You might be surprised to find out how prevalent food-grade chemicals are in all types of industries. In its simplest definition, a food-grade chemical is an additive that is safe for consumption. By adding these types of ingredients to your products, you can modify texture, acidify and preserve foods and drinks in addition to creating a distinct splash of flavor.

That’s not all. Food-grade chemicals can do much more and are used in household and personal-care products, too.

Flavor Splashes and Antioxidants

Citric acid is probably the most recognizable food-grade chemical, as it’s found in a number of beverages (especially soft drinks) and foods. Companies use citric acid to generate a sour flavor to products and has become extremely popular throughout the beverage industry.

Similarly, fumaric acid and malic acid are primarily used for taste. Fumaric acid gives products a fruity taste, while malic acid, an organic compound that gives fruit its sour taste, is also used to enhance flavor.

Food and Beverage Preservatives

Antioxidants like ascorbic acid hinder the effects oxygen can have on food and add health benefits to those who consume them. Plus, ascorbic acid is a synthetic vitamin C and is an effective solution for products that need it (plus, it looks a lot less threatening on the label this way).

Potassium sorbate is not only popular in food (particularly cheese) and wine, but also personal-care products. Likewise, potassium benzoate works to prevent the growth of mold and yeast in foods.

Sodium benzoate is a popular preservative with acidic foods. Carbonated beverages and fruit juices benefit, as do pickles, condiments and jams. Many salad dressings include sodium benzoate, and perhaps surprisingly, medicines and cosmetics also rely on the preservative.

More Food-Grade Chemicals

Beyond taste and preservation, high-quality food-grade chemicals can alter the texture, color, viscosity and any number of other attributes. Thickeners, sweeteners, emulsifiers (in products like mayonnaise, an emulsifier keeps water and oil mixed together) and food coloring are just a few of these food-grade chemicals.

These chemicals are crucial to many of the foods, drinks and personal-care products you’re already consuming and using. Take a look at the ingredients labels around the house. Is there any similarity between your lip balm and your favorite soda?

Because these chemicals are so important and can do so much, it’s important to know the companies producing the products you buy are using ingredients of the highest quality. If they’re buying from Bremer, you know they are. Let us quote your food-grade chemicals and additives.

Healthy Snacks? Yes, Please.

Everyone wants to eat healthier, but no one wants to give up snacks. The solution: healthier snacks. Those who make snack foods are on to the trend, and therefore it’s easier for consumers to find light snacks on the shelves as well as research healthier snack ideas to create at home.

Snacks used to be marketed as something to behold. Sort of a prize consumers get to give themselves. Luxurious treats created for indulgence and enjoyment.

Now, as consumers demand healthy snacks, food manufacturers are shifting the target of their marketing. Look at the shelves now and you’ll see packages touting light snacks, natural snacks and baked snacks. Each of these terms comes with the connotation of health.

American consumers aren’t going to immediately shift from their indulgent habits into a vegetable-only snack routine. For most consumers, taste is more important than health.

The solution? Higher quality ingredients. Snack makers are finding ways to keep the great taste consumers crave while increasing the health content of the snacks at the same time.

For instance, we’re now able to go to the store and purchase foods with dramatically less sodium that still have the salty taste we love.

Yes, a lot of the healthy-snacks revolution is coming from the marketers. But they’re backing it up. They have to—they can’t legally claim less sodium unless they’re actually using less sodium.

We’re seeing better, higher quality ingredients being used to create the snacks our country demands—tasty, healthy treats built for indulgence without any residual feelings of guilt.

Additional Resources for Healthier Snack Food Production

The Essentials on Types of Vinegar

If you’re already a Bremer Ingredients customer, buying the vinegars you need as you need them, you’re likely very knowledgeable in the many types of vinegar and how they’re used.

But what if you’re not a professional? Maybe you question why there are so many vinegars in the aisle at the grocery store. How could one be different from another? Can you buy distilled vinegar instead of white vinegar? Are either of those the same as apple cider vinegar?

First, yes, distilled vinegar and white vinegar are the same thing. You’ll often see it noted as “distilled white vinegar.” The “distilled” part of the name comes not from the distillation of vinegar, but from the fermentation of distilled alcohol. Once diluted, we have a vinegar that can be used for more than you think (more on this later).

Apple cider vinegar is, not surprisingly, created from cider or apple must. These vinegars are extremely acidic, sometimes reaching as high as 5 on the pH scale.

Uses for Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Almost always, apple cider vinegar is used for cooking, as its acidity makes it harsh on the throat when undiluted. While it’s sometimes consumed as a beverage (after being diluted with water or juice), you’ll most often find it as a cooking ingredient.

Distilled White Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is more versatile (and common around the house). In addition to cooking and baking, distilled vinegar can be used for pickling (slice up a cucumber, put it in some white vinegar and within a few minutes, you’ll have some pickles), as well as meat preservation.

Outside food preparation and preservation, white vinegar is used as a cleaning agent and also plays a role in medicinal pursuits.

So, are all vinegars the same? Definitely not. But they’re all interesting and useful in their own ways.

Two of the nation’s leading ingredient producers have changed their names and merged, but vow that the name will be the only thing that will change. Corn Products International and National Starch will, as of June 4th 2012, be known as Ingredion – a change that Ingredion Chairman, Ilene Gordon, says, “better reflects the ingredients we supply and the markets we serve”.

Based out of Westchester, IL Corn Products International, once known as a corn refining company, acquired National Starch in 2010. This acquisition, along with others, has broadened the company’s scope to include other ingredients and other processes which is part of the reason for switching names. The company has vowed with this transition to continue to provide the same quality service and same quality food ingredients that they always have.

Here at Bremer Authentic Ingredients, we will continue to supply the high-quality products from Corn Products International and National Starch, now Ingredion. We are excited for their transition and congratulate them in their great success over the years. We also want to let all of our buyers know that during this transition there will be no affect to you, everything will remain available!

For more information about this transition please contact us or check out their new website,