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15th June 2021  Editorial by: Paul Carton

This Novel Food Packs a Nutritional Punch

Over the last decade, the rapeseed plant (Brassica napus) has become a permanent fixture in European agriculture for its extracted oil (Canola oil in the US), which is now many consumers' first choice for cooking with. The oil extraction process also produces a byproduct known as oil-seed cakes/expellers that are used in the animal feed industry.  This nutrient-rich raw ingredient, has up to now been used exclusively for animal feed.

Avena Nordic Grain Plc (part of the Apetit Plc Group) is one of the companies that sell oil seed cakes/expellers for the feed industry but have through a unique, new process been able to upcycle them into a nutrient-rich rapeseed powder called Blackgrain from Yellow Fields™ which is suitable for human consumption and has been given novel food status by EFSA. In this newprotein.net interview, Jenny Tallberg (Business Development Manager) at Avena Nordic Grain talks about the uses of their sustainable rapeseed powder in a variety of foods, its taste profile, water-binding properties, and its unique 3-in-1 composition.

Q. You have put a lot of work in achieving Novel Food status for this ingredient; what is it about this product that has you so passionate in bringing it to market?
Jenny: We are really passionate about our raw material, rapeseed. It is a great raw material that has until now been utilized only partly as food. Our new rapeseed powder ingredient is made with sustainability in mind; we are upcycling food and using all the good stuff that is needed in our diet, i.e., protein, fiber, and healthy oil.

Q. Finland suffered a decline in rapeseed yields at the start of this century but recovered; what can you say about the sustainability of this crop?
Jenny: It is an important rotation plant in cultivation and improves soil health thanks to its long roots. It’s also an important plant for pollinators.

Q. Rapeseed is supposed to have a mustard flavor and more suitable for savoury products, but you have been approved novel food status for cereals as well as meat analogues, etc. Can you tell me exactly what is the rapeseed flavour profile/organoleptic properties?
Jenny: Our ingredient is very mild in taste. Taste is a key thing, and we have been able to get rid of that strong mustard flavor while processing the raw rapeseed material into a food-grade product. Our BlackGrain ingredient flavour is described as mildly malty and roasted.

Q. In line with your EU novel food status license, what is the full range of applications your ingredient can be used in, and at what levels?
Jenny: Cereal bars mixed 20%, muesli and similar breakfast cereals 20%, extruded breakfast cereal products 20%, snacks (excluding potato crisps) 15%, breads, and rolls with added special ingredients (such as seeds, raisins, herbs) 7%, gluten-free brown breads 7%, multigrain bread and rolls 7%, meat substitutes 10%, meatballs 10%

Q. What’s the ratio of fat: protein: fiber? And what can you tell me about its amino acid profile compared to something like soy?
Jenny: BlackGrain contains all the essential amino acids and is characterized for having a balanced ratio of amino acids when compared with some available pulses in the market. The unique 3-in-1 composition is protein 38%, fiber 38%, and oil 18%.

Q. What about the US Market? - is BlackGrain FDA GRAS?
Jenny: Not at the moment.

Q. Your ingredient can be added to meatballs and meat substitutes – How does it help with water-binding and juiciness?
Jenny: Our ingredient has high water binding capacity and dark colour from a natural source. It works well as an ingredient in textured vegetable proteins (TVP). Due to its high content of insoluble fiber, our ingredient has a high water-binding capacity which contributes to increased juiciness in applications such as TVP-patties. As a meat-filler, it gives the hamburger patty more juiciness when compared to a 100 % meat patty.

Q. What about consumers with special dietary needs – Does BlackGrain from Yellow Fields™ contain dairy or gluten, for example?  What’s its allergenic status?
Jenny: BlackGrain from Yellow Fields™ is suitable to use in vegan, gluten-free, and legume-free products. It is also suitable for a low FODMAP diet.  It is allergen-free, but the ingredient may cause an allergic reaction to consumers who are allergic to mustard and products thereof. That statement shall appear in close proximity to the list of ingredients on consumer packaging.

Q. What makes BlackGrain a clean label ingredient?
Jenny: It has many dietary free-from declarations, as mentioned above, but it’s also GMO-free! Rapeseed is familiar to the consumer through the wide use of rapeseed oil. BlackGrain was developed with the target of using processing as little as possible, therefore the result of having a 3-in-1 ingredient.

Q. Can you tell me about a consumer product where BlackGrain from Yellow Fields™ has been successfully used to deliver an enhanced nutritional profile?
Jenny: Our ingredient is so new that the first consumer product is not launched yet, but soon it will be. We have got great results in different types of extruded products and bread.

If you want to know more about BlackGrain from Yellow Fields™, click here or please request information.



Date Published: 15th June 2021

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