Susan Brownlow looks at how the role of food ingredient formulation is adapting to meet fast-evolving consumer demands.
Ingredient formulation is the science behind how compounds behave and interact physically, biologically and chemically in order to create an exacting ingredient recipe to enhance the properties of a product. While a crucial step in food product development, it can be a complex and challenging process, requiring a multi-disciplinary approach from food scientists, chemists, process experts and flavour specialists; not to mention the use of the most up-to-date laboratory techniques.
Food ingredient formulators must also facilitate requirements from a diverse set of stakeholders: from product development and marketing, to quality assurance and regulatory affairs. Furthermore, those requirements can vary significantly depending on the claims used on the packaging, such as a list of prohibited allergens or accommodating foods that need to meet ethical or religious convictions.