The snacking market in South Africa remains dynamic, fuelled by urbanisation and evolving consumer habits. A recent Nielsen survey indicates that 65 per cent of South Africans eat snacks instead of lunch, the highest percentage worldwide.
Bakeries must consider strategies to improve consumer health profiles, while maintaining sensory appeal and affordability. Omya Calcipur is a natural calcium carbonate that can help formulators achieve these goals in baked goods and extruded snacks.
Omya Calcipur offers a trifactor benefit in calcium fortification, sugar replacement and acrylamide reduction. With high elemental calcium content (40 per cent) and bioavailability, natural calcium carbonate is the preferred source, for calcium supplementation. In specific applications like icing sugar, fine grades like Omya Calcipur 110 KP can replace up to 35 per cent of sugar, reducing the calorie content from 310 to 174kcal. A study on cookies indicates that natural calcium carbonate can significantly reduce acrylamide formation. Good reduction performance was observed at addition levels as low as 0.1 per cent, making natural calcium carbonate a cost-effective strategy to reduce acrylamide formation.
When it comes to organoleptic properties, natural calcium carbonate can positively influence consumer choices. The same study performed on cookies, showed that a one per cent addition of natural calcium carbonate resulted in lighter colour and crunchier texture. No impact on taste or flavour was perceived.
In soft baked goods, the addition of Omya Calcipur offers improved mouthfeel, due to a more uniform distribution of air bubbles within the matrix. It also acts as a physical barrier, maintaining water content within the matrix by reducing its migration to the product surface. It reduces water activity of baked goods, resulting in decreased stickiness to packaging and prevents blister formation on the surface.
For the formulator, fine grades like Omya Calcipur 90KP and Omya Calcipur 110KP act as anti-caking particles, keeping hygroscopic products free flowing. There are powder formulations that require coarser particles to improve product flowability and avoid separation. Omya offers a range of different particle sizes, tailored to industrial requirements. These are a cost-effective alternative to common flow-aid agents e.g. silicon dioxide or tricalcium phosphate.
Omya Calcipur natural calcium carbonates are compliant with the most stringent international food standards (E170 purity standard and the Food Chemical Codex). Food-certified production such as HACCP and integrated quality management systems like ISO 22000 and ISO 14000 ensure products satisfy regulations worldwide.
Omya is represented locally by CJP Chemicals.