Sampling the Expo—Part 1
by Donald E. Pszczola
The winds of inspiration will be especially strong this year at the IFT Food Expo held in Chicago, appropriately known as “The Windy City.” Exhibitors will be showcasing a wide range of food and beverage prototypes that demonstrate a number of important considerations—both for the formulator and the consumer.
Creating formulations that appeal to a sense of indulgence is very important. This means that products, especially those that have been reformulated, must not compromise on their taste, texture, appearance, or functionality properties if they are to be successful in the marketplace. When developing these products, formulators increasingly use ingredients that offer additional benefits—either health or functionality related—while reducing levels of calories, fat, salt, sugar, or gluten. And many of the options they seek involve extenders or replacers designed to be cost effective. Bring all these factors together and you may just find these prototypes—and their gusts of creativity— will sweep you off your feet.
Here are a few tasty examples of what I mean (and the Monday and Tuesday issues will continue with the sampling).
● Visiting the neighborhoods of Chicago. Dairy flavor expertise is demonstrated by Edlong Flavors, Booth 4342, in several prototypes drawn from the varied ethnic neighborhoods of Chicago. Little Italy is represented with a Mini Meatball Sandwich—its red gravy blended with Italian cheese-type flavors. A Greektown delicacy of Gyros Salad with Tzatziki Dressing features the nuances of the yogurt flavor profile. With more citizens in Chicago than Warsaw, the Polish community finds itself in the spotlight with a tasty Kolasczki Cream Cheese Dip, part of a fat- and cost-reduction demonstration. And from the West Devon Avenue neighborhood, hub for the third largest Indian population in the U.S., comes a Mango Lasai Beverage—its creamy richness showing what can be achieved with less expensive ingredients.
● Exploring indulgent flavors. Under the theme, “Flavorology: Exploring Indulgent Flavors,” several prototypes from Bell Flavors & Fragrances Inc., Booth 3870, offer a fun taste experience with functionality and regional taste appeal. A Mexican Torta features authentic Hispanic flavors combined with a sodium-reducing flavor system. Then try some of these sweet snacks: Bacon-Flavored Chocolate, Peppadew® Hard Candy, or allergen-free Peanut Butter Muffins. Finish the indulgent experience with a cold beverage, choosing between such selections as Coconut Water Colada, Yellow Curry Fury, or Cupuacu Rain.
● From around the world. A new “Flavors of the World Program” developed by Innova, a Griffith Laboratories Co., Booth 6935, spotlights four regional cuisines—America Comfort, Mediterranean Tapas, Nuevo Latino, and Pan Asian—that incorporate mainstream and emerging flavors, natural and artificial flavors, and some vegetarian applications. Samples of these cuisines include Buffalo Chicken Tots with Creamy Garlic & Herb Dip (Americana Comfort), Veggie Lamb Sausage with Moroccan Dipping Sauce (Mediterranean Tapas), Chorizo Tamale Soup (Nuevo Latinio), and Green Thai Curry Beef with Savory Rice (Pan Asian).
● Extending a slider and shake. A turkey burger slider from David Michael & Co., Booth 3609, achieves a 20% reduction in salt while delivering the same amount of flavor impact. The application contains a salt replacer, a natural onion flavor, smoky bacon flavor, and a grilled steak flavor. Down the slider with a rich chocolate milkshake that achieves a 30% reduction in cocoa.