Gulfood Manufacturing 2019

Clean label cocoa butter replacer seeks to tap on fat reduction trend in Middle East

By Guan Yu Lim

- Last updated on GMT

The new non-hydrogenated Couva 806NH can be used for enrobing nougat, choco pie, wafer, biscuit and other choco-bakery products ©Getty Images
The new non-hydrogenated Couva 806NH can be used for enrobing nougat, choco pie, wafer, biscuit and other choco-bakery products ©Getty Images

Related tags Gulfood Manufacturing Middle east Cocoa butter Fat reduction Clean label

Bunge Loders Croklaan has launched its clean label and ‘healthier’ version of cocoa butter replacer for the confectionery industry, in an attempt to capitalise on demand for more healthy options in the Middle East.

The product, Couva 806NH claims to contain low trans-fat levels (<1%), reduced level of saturated fat, is non-hydrogenated, and non-tempering.

As a non-tempering coating fat, it provides more coating flexibility with reduced cracks, making it suitable for coating and enrobing in bakery and confectionery.

According to the firm’s application and technical sales director, Balachandar Selvamohan, the process involved a lipid modification technology, “which doesn’t use the traditional hydrogenation process method so the fat is clean label and it doesn’t contain any trans-fat in it​.”

The R&D process took more than six months, which the firm admitted the biggest challenges were in combining both nutrition and functionality.

Selvamohan said it was ideal for coating and enrobing nougat, choco pie, wafer, biscuit and other choco-bakery products.

Consumer trends

With the recent announcement coming from SFDA (Saudi Food and Drug Authority) to impose a ban on trans-fat by the beginning of 2020, it has become critical for food manufacturers in this region to look for non-PHO (Partially Hydrogenated Oil) ingredients in their products.

According to Selvamohan, there was also “growing awareness about healthy lifestyles to reduce saturated fat and the bad impact of trans-fat in association with cardiovascular disease among the end consumers.​”

Couva 806NH was first launched in the Latin American market before moving to the Middle East.

Seeing a growing customer demand and request for healthy alternatives, the firm intends to launch the product in Asia-Pacific in the coming months.

Healthy expansion

Bunge Loders Croklaan operates a sales office in Egypt, and recently opened an office in Dubai to manage the growing needs of their GCC customers.

According to Jeffrey Toh, sales director at Bunge Loders Croklaan Asia, the firm has plans to expand further in Middle East, particularly Algeria, and Tunisia.

Middle East is one of our targeted growth regions with good opportunities pipeline, we have plans to strengthen our application and technical support in this region​.”

In July this year, the firm opened an edible oils processing facility in Xiamen, China to serve both the region as well as global confectionary, bakery, infant, and dairy alternatives industries. 

The launch of Couva 806NH was in line with the firm’s objective to produce nutritionally healthy fats without any compromise on the functionality needed for the confectionery application.

Couva 806 NH won the Most Innovative Health Ingredient Award​ at the recent Gulfood Manufacturing Industry Excellence Awards 2019 in Dubai.

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