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Jennifer Grebow is editor-in-chief of Nutritional Outlook.
BungeMaxx sunflower lecithin offers many benefits to food and drink makers, including emulsification, crystallization control, and more, the company says.
Bunge Loders Croklaan (St. Louis) introduced a Non-GMO Project Verified sunflower lecithin ingredient at the Institute of Food Technologists’ Annual Meeting and Food Expo in July. BungeMaxx sunflower lecithin offers many benefits to food and drink makers, including emulsification, crystallization control, and more, the company says.
“We’re the only company that is fully integrated on sunflower lecithin, from the farmer all the way to the customer, and scalable,” Mark Stavro, senior director of marketing, told Nutritional Outlook at IFT. He said these traits set the company apart from other suppliers of sunflower lecithin.
“Someone knows that when they’re getting it from us, we’re managing everything,” he said. “A lot of different players will buy lecithin at different points in production. But if someone wants to know who the farmers were, how many farmers we got it from, we can provide that information for them.”
Stavro said Bunge “has the biggest production facilities in the world for sunflower lecithin, in Europe.” He added that scaling up sunflower crop in Europe is easier than in North America. In Europe, he said, “you’ve got 40 million acres of sunflowers; here, you’re got maybe 2 million acres of sunflower.”
Stavro said the new non-GMO sunflower oil is a “straightforward” replacement for soy lecithin and can be used in many applications, from chocolate to beverages and pan sprays. Sunflower lecithin does not need to be labeled as an allergen in the U.S., making it attractive for clean-label formulating.
“Non-GMO is more than a trend, with 39% of U.S. consumers saying non-GMO is an important claim they seek on foods and beverages at retail,” said Stavro said in a press release. “Our customers want to stay competitive in the non-GMO market, and sunflower lecithin is an excellent opportunity. According to AC Nielsen, non-GMO foods and beverages made with lecithin are a $4 billion market with 6% annual growth over the past three years.”