2018 Clean Label Conference

Originally Published: August 7, 2018
Last Updated: February 4, 2021
2018-CLEAN-Label-Conference-banner HEADER

Sophisticated Solutions for Simplified Products


The 5th annual Clean Label Conference was held March 27-28, 2018, Itasca, Illinois, USA. It 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 striving to create simplified ingredient labels.

The Conference was preceded by a  complimentary Workshop on Clean Label Texture Solutions produced by Ingredion. The program also included 10 general session speakers, three Application Briefs on formulating for sodium reduction and 18 Technology Snapshots chosen by the Global Food Forums Advisory Panel.


Eating is a Multi-Sensory and Cultural Experience:
Consumers Eat with All Senses

Ingredion, TIC Gums and Kerr Concentrates provided in-depth training on creating appealing textures that extend from the label to the last bite. With senses and values driving liking and repeat purchase, creating textures that appeal makes sense on every level. Consumer, sensory and product development insights revealed the network of clean label solutions and systems that makes texture stand-out when eating with all senses. The workshop included demonstrations, a panel discussion and more. Click here for more details on the program.


  • You Are What You Eat: New and Emerging Consumer Views of What Should Be in Food

Speaker: Elizabeth A. Sloan, Ph.D., President, Sloan Trends, Inc.

The Clean Label movement is not new in that for decades consumers have taken a growing interest in what should and shouldn’t be in their food. However, consumers themselves have changed as they have become more informed on health, environmental and social issues. Additionally, food companies are better able to provide various consumer segments desirable niche products with specialized attributes. This fast-paced presentation soars over the landscape that’s come to be known as the clean label mega-trend. Insights into changing attitudes toward ingredients, food characteristics and what’s important will be uncovered.

  • Ingredient Labeling to Capture Consumer Confidence Considering Regulatory Risk

Speaker: Lauren Swann, MS, RD, LDN, Concept Nutrition Inc.

How an ingredient is named on a food label is vital to a product’s consumer appeal. Such names must also comply with government requirements that can be either detailed regulatory definitions, general policy guidelines or simply established industry practices. To regulate “truthful and non-misleading” labeling declarations in a world of changing consumer attitudes, government agencies enforce the use of certain “common or usual names” which are statements of identity for ingredients. This presentation will provide insights into contemporary ingredient labeling practices including what’s desired and what’s influential. For example, how have non-GMO and “natural” claims driven the labeling of sweeteners? This led the FDA to address the industry-styled phrase “cane juice.” And, does FDA’s decision on the natural status of “high-fructose corn syrup” really matter to clean-label seeking consumers?

  • Clean Label Solutions to Controlling Lipid Oxidation

Speaker: Eric A. Decker, Ph.D., Professor and Head of the Department of Food Science, University of Massachusetts, Amhurst

Lipid oxidation is a complex problem often requiring several approaches to successfully control. Reducing oxygen concentrations can be effective only if substantial oxygen reduction is achieved. Several clean label options exist for free radical scavengers but knowledge of where these antioxidants partition is paramount to efficacy. Metal chelation can be accomplished by numerous compounds but the usefulness of these chelators can be limited by low pH. Reactive oxygen species can be controlled by limiting photosensitizers in food/ingredients and by exclusion of light. For these clean label strategies to work, a working knowledge of the mechanisms of lipid oxidation in each food is needed. This presentation will provide insights into these issues with the goal of aiding the development of high quality, clean label products.

  • Label-friendly Dairy Ingredients: Physio-chemical Properties and Uses in Foods & Beverages

Speaker: Sonia Patel, MSc, Dairy Application Scientist, Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center, Dept. of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota

The Clean Label movement challenges every segment of the food industry to deliver new, consumer-friendly products without affecting taste, texture and functionality. Dairy ingredients—and milk proteins in particular—are highly functional. Protein type and concentration, pH, ionic environment and heat treatment affect their physio-chemical abilities.  These functionalities can be tailored by physical, biochemical and enzymatic modification and some processing technologies. This presentation will focus mainly on milk proteins and its potential role in designing clean label products, but it will also touch on other dairy components such as permeates and their potential role in salt reduction and butter milk with its phospholipids for emulsification.

