2017 Clean Label Conference

Originally Published: August 7, 2017
Last Updated: February 4, 2021

Sophisticated Solutions for Simplified Products


The 4th annual Clean Label Conference (March 28-29, 2017, Itasca, Illinois, USA) is the industry’s technical product development conference dedicated to providing practical, impartial and “how-to” formulation advice to R&D and applied food scientists striving to create simplified ingredient labels.

The 2017 program included 10 general session speakers, three Application Briefs on formulating with natural colorants and 18 Technology Snapshots chosen by Global Food Forums’ Technology Snapshot Advisory Panel


  • Increasing Consumer Confidence and Driving Value through Clean Label Claims Globally

Speaker: Alan Rownan, Research Analyst, Euromonitor International

Driving value in developed markets is becoming increasingly difficult, and innovating to accommodate evolving consumer preferences has become of paramount importance for food industry players. Many strands have grown from the ever-expanding consumer wish-list, although few movements have had the impact that clean label has had in various markets, as consumers demand simple, decoded ingredients listings as bridges of trust and transparency with big food companies. As demand continues to grow, Euromonitor International will utilize its new Passport Ethical Labels system to showcase detailed coverage of the growing value of clean label products across 26,000 brands in 26 strategically selected markets.

  • Emerging Clean Label Claims: Regulations & Liabilities

Speaker: Chip English, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

The term “clean label” has no regulatory definitions, nor do many of the claims used on “clean labels.” “Clean label” encompasses concepts from transparency, simplicity, and authenticity to natural and sustainable. To communicate their products’ desirable traits to consumers, the food and natural products industry is using similar far-ranging claims. Examples include clean; cage-free; free-range; grass-fed; local; fair trade; non-GMO; sugar-, fat-, gluten-, hormone-, dairy-, preservative-, artificial coloring-, and artificial flavoring-free; “simply from nature”; bare; stripped; unfiltered; and cold-pressed; among others. This presentation provides regulatory updates on existing and emerging clean label-type claims, and offers thoughts and advice on the use of more inventive, creative, and emerging declarations, as well as the business, reputation and litigation risks
of doing so.

  • Formulating Clean Label Dairy (and Non-Dairy) Frozen Desserts

Speaker: Steven Young, Ph.D., Principal, Steven Young Worldwide

Frozen desserts such as ice cream, frozen yogurt and non-dairy products, are difficult, but not impossible, to formulate as “clean labeled” products. This is due to the unique nature of how they are regulated, formulated, manufactured, distributed and ultimately consumed. Frozen products are the only foods that are specifically designed, processed, packed, and presented for frozen consumption. This creates unique technical demands to insure sensory appeal across the entire intended shelf-life from point of manufacture to time of actual consumption. The role and function of mix ingredients in light of “clean labeling” initiatives are explored with formulation guidance, ingredient options, and novel approaches offered.

  • Emerging Research to Practical Approaches on Natural Antimicrobial Use

Speaker: Matthew Taylor, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Dept. of Animal Science, Texas A&M University

Today’s consumer increasingly demands foods bearing clean labels with easily identifiable ingredients that are familiar and recognized as safe, responsibly sourced, and do not encourage chronic disease. Fresh, unprocessed, all-natural, no artificial ingredients: these claims are favored by many marketers. They are also often problematic for cost-effective production of safe foods–as rightly expected by consumers—with sufficient shelf-lives to ensure they are cost-competitive. From botanicals and bacteriocins to bacteriophages and fermentates, this presentation provides an update on natural antimicrobial technologies and approaches available to manufacturers and explores emerging research in the area.

  • Selecting Natural Sweeteners: Products, Properties, and Performance

Speaker: Melanie Goulson, MSc, Principal Scientist, Merlin Development and Adjunct Professor, St. Catherine University

Food marketers and other product developers must identify sweeteners acceptable to consumers seeking natural, healthful products. Formulators are tasked with making those sweeteners, ranging from nutritive sweeteners to zero-calorie options, function to their maximum potential. This presentation explores the physiochemical and sensory properties of both traditional tools as well as the more recent entrants in the marketplace that provide sweetness and other desired performance characteristics in finished products. Insights will be offered into tactics and strategies that can help troubleshoot difficult formulations and result in optimally designed products.

