Innovation: Shaping the Future

Innovation: Shaping The Future

May 7, 2018

Today, we would like to touch on innovation, and how our company has learned new ways to innovate. Blue Marble is a world-leading innovation house specializing in biomimetic techniques, microbial polyculture, and natural product development. Our story began in 2007, and we have continuously innovated in the realm of natural and nature-inspired ingredients, non-GMO manufacturing pathways, and product development ever since. Throughout the course of our journey, we have developed custom solutions for consumer packaged goods companies, flavor houses, and ingredient producers within the food and personal care industries. We are excited to have had the opportunity to help our clients shape their products to meet the changing demands of consumers while maintaining our status as a leading innovator working towards sustainability and a brighter future for our planet.

To achieve these goals, we develop ingredients and finished products that do one or more of the following:

  • Promote sustainability in manufacturing processes, reducing waste product or eliminating it altogether
  • Serve as natural replacements for synthetic ingredients, lending to clean labeling claims and
  • Meet consumer demands by improving flavor, texture, smell, and social awareness (natural products, non-GMO, etc.)

A major risk in any industry is stagnation, when new ideas are hard to come by and when maintaining the status quo becomes more important than innovation.  This is the forefront of our mission, where we help established companies or startups become disruptive by using our unique innovative processes. However, we do not simply operate within the food and cosmetic spaces.  What makes Blue Marble so versatile?

A Recipe for Success

“Innovation as a service” can be a tricky business; conceptually, it works much like “software as a service” without the software, and instead replacing it with research and development.  Since research and development occurs in almost every organization, regardless of industry, we have to be able to apply our solutions to a myriad of situations.  In order to be successful in these ventures, we have assembled an energetic and talented team that embodies the tenets of innovation, customer service, scientific expertise, and business strategy.  We harbor an ecosystem of talent, creativity, and technology to provide novel solutions to existing problems.

 

Our science team is comprised of chemical engineers, biological engineers, mechanical engineers, analytical chemists, organic chemists, microbiologists, and microbial ecologists.  Despite our current focus on cultivating solutions for food and fragrance suppliers, we have also worked on projects in disciplines including:

  • pharmceuticals
  • environmental microbiology
  • bioremediation
  • biofilms
  • biofuels
  • climate change research
  • virology
  • anaerobic digestion
  • wastewater cleanup

How did we become so successful at solving problems within the food industry?  Our alternative perspectives allow us to tackle problems from a different angle.  We apply ideas and theories from other industries into our current work flow. Who would try to use ideas that have stemmed out of bioremediation into the food industry?  Blue Marble would, and we do it with great success.

Franny Gilman

Senior Vice President

Dr. Frances Gilman is the VP of Research and Development for Blue Marble Biomaterials, having attained a B.S. in Biology and a Ph.D. in Microbial Ecology.

NEW PARTNERSHIP OFFERS ACCELERATED DEVELOPMENT PATH FOR BIO-INSPIRED INNOVATION

The Buzz About Clean Label

April 19, 2018

Consumers Demand Truth

In this day in age, consumers are more educated than they ever have been. Across the globe, people are paying more attention to nutrition labels and ingredient lists on the products they purchase at grocery stores. This heightened awareness is continuously increasing, and has been over the last several years as consumer demand shifts away from artificial flavors and ingredients and towards natural and sustainable solutions. People want to know not only where their products are coming from, but also where the ingredients are sourced from and why these ingredients are in their products. Specifically, simple labels and short ingredient lists are seen as ideal. An ingredient list with recognizable items and an overall short list are perceived to be better or “cleaner” to most consumers. Artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, and preservatives are items most people looking for clean labels want to avoid finding on the ingredient lists of food items they purchase.

Why Clean Label?

Consumers are aware of a phenomenon commonly referred to as “green-washing.” This refers to the overuse of terms such as “natural” that are frequently painted across various food packages. In certain contexts, natural does not hold much meaning or has an ambiguous meaning. The definition of “natural” when used in different cases will be the topic of a future blog post. In general, the issues with green-washing have driven consumers to seek transparency in their products. Simply stating the product or ingredients are natural is not enough anymore, especially with rising occurrences of food fraud and adulteration.

However, consumers are willing to pay more for products they perceive as transparent. True organic and natural products warrant price increases, and consumers expect this to be the case. Health has come to the forefront of conversations as a flood of social media marketing techniques hone in on the benefits of clean eating, natural beauty and cosmetics products, and having the ability to personalize diets and beauty regimens that cater to the individual.  Consumers believe the added expense is worth having assurance that what they are purchasing will provide those functional benefits.