  • Cultural Use & Functional Properties of Ancient Grains: What it Means for New Product Applications

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

From earliest times to today’s health-oriented consumers, seeds, grains and other plant foods have been an integral part of homemade prepared foods. Although largely unexplored in the past, the food industry is turning its attention and research dollars to understanding the properties of foods such as chia seed, teff and quinoa. This presentation looks at traditional uses of these plant materials and brings the discussion into the 21st century as it proposes how their properties can beneficially impact the texture, stability and other important characteristics of a final product.

  • Microbial Control in Clean Label Products: Pathogens are the Easy Part

Speaker: Peter Taormina, Ph.D., President, Etna Consulting Group

Clean label products have been produced long enough that there now exists scientifically-validated processing techniques and formulated ingredients for control of foodborne bacterial pathogens of concern. However, shelf life and control of spoilage microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, and molds typically do not receive sufficient scrutiny and validation prior to launching clean label products. Hence, an all too common outcome for clean label products is spoilage in the marketplace. Attendees of this session will learn the technical limitations of clean label food preservation as well as what companies should be doing to assure shelf life attainment.

  • Exploring Today’s Top Ingredient Trends & How They Fit into our Health-Conscious World

Speaker: Thea Bourianne, MBA, RD, LDN, Sr. Food & Beverage Data Analyst, Label Insight

Today’s consumers are more health conscious than ever before and nearly half follow a diet that impacts the way they shop for food. This also influences how they regard food components. In fact, 98% believe it’s important for them to consider the ingredients in the products they buy, and three in four shoppers review what is—and isn’t—in those foods. But what ingredients are top of mind for consumers? At what rate are they found in products? Most significantly, how are they used? In this session, attendees will learn about today’s top trending ingredients, the prevalence of these ingredients, and explore products which have incorporated these ingredients into their formulation.

  • The Cost of Clean Label: Challenges and Solutions for Managing a Clean Label Supply Chain

Speaker: Will Lennon, MBA, Chief Operating Officer, Imbibe

Both small and behemoth brands are answering the critical call for cleaner and higher quality ingredients. There are many challenges, however, associated with implementing a supply chain to meet this demand. This session will address solutions to overcome some specific challenges such as regulatory hurdles, higher costs (both overt, like raw materials, natural colors, etc. and the unforeseen and/or unquantifiable costs), lead times, and perhaps the biggest one – capacity. The speaker will use real-world case studies to demonstrate strategies when working with seemingly cost-prohibitive ingredients, long lead times and unrealistic customer expectations.

  • Natural Colorants: Challenges and Opportunities

Speaker: M. Mónica Giusti, Ph.D., Professor, Dept. Food Science and Technology, The Ohio State University

Consumer and food industry demand, as well as changes in regulations have helped drive interest in naturally-derived colorants to replace synthetic ones. This presentation reviews major biological and environmental sources of natural colorants. The chemical characteristics of anthocyanins, betalains, carotenoids and chlorophylls are discussed as they relate to their color expression in food matrices. We will summarize some of the challenges manufacturers face on their efforts to switch to colorants from natural sources as well as on possible ways to overcome those challenges and facilitate this transition on food applications. An update on current research into these areas will be provided.

  • Overcoming Clean Label Challenges in Sugar Replacement, Reduction and Reformulation

Speaker: Jerome Diaz, Ph.D., Food and Biobased Research, Wageningen University and Research

In addition to its role in modulating taste, aroma and color, sugar serves as bulking agent and texture modulator affecting flow properties, crystallization, interfacial and network formation in complex food systems. This presentation will discuss the interaction of sugar along with other ingredients in complex food systems. Sugar functionalities in specific food applications will be compared with clean label alternatives. Specifically, challenges in confectionery and beverage applications will be highlighted.  Furthermore, the utility of thermodynamic models in sugar reformulation will be described.  This presentation will be valuable for product developers intending to successfully reduce, replace and reformulate sugar under a clean label framework with the goal of hastening time to market of high quality, clean label sugar reformulated consumer products.

Technical advice on how to formulate for sodium reduction in specific applications.

  •  Biospringer – Snacks: Baker’s yeast-based fermentation products
  •  Lycored – Glazes, Condiments Marinades: SANTE & Clear Tomato Concentrates
  •  Savoury Systems – Soups & Sauces: Sodium reduction solutions


The 18 2018 Technology Snapshot Presentations are selected by an independent jury panel. These newer to the market ingredients provide benefits to formulators striving for simplified, consumer-friendly labels.