  • Insights into Flavoring Use and the Impact of Clean Labels

Speaker: Robert J. McGorrin, Ph.D., CFS, Jacobs-Root Professor and Department Head, Department of Food Science & Technology, Oregon State University

Optimum flavor quality and sensory properties are fundamental to a food product’s consumer acceptance. Beyond ensuring desirable taste, formulators often need to satisfy multiple criteria. Major considerations include cost, shelf life, nutritional standards, and a growing list of attributes such as non-GMO to organic to natural to consumer-friendly “clean labels.” To meet these consumer demands, the product development task requires an understanding of the regulatory framework for the use of flavor ingredients in food and beverage products. This presentation provides background and considerations on how flavors are labeled and what claims can be supported. Challenges to creating globally compliant flavors will also be discussed.

  • Strategies to Create Consumer-friendly Ingredient Statements

Speaker: Ronald Visschers, Ph.D., Business Line Manager, TNO food research

Consumer confidence in processed foods is at the heart of clean label challenges. With the goal of designing clean label products, an effective multi-disciplinary approach has been developed that combines efforts to increase consumer acceptance, understand the regulatory framework and that creates friendly labels through science-based innovations. This presentation looks at the development of natural methods to eliminate, modify or replace label-unfriendly additives without losing product quality. The speaker will focus on science-based approaches for ingredient functionality in two case studies:

    • Replacement of gelatin in confectionery products
    • Challenges in formulation of meat analogues from a protein ingredient perspective


  • Consumer & Restaurant Menu Trends: The Clean Label Influence

Speakers: Lizzy Freier and Aimee Harvey, Managing Editors, Technomic Inc.

Consumers increasingly want to know more about their food. Although the initial focus was on consumer packaged foods, the foodservice sector has become increasingly drawn in. This presentation touches on the impact that clean labels have on the restaurant industry. Using Technomic data on both consumer preferences and menu development with regard to clean eating, presenters will analyze what it means for restaurant operators, food manufacturers and distributors. Topics include the changing consumer definitions of health, top and fastest-growing “clean” keyword mentions in the industry and operator survey predictions on clean labeling purchase influencers for the future.

  • Clean Label for Gluten-free Bakery Products

Speaker: Stevan Angalet, Ph.D., President, Angalet Group International

Gluten-free bakery products’ increasing popularity coincides with the emerging trend for “clean labels” and is relevant for a wide spectrum of retail bakery products. Specifically, “clean label” is the ability to produce a product without the use of chemicals and often with a simplified ingredient label. However, not all ingredient options to produce a gluten free bakery product are compliant with clean label common practice. This presentation looks at both compliant and non-compliant options in three categories: yeast leavened, chemical leavened, and unleavened. Examples will include mixes for the consumer to prepare at home and others will be ready-to-eat. Alternatives for non-compliant ingredients will also be covered.

  • Advances on Naturally-Derived Antioxidants for Enhanced Shelf-life and Efficacy

Speaker: Fereidoon Shahidi, PhD, Department of Biochemistry, Memorial University of Newfoundland

The use of antioxidants for stabilization of foods and beverages has been in practice for shelf-life extension and quality preservation purposes. The drive toward products with clean label and consumer-friendly ingredients has created much interest in natural antioxidants, mainly from plant sources as well as certain processing by-products. In addition to structural characteristics of the ingredients themselves, the system in which the antioxidants are used and storage conditions of products are important factors that must be considered in different applications. In order to maximize antioxidant function, and examine the promising areas of research and developments for such ingredients, both the theoretical and practical angles and their implications will be discussed in some detail.

Technical Advice on how to formulate with natural colorants in specific applications

  • Diana Food – Confectionery
  • Naturex – Beverages
  • GNT – Frozen Desserts 


Advanced Ingredients — FiberSMART™ Soluble Tapioca is an 89% AOAC validated, non-GMO fiber that effectively controls water activity. The clean label-friendly tapioca source lends itself to a wide range of healthy applications in bars, beverages, bakery and snacks.

