Kröner-Stärke: “Organic farming is a key driver in creating sustainable structures”

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07 Feb 2019 --- European starch producer Kröner-Stärke is reacting to consumer concerns over sustainability and transparency in the food chain with an enhanced range of organic starches and gluten, as well as texturized proteins. According to Kröner-Stärke, the starches are designed to allow food producers to extend their organic product ranges while also guaranteeing the integrity and reliability of key supply chains.

Authenticity and traceability are high on the list of consumer demands and Kröner-Stärke seeks to enable food manufacturers to source organic starches and flours with high environmental and sustainability standards. 

“We believe that we are only guests on this planet and we are responsible for handing over the world to the next generations in the best possible condition. Organic farming is one of the key success drivers in creating sustainable structures,” says Kröner-Stärke CEO Dr. Götz Kröner.

Increasingly, people are focused on healthier lifestyles which also include healthier food. “In addition to that, people are increasingly interested in understanding the background of the products they consume. Organic foods are one option that fulfills this need, according to Henrik de Vries, Commercial Manager at Kröner-Stärke.

Transparency is continuously requested by customers and they frequently want to know more details about the origin of the raw materials. “A big trend is that our customers have a request for specific raw material origins,” continues de Vries. “After different issues in relation to organic products and the organic status of these products, it is essential for customers to be on the safe side.” 

According to de Vries, the availability of organic wheat from trustworthy origins is not unlimited and the market volume in total is relatively small. As a result, raw material availability is a key factor to secure the business and the business of customers. 

“For the farms, it could be beneficial to plant organic wheat as the price is usually significantly higher. This is necessary as the crop yield is approximately 50 percent lower in comparison to conventional wheat,” adds de Vries. 

In periods with high prices for conventional wheat the gap between organic and conventional might be too small to cover additional costs and the reduced crop yield. 

Kröner Stärke has a target of implementing long-term planning schedules with suppliers. This would give them the security that they can sell their crop. “In addition to that Kröner Stärke tries to implement fair and long term oriented prices. Implementing efficient logistics structures helps to avoid unnecessary costs,” de Vries tells FoodIngredientsFirst.

Kröner-Stärke’s relationships with its organic farmers, go back over two decades, meaning that the firm has total trust in its suppliers and can offer complete transparency over the whole supply chain from “field to factory” with the utmost confidence. Such stable relationships ensure food producers’ supply needs are met even during periods when there are supply challenges such as increased demand or difficult crop periods, says the company.

The firm has teamed up with its main organic suppliers to develop efficient logistics systems which not only avoid cross-contamination during the movement of products but also lead to cost reductions. For example, certain cereal mills have been converted so that they can receive raw materials by ship, which allows specific raw material flows to be controlled and logistics’ costs to be minimized. 

To increase the security of its organic raw materials, the company has also implemented a range of scrutiny measures including unannounced and irregular visits to the fields with an evaluation of realistic yield. A further important quality check is the inclusion of a standardized organic checkpoint which verifies products along the supply chain.   

Kröner-Stärke has also established vital supply chains with two organic trade associations, Bioland and Naturland, to be able to respond to a wide range of customer specifications.

ThClick to EnlargeOrganic starch flakes can be used as a viable alternative to tapioca starch.e company’s commitment to organic farming has reached the point where its entire product portfolio is available in certified organic form. The organic collection now includes a wide range of native and pregelatinized starches, wheat proteins, texturized protein, pregelatinized flours and readily prepared baking mixes. 

In response to customer demand, product development specialists have created an organic starch that can be used as a viable alternative to tapioca starch. Organic FOODSTAR, an organic hot swelling starch designed for the organic confectionery, bakery and ready meal product markets, provides excellent viscosity control and thickening properties which make it ideal for a broad range of confectionery products as well as for fillings and dressings where it also acts as a stabilizer.

For organic gluten-free products, Kröner-Stärke can offer organic SANOSTAR, a wheat-based gluten-free starch. This product provides baking properties and taste for a wide range of gluten-free baking applications. In addition to that, organic SANOSTAR is now frequently requested as an alternative to organic corn starch to optimize cost structures and availability. 

Other key functional ingredients included in the firm’s organic portfolio include wheat proteins (gluten and texturized proteins) designed to improve the structure and crumb of bread plus organic vital wheat gluten which is a crucial ingredient in the production of seitan – a popular vegan alternative to meat.

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