Danisco blends to take tortillas into new markets
Powerflex, intended to keep tortillas soft and fresh no matter what
the shelf-life requirements, could help open up new global markets
for the food product.
Powerflex blends are made up of the company's emulsifier, hydrocolloid and enzyme ingredients, which have a synergistic effect to maintain softness, freshness, taste, texture and appearance. One of the main drivers, Jens Holstborg, development and marketing director at Danisco, told FoodNavigator.com, is keeping tortillas flexible throughout the distribution process. Manufacturers also wish to avoid sticking in the package, and still to have optimal processing conditions - such as dough that is easy to work with and yields products of a more uniform size and shape. Market standards for tortilla shelf life vary widely, according to the Danish ingredients firm. In the US, for instance, a relatively short life is standard as manufacturers are closer to the market. In Europe, on the other hand, the tortilla market is less developed and distribution is more complex so a longer shelf life is needed. Holstborg said the new technology could help develop the European market - and agreed that it could help open up new tortilla markets, too, in places where the need to deliver fresh foods to the consumer poses logistical challenges. "If manufacturers can secure the best quality, logistical problems become less important." Holstborg said that the company has conducted "extensive development work" and come up with a blends that have varying levels of ingredients to suit most market requirements - although it will also tailor blends to suit individual needs if necessary. Data from supermarket scanners for the 52 weeks ended May 2006 valued sales of the top ten refrigerated tortilla brands in the US at $306.7m. The corresponding figure for the top ten hard/soft/taco kit brands was $959.4m. (Redbook, Bakery Production and Marketing). Parallel data for Europe and other global markets was not sourced.