For almost 30 years, Hydrosol has been one of the leading international suppliers of specialty food ingredients system solutions. As it expands its long-term market position in this rapidly growing category, the company builds on its comprehensive knowledge of functional ingredients, industrial production processes, and the challenges of food shelf life and regional eating habits. Customers around the world use this expertise to make attractive, good-tasting and safe foods.
“In recent years, Hydrosol had deployed its strong in-house capabilities to develop new solutions in the plant-based category as well,” reports Dr. Matthias Moser, Managing Director of the Food Ingredients Division of Stern-Wywiol Gruppe. “In the autumn of 2020 that booming unit was spun off to form the new company Planteneers, which is growing rapidly along with the industry. Simultaneously, stabiliser specialist Hydrosol greatly expanded its expertise in texturing, to go beyond the physical stabilisation of food products.” As a result the company formerly known as “The Stabiliser People” has redefined itself. Now Hydrosol says “We texture taste.”
Dr. Moser comments, “we’ve steadily built out our portfolio in the past decades and massively expanded our expertise, in breadth as well as depth. Our products enable the optimum adjustment of consistency and mouthfeel. Together with our knowledge of flavourings and colourings, this gives customers solutions they can use to offer consumers the perfect taste experience. ‘We texture taste’ is thus a very accurate description of what Hydrosol does on a daily basis.”
The company has also deepened its relationships with raw materials suppliers on international markets. At the same time, it is focusing more and more on trend-oriented solutions. These strengths will be even more central going forward. The core emphasis is on developing solutions together with customers that meet consumers’ rising expectations and address current food trends. Convenience, health and clean label remain the strongest drivers. “Free from” concepts are an example, as Dr. Moser explains: “Consumers increasingly want products that are free from E-numbers and low in sugar, fat and salt. But the products cannot veer from the accustomed taste experience – on the contrary, in this category foods have to tick all the boxes. More than that, they have to offer interesting new flavour experiences. The same goes for the consistency. Hydrosol’s core competencies are thus more in demand than ever before.”
Regional answers to trends
All of Hydrosol’s activities are based on the technological knowledge it has accumulated over almost three decades. The many labs with state-of-the-art equipment in Ahrensburg, as well as the Technology Centers in other markets like Mexico, Russia and the United States, are the basis for linking international trend concepts with local requirements. “We will continue to decentralise,” says Dr. Moser, adding, “simultaneously, we’re boosting our service and innovation by adding to our scientific, digital, commercial and qualitative core competencies.” One example in the scientific area is the separation of applications and innovation. This means that Hydrosol will continue to develop custom solutions for the applications and needs of its customers. At the same time, its scientists and technologists are working even more intensively on innovations that let customers make an impact on the market, or successfully enter new markets.
Clean and lean label products remain a major focus in the product portfolio, across all categories. In the milk area there is great potential in special products for children, especially in the “free from” area. In addition, the company’s technologists are working on texturing for products from cultivated meat as well as acellular milk proteins. Hydrosol’s stabilising and texturing expertise will play an important role in this future market. The company recently added to its Sabiprime MFD range for the expanding milk mixed beverages market. This helps dairies make a very diverse range of milk beverages for children and adults, from low-fat and reduced sugar to lactose-free to protein-rich and vitamin fortified.
“As a subsidiary of Stern-Wywiol Gruppe we have a key advantage over competitors – we’re owner-operated and independent, so we can respond quickly and flexibly to customer wishes,” notes Dr. Moser, adding, “the close collaboration with our sister companies offers additional possibilities for our customers. These advantages will further drive the growth of Hydrosol.”