IFT’s Taste the Expo program makes it easy for you to locate exhibitors who are providing samples on the expo floor. Show-goers polled about the Food Expo reported that product tasting/obtaining samples was one of their top three reasons for attending. Recognizing the importance of sampling, IFT started the Taste the Expo program at last year’s show. Exhibitor participants in this year’s Taste the Expo program will be highlighted right here on IFT Live. In addition, they can be found in the on-site Program and Exhibit Directory and within IFT’s smartphone mobile app.
Posts Tagged ‘product development’
Four out of 10 consumers are interested in foods and beverages that they consider to be real, fresh, or natural, industry research shows. Marketers and researchers at the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy recently set out to confirm that this interest is indeed “real” and not merely a fad, and on Thursday, June 28, they presented some of their findings in a session titled “The Real, Fresh, Natural Foods Trend: How to Win with Consumers” held in the Special Events Pavilion on the Food Expo floor.
The research included both qualitative and quantitative components, and findings from both confirmed that real/fresh/natural is clearly a trend and is expected to resonate with consumers over the long-term.
“There is evidence that real, fresh, and natural is not just a fad,” said Melinda Brunell of the Innovation Center, an entity that represents about 50 dairy companies. “It’s a cultural shift.”
Some of the findings—like the fact that words like “artificial” and “substitute” raise a red flag with consumers—are unsurprising. But others were a bit more unexpected. For example, focus group participants were “surprisingly okay,” with naturally occurring fats in a product, reported Cara Kelly of the Innovation Center. And “nobody thought twice” about vitamin D fortification, she noted. Nor did sodium content cause significant concern.
When the female focus group consumers were asked to explain what dairy meant to them, what emerged was the theme of nostalgia for a simpler time. “They did have a strong emotional connection to dairy,” said Kelly.
“Many cues need to work together to signal whether a food is real, fresh, or natural,” Kelly continued. These include packaging, shelf life, ingredient listing, and product form.
Presenter Loren Ward of Glanbia offered advice for food company marketers interested in capitalizing on the real/fresh/natural message. First of all, he said, know your target audience—and what is an appropriate level of real/fresh/natural to highlight. And be consistent in the way in which that message is delivered across your company’s product line, he said.
There are four key marketing themes that are being used to deliver the real/fresh/natural message, Ward said. They include the following: fresh from the farm; made like I would make it; short ingredient list; and made with real ingredients.
As more Americans become take an active interest in their health, it has become apparent that wellness doesn’t just correspond to the nutrients in their food. It has become an integral part of consumers’ everyday lives. In the presentation “Formulating & Marketing for Health,” Lynn Dornblaser, Director of Innovation & Insight at Mintel, explained how wellness is manifesting itself in the marketplace, and how food manufacturers are addressing consumers’ desire for it.
Looking at data on new product introductions in the United States, there has been growth in ethical and environmental claims. Dornblaser explained that usually this growth is about a food products’ packaging, not necessarily its formulation. This showcases consumers increased desire for environmentally-friendly and recyclable packaging and highlights the fact that wellness extends to a company’s environmental responsibility. In addition, 35% of all food product introductions contain “suitable for” claims, meaning they are suitable for diabetics, or they are Halal, or Kosher. “Consumers are demanding Kosher products not necessarily for dietary or religious reasons, but because in consumers’ minds it is more wholesome,” said Dornblaser.
This idea of wholesome can be seen in many new product introductions. For example, Kroger’s Wholesome@Home has a mac and cheese chilled side dish, which by all nutrition standards is not that healthy, but the brand name conveys a sense of home-cooked goodness.
Another factor influencing consumers’ perception of wellness is the authenticity of a product and where it came from. With consumers being more skeptical about the products they ingest, they are looking for products to come from the best possible origin. For some, this reflects the product’s sustainability, and for others it highlights a product’s safety. For example, 31% of fish eaters say that whether a fish is wild-caught or farm-raised is very important to them. Marketers are taking advantage of this, by playing up the item’s origin to add a sense of authenticity to the product. ChangingSeas has a Smoked Salmon that specifies on the packaging that is from farm-raised fish in Norway.
