Rice-based functional ingredients gain traction as clean-label alternatives: IFT 2019 report

June 11, 2019

At IFT 2019, functional-ingredients supplier Ribus (St. Louis) talked about how its rice-based ingredients are finding more and more followers in the clean-label space.

At at the Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo in June, functional-ingredients supplier Ribus (St. Louis) talked about how its rice-based ingredients are finding more and more followers in the clean-label space. The company supplies natural and organic rice-based ingredients for foods, beverages, dietary supplement, and pet products, including binders, emulsifiers, dough conditioners, lubricants, and more. Many of these ingredients have limited alternatives in the clean-label space.

Right from the start, companies and consumers searching for cleaner-labeled products see rice as a label-friendly ingredient, said Steve Peirce, the company’s president, at IFT. “They understand that it’s from rice and that it’s been extracted with water,” he said.

One of Ribus’s fastest-growing ingredients is its Nu-Flow anti-caking agent/flow aid for foods, beverages, and supplements. In foods, Nu-Flow can help improve powder flow in everything from spices and seasonings to flavors and purees. It is an alternative to silicon dioxide and tricalcium phosphate. In supplements, Nu-Flow improves powder flow, is a good source of dietary fiber, and works on high-speed production lines. Here, it is an alternative to silicon dioxide, tricalcium phosphate, and talc.

This rice-based ingredient works well as a flow agent because it contains fiber, which “acts almost like a spacing agent to get in between the particles that want to stick together,” and it is also rich in silica, “which is naturally occurring in rice hulls and absorbs some of that excess moisture,” Peirce explained.

Interest remains high. At IFT, Peirce said, customers included salt producers and dry blend makers. Ribus also provides customers with a lot of technical guidance, he said, to show them how these ingredients can replace others in formulation.