2016 Clean Label Conference

Originally Published: August 11, 2016
Last Updated: February 4, 2021

Sophisticated Solutions for Simplified Products


The 3rd annual Clean Label Conference in 2016 sold out six weeks in advance, a testimony to the growing importance industry efforts to develop products with simpler, more consumer-understandable ingredients.

The event is the industry’s only technical product development conference dedicated to providing practical, impartial and “how-to” formulation advice to R&D and applied food scientists working in this arena. The program featured 10 expert, non-supplier aligned, general session speakers offering insights into key clean label ingredient technologies, regulatory updates, and consumer and retailer trends. Eighteen jury-selected Technology Snapshot presentations provided information on new ingredients to assist in the formulation of safe, convenient, sensory-pleasing foods and beverages.



  • Clean Label Focus: What are Consumers saying and How is the Industry Responding?

Speaker: Tom Vierhile, MBA, Innovation Insights Director, Canadean (Previously Datamonitor Consumer)

If there was an Olympic medal for industry buzzwords, “clean label” would take home the gold. Few topics have commanded so much attention in so little time. But the concept of clean label is deceptively complex. What does it really mean to consumers? How do they feel about issues like transparency, food processing and specific ingredients? This presentation looks at what consumers are saying about key clean label concepts. Find out what resonates with consumers and what doesn’t. Learn how the food industry is responding with innovation in ingredients and new products. Attend this session and sharpen your focus on where clean label is today and where it may go tomorrow.

  • Clean Labels: Effective Marketing and Avoiding Regulatory Potholes

Speaker: Steven B. Steinborn, J.D., Partner, Hogan Lovells US LLP

“Clean labels,” simplified product formulations, nutritional attributes, and farming and sourcing practices mark the frontiers of keeping processed foods relevant to consumers. These trends, spurred-on by consumer interest, require a careful revisiting of long-standing regulatory rules in a new context. Knowing what rules apply to the ingredient statement and front-panel claims is a vital first-step in reformulating and developing new products. Non-GE, organic and natural claims and the like will be explored with insights into what lies ahead from a regulatory perspective and how to stay ahead of the curve.”

  • The Chemistry and Application of Natural Flavorings

Speaker: Keith Cadwallader, Ph.D., Professor of Food Chemistry, Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign

“The taste and aroma of a food plays a crucial role in the perception of its quality. Even as many consumers shy away from products with the word “artificial” on their ingredient lists, the expectation remains that “clean label” foods and beverages will continue to possess desirable sensory properties. This presentation looks at some of the sources, basic chemistry, food matrix interactions and impact of processing on flavorings categorized as natural. A better understanding of these facets of flavoring use leads to more effective and efficient use natural flavoring compounds.

  • Natural Antimicrobials: Strategies and Considerations for Their Food Use

Speaker: Jairus R.D. David, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist, Innovation & Research ConAgra Foods, Inc.

A century of advances in ingredient science, food formulations and processing have resulted in developed nations having some of the safest and most cost-effective food supplies in the world. However, as consumer expectations change in regards to what are acceptable food ingredients, researchers and others in the food industry have turned their attention to natural antimicrobials. This presentation looks at critical elements and considerations in the practical food use of natural antimicrobials. Such considerations can assist food manufacturers in conducting due diligence to ensure their preservative systems are both effective and clean label.

  • An Industry Insight into Replacing Nitrites and Phosphates in Processed Meats

Speaker: Webb Girard, MSc, Culinologist, Culinex, LLC

Consumers’ continued demand for safer, healthier meat products drives cured meat manufacturers to step up their game. This presentation will discuss the curing process, the science behind it, and the basics of how to create great tasting sausages, bacon and ham. The replacement of nitrites and phosphates with “natural” ingredients that preserve flavor, color, and texture will be explored. Key external manufacturing plant factors will be touched on. You’ll also see (and taste) samples of conventional and clean label bacon, beef jerky, and fully cooked deli sausage, while we demystify the terminology, methodology and theory behind “uncured” meat products.