Although not a new concept, the idea that natural foods are healthier than non-natural foods is now apparent at all price points. Even more than that, natural has come to reflect the inherent goodness of a product’s ingredients. Companies are taking a softer approach to the natural claim, by seeking clean labels and minimal packaging. Dannon’s yogurt brand Pure gets that natural vibe across with its name and the fact that is only has seven ingredients. Consumers want to recognize the ingredients on the back of the product, so that instead of seeing strange chemical names they aren’t familiar with they see ingredients they know and trust.
Wellness is no longer about just claims and fortification of products; it extends the packaging, marketing, and aura of a product. Dornblaser predicts that the future will be about “clean fuel” but for your body.
It may seem logical to place the responsibility for making better food choices squarely on consumers, but food manufacturers bear at least some responsibility as they develop the foods that consumers eat. But can food manufacturers develop lower calorie foods and still make a profit? In the session “Cut the Calories, Not the Profit” on Thursday morning, June 28, presenters discussed how food manufacturers can develop and distribute more food products that meet the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans while increasing their bottom line.
Speaker Indra Mehrotra, Bell Institute of Health at General Mills, said that health is important to General Mills, the sixth largest food company in the world. The company has made great strides in improving the health profile of its products. General Mills uses the U.S. Dietary Guidelines to help determine recent product reformulations. As a consequence, more of the company’s food products contain more whole grains and low-fat dairy and less sugar and solid fats.
Even though various surveys indicate that consumers want healthy food that tastes good and is convenient, a dichotomy exists between what consumers say and what they do. “We need to understand consumer behaviors in order to understand how to help them cut calories,” said speaker Rodrigo Troni, Birds Eye Foods. According to Birds Eye Foods’ consumer research, dinners prepared at home are the key to helping consumers balance their diets. This is because Americans consume 80% of their vegetables during dinner. Unfortunately, most dinnertime meals do not meet the recommended daily servings of vegetables and whole grains. Birds Eye Foods offers a variety of vegetable-rich side dishes that can be prepared in a short period of time, giving consumers solutions for a more balanced, nutritious dinner while increasing Birds Eye’s bottom line.
Restaurants are also altering their menus to include more healthy food options. Cheryl Droven, Darden Restaurants, said that nutrition is part of the conversation more and more at the restaurant company, which owns Olive Garden and Red Lobster. To cut calories, the restaurant has down-sized portions, decreased fat, and increased vegetable content in entrées. The company’s newest restaurant, Seasons 52, has a menu on which nothing exceeds 475 calories and everything is roasted, grilled, or braised.
Corn Products International’s purchase of National Starch 18 months ago has culminated in a new corporate identity and name—Ingredion Incorporated (booth 1211). “The new name better reflects who we are, what we do, and our expertise in ingredient solutions,” declared Ilene Gordon, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.
Integrating the two companies—with combined sales over $6 billion—moved along without major challenges due to their strategic fit, complementary product portfolio of sweeteners, starches, and texturants, and geographic strengths, noted Gordon. “Corn Products was strong in South America while National Starch had a presence in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, opening up access to new markets,” explained Gordon. The acquisition generated about $50 million in cost synergies in the areas of manufacturing, procurement, logistics, and other functions.
Since neither the name Corn Products or National Starch truly reflected the company’s broad product portfolio, the decision was made early on to seek a new corporate identity. “We received more than 800 names from our employees and worked with an outside boutique firm to test the finalist names with customers across the globe. The first part of the new name represents ‘ingredients’, while ‘ion’ conveys action and movement. Ingredion presents one identity and a unified face to our customers,” declared Gordon.
In addition to the new name, a new symbol of a circle with flowing plant leaves represents nature and global and draws inspiration from Corn Products’ circular logo and National Starch’s diamond logo with an abstract corn stalk. Ingredion plans to roll out the new name in Canada and Mexico this fall and throughout the globe over the next 18 months.
Emerging markets such as Brazil with the upcoming World Cup in 2014 and Olympics in 2016 represent growth opportunities for Ingredion. The rise of clean-label products in Europe is another opportunity for our ingredients, stated Gordon. When it comes to healthier products with reduced fat, sugar, and calories, Ingredion offers stevia and polyols for low-/no-sugar applications and modified food starches and texture systems for reduced fat.
“We have strong regional businesses around the globe that can leverage our innovation and diverse product portfolio and apply it to local markets,” stated Gordon.
