With sustainability and eco-consciousness on many consumers’ minds, AgriFiber Solutions’ portfolio of insoluble fiber ingredients now offers meat and dairy alternative formulators an opportunity to include a new claim to their product labels: Upcycled Certified.
“Sustainability is behind so many consumers’ decisions to follow vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian lifestyles,” AgriFiber CEO Jonathan Kahn said. “We know that upcycling is one of the best ways that the food industry can reduce our impact on the planet, and that’s why we built our entire company around that movement.”
Upcycling is a means to divert food waste through the work of innovative companies that create value-added, nourishing ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption. The Upcycled Food Association launched the certification in late 2021 and today predicts that Upcycled Certified foods and ingredients will prevent more than 703 million pounds of food waste annually.
AgriFiber is one of 17 companies offering Upcycled Certified ingredients.
“We’re in good company and so proud to be among the group of companies actively trying to do the work that’s needed to ensure our planet’s health and longevity,” Kahn said.
The growth of the plant-based movement is giving consumers more options, pushing them to scrutinize the sustainability stories of the products they buy.
“So many organizations deceptively persuade the public that their products and policies are environmentally friendly,” Kahn said. “But when you hold a magnifying glass up to some of these companies, you often see that it’s just marketing. In this era of ‘greenwashing,’ Upcycled Certified ingredients are an opportunity for brands to tell a genuine, transparent, and validated sustainability story that consumers can trust.”
Furthermore, the plant-based audience is also becoming more critical of the ingredient legends of their purchases, seeking cleaner labels and ingredients that they recognize. Many ingredients commonly used in meat alternative formulation, such as carrageenan, are falling out of favor with consumers for these reasons. This is driving formulators to seek alternatives, like AgriFiber’s pre-gelled, multi-functional corn and oat ingredients that uphold textures and mouthfeel in these products.
“Whether it’s in an injection or marinade or a sausage or patty, our ingredients offer the clean-label, functional opportunity that formulators need to replace the thickening and gelling properties that they’ve relied on carrageenan for,” Kahn said.
Since 2017, AgriFiber has upcycled fiber to make the U.S. agricultural system more sustainable. The company also has a comprehensive portfolio of soluble corn and oat fiber ingredients for alternative dairy, bar, bakery, and beverage applications.
“We’re here to give formulators plant-based fiber ingredients that do more than just fortify their products,” Kahn said. “We’re here to give them functionality benefits—like extending yield—that help surmount formulation challenges and sustainability benefits like the Upcycled Certified label claim. The public and the planet deserve ingredient suppliers that go the extra mile, and that’s why we’re here.”
For more information, visit AgriFiber’s website.