18 Industrial Ingredients – Purpose, Sourcing and Conversion

Here is an explanation of why we start with grocery store ingredients and then convert them to industrial ingredients. Industrial ingredients are requested from food companies and not purchased from the grocery store. Some industrial ingredients are quite similar to grocery store ingredients. Other industrial ingredients have variations in composition, moisture content, and functionality. It is important to understand the differences and that converting to industrial ingredients takes time and planning.

We start with grocery store ingredients to produce your gold standard product due to:

  • Speed of getting (most) ingredients
  • Understanding the ingredient functionality of fresh ingredients before using industrial ingredients
    • Real egg to powdered egg
    • Butter to butter powder or butter-flavored shortening
    • Unmodified starch to modified starch
    • Fresh flavors to liquid flavors (helps determine desired profile)
  • Exceptions to starting with grocery ingredients (or instances when you may move to industrial ingredients before processing):
    • When your product needs functionality you cannot get with grocery ingredients such as hydrocolloids in ice cream
    • When the grocery store ingredient is expensive and an industrial ingredient is readily available

Moving to Industrial Ingredients – typically done at the end of the formulation section into the beginning of the processing section – has pros and cons.


  • Typically receive free samples from ingredient companies (or we just cover shipping) – this is good for your course fees!
  • Most industrial ingredients come with specifications/nutrition information/certificates of analysis.
  • Often industrial ingredients give you more functional options than what can be sourced in the grocery store.
    • Examples include native starch to a variety of modified starches, pure pectin, low-heat and high-heat non-fat dry milk, various cocoas, chocolates and coatings, fruit purees, etc.


  • Takes longer to get industrial ingredients (have to request each ingredient from the supplier and we can be a low priority)
  • There can be limits on sample sizes.
Goal of Final Formulation/Processed Product – have all of the ingredients sourced from industrial ingredients, if possible


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Food Product Development Lab Manual Copyright © 2021 by Kate Gilbert and Ken Prusa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.