Consumers are willing to pay more for ‘natural’ and ‘healthy’ food, which cannot be leveraged by one-on-one ingredient replacements in product upgrades or newly designed brands. Price stability and the quality of natural-based ingredients necessitate the most affordable, effective solution for each product.

A strong, concurrent ‘healthy’ trend is the use of vegetable proteins in sweet and savoury products to complement animal proteins. However, consumer acceptance of these products can be compromised by subsequent bad taste. If this is the case, the products can be enhanced by the functional masking property of vanillin, once it is vectorised into the amino acid off-notes. Consumers also show a strong awareness of sustainable food and traceable, local ingredients.

Integrated natural solutions

The desire for natural products made with bio-sourced ingredients, and natural colours or flavours, is often attributed to a sense of nostalgia for authentic, original ingredients.

The vanilla bean is the logical source of one such natural ingredient. However, supply shortages, as well as fluctuations in quality and price, have limited the feasibility of bean-based solutions in food products. This is especially important as the genuine vanilla taste is not always the preferred consumer experience.

Solvay has been producing vanillin as a pure and safe copy of the natural main ingredient of vanilla beans for more than 130 years. Two decades ago, the company also introduced a truly natural vanillin derived from the vegetable extract of raw material, bio-fermented and purified in a process of natural transformations without using any genetically modified organisms. This is the core of the trademarked Vanifolia range of products, developed by Solvay to meet consumer and industry requirements for cost-effectiveness and price stability in natural solutions. Vanifolia-based products allow a universal ‘natural’ label to be applied in the US and EU, according to FDA 21CFR101.22 and EU Directive 1334/2008.

Innovation for healthy products

Besides the familiar vanilla taste that has proved itself in the traditional markets of bakery, confectionery, and food and beverage, Solvay’s Govanil and Vanifolia vanillin-based solutions have become instrumental in many performance-nutrition products.

On top of the mouthfeel effect provided to eliminate the raw taste of low-fat or low-sugar recipes, Solvay’s vanillin-based solutions also enable the masking of undesired off-notes in high-protein, highsweetener or high-vitamin enriched formulations.

Furthermore, Solvay assists its customers thanks to a global network of ‘Vanil’ Expert Centers’. These centres are dedicated to supporting customers in creating food innovations and serving demand for health-integrated nutrition across all food segments.

Superior sustainability for customers’ benefit

Solvay delivers the purest and most consistent-tasting vanillin products, using technologies that eliminate harmful compounds such as toluene, chorine and benzene. While these compounds are rejected by conscious consumers regardless of the regulated permissible levels, they can still be found on the market, and have repeatedly resulted in costly product recalls and associated losses to brand image. The purity of Solvay’s vanillin-based portfolio brings significant value to customers by helping prevent these risks.

Solvay manufactures its core vanillin products with stringent quality, traceability and consistency to ensure compliance with food safety regulations across the entire production chain. In addition, the company is a member of the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX) organisation for corporate social responsibility in the food industry. It has committed to the four pillars of the SEDEX Members Ethical Trade Audit, and to best-practices methodology in its three FSSC 22000-certified vanillin production sites in France, China and the US.

Moreover, Solvay is actively involved in the World Economic Forum’s FRESH programme, which aims to develop innovative sustainable food solutions of the future.

Flexible thinking

Solvay is addressing consumer-driven trends of ‘natural’ and ‘healthy’ food products by offering a flexible range of superior quality products that combine globally integrated consistency with purity, safety, eco-friendliness and security of supply