Omya, a producer of mineral ingredients, has developed an anti-caking agent for safe powder handling and processing. Omyafood 120 is based on functionalised calcium carbonate (FCC) particles that have undergone a patented recrystallisation process to create a new mineral composition and structure.
The non-nano mineral offers high porosity, high moisture-binding capacity and reduced mechanical interlocking, the company says. As such, it provides a nano-free alternative to traditional flow aids such as silica, which must be declared as nano particles on the label.
Powders are often highly cohesive and difficult to handle when discharged from silos, drums or bags, and also during conveying, feeding, mixing and dosing. During processing, caked powders become more challenging, potentially resulting in a loss of product quality and higher energy demand. The company claims its porous particles can help counteract this however, owing to their strong absorption and moisture-binding capabilities.
The low-dust ingredient not only enhances flow, the company claims, but it also allows for easier storage and improved preservation of product quality throughout the supply chain. The product is suitable for food powders and intermediates such as milk powder, milk protein for protein drinks, spice blends for seasoning, energy drinks, coffee creamers, salt, starch, sports powders and vitamin premixes.Tanja Budde, Director Innovation & Technical Marketing Consumer Goods at Omya, said: “Market demand for food powders in convenience foods, drinks, sports nutrition and nutraceuticals is continually rising. So, too, is the demand for safe, natural and clean label ingredients. The requirement to declare nano particles in a product is forcing manufacturers to find effective and easy to process natural alternatives. Omyafood 120 ticks all of these boxes.”