Typically, cereal bars or snack clusters are held together with syrup or sugar-based binders that adhere particulates to one another in bar or cluster. Consumers are interested in reducing their sugar consumption while still enjoying convenient, nutritional food choices.
In this Request for Invention, Xinova seeks processing or other technology approaches that effectively bind or agglomerate particulates in a bar or snack cluster without the use of sugar based binder ingredients and without adversely impacting the product’s shelf-life compared to a traditional bar or cluster. Solutions of most interest involve accomplishing agglomeration through processing approaches that satisfy the technical and sensory requirements with minimal to no added sugar (or sugar substitutes) in the formulation.
Cereal bars are a source of quick energy and meal replacements for active people, athletes and fitness buffs. Cereal bars also conform to a cultural trend toward what is perceived as healthier snacks. Indeed, more than 80% of global cereal bar launches were positioned on a health platform of some kind in 2014.
Health claims ranged from the snacks being natural, organic, or low calorie, to being vitamin fortified, or good for digestive health or weight management. While perception of health is a major factor in the large volume of sales, convenient snacking is also a key feature driving the cereal bars market. Convenience, and ‘clean eating’ experience (without sticky fingers) allows consumers great flexibility in meal planning and fits with the consumer preference for smaller meal occasions, on-the-go snacking, alternative foods for breakfast and the growing participation in fitness and weight management programs. (read more)
Agglomeration can be defined as a process during which particles are fixed together to form larger particles (conglomerates). Agglomeration is a physical phenomenon caused by physical or chemical forces among the particles as a result of physical or chemical modifications of the surface of the solid. In food processing, this can be a desired outcome that is promoted using binders and substances that adhere chemically or physically on the solid surfaces to form a bridge between particles, such as when making food powders or cereal bars. Agglomeration can also be an undesired outcome, such as caking of moisture-sensitive materials. (read more)
This opportunity comes from the efforts of Xinova’s R&D Consulting and Innovation team.
Are you up for the challenge?
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