Women account for about 85% of all consumer purchases and over 90% of food related purchases are made by women.

Who Makes These Purchases?

Manufacturers of final products and the ingredients in these products need to understand who their consumer is, what they want, and why they want it. In the next few years, it will be increasingly important for manufacturers to educate the general public so that consumers understand how they’re making their products.  Adjusting the messaging and marketing strategies can play an important role in ensuring consumers establish trust in a brand that touts itself as natural while providing clean label products. Food is by far the largest market seeing the increase in clean labeling. However, the personal care industry is also affected by the need for cleaner labels. Consumers of cosmetics and baby products are looking for ingredients that they perceive to be better for them, their families, and the environment. This trend is also permeating into home cleaning products, with legislation such as SB-258 in California effectively requiring transparency on cleaning products throughout the state.

Franny Gilman

Senior Vice President Dr. Frances Gilman is the VP of Research and Development for Blue Marble Biomaterials, having attained a B.S. in Biology and a Ph.D. in Microbial Ecology.

The Buzz About Clean Label

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What ‘clean label’ means, and how consumers react to clean label products
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April 19, 2018

In this day in age, consumers are more educated than they ever have been. Across the globe, people are paying more attention to nutrition labels and ingredient lists on the products they purchase at grocery stores. This heightened awareness is continuously increasing, and has been over the last several years as consumer demand shifts away from artificial flavors and ingredients and towards natural and sustainable solutions. People want to know not only where their products are coming from, but also where the ingredients are sourced from and why these ingredients are in their products.

Specifically, simple labels and short ingredient lists are seen as ideal. An ingredient list with recognizable items and an overall short list are perceived to be better or “cleaner” to most consumers. Artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, and preservatives are items most people looking for clean labels want to avoid finding on the ingredient lists of food items they purchase.
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Why Clean Label?

Consumers are aware of a phenomenon commonly referred to as “green-washing.” This refers to the overuse of terms such as “natural” that are frequently painted across various food packages. In certain contexts, natural does not hold much meaning or has an ambiguous meaning. The definition of “natural” when used in different cases will be the topic of a future blog post. In general, the issues with green-washing have driven consumers to seek transparency in their products. Simply stating the product or ingredients are natural is not enough anymore, especially with rising occurrences of food fraud and adulteration.

However, consumers are willing to pay more for products they perceive as transparent. True organic and natural products warrant price increases, and consumers expect this to be the case. Health has come to the forefront of conversations as a flood of social media marketing techniques hone in on the benefits of clean eating, natural beauty and cosmetics products, and having the ability to personalize diets and beauty regimens that cater to the individual.  Consumers believe the added expense is worth having assurance that what they are purchasing will provide those functional benefits.
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Who Makes These Purchases?

Women account for about 85% of all consumer purchases and over 90% of food related purchases are made by women. Manufacturers of final products and the ingredients in these products need to understand who their consumer is, what they want, and why they want it. In the next few years, it will be increasingly important for manufacturers to educate the general public so that consumers understand how they’re making their products.  Adjusting the messaging and marketing strategies can play an important role in ensuring consumers establish trust in a brand that touts itself as natural while providing clean label products.

Food is by far the largest market seeing the increase in clean labeling. However, the personal care industry is also affected by the need for cleaner labels. Consumers of cosmetics and baby products are looking for ingredients that they perceive to be better for them, their families, and the environment. This trend is also permeating into home cleaning products, with legislation such as SB-258 in California effectively requiring transparency on cleaning products throughout the state.
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Want More Information?

Join Us at IFT18!

Blue Marble will be joining some of our collaborators from companies such as Firmenich, Gingko Bioworks, and Campbell’s to discuss the current standings of clean labels, and what the future may hold.

To register for the short course, click here!

For more information on IFT18 or to register as an exhibitor or attendee, click here!
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Dr. Frances Gilman is the VP of Research and Development for Blue Marble Biomaterials, having attained a B.S. in Biology and a Ph.D. in Microbial Ecology.
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At the International Pizza Expo!

International Pizza Expo 2018

March 22, 2018

Hello from the Pizza Expo! 

We traveled to Las Vegas this week for an excursion dedicated to paying tribute to the wonderful delicious creation known as pizza! Chefs, companies, and suppliers from across the world gather here to showcase their talents and creative juices.  It makes for a very saucy affair!

First off, one of the biggest differences between the Pizza Expo and other trade shows we have attended is the open sharing of knowledge and the genuine desire to establish good relations among competitors. Every chef is an artist, and they all love what they do. Independent pizza stores across the US may normally be competitors; this week, however, they come together as fellow pizza enthusiasts. At first glance, it appears they only share knowledge with each other since they may not directly compete in the same area. Upon deeper observation, everyone here is working to make the best pizza they can, while helping others do the same.

