Unleashing sensory and functional benefits to create new ingredients for consumer products

At ofi, we are passionate about developing new ingredients and processing technologies to achieve the best quality combined with the lowest footprint.

Ingredient innovation with consumers

and our customers in mind

Two plates filled with nuts and chocolate condiments with a glass of milk on the side

Ingredient Functionality

Ingredient functionality, for us, is all about understanding what our ingredients add to the food matrix, in terms of their physical and chemical functionalities.  Agricultural products, by definition, are natural and will always have a slight degree of variance. Origin and growth process combined with post-harvest processing will help determine the functionality of our raw materials and our ingredients. Knowing that, we think alongside our customers about how they can best incorporate our ingredients in their end-applications and help them make their ideas and ambitions for new products real. 

Two people smiling and looking at red cascara samples

Natural & Clean Label

Winning the battle for market share starts with meeting our customer’s needs for great tasting, great looking products with an optimal mouthfeel. But great taste, snap and bite, with an appealing product color, do not always match the increasing consumer desire for fewer additives in their food products. This is why we are always looking for opportunities to develop natural ingredients without the use of additives to suit clean label applications. Our nut ingredients deliver incredible texture, taste and nutrition without any complex artificial ingredients. 

 

Several natural ingredients across our portfolio can help you recover missing elements like color and flavor. Take our spices – they can help formulators create a realistic, meat-like color in plant-based alternatives, all while maintaining a clean-label and adding to the overall flavor profile. And then there is cocoa. Cocoa powder can be used as a coloring agent in vegetarian/vegan products: deZaan Fresco Cacao F11FR is a non-bitter, mild cocoa powder that can be used to create fresh chocolate plant-based yogurts.

 

Another example is the development of our “TrueDark” cocoa powder, whilst staying away from color enhancing additives. And there is more. How we do it? If you work with us, we will share our darkest secrets! 

Lab technician standing in front of a machine

Health, Nutrition & Wellbeing Benefits

Across our portfolio, health and nutrition benefits – both long-standing and emerging – are a common denominator. The nutritional value of our nuts, the macro and micronutrients of dairy, the theobromine and antioxidants in cocoa and the health associations of many spices really form a wealth of opportunities for our customers.  We are always looking to see how these benefits can be protected and enhanced during the manufacturing process, whilst still tasting great.

Two people smiling and looking at red cascara samples

Valorization  & Upcycling 

With the world’s resources under pressure, we seek to get everything we can from our raw materials. Not only to create value for our farmers, but also to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. This often uncovers new and exciting opportunities. Our sweet and fruity cascara for instance, was developed out of coffee husks, which is the skin and pulp of the coffee cherry fruit. The ingredient is now used for beverage infusions and concentrates across multiple applications to meet the growing trend for healthy indulgence. 

Two plates filled with nuts and chocolate condiments with a glass of milk on the side
Ingredient Functionality
Two people smiling and looking at red cascara samples
Natural & Clean Label
Lab technician standing in front of a machine
Health, Nutrition & Wellbeing Benefits
Two people smiling and looking at red cascara samples
Valorization  & Upcycling 

Read ofi news

Blog Sep 1, 2022

How local cashew processing can be a catalyst for sustainable growth

By Arouna Coulibaly, Managing Director Côte d’Ivoire, ofi (olam food ingredients)

 

Snack bars, spreads, nut-milks, cookies, and other sweet treats; cashew is becoming an increasingly popular ingredient across applications from bakery to beverages, feeding demand for healthier snacking options and plant-based proteins. Many of these versatile and tasty nuts are produced in Côte d’Ivoire, which is the biggest exporter of cashew in the world. They are one of the country’s top three cash-crops, yet only around 10% of raw cashew is processed locallyi, with the rest shipped to Asia for its more advanced, mechanized facilities at lower costs.

 

As a result, the value to be created from cashew processing also leaves the country. As the largest processor of cashew in Africa, ofi’s Côte’d’Ivoire team is well-placed to be the change for a more integrated and sustainable value chain. For over a decade, our cashew teams have invested in modern machinery to mechanise and expedite local processing, with the creation of over 3,000 direct jobs at our four private processing facilities, more than 70% of which are held by women.   

 

Recently, we’ve partnered with three national cashew processing units in the country’s northern growing region. Our teams will train workers on proper use of equipment and quality control techniques and help build commercial relationships to enhance marketing prospects for the processed kernels.

 

To expand these efforts, we are working with the Prosper Cashew project to stimulate growth in the country’s processing sector and increase returns to cashew communities. This latest collaboration between ofi and NGO TechnoServe, will provide technical support to farmers and processors and facilitate access to critically needed working capital.

 

We are one of many actors in the supply chain trying to address intractable challenges like rural poverty and child labor, so multi-stakeholder action is critical to deliver meaningful change at scale. The combined technical and on-the-ground resources of these partnerships will also build on some of our existing programs at farm-gate, where smallholders often battle low yields and quality from a lack of finance, inputs, and training. These include increasing agricultural productivity, reducing waste with improved crop residue management, and community development initiatives focused on tackling malnutrition and building health and sanitation infrastructure. This will contribute to our 2030 target under Cashew Trail for our teams around the world to support the livelihoods of 250,000 cashew households.

 

Stepping up value-generating activities in producing countries by processing at source, creates traceable cashew kernels with a lower carbon footprint, along with jobs and economic opportunity for farmers, workers, and communities for the long-term. It leaves better-quality cashew that delivers on both sensory and sustainability expectations.

 

 

i Reuters

News Aug 17, 2022

How can companies implement effective workforce nutrition programs? 

Press Release Sep 27, 2022

ofi drives climate action in global cocoa supply chain

ofi (olam food ingredients), a global leader in naturally good food and beverage ingredients, says it substantially advanced towards the climate goals stated in its Cocoa Compass sustainability report 2020/21 – the year of COP26. In order to achieve the structural change required to have an impact at scale, the report makes clear that work on the ground in cocoa communities should be supported by international collaboration and regulation.

 

In the report, published today, ofi shares its sustainability progress across its cocoa supply chain, achieved in collaboration with customers and partners, and benchmarked against three years of impact data. From the Brazilian Amazon to the landscapes of Côte d’Ivoire, the company has taken further steps to protect and restore forests: it distributed 1.75m trees to farmers (a 356% increase since 2017/18) and enhanced the accuracy of its deforestation monitoring, having polygon mapped two-thirds of its sustainability programs.

 

ofi also invested to reduce its COemissions per metric ton of product output from its cocoa processing facilities, down by 19% since 2018, by installing circular biomass boilers fueled by waste cocoa shells and switching to green electricity. The boiler at the Koog aan de Zaan facility in the Netherlands, where it produces its premium cocoa ingredient brand, deZaan, will now allow ofi to target a further 50% cut in natural gas usage, which will lead to a significant reduction in COemissions.

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