International Agriculture Group
NuBana™ Green Banana Flours are the first clean label, gluten-free, functional fruits delivering the texturizing properties of lightly modified starch and the nutrition of green bananas. Three products meet different formulation and nutritional needs.

NaturFORT RSGT is a clean label plant extract blend. It meets consumer demands as a clean label alternative to replace EDTA in dressings, sauces and mayonnaise.

Kerr Concentrates
Sweeten your product label’s appeal and enable “no-added-sugar” claims with Kerr’s Jicama Juice Concentrate, a clean label sweetener with a more neutral color and flavor than other vegetable juice concentrates, with minimal formulation impact.

Chr. Hansen Inc.
FruitMax Yellow 1600 WS, FruitMax Yellow 1601 WS and FruitMax Orange 1600: Cleaner, brighter and higher strength yellow and orange, minimally processed coloring fruit and vegetable juices made with only natural ingredients are part of a broader range of very clean colors suitable in food and beverages.

Verdad Opti N80 is an extremely effective clean label antimicrobial that allows you to achieve shelflife targets without sacrifice to product quality (purge, texture, yield and flavor).

With its smallest granulation size of any starch, rice starch provides a number of unique benefits. Remy rice starches provide benefits ranging from fat & sugar replacement, tasty gluten-free applications and replacement of modified starches.

Delavau Food Partners 
Encore RelaxTM 5451 and Encore StrongTM 5452: Delavau’s dough-conditioner systems (relaxers and strengtheners) are optimized to replace traditional ingredients effectively. Delavau’s extensive expertise in applications and instrumental characterization can help bakers quickly move to cleaner labels with less trial and error.

Edlong Dairy Technologies
Edlong’s natural dairy-free and vegan flavors provide unique functionality to build mouthfeel and mask off-notes, while replicating real dairy taste to provide authentic flavor profiles in dairy-free and vegan, plant-based products.

EXBERRY® Micronized Powders are made to ensure uniform delivery of color to beverage mixes, fat-based systems or spice blends. Non-selective extraction of fruits, vegetables and edible plants supports a clean label.

Ingredion Inc.
BESTEVIA® Reb M Stevia Leaf Sweetener is a high-purity sweetener that is 200-300 times sweeter than sucrose, and has zero calories and a sweetness profile much closer to sucrose than standard stevia leaf extracts.

Ingredion Inc.
HOMECRAFT® Create 315, 335 and 365 multi-functional tapioca flours are labeled as tapioca flour. HOMECRAFT® Create 835 and 865 multi-functional rice flours are labeled as rice flour. Get the superior process tolerance and stability over shelflife that a modified starch brings, but with the clean taste and simple “flour” label your consumers want with HOMECRAFT® Create multi-functional rice and tapioca flours.

Layn USA, Inc.
Go-Luo®: Layn’s monk fruit extract powder and juice concentrate are used as low-calorie natural sweeteners and flavors in all kinds of food applications. It is 100% made from fruits and tastes close to sugar.

MÜNZING North America
MAGRABAR® Clean label liquid and powdered antifoams/defoamers can be used in organic, non-GMO and other clean label formulations as a processing aid or an ingredient. These products are effective alternatives to silicone and mineral oil-based defoamers/antifoams.

Nexira’s Functional Botanicals and Extracts are important staples in the expanding energy drink industry. Nexira produces and offers a wide range of extracts, including Guarana from 1, 8 and 22% caffeine content. Come have a drink on us.

Novozymes   Saphera® FMP
Hydrolysis of lactose is viable for producing fermented milk products with less sugar added. Saphera® FMP is the optimal lactase for hydrolyzing lactose under those conditions, enhancing sweetness without modifying the yogurt-making process.

Sensus America, Inc.
Betawell beet root extract is a new food ingredient that can improve the nutritional value of sucrose. By preventing the breakdown of sucrose in the body, it will lower the glycemic response and deliver sustained energy to the consumer.

Sunsweet Ingredients
Sunsweet Ingredients are rich in flavor and appearance, allowing formulators to make low-sodium, low-sugar sauces that also taste great. Learn all the ways you can leverage the attributes of the French d’Agen prune plum in better-for-you sauces.

TIC Gums
Ticaloid® Ultrasmooth CL: Health trends and clean labels continue to penetrate the nutritionally fortified beverage market. Ticaloid Ultrasmooth CL masks the awareness of particulates and improves texture with label-friendly stabilizers.