By Staff Reports
(DGIwire) – The popularity of organic and sustainable food is at an all-time high, driven in part by its popularity among millennials. In fact, according to Forbes, organic food currently represents 5.3 percent of total retail food sales in the U.S. What are some of the specific developments to look for this year as greater numbers of consumers open their eyes (and wallets) to this trend? Here are some potential things to look out for in 2018:
- Plant-based diet innovation: With a plant-based mindset gaining a hold on mainstream food choices, OrganicAuthority.com predicts even more innovations in this food space. For example, jackfruit is growing in popularity as a meat substitute, while some foresee veggie rice moving past cauliflower while innovations like coconut bacon may start appearing in cookbooks and on tables.
- Organic (and delicious) functional foods: Wheatgrass has gone mainstream, reports OrganicAuthority.com: the growing interest in functional foods, from cold-pressed juices to adaptogens to ferment, has created an ever-growing market for these superfoods. With all the new delicious shakes, juices and powders, functional foods’ tasty side is being played up as much as their health benefits.
- Algae takes center stage: Recognition is growing that algae-based ingredients offer manufacturers a wide set of options in terms of attributes and differentiation. There are more than 72,000 species of algae known, notes Andrew Dahl, President and CEO of ZIVO Bioscience, and every species appears to have its own possibilities as a new micronutrient or source of protein.
“An algae culture can be produced—and its nutritive components can be extracted— for use in foods and beverages that support human health,” says Dahl, who oversees ZIVO’s operations as a biotech/agtech R&D company engaged in the commercialization of nutritional and medicinal products derived from proprietary algal strains. “Studies have suggested there are substantial benefits from incorporating algae-based products into dietary supplements, foods and beverages.” For example, ZIVO’s proprietary algal culture extracts have shown in preclinical research to be beneficial in supporting a healthy cholesterol balance and immune response, along with other studies to assess additional benefits.
The company’s algal strain can be spray-dried, belt-dried, drum-dried or freeze-dried depending on a product’s formulation requirement, ranging from a fine powder for better mixing properties to a flaked form that looks and blends like pesto, parsley flakes or dried seaweed. Once approved for use, the algal biomass can be grown by contracted cultivators and shipped to licensed drying facilities. From there, it would be shipped to formulators, for use as a protein-enhancing food ingredient, a dietary supplement or a vegan beverage ingredient.
“The potential of algae is likely to continue to spur innovation among manufacturers and grow in appeal to consumers in the coming years,” Dahl adds.