Australian Functional Ingredients – by Vic Cherikoff

Pizza Hut to make transition to natural ingredients

Here’s an article by Isobel Drake in January 09 which you might have missed:

Pizza Hut, the world’s largest pizza franchise, is launching the first stage in a menu-wide transition to pizzas made entirely from natural ingredients in the US. The new pizzas will provide their customers the opportunity to have pizza free from artificial preservatives, colours and flavours, they advised.

The notion of ‘natural’ has been a popular one in the food industry over the last couple of years, with recently released research suggesting that “natural” was the most common claim for food and beverage product launches last year. The pizza industry, and fast food sector in general, has also been steadily changing to offer consumers more healthy options, with six of Australia’s fastest growing franchises food retailers that have taken a healthier approach to the food they serve.

“Adding all-natural ingredients takes our commitment (to quality pizza) one step further,” Scott Bergren, Pizza Hut President, claimed.

Pizza Hut made the commitment in America after their own research established 73% of participants agreed that foods that are natural have flavour ‘the way it was meant to taste’. The research was carried out while testing their first all-natural pizza earlier this year. While testing the product, customers showed a strong preference toward all-natural ingredients in the markets where ‘The Natural’ was unveiled, according to the pizza chain.

The company indicated they would change their sources of beef and chicken among other changes, which include: using all-natural sauces with no high-fructose corn syrup; pepperoni with no artificial preservatives, no nitrites or nitrates added; Italian sausage with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

This initiative is great to see. When’s it due for Australia? My natural antimicrobial, Herbal-Active® could help in the production of the meat ingredients as it has already been developed for processed meats and as a dip for fresh meats eg chicken.

In fact, even the pizza vegetables could be dipped in store to extend their shelf life and food safety and the pizza doughs could be pre-made using my new encapsulated Herbal-Active® which is protected from killing the yeast. The natural antimicrobial is released during baking and stops mold growth on the finished pizza base.

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Vic Cherikoff