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BASF backs Chinese functional bakery

14-May-2012

Health, convenience and wellness in China's bakery sector driving demands
Health, convenience and wellness in China's bakery sector driving demands

China’s bakery sector is fast developing but there are unmet needs for healthier products that BASF Nutrition is hoping to tap into following its presence at Shanghai trade show Bakery China 2012 last week.

BASF Nutrition launched its global marketing initiative ‘Think Newtrition’ at the show – focused on promoting nutritious and innovative solutions enabling manufacturers to develop healthier end products – and showcased a range of products suited to healthy manufacturing.

Andreas Bais, head of global marketing communication for Human Nutrition at BASF SE in Germany, said that BASF’s bakery products and initiative fit demands for healthy solutions in China’s bakery sector.

“China’s bakery market is strongly developing… Fostered by rising incomes, shifting demographics and social transformation, health and wellness products will outgrow the food and beverage markets,” Bais told FoodNavigator-Asia.

“There are unmet needs at an end consumer level for products with particular health benefits and calorie reduction, for example substitution of fat and carbohydrates,” he said.

By 2015, Asia will be the biggest market for food ingredients in the globe and China is set to see double-digit growth until then, Bais detailed.

BASF Nutrition has a range of products, concepts and solutions that are attractive to Chinese bakers looking to develop healthy new products while maintaining taste and texture, he added.

Meeting healthy ingredient needs

The global ingredients supplier promoted its whipping agent Lamequick and aerating emulsifier Spongolit at the Bakery China show as well as its range of health ingredients, including omega-3s, vitamins and plant sterols.

Lamequick is a spray-dried powder or paste used to produce light and creamy foams when whipped up with milk or water and Spongolit binds ingredients enabling manufacturers to eliminate or reduce emulsified shortenings – high in trans-fats – and therefore develop healthier baked products.

The products are available globally but locally adapted where needed, he said; “food is culture and culture is local, meaning adaptation to regional trends and eating habits is the basis for being successful in Asia’s markets.”

BASF’s ‘Think Newtrition’ will also fit well into China’s health demands, he said, prompting a “fruitful dialogue with experts and opinion leaders” in industry.

“This dialogue will allow BASF to identify essential demands and to develop new ideas, concepts and solutions for successful products that meet consumer demand all over the world – including diverse cultures and eating preferences,” Bais said.

While there is a clear trend towards health, “convenience is also a huge driver,” he said. For example, microwaveable cake is already extremely popular in the region.

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