LANXESS’ Nagardo receives the World Beverage Innovation Award 2022

LANXESS received the World Beverage Innovation Award 2022 in the “Best Beverage Ingredient” category for its natural preservative Nagardo. The 20th World Beverage Innovation Awards, launched by UK-based FoodBev Media Ltd, recognize innovation and excellence across all categories of the global beverage industry. The award ceremony took place on September 13, 2022, at the drinktec fair in Munich. The jury had previously evaluated more than 150 entries from 17 countries in 22 categories.

Monika Ebener, Global Marketing Manager for Natural Antimicrobials in the Beverage Technology Business Line at LANXESS, who has accompanied the natural preservative from discovery to product launch, accepted the award. “Receiving the World Beverage Innovation Award shows that Nagardo has already convinced beverage industry professionals. This reflects the voice of customers who are already successfully testing and using our new product,” says Ebener. The preservative is already used in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. With recent EU approval, LANXESS further expands Nagardo’s global presence.

Discovery of active ingredients by screening process

Due to its high water content combined with potential nutrients such as sugars and fruit components, a drink is an extremely sensitive product that can spoil within days if not processed by physical or chemicals. Beverage-damaging microbes should ideally be controlled by natural means. But natural ingredients, such as essential oils or certain extracts based on rosemary, cinnamon or onion, for example, provide less effective microbial protection than conventional preservatives. In addition, any influence on the taste of a drink should be avoided.

In its search for suitable products in the biosphere, the Dortmund-based start-up IMD Natural Solutions GmbH (INS), which has been part of the LANXESS Material Protection Products (MPP) business unit since 2017, has developed a program based on state-of-the-art search processes and search algorithms. One of the world’s largest siftable libraries of over 100,000 natural molecules from plants, bacteria, algae and fungi was searched for suitable active ingredients.

In this vast screening process, the most interesting results came from an edible mushroom that had hitherto received little attention: the Dacryopinax spathularia, or commonly known as “Ear of Sweet Osmanthus”. This edible mushroom is native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, is bright orange in color and grows in the form of small, ear-like spatulas similar to the osmanthus flower.

The active ingredient is obtained by fermentation through an exclusive solvent-free food-grade process. It is made up of molecular congeners in a specific ratio, all of which consist of a sugar and a lipid moiety. This class of surfactant compounds that interfere with the cell membranes of microbes are therefore called natural glycolipids.

User-friendly marketing options and reliable protection against spoilage

Nagardo shows superior efficacy against typical beverage spoilage organisms compared to conventional preservatives. In most cases, a dosage several times lower than that of conventional excipients is sufficient. The broad spectrum of activity, even at low application concentrations, also shows excellent activity against heat-tolerant spore-forming organisms such as Alicyclobacillus species or representatives of genera Byssochlamys, Neosartorya as good as Talaromyces. It is also effective against organisms adapted to conventional preservatives, such as Zygosaccharomyces bailii.

At the recommended doses, Nagardo does not alter the sensory properties of a drink: the color, the smell and above all the taste are preserved as intended by the manufacturer. Therefore, natural glycolipids can be used in a wide range of beverages. Carbonated products in particular benefit from Nagardo, as no second preservative is usually needed.

Special dosing technology is also not necessary: ​​the powder is pre-dissolved in water and added to the beverage formulation when mixing the product. Nagardo remains in the drink and thus protects it naturally even after opening.

Cost-effective solution for filling sensitive products

Nagardo natural preservative allows manufacturers to adapt their portfolio to changing consumer awareness and growing demand for natural ingredients. “Our expanded offering opens up new possibilities for preservation. We want to participate even more in the global growth of the beverage market in the future with our brands Velcorin, which is one of the leading technologies for the antimicrobial stabilization of beverages, and our new Nagardo”, emphasizes Janmarc Heitmann, Head of MPP’s Beverage Technology business. . “Individually or in combination, our two technologies provide a cost-effective solution for the microbiologically safe filling of sensitive products,” emphasizes Heitmann. All filling systems, from glass/PET bottles to bricks, cans, kegs and bag-in-box can be served with both technologies.

Using Nagardo and Velcorin can help meet a company’s sustainability goals by reducing energy consumption when switching from hot fill or tunnel pasteurization to cold fill. Second, due to the lower wall thicknesses, less PET is needed for beverage bottles than with hot fill. When the two products are combined, depending on the application, other microbiological barriers, such as energy-intensive distribution and cold chain marketing, can be removed.

Criteria for selecting the appropriate technology

In addition to production efficiency, an overall cost consideration for the producer is a decisive selection criterion for the appropriate production platform. All costs incurred, i.e. one-time costs as well as running costs, must be taken into account. Cost drivers are, for example, heavy PET bottles for the hot-fill process and rising energy prices. Factors such as brand positioning, desired claims or the regulatory situation also influence the choice of preservation technology.

The great advantage of the Nagardo and Velcorin technologies is that they can be used without problems in new lines and also in combination with existing filling machines which were not initially intended for the filling of sensitive beverages. These are, for example, fillers for beer or classic soft drinks.

Detailed information is available at http://www.nagardo.com.

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