St. Louis, MORIBUS Incis celebrating the company's 30-year anniversary. The "Original Clean Label Ingredient Company," RIBUS (which stands for Rice Ingredient Business United States) supplies American-made natural and organic plant-based ingredients. For 30 years, RIBUS has remained a family-owned and -operated business, with Peirce’s daughter Alicia Kasch now serving as Vice President.

Looking Back at the History of RIBUS

The company got its start in 1992 as a supplier of functional ingredients. It was founded by Steve Peirce, his father Jim, and scientist Neal Hammond, who discovered how to stabilize rice bran and extract its nutrients.  “My father went to church with a mad scientist down in Louisiana, and they became friends,” recalls Peirce. “They came to me with this rice bran invention and asked if I could raise the capital and promote it. I jumped at the opportunity to do it.”

RIBUS named that innovation Nu-RICE. The ingredient is a patented hypoallergenic extract from rice bran, where 90% of the nutrients are found. And it offers benefits beyond the nutritional value. Peirce explains, “Before this discovery, rice bran was being thrown away or fed to livestock. With our patented technology, manufacturers can now use 100% of the rice, which is much more sustainable, plus it eliminates words like mono and diglycerides, or soy lecithin from nutrition labels that aren’t very consumer friendly.”

Nu-RICE paved the way for new stabilizers and emulsifiers for the baking industry, and today RIBUS continues to produce plant-based non-GMO, natural, organic, vegan and gluten-free ingredients for the food, beverage, pet and dietary supplement industries. According to a press release, the company's technology and patented ingredients are used by contract and branded manufacturers and formulators to help solve production issues while bringingclean label innovationto a wide variety of products.

Focus on Clean Label

In recent years, the natural products industry is buzzing about “clean label,” but what does it even mean? Steve Peirce answered that question forWholeFoodsMagazine in the 2020 feature Shifting to Clean Label. “Clean-label can mean a lot of things—to some people it means using as few ingredients as possible, to other people, it means non-GMO and natural ingredients, and to others still, it means only using ingredients that the average consumer is familiar with,” Peirce explained. To RIBUS, Peirce says that in its simplest form, “clean label” asks three integral questions:
  • Can the consumer pronounce the name of the ingredients or excipients?
  • Does the consumer know where the ingredient comes from?
  • Does the consumer feel better knowing what they’re consuming?
RIBUS helps company's meet the regulations and global consumer demands for new clean label products. The company enables manufacturers to list "rice extract" on labels, for example with Nu-RICE, instead of other chemical names that consumers shun. As explained in the release, RIBUS works with several prominent Fortune 50 food and beverage corporations, and its ingredients can be found in everything from snacks to  spice and seasoning products.

RIBUS has been a leader in the clean label movement. In 2018, RIBUS launched theClean Label Alliance.The group connects dietary supplement companies to leading and vetted producers that provide resources and solutions to produce clean label supplements. Peirce talked about the alliance onThe Natural Viewpodcast The Clean Label Movement: What you need to know now.

Related: The Clean Label Movement: What you need to know now Shifting to Clean Label