“Naturally sourced” is a hot trend and companies are quick to tout this attribute on product labels. “Natural” is now the leading claim on new products, according to the Mintel Global New Products Database, which indicates that the claim was included on 23 percent of foods and beverages launched last year.
The recent Institute of Food Technologists meeting in Anaheim, California, featured a ton of examples. Take a look at this IFT trend tour that showcases the array of naturally sourced products on display.
Included in this video is black garlic, which is one of the emerging flavors and foods that Dana McCauley writes about in the Topline Trends section of her food blog. Dana is a wonderful food trend tracker and I encourage you to check out her site (“a recipe writer’s diary”). Black garlic was also hailed as an “it” ingredient by The Washington Post: “In relatively short order, black garlic has morphed from obscure dietary supplement to trendy top-chef ingredient.”
Black garlic even has its own web site Black garlic, where you can learn more about this product, find recipes and order it online.
It does appear that black garlic is poised to be the next naturally sourced super food. So what is it? Black garlic is made by using a patented, month-long heat-curing process that boosts the antioxidants and natural compounds in raw garlic that have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer. The fermentation also creates a softer, chewy texture and a slightly sweet, licorice taste. Forms of fermented garlic have long been eaten for health reasons in Korea and Japan. In fact, black foods overall are a hot trend in Asia – a topic I wrote about previously for the Chicago Tribune.
So it seems…natural is the big buzzword and black is the new black.