FOOD NAVIGATOR: Sustainability in focus at IFT First 2022: ‘We don’t want regenerative ag to become the next ‘natural’ because then it doesn’t mean anything’


By Elaine Watson 


Sustainability “is probably on slide two or three of every customer presentation now,” ​notes Ingredion, but how can consumers cut through the PR noise to make meaningful comparisons between brands?

Comet – a startup developing functional fibers and sweeteners from upcycled ingredients – is building a manufacturing facility in Kalundborg, Denmark with RE Energy where it will deploy patented water-based extraction technology allowing it to extract the prebiotic fiber arabinoxylan​ from wheat straw, said CEO Rich Troyer.

Our plan is on track to start this year. We have two grades of arabinoxylan. One has polyphenols attached so it has some color to it and works well in applications such as coffee, chocolate, and powder as it’s highly soluble and pH stable. And we have a second product that is white and flavorless.”

A fiber found in the cell walls of several plants, arabinoxylan has a range of benefits from prebiotic effects to blood glucose control and immune health support. But no one has found a cost-effective way to isolate and produce it on an industrial scale… until now, claimed Troyer, who  said it had distinct advantages in the prebiotic space given its high-tolerability and high-potency: “We’re seeing prebiotic effects with only 3g a day.”