Anderson Global Group — allSWEET® allulose is a natural, non-GMO, low-calorie sugar that exhibits the same low water activity and humectant properties of fructose. allSWEET has been shown to suppress glycemic response and works synergistically to create the perfect natural sweetener system.

Biospringer — its unique line of baker’s yeast extracts that can be used in sweet applications and sweet/savory sauces to enhance caramel and chocolate notes, aid in sugar reduction and give creaminess.

Chr-Hansen — FruitMax® Redbeet 710 WS is a unique coloring vegetable juice concentrate sourced from beet. It provides a bright red shade at neutral pH and offers superior process and shelflife stability in a multitude of food products.

Corbion — Ultra Fresh® sets the standard ensured freshness. It delivers the industry-leading enzyme innovations that protect baked products throughout their freshness cycle, from distribution onto the retail shelf and into the hands of consumers.

Corbion — Verdad® Powders: Combining the advantages of powdered ingredients in a low-sodium, clean label, antimicrobial solution, Corbion’s Verdad Powders help product developers seeking to reduce storage space, optimize freight cost, and minimize flavor impact and blending concerns.

DSM — CanolaPRO™ is a complete plant protein (PDCAAS = 1), non-GMO, sustainable protein source with a solubility similar to whey protein. It is a highly functional protein across many applications with a clean, slightly sweet flavor profile.

Edlong — Edlong® Simply Dairy ingredients are high-intensity, natural dairy ingredients that provide increased dairy taste without the soapy notes traditionally associated with enzyme modified dairy. Edlong Simply Dairy offers both clean taste and clean labels.

FiberStar — Citri-Fi® is a natural citrus fiber, is a functional plating agent that provides up to 25% oil load and contributes viscosity, emulsification stabilization and mouthfeel to food products. Citri-Fi is non GMO, clean label and NOP-compliant.

Givaudan — Since 1907, Givaudan has been manufacturing a portfolio of ingredients that today help fulfill the growing consumer demand for naturals. By leveraging flavor regulation, these extractives increase label transparency, while maintaining product stability and taste.

Ingredion — Meet consumer demand for healthier, protein-rich, clean label foods and beverages with the new clean-taste VITESSENCE™ Pulse CT proteins and HOMECRAFT® Pulse CT flours from trusted suppliers, Ingredion and AGT Foods. Visit ingredion.us/pulses.

Kemin — Acerola: Clean label trends place emphasis on the removal of ascorbate and erythorbate. These ingredients increase the rate of cured color generation during manufacturing and help preserve cured color during shelflife, making removal without replacement detrimental to product quality. Learn about effective, clean label alternatives during this session, without replacement detrimental to product quality. Learn about effective, clean label alternatives during this session.

Kemin — Oil Soluble Green Tea: Clean label trends place emphasis on the removal of BHA, BHT and TBHQ. Kemin’s Oil Soluble Green Tea Extract helps manufacturers achieve this by providing equivalent
shelflife protection, while offering a clean label consumers demand.

Kerr Concentrates’ Sweet Vegetable Solutions are reduced-calorie alternatives to sweeten with simple labeling. Reduce or replace traditional sweeteners with vegetable juice concentrates to address new labeling regulations, benefiting from vegetable servings and vitamin claims.

NutraEx encapsulation exceeds ordinary blending or agglomeration methods, which produce great tasting sweeteners with excellent solubility. Process locks in proportions which remain shelf-stable. Free-flowing, customized particles means no need for flow agents.

PLT Health — PhytoShield Flavor Enhancer technology is a form of “self-preservation” that delivers broad-spectrum anti-microbial activity–effective against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, fungi, molds and yeast–with performance comparable to or better than synthetic preservative technologies.

Sensus America is a leading manufacturer of Chicory Root Fiber, a product line uniquely suited to meet the clean label trend. These natural, non-GMO ingredients easily replace less desirable ingredients, such as sugar, without affecting taste or texture.

TIC Gums — Ticaloid® PRO 181 AG is a clean label blend of acacia and gellan gum that is used for beverage stabilization. This blend provides excellent emulsification and suspension, enabling the removal of traditional stabilizers and lecithin.