The numerous styles of pizza (ranging from the thin crust New York style to the deep dish Detroit Style made in a heavy square pan) provide options to please any pizza lover. However, one thing everyone can agree on is the foundation of a great pizza is a delicious crust. This past Monday, I attended a seminar titled “Is 24 Hours Enough? — Understanding Fermentation and Factors Affecting Dough” taught by dough masters Peter Reinhart, Bill Weekley, and Tom Lehmann.

Peter Reinhart is a personal dough hero of mine; I have basked in the wisdom of his recipes and anecdotes for several years, starting when I first bought a copy of his book, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. With his guidance, I’ve been able to experiment with my own complex bread, bagel, and pizza dough recipes. Tom “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann and Bill Weekley are equally as knowledgeable about the complexity of creating delicious dough. Lehmann has a website dedicated to the art of crafting pizza, while Weekley is a member of the Doughminators, a part of the General Mills Food Service Team that assists pizza companies with the development of of a signature crust.

The panel was a crash course in fermentation, with the three men discussing the importance of time and temperature when fermenting pizza dough. They touched on how flour choice can have an effect on the fermentation process and gluten content, and debated whether or not regional water has an effect on dough flavor and consistency (it turns out it doesn’t). New York may have arguably the best bagels and pizza crusts, but it’s not because of the water; it’s because of the love and dedication they put towards making the best doughs for bread products and pizza.

I hope to be able to return to the Pizza Expo next year to learn more about the art of making a perfect pizza, and see what the experts have come up with over the coming months!

Rachael Kropp

Rachael is our quality assurance analyst at Blue Marble Biomaterials as well as our resident baking and pizza-making expert!

An Adventure at Natural Products Expo West

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Exciting new technologies emerge in natural products
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March 15, 2018

We attended the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim recently along with the team at Cutthroat Laboratories and Bearhat, Co. and we were very excited to see the wide array of technologies and products being introduced into the food and cosmetics industries.  As interested participants in the movement from synthetic products to natural replacements, we took the opportunity to attend the trade show and see what the landscape of the future looks like.

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Plant-Based Products

From almond milks to plant protein in energy bars to bratwurst made with peas, soy and fava beans, plant-based ingredients are making a big wave in the natural foods space. Perhaps it was Leo DiCaprio’s cry for help, but it seems that plant-based, or more flexitarian, diets are en vogue and the industry is responding by incorporating it into anything it can. Some of our favorites include the Italian sausage from Beyond Meat, and Elmhurst Milked Chocolate Peanut Milk.

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Kombucha and Wellness Shots

We are excited the delicious flavors of fermented beverages are becoming more popular.  Several kombucha manufacturers displayed  creative and delicious flavor combinations for attendees to sample, such as the Hopped Grapefruit from Humm Kombucha.  The trend of “wellness shots” has also taken off, as a wide variety of flavors were available to try.  Popular flavors included turmeric, ginger and apple cider vinegar.

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Bone Broths

Bone broth is leaving Grandma’s kitchen and the Paleo community and entering the mainstream. It may sound strange, but the benefits are the real deal. A variety of vendors for bone broth are available, such as Bare Bones Broth. These suppliers certify their products are organic, coming from grass-fed animals, with packaging materials created with sustainable materials and processes.

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Delicious Natural Snacks

The appeal of a cheese puff brings back nostalgic childhood days. A delightful light and airy burst of flavor; who could resist? These days, companies are adding a natural and healthy take on a traditional snack. Puffed chickpeas, edamame, giant cheese  puffs, peas, and natural pork rinds are taking the snack market by storm.  The theme seems to be, “If you can fit it into an extrusion machine, do it!” From the established Pirate Brands to newer treats like Peatos from World Peas, there are many delicious and healthy alternatives to choose from.

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Amazing Ice Cream

There are so many emerging brands of natural ice cream; this is fantastic news for dessert lovers! For vegan diets, there are plenty of organic dairy-free varieties such as Coconut Bliss. Low-sugar options, crafted with sweeteners such as stevia and erythritol, have also come into their own. Traditional ice cream producers have taken advantage of the larger availability of milk produced by grass-fed dairy animals. Ice cream suppliers continue to demonstrate creativity with flavor combinations while still remaining faithful to the ice cream lovers of the world.

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Amanda Slater is the Process Development Manager for Blue Marble Biomaterials, and an avid natural products enthusiast.

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