Sampling the Expo: Part One
by Donald E. Pszczola
posted on June 7, 2009
Over the years, the IFT Food Expo® has set the stage for a variety of exciting food and beverage prototypes that attendees can sample. And this year is no different. These prototypes are developed by exhibitors to demonstrate the benefits of their ingredients in such areas as functionality, health, convenience, texture, color, flavor, and cost effectiveness.
Frequently representing the next generation of product formulating, the highlighted finished application provides the attendee an opportunity not only to digest important information, but a great-tasting product, as well. And sometimes concepts are so sophisticated that they are more than just a vehicle to showcase a particular ingredient—they are actually ready for the marketplace, which can provide an interested party with an excellent shortcut in terms of the formulating process.
This article, the first in a three-part series, provides a round-up of some of these novel food concepts and their emphasis on functionality. (In the Monday, June 8, edition, beverage prototypes will be explored. And the Tuesday, June 9, edition will wrap up things with health-promoting prototypes.)
So if you want to see the latest food product developments—or if you’re just plain hungry—make sure that you stop off at the following booths.
● Snacking in Sonoma. A variety of snack prototypes from Edlong Flavors, Booth 2145, reflect the casual but elegant spirit of Sonoma Wine Country. Made with the company’s flavors, these products include Smoked Apple Cheddar-Flavored Brown Rice Crisps; Bleu Cheese, Fig & Pecan Tartlets; and Chocolate Surprise Truffle. The flavors are used as a means to reduce or replace dairy commodities as well as balance flavor profiles. The chocolate truffle, incidentally, contains a mystery ingredient—attendees who correctly identify it will be entered in a drawing to win a gift.
● Experience Hispanic cooking. A Pork Carnitas Taco, inspired by Hispanic cuisine, features UltraClean Natural Braised Pork Flavor developed by Innova, Booth 619. The taco is served on a warm white corn tortilla and drizzled with a choice of three sauces—Red Pepper & Lime Mole, Cilantro JalapeÃ±o Cream, or Cascabel Citrus Corn Sauce.
● Currying favor. Three new curry sauces, which provide bolder, more authentic flavors from around the world, are available for sampling. The sauces, created by Kikkoman Sales U.S.A., Booth 1201, help formulators add curry to a variety of dishes without the need to source or prep exotic ingredients, and are suitable for braising, marinating, stir-frying, dipping, or finishing. Products include Tikka Masala Curry Sauce (a mild yet flavorful blend of tomatoes and authentic Indian spices); Thai Red Curry Sauce (a blend of kaffir lime leaves, garlic, and lemongrass, balanced with the heat of Thai red chilies and the creaminess of coconut milk); and Thai Yellow Curry Sauce (a combination of garlic, lemongrass, turmeric, and coriander, along with authentic Thai chilies).
● Raising the bar. A prototype demonstrates what’s new in the world of flavor trends. Soup & Salad Savory Side Bars from David Michael, Booth 837, feature Caramelized Onion, Garlic Butter Herb, or Black Pepper Parmesan flavors. While the baking process of these side bars is similar to biscotti, they are designed to crumble with only a slight amount of effort and remain dry and crisp in texture. Try a side bar with Sweet Onion Vanilla Dip. It’s a creamy sweet and savory vanilla dressing that is suitable with vegetables, grilled seafood, or salad.
● Grains of sense. A variety of prototype applications, including non-traditional products, are made with whole grains and all-natural fiber solutions from ConAgra Mills, Booth 2337. For example, a slider sandwich incorporates Sustagrain, the highest fiber whole grain commercially available. Multigrain pastas feature fiber ingredients such as Ultragrain, Sustagrain, and Ancient Grains. And the company is highlighting a new innovative whole grain flour, Attica. Milled from durum wheat, this product offers the rich flavor and traditional texture associated with chappati and other Indian recipes.
● Chewing on biscotti. A flavorful Italian herb biscotti showcases the functionality and nutritional benefits of whey protein concentrate from Hilmar Ingredients, Booth 2252. The formulation uses Hilmar™ 8610, an 80% whey protein concentrate specially designed to improve texture in bakery products by controlling moisture, maintaining volume, and emulsifying fat. The dairy ingredient also reduces dough stickiness, enhancing the processing and handling characteristics of high-protein bakery formulations.
● Jack ‘n mac? Take macaroni and cheese, a traditional comfort food, and give it a twist. And what you have is a prototype, Jack ‘n mac, consisting of reduced-fat pepper jack. Here’s another product with an interesting spin. Combine yogurt with ranch and you get a reduced-fat, natural dressing or dip, appropriately called Yogurt Ranch. These prototypes are developed by Dairy Management Inc., Booth 327, to demonstrate how value-added dairy ingredients can meet consumer demands.
● From soup to nuts. Food prototypes made with ingredients from Grain Processing Corp., Booth 1409, include soups demonstrating the thickening and stabilizing properties of Pure-Gel® starches; a high-fiber bar made with TruBran® corn bran, a good source of fiber, and Inscosity instant food starch, which is used for moisture retention and shelf life extension; and seasoned California almond snacks containing Pure-Cote film-forming starch and Maltrin maltodextrin.
● Sweet and savory sides of apples. Apples marry well, not only with sweeter ingredients, but with savory ones, as well. Knouse Foods Co-op Inc., Booth 2755, demonstrates this versatility with two prototypes. Caramel Apple Sauce captures the flavor of a caramel apple. In Green Summer Salsa, apples add a bit of sweetness to the heat of chili peppers.
● Twist on a pretzel? Glazed pretzels feature the fresh flavors of sun-dried tomatoes or the smoky heat of roasted Mexican chipotle peppers. Custom baked, these mini-pretzels are made the old-fashioned way by glazing in small kettle batches and then baking. The prototype is presented by Culinary Farms, Booth 3319.
View Donald Pszczola’s other “Sampling the Expo” articles: