Ethical living: Transforming ideas into reality

It’s one thing for a company to create ambitious environmental, sustainability, animal welfare and other goals related to ethical living.

Turning those goals into reality is something else. Bakers and manufacturers have the power to purchase materials and ingredients that are made and sourced in ways to help reach their goal of creating products that are ethically sound.

Europastry, a leading global supplier of frozen dough for bread, rolls, pastries and snacks, is one company in the baked goods industry that’s translating its ideals into action. The company recently made the commitment to use 100% sustainable flours, and it has set other big goals for 2021: reducing its carbon footprint by 36%, water consumption by 28% and gas consumption by 8%.

To make that happen, Europastry is collaborating with farmers, mills, manufacturers and distributors to add transparency to everything that happens between the field and the consumer’s table. By working closely with local suppliers, the company is reducing food miles and the resulting environmental impact; and its products are fully traceable.

To achieve similar successes, bakers and manufacturers need to analyze how their product is made if they want to turn their ethical living goals into reality. Some questions to consider:

  • Are there ways to reduce the number of steps it takes to get to the final product?
  • Is there a way to reduce waste?
  • Can any steps in the manufacturing process be replaced with technology/equipment to increase or improve efficiencies?

Regardless of how those questions are answered, Lenexa, Kan.-based Corbion has a variety of products and formulations to help its customers meet their ethical living-related goals.

Corbion dough conditioners, for example, can make production processes better – either by making products easier to make, taking less time and energy to develop, providing consistency or extending shelf life, said Tess Brensing, Corbion Product Manager.

In addition, Corbion solutions like simpler proofers or higher tolerance on the line can mean less production time for bakers. Anything that brings robustness, tolerance or ease of use can provide a leg up in regards to increasing throughput and reducing waste. Corbion also offers “batch patch” solutions to further simplify the baking process.

Fighting waste — naturally

Waste reduction, among many other factors, is an important aspect when talking about sustainability. On average, it’s estimated that 108 billion pounds of food is wasted in the United States, according to Feeding America.

Solutions that extend the shelf life of an item can help alleviate the amount of food wasted by keeping food fresher for longer. For bakers, mold is a common issue that plagues baked goods.

Products such as Corbion’s Verdad® MP 100 can help. Verdad® MP 100 is a naturally derived, proprietary combination of vinegar and natural flavor that matches the mold-inhibiting ability of calcium propionate without adversely affecting the flavor of the finished product. This makes it a great option for bakers looking to clean up their ingredient labels without sacrificing products customers are familiar with.

Using naturally derived products through processes such as fermentation create solutions that are connected to nature and that result in a more sustainable supply chain.

The key is to make solutions that are customizable depending on what customer experience the baker of manufacturer is working toward – foodservice end users or consumer goods ending up in a home pantry. The goal is delivering a fresh and enjoyable experience at the point of consumption that checks boxes for texture, quality and stability.

One of the major challenges when creating natural preservation solutions is the need to create a new product that has similar efficacy as its original counterpart. That kind of formulating can be exceedingly difficult, as it regularly involves replacing or completely removing high functioning ingredients that are used for specific purposes. Developing a simple, natural product often involves a team of individuals with a strong understanding of ingredient functionality within a given system.

The process of bringing these solutions to fruition and into the market is no easy task. Having the right team makes it a lot easier. Corbion’s ability to provide both technology and application expertise helps ensure its customers produce consistent, high-quality products — and meet their ethical living goals.