  • Conventional to Emerging Natural Sweeteners: Key Properties for Product Applications

Speaker: Catalin Moraru, Ph.D., Group Leader, International Food Network, LLC

Sweetness is an important attribute in a wide range of foods, from fruits and vegetables to formulated products. Even a touch of sweetness may significantly improve the appeal of food products, as most humans are innately attracted to sweet foods. While many clean label-friendly sweetening ingredients are now available in the marketplace, formulators need to understand their functionality and properties in order to adequately select the best solution for a given situation. This presentation will review key properties of conventional and emerging sweeteners, with particular focus on some of the properties of sweeteners considered natural by many.

  • Free-From at Retail: Lessons and Opportunities

Speaker: Carl Jorgensen, MSc, Director, Global Consumer Strategy – Wellness, Daymon Worldwide

The growing concern about food safety has increased the clean label trend to publicize what food additives are not acceptable. “Free-from” lists are used by some retailers. One approach is to publish a list of specific ingredients not included in their private brands’ products. Another approach is to publish ingredient categories (e.g. synthetic colors) not used by their brands, which automatically covers many ingredients that may not be on consumers’ radar. This session will look at trends, advantages and disadvantages of some widely employed free-from strategies, and provide an understanding of the implications of the different approaches in helping to build successful programs at retail. Click here to see further presentation details.

  • The Organic & Non-GMO Supply Chain: What Companies Need to Know to be Competitive

Speaker: Scott Shander, MSc, Economist, Mercaris

Interest in non-GMO and organic foods by consumers and marketers grows steadily. The OTA reports US sales of organic products reached $39.1B in 2014, a growth of 11.3% from 2013. As demand for these products increases, so does the strain on the supply chain. For companies who are creating products to meet this demand—or anyone researching this industry segment—key information on these emerging markets must be acquired with the purpose of supporting a company’s own growth strategies. Understanding the organic & non-GMO supply is critical. This presentation covers the unique characteristics, supply and demand factors that impact sourcing and sustainability.

Speaker: Winston Boyd, Ph.D., Focus International

The use of food colorants derived from natural sources has greatly increased. The local and global regulatory environments, along with common sense food safety and manufacturing practices, place limitations on what can be used and where. The industry’s decades-long use and acceptance of synthetic colorants have created performance and price expectations that influence the ease with which these naturally derived coloring materials can be adopted. The palette of materials available, how the cultural and regulatory landscapes have affected their adoption, and the advantages and complications that are obtained through the use of naturally derived food colorants will be discussed.

  • “Natural” Hydrocolloids: Physiochemical Properties to Research Initiatives

Speaker: Srinivas Janaswamy, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research, Purdue University

While no industry definition exists for a “natural” hydrocolloid, some have more consumer friendly names than others and certain food retailers have developed lists of “acceptable” hydrocolloids for use in foods and beverages. This presentation looks at the physiochemical properties of selected ingredients some may consider “clean label.” Emerging research into how to best develop and utilize these properties as well as a look at novel sources of potentially useful hydrocolloid will be covered. Hydrocolloids are the “work horses” in a multitude of food and beverage formulations. Understanding how to best use them helps ensure successful new and reformulated products. For more details, see Dr. Janaswamy’s biography.

Technology Snapshots (Final Jury Results from the Advisory Panel)

BENEO Inc.—Remypure is a newly developed clean label, natural rice starch allowing food manufacturers to create unique textures whilst providing excellent product stability (shelflife, freeze/thaw) under harsh processing conditions (low pH, high temperature and/or high shear).

Chr Hansen–FruitMax® Huckleberry Red 501 WS is a unique red coloring vegetable juice obtained through a careful natural selection and breeding program. It offers superior process and shelf life stability in a multitude of food products.

