Brave New Fat 20 September 2023
Russian Technologists Still Looking for Novel Approaches to Baking and Confections

– I’d like some cookies with matcha tea, please!

– And I’ll have a square croissant!

This conversation took place during a tasting at a conference held by EFKO Oil and Fat Division, not in a trendy coffee shop.

Representatives of the baking, confectionery, and dairy industries (technologists, scientists, manufacturers, industry experts, and analysts) talked about the most recent regulatory updates, market trends for food ingredients, major obstacles, and potential solutions.

“The Oil and Fat Division by EFKO has been facilitating workshops for industry colleagues for more than 15 years,” Aleksandr Alekseenko, Director of Dairy Division, explained. “This is not just a meeting place, but also a chance for us to impart the experience, wisdom, and competence we have gained over more than 20 years in the market.”

“Technologies in the oil and fat industry are developing day by day, and we are constantly looking for new, most contemporary and technological solutions for our clients,” Alena Surkova, Director of Confectionery Division, comments. “Confectionery and baked items made with components based on shea butter are among this year's debuts. Their unique quality is that they may be used for both cookie fillings and chocolate and nut spreads. Shea butter added to the recipe of confectionery fats improves the structure of the masses, giving them a creamy, delicate consistency. The new line of EFKO ingredients improves the melting speed of finished products and additionally enables developing essentially fresh flavors, among others due to excellent compatibility with milk fats, nut butters and cocoa butter.”

A crucial question for the confectionery sector: Is it theoretically conceivable to make sweets healthy and how to achieve that, if yes?

One of the most promising solutions is sweet protein developed by Biruch Innovation Center. It can help lower a person's dietary intake of glucose, even if it just partially replaces sugar. This year, EFKO was the first in the world to certify sweet protein in the UAE and currently continues certification in Russia.

“Sweet protein has great prospects as a healthy alternative to sugar,” Vyacheslav Dubynin, Doctor of Biology, neurophysiologist, and professor at Moscow State University, noted. “This protein is sweeter than glucose and is very effective from the point of view of the modern consumer.”

The first day of the conference covered business and educational agenda, the second, traditionally, was about practice. Guests took part in master classes from leading chefs from St. Petersburg and cooked Adjarian-style khachapuri and chocolate tortino using EFKO food ingredients. The tasting proved that the taste of products made using oleo (margarine) and cocoa butter equivalents is in no way inferior to their analogs made with butter and cocoa butter. Additionally, this treatment aids in lowering the percentage of saturated fatty acids in the diet from a health perspective.

Polina Semenova,
Executive Director
of the Union of Food Ingredient Manufacturers
“At EFKO events you can always learn something interesting, see fashion trends in the confectionery industry: new designs, tastes, and share relevant information. Of course, the quality and safety of food products are always at the forefront, and here it all starts with the raw materials.”

Olesya Gargola,
Deputy Director
of the Mytishchi Milk Processing Plant
“We produce both classic dairy products and milk-containing ones, for example, spreads or analog cheese. We have been cooperating with EFKO for more than 15 years, and this is beyond just a business model. The EFKO team is seen by us as our senior comrades, and in some cases, even mentors. We see how the company’s range of ingredients has been developing and expanding over the years, and we always know that whether we have a specific request for a certain composition of oils or an ingredient with given specialized parameters, EFKO Oil and Fat Division will successfully complete this task.”

Aleksander Kizhuk,
Deputy General Director
for Development and Economics of the Kommunarka Company
“In 2025 we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of cooperation with EFKO. We produce 30 thousand tons of confectionery products per year, and more than half of them are made using EFKO food ingredients. In the coming 4 years, we set a goal to increase the production of sweets by 1.5 times and we will put into life all new recipes and innovative solutions in synergy with EFKO.

Ruslan Polukhin,
Head of the Bronnytsi “Morozko” production site
“Our company is one of the largest producers of semi-finished products, including puff pastry. We produce 12.5 thousand tons of products per year and are currently building a facility with an area of 40 thousand sq. m, where we also plan to launch six lines for the production of pizza and frozen bread. We met EFKO more than 10 years ago, and I can say that EFKO means stability, flexibility, and sincerity!”

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