Yeast Solutions For Challenges In A New Age

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Along with rapidly evolving consumer trends in Asia Pacific, APFI speaks to Joergen Lundgaard, managing director at Lesaffre Asia Pacific, about the improving yeast and baking solutions.


Could you give us a brief overview of yeast applications?

Yeast is most commonly known for its leavening properties and usage in bread baking and beer making. However, the physiological properties of yeast have lent itself to numerous uses in the field of biotechnology.

As a global key player in yeast and fermentation solutions, we uncover the tremendous potential of yeasts and natural yeast by-products and apply it to develop baking solutions, improve food taste and pleasure, human, animal and plant nutrition.

Baking solutions: Baker’s yeast is available in many forms—from liquid to compressed, and active or instant dry yeast. With one out of every three loaves of bread globally made with Lesaffre yeast, we cater a wide range of baker’s yeast to meet the needs of bakers of all scales.

Food taste & pleasure: Yeast extracts can help to enrich the natural flavour of many different recipes—such as soups, sauces, seasoning snacks, ready meals, beverages and much more.

Nutrition & health: A broad range of yeasts and their derivatives are used in the global nutrition, health and beauty markets. Probiotic yeasts, nutritional yeasts, and fortified yeasts are some examples of healthy ingredients.


Lesaffre has been in the industry for a long time—has the company noticed any noteworthy evolving consumer trends over the years?

Lesaffre has come a long way since its establishment. We are currently witnessing an increase in the demand for bread here in Asia Pacific. Market analysts have projected that the Asia Pacific bread and rolls market is set to grow at a CAGR of 2.9% between 2016 and 2020.

Consumer preferences for bread in Asia Pacific differ in each country due to the diversity of culture and preferences. For example, India has seen higher demand for bread and rolls due to its growing popularity as a breakfast item. Countries like China, Malaysia and Singapore also see growth in the bread industry due to rising income levels and standard of living.

Health and wellness continues to shape the bakery industry as today’s consumers are becoming more health-conscious. We have seen a rise in the demand for sourdough and plant-based ingredients due to its positive nutritional qualities.

Sensory appeal has never been more important in this social media driven-age, especially with millennials making up a large portion of consumers. With share-worthiness becoming as important as taste and nutrition in food products, bakeries are striving to develop more artisanal yet healthy baked goods.


How has Lesaffre adapted to these evolving trends?

At Lesaffre, we strive to build a strong innovation ecosystem that enables us to respond quickly to an evolving market. Trends discerned by our marketing team are translated into innovation projects, for which our multidisciplinary team of R&D scientists work closely with our technical experts to develop new products and solutions.

With deep expertise in microbiology, genetics, fermentation science and separation technology, we have at our disposal a suite of cutting-edge scientific tools. Whether it is selecting a yeast strain with the best performance for a specific application, or optimising a production process to ensure consistency of product quality, we are able to approach innovation from multiple angles.

This capability is further augmented through close partnerships with academic research centres of excellence globally. Our successful innovations are then quickly scaled up through a close collaboration with our production team.

For our Yeast and Baking Solutions team, the Lesaffre Baking Center™ consists of a global team of dedicated, passionate and highly-skilled bakers and technicians, who help our customers to adopt these new innovations by providing assistance in application development, product training, and technical support.

Lesaffre also has expert sensory panels with our own sensory labs to help decipher the language of bread. Feedback from our trained panellists, with the help of specialised statistical analysis allows us to develop, position and market products. We also provide specialised training that can be customised to suit the needs of each client.

With this innovation structure, Lesaffre has developed a comprehensive range of products that help our customers meet the evolving tastes of consumers.

As an example, to meet the growing demand for artisanal breads, our comprehensive sourdough range called Livendo® offers four key products: starters, live sourdough, devitalised sourdough and enriched sourdough-based preparations. Each product provides our customers with enhanced flavours, aromatic profiles and convenience to create an appealing sourdough product for their consumers.


What are some challenges that the company has faced in a market that is now widely led by millennials?

Today’s economy is very digital-driven and is rapidly changing all the time. This means that we must continuously evolve our business to stay ahead of the curve. At Lesaffre, we work alongside our customers to help them meet the needs of consumers and we do that by keeping a lookout on consumer preferences and trends in the market.

We keep our minds open to new challenges, especially in the F&B industry where things change every day. Lesaffre has seen generations of consumers in its years and the millennials are a new group of consumers that we are constantly learning about how to better meet their needs.


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