combiLab, GROUNDED recently launched its innovative plant-based protein shakes in SIG’s unique carton bottle combidome. Products are now available online and in retailers such as Selfridges and Planet Organic – a UK based organic supermarket chain where they already are #1 selling protein drink range within 3 months of launching.

Gabriel Bean, Founder at GROUNDED: “Just one small idea can change an entire industry and we identified a gap in the market for a clean, genuinely natural, plant-based shake – with no compromise on natural ingredients and packaging. The team and people at SIG were just as aligned on values, and we couldn’t have found a better partner with which to launch these products. They supported us all the way, from our first contact with their UK team, through to their exceptional combiLab operation in Germany. We look forward to continuing our partnership with such professionals in their field.”