PlantGuard™: Natural preservation solutions for clean-label products

11 Nov 2022

To respond to consumer demand for naturality and clean labels, Prinova has developed PlantGuard™, a 100% plant-based range which preserves the flavour, colour, and freshness of foods and beverages.

Growing consumer interest in product transparency, along with a confirmed aversion to artificial preservatives and long ingredient lists, is driving food and beverage manufacturers to develop clean label products with natural ingredients. This demand for simple ingredients is linked to the broader desire for authenticity from consumers who have much less tolerance than before for brands putting artificial ingredients in their products.

This trend towards naturalness in several different segments is expressed for a number of ingredients, such as natural colours, natural flavours and natural sweeteners. In particular, there is a growing demand for natural antioxidants for food protection as a replacement of synthetic ingredients. Brands must therefore ensure that their products meet these new requirements, while continuing to meet consumer demand for convenience, taste, and shelf life.

PlantGuard™: Natural preservation solutions for clean-label products
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This situation creates an ever-increasing demand for preservatives of natural origin with proven effectiveness. Synthetic preservatives have so far provided manufacturers with a cheap and relatively easy-to-find option. However, a large proportion of consumers have moved away from placing cost as the highest priority and are now focusing on health, nutrition, and well-being.

Leveraging the functionality of natural ingredients

One of the ways to meet consumer demand for clean-label products that fit their lifestyle is to take advantage of the functionality of natural ingredients. Natural ingredients are of course already used as preservatives, but they often lack the broad spectrum of action of synthetics. There is therefore an urgent need for natural alternatives with additional functionality. Prinova has used its extensive R&D expertise in ingredients and applications to develop a range of natural preservatives, PlantGuard™, which will be showcased at Fi Europe 2022.

Natural and simple functionality

PlantGuard™ preservatives are a carefully selected proprietary blend of 100% plant-based, clean-label extracts. The PlantGuard™ range has been developed in the direct interest of customers and has been formulated with specific industry requirements in mind.

To act against oxidative spoilage of food, two forms are available: PlantGuard™ WS, a water-soluble powder and PlantGuard™ FS, an oil-dispersible liquid. They can be used in a multitude of sweet or savoury food and beverage applications. Tests show that the natural ingredients in the PlantGuard™ range work well to extend shelf life and reduce rancidity compared to commonly used synthetic preservatives, such as ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). They also help protect the colour and flavour of the final products.

A new addition to the PlantGuard™ range, PlantGuard™ AM (which stands for PlantGuard Anti-Microbial) will also be presented at FiE 2022. Unlike the other two products, which work to prevent spoilage from fat oxidation, PlantGuard™ AM works to hinder the growth of certain bacteria, yeasts, and moulds. It can be used across a range of applications.

Preserving freshness in a multitude of applications

As highly effective natural preservatives, PlantGuard™ WS and PlantGuard™ FS help to prevent lipid oxidation and preserve the freshness and quality of both sweet and savoury applications.

PlantGuard™ WS is suitable for low-fat products. It is particularly effective in meat joints including ham and steak, low-fat margarines, and low-fat mayonnaise. It can also be used to preserve the shelf life of crackers.

PlantGuard™ FS can be used in fat dominant applications, especially fried meat applications such as chicken nuggets or fish fingers. It is also ideal for preserving the quality of fats and oils, as well as pastries and doughnuts. It has been shown to have great preserving effect in fried snack applications, including crisps and crackers, and in oil-based seasoning, such as pesto and mayonnaise.

Naturally preserving against microorganisms

The newcomer to the PlantGuard™ range, PlantGuard™ AM, is a blend of natural plant extracts with potent antimicrobial activity, responding to a high demand for such functionality in the preservative space. PlantGuard™ AM is particularly effective against the formation of gram-positive bacteria (more prevalent in juice beverages, sauces condiments and dairy). However, there is also successful partial inhibition of some gram-negative bacteria, yeasts, and moulds.

PlantGuard™ AM is effective in extending shelf life and preserving product freshness at low dose rate. The natural preserving properties help to prevent microbial spoilage in a variety of food. It can be used across a range of applications, such as fruit juices, dairy (cheese and milk), sauces and condiments.

Supporting clean labels and positive consumer perception

PlantGuard™ ingredients can be included in clean label products because they can be listed as "natural flavour preparations". However, they do not provide a strong flavour profile and can be used in both sweet and savoury applications.

The botanical ingredients used in the PlantGuard™ formulations have been promoted for many years for their health benefits and are used in dietary supplements due to their polyphenol content and antioxidant properties. Although Prinova makes no health claims in this regard, brands can benefit from this positive consumer perception.

Thanks to Prinova’s innovation, consumer demand for natural ingredients and clean labels can be met. From seed to field to finished product, Prinova offers full traceability across the entire PlantGuard™ range. The PlantGuard™ ingredients preserve both food and beverages in a natural way, helping brands to answer a developing trend.

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