Corbion—Pristine 2000 is dough conditioner for baked goods. By incorporating this solution into formulas, you’ll be able to create label friendly bread, buns and rolls, without sacrificing the quality, or taste of your finished products.

Kerry–DuraFresh™ 5011 is a clean label, fermentation-derived ingredient used to replace sorbate, while preventing mold outgrowth in bakery fillings. It helps facilitate claims such as “Natural,” “No Artificial Preservatives” and “Free From Artificial Preservatives.”

Kerry–DuraFreshTM UC is an unique blend of organic acids and peptides which improves product quality through clean label inhibition of pathogens and spoilage in high-moisture, low-sodium uncured meat products.

Kemin–FORTRA™ contains naturally occurring, water-soluble rosmarinic acid derived from spearmint extract. Shown to be highly efficacious in extending the shelflife of whole milk powder and beverages, FORTRA™ is a label-friendly alternative to synthetic antioxidants.

Kemin–NaturFORT™ Acerola extract blends delay both lipid and myoglobin oxidation, thereby delaying the onset of color loss and maintaining the desirable color and quality of meat products. Join our session to learn more about our unique blends.

Diana Food–N’Taste is an all-natural, clean label taste booster designed to boost flavor intensity without off-notes & without disturbing color of applications. N’Taste provides benefits such as enhancing umami; contributes to sodium reduction; provides fullness/roundness; and masks acidity, off-notes and bitterness, depending on application.

Corbion–Verdad® Avanta™: Simpler ingredients and shorter labels are becoming an expectation. Our newest ingredient solutions can help you tackle the trend toward cleaner labels while delivering enhanced cook yield, Listeria control, and taste and texture improvement.

Cargill–Zerose™ is FEMA GRAS for use in beverages, listed as “natural flavor” in the ingredient statement. Zerose™ is also a multifunctional, natural fermented sweetener adding bulk to (semi)solid foods without adding calories; is diabetic-friendly; and provides better tooth protection.

Delavau Accent clean label dough conditioners eliminate the objectionable chemicals which are used in traditional dough conditioners. Accent™ will provide all the normal functionalities of traditional chemical dough conditioners without adding incremental cost to the product.

Ingredion–FOAMATION® Foaming Agents: Sustainable, naturally sourced FOAMATION® foaming agents are extracts of quillaja and yucca plants. These unique foaming agents improve overrun, leading to cost and calorie savings, enhanced mouthfeel. And, they create visually appealing foams and froths in beverages.

Lycored new 3-in-1 foodstuff ingredient solution: Dry Tomato Pulp is a 100% natural foodstuff ingredient that can be declared simply as “crushed tomatoes.” It adds fresh, consistent red color, texture and fiber to tomato sauces, ketchups, ready meals and processed meats.

Nexira’s Damar-EZ™ is a unique flavor stabilizer: all-natural ingredient with a plant-based origin, outstanding functional properties, easy to use and highly resistant to oxidation. It can be labelled as natural flavor stabilizer or as purified damar gum.

DuPont Nutrition & Health–Come listen to the next step for clean label food safety in food ingredients using new cutting-edge fermentation technology. Attendees will learn about a new antimicrobial development for shelflife control in various applications.

TIC Gum’s Ticaloid Pro 148 OG hydrocolloid system provides suspension, increases stability and enhances mouthfeel in high-protein RTD beverages, while adhering to clean label definitions, organic compliances and non-GMO certifications.

PLT Health Solutions—Vibrant Harvest: The Ultimate Clean Label Ingredient—Superior nutrient retention is the key to Vibrant Harvest Whole Food Powders delivering sustainably derived, high-quality nutrition and the ability to feature economical, great-tasting serving sizes of fruits and vegetables in a broad range of formulations.

FiberStar—Citri‐Fi® 100, a non‐GMO, natural citrus fiber, provides gelling properties in high-sugar/low-pH food processing conditions which can replace pectin in fruit jams/jellies, spreads, bakery fillings and fruit preparations for yogurt.