Kerry expands its clean-label food protection capabilities with two acquisitions

IRELAND — Kerry, the Irish multinational taste and nutrition company, has acquired two innovative companies, IsoAge Technologies and Biosecur Lab Inc. to expand its clean-label food protection capabilities.

Established in 2008 and based in Georgia, USA, IsoAge Technologies is a supplier of functional ingredients to the food industry.

The company supplies the industry with multifunctional ingredient systems to optimize both product and process performance, consistency and profitability.

The company creates food safety and flavour enhancement systems with a consumer-friendly label declaration, using kitchen pantry ingredients as the foundation of many of their technologies led by their vision that “Mother Nature Knows Best”.

Biosecur Lab Inc. is a Canadian company  that  supplies citrus-based functional ingredients for food, beverage, personal care, oral care and industrial products.

Biosecur’s patented technologies are focused on citrus extracts that are rich in bioflavonoids and polyphenols. The portfolio includes a range of US FDA GRAS status citrus extracts and natural citrus-based flavours.

Kerry said that the acquisitions, which were completed at the end of 2019 but officially announced this month, enhance its  leadership in the clean-label space and expand the company’s capacity to serve this rapidly growing market.

The exploding consumer-friendly shelf life solutions market

“These acquisitions and expansion of our food protection portfolio solidifies Kerry’s position as a leader in clean-label food protection,” says Neil Cracknell, CEO of Applied Health & Nutrition at Kerry.

Consumers are quickly changing their behaviours and attitudes and taking a greater interest in nutrition and the positive role it plays in maintaining a healthy body.

As part of the trend, Kerry observes that consumers are paying increased attention to product labels and seeking to avoid artificial ingredients, to which they associate a negative connotation.

Research conducted by the company confirmed that there is a strong consumer desire for the removal of artificial ingredients in food and beverages.

The market for consumer-friendly shelf life solutions is estimated at more than US$1 billion globally, and it is growing at twice the pace of the artificial preservatives market.

Kerry foresees that this high demand can create significant challenges for food safety and further increase food waste.

A recent study published in PLOS One states that global food waste is twice as high as previously estimated (527 kcal/day/capita versus 214 kcal/day/capita, FAO) and is one of the top global sustainability problems; it is a problem the food industry needs to collectively address.

Addressing food waste through clean labels

Brave campaigns like Burger King’s “The Moldy Whopper” capture consumer interest in real food, and highlight the move by the industry to remove artificial preservatives.

However, Kerry maintains that it is a complex challenge, as food needs to be protected from taste degradation and kept stable using consumer-friendly alternatives that ensure safety and minimise food waste.

Kerry, as a leader in natural food protection technologies, understands this complexity – considering that keeping food safe over its shelf life is multifaceted.

citrus-based functional ingredients

It involves inhibiting the growth of pathogens and spoilage organisms, and shielding from taste degradation, all while delivering on a tasty, nutritious and enjoyable product with a clean label.

Keeping food fresh, safe and appealing is the ultimate goal of food producers, and Kerry affirms that the company supports food producers to achieve this with its range of food cupboard solutions.

“Our authentic portfolio of natural solutions helps customers achieve consumer-appealing labels and extend shelf life safely, while at the same time maintaining great taste and texture,” says Neil Cracknell.

“When we combine IsoAge Technologies’ natural and sustainable food safety solutions with Biosecur Lab’s natural citrus extract-based antimicrobials and Kerry’s existing food protection solutions, we will be able to protect even more food naturally.

“Together our combined innovation capability is significant, and we will work collaboratively to develop the future of natural food protection solutions,” Cracknell adds.

According to Brian Nevin, Kerry’s VP of Business Development, Food Protection and Fermentation, the acquisition positions Kerry as the company offering the broadest food protection portfolio in the industry.

“We pride ourselves on our authentic ingredients, our primary production capabilities and providing full transparency to our customers,” Nevin said.

“Both IsoAge Technologies and Biosecur Lab Inc. offer unique natural portfolios of patented shelf-life technologies, which will greatly enhance Kerry’s global market leadership.”

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