A systems approach to innovation

Innovating in the quickly evolving world of foods and beverages is more challenging than ever. Consumers now expect a lot from the products they purchase, including a strong nutritional profile, exotic flavors, portable formats, and ingredients that are sustainably produced and familiar — along with a strong helping of transparency.

To address these requirements, Ingredion has developed a food systems approach to the innovation process that taps into the company’s deep understanding of ingredient functionality and the market. These systems take the complexity out of the process to help customers formulate the right products and get them to market quickly.

The right products faster

Ingredion’s process starts with proprietary insights and resources to help brands understand the trends — and then provides a deep and diverse applications knowledge, including exclusive sensory, voice-of-consumer and analytical capabilities, to expedite product formulation.

Partnering with the brand’s development team, Ingredion works to understand the complexities of the formulation and market challenge, putting together the right ingredient system to meet both the application needs and the brand promise. These solutions may include:

  • Extending shelf-life stability with stabilizer systems
  • Improving mouthfeel with texturizer systems
  • Delivering high-protein appeal and plant-based protein alternatives with protein plus stabilizer systems
  • Reducing sugar while maintaining taste and texture with sweetener and functional build-back (FBB) systems
  • Enhancing consumer appeal with label-friendly systems

“We help customers accelerate their product innovation,” said Corie Beyers, Strategic Marketing Manager, Food Systems, at Ingredion. “Our collaborative food systems approach brings together all our expertise — from insights to formulating know-how, to hands-on problem-solving — and makes it easily accessible.”

To overcome bottlenecks, Ingredion has an expansive solutions portfolio covering the most relevant consumer trends. With a flexible, agnostic approach, Ingredion draws on the right solution for the task — whether its own robust ingredient systems, the company’s full range of differentiated ingredient solutions, or innovative solutions from outside suppliers when needed.

Streamlined R&D capabilities

Research and development is one of the most important but time-consuming aspects of new product development or reformulation. Ingredion has spent decades developing deep knowledge on texturizers, stabilizers and differentiated ingredient solutions, so its team of SOLUTION GURUS™ offers experienced technical guidance and coordinated support to provide tested solutions that meet customers’ needs. They can also develop optimized ingredient systems that work in synergy with a brand’s formulas.

“Whether it’s for new product innovation or renovation of an existing formulation, our food systems experts use a consultative approach to dive deep into understanding your needs to help you both achieve your goals more quickly and minimize risks along the way,” Beyers explained.

Product consistency and quality

Agility and flexibility are central to the Ingredion food systems R&D and production process, ensuring product consistency and quality. Included are expert in-house blending and agglomeration for consistent ingredient quality, and a proactive domestic stocking strategy to reduce lead times and boost supply chain security. This robust production capability is continuously adaptable, providing quick turnaround and allowing brands to flex production as needed. Plus, Ingredion’s food systems accommodate low minimum order quantities for smaller-scale launches and pilot trial evaluations.

To ensure quality along the way, Ingredion’s solutions are tested at every stage to ensure product consistency. The quality assurance system adheres to standards that go above and beyond industry norms.

Supply chain security

Supply chain is a priority for most everyone these days. To take the complexity out of ingredient sourcing while enhancing supply security, Ingredion approaches ingredient sourcing as a single system versus multiple ingredients. This lowers the number of ingredient inputs and simplifies manufacturing. Via its ingredient-agnostic approach, Ingredion looks at functionality and performance to find appropriate solutions for desired product function and values. Then they apply their global scale and purchasing power to ensure these solutions’ consistent and reliable access.  

A high-touch partner

Ultimately, Ingredion’s food systems approach provides brands an innovation partner from concept to commercialization, with full support at every step to make the path to success simpler, faster and smarter. This includes full support in formulation, prototyping, testing and scale-up, with access to working pilot plants to fine-tune formulations and processes. The result yields recommendations tailored to a brand’s precise requirements.

“Our food systems experts will partner with you at every step of the process to create an optimized system that works in synergy in your formulation and helps reduce complexity in your operation,” Beyers added. “We have the end-to-end expertise, expansive portfolio and agile, quick-turn capabilities to get you from whiteboard to reality, faster.”

Source: fooddive.com