Despite the food industry’s concerted efforts in the last few years to reduce sodium in foods, consumers still have many misconceptions about sodium’s impact on health. As moderator John Ruff, IFT President-Elect, said in his introduction to the “Stimulating Sodium Reduction and Overcoming Technological Challenges” late-breaking session held Wednesday morning, June 27, only 50% of consumers are aware of the link between sodium and high blood pressure. With 31% of deaths in America caused by cardiovascular diseases and the majority of Americans consuming way more than the recommended daily intake of sodium, it is apparent that the challenge to educate consumers is a vital one.
Part of this education needs to entail communicating with consumers about where the majority of their sodium is coming from. According to Ruff, 77% of sodium comes from processed foods, and only 11% comes from cooking and adding salt at the dinner table. However, when consumers think about making an effort to cut down on their sodium, they often forgo the salt shaker at meal time. In addition, “consumers think that salty snacks are the main source of sodium in their diets,” said Ruff, “when in reality, out of processed foods, breads contain the most sodium.”
There are obvious and known challenges to decreasing sodium in such processed foods. As MaryAnne Drake, North Carolina State Univ., explained to attendees, salt is a very functional ingredient in food products. It provides microbial stability, structure/texture, and flavor. And with salty taste being a main driver of liking, reformulating products to lower sodium needs to be done cautiously. “The products have to taste good and similar to their traditional full-sodium counterparts,” explained Drake.
“Very few consumers are willing to give up taste for health benefits,” said Barbara Davis, Health Focus International. In fact, even when faced with a serious illness or heart-related disease, only 17% are willing to sacrifice taste for health. Davis went on to say that in order to drive home the point that consumers need to reduce their sodium intake, the messaging need to be relevant to them. And sometimes, this is not a health message. For example, while 37% of women respond to medically driven concerns surrounding sodium, almost as many (26%) respond more to concerns over sodium causing bloating and water weight gain.
Davis also believes that instituting a new method for labeling sodium on food packaging might help consumers keep tabs on their daily allotment. “Milligrams don’t mean much to consumers when they are looking at the Nutrition Facts Panel,” said Davis. She proposes a point system for sodium, in which one point would be equal to 100 mg of sodium. Similar to the Weight Watchers Points program, consumers would know that, if they are healthy, they should consume 23 points or under a day, and if they are at risk, they would have 15 points/day.
So obviously there are still hurdles to overcome for the food industry to market low-sodium foods and have them accepted by consumers. However, it is clear we are moving in the right direction. “More than 50% of consumers say that reduced-sodium products taste better than they used to,” said Davis. And as Ruff said in his introduction, a step-wise approach to modifying food products is necessary in order for consumers to get used to lower levels of sodium in foods.
BY DAVID DESPAIN
Whether or not one agrees with the conclusions of the 2007 Southampton University study—which suggested a link between six food colors and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—the pressure is on for food technologists to replace them with natural colors.
On Wednesday, June 27, a 2012 IFT Annual Meeting session in Las Vegas covered the current challenges surrounding phase-outs of artificial food dyes. The session also offered useful tips on how to incorporate natural colors in food product applications.
Michael McBurney, a nutrition scientist with DSM Nutritional Products, introduced the session by giving a history of the controversy. The perception of a relationship between food dyes and hyperactivity dates back to the 1960s, he said. Regardless of the lack of consensus in the scientific literature, he noted that survey data have found that the perception that food dyes are harmful is only increasing.
Moreover, despite the 2011 FDA Food Advisory Committee’s decision to vote against the need for warning labels, Europe has mandated labeling requirements for foods containing the “Southampton Six” (tartrazine, quinolone yellow, sunset yellow, carmosine, ponceau, and allura red) since July 2010.
Ron Wrolstad of Oregon State University discussed the variety of natural alternatives available for use as food colors: anthocyanins, batalain pigments, and cochineal for red hues; carotenoids for yellow to orange; turmeric and saffron for intense yellow; maillard compounds for caramel; and chlorophyll for green.
Unlike synthetic dyes, however, the natural flavors vary largely in their stability, solubility, and suitability in applications, Wrolstad said. He also said the natural flavors are far from being a “stock commodity” and can be costly.
Cathy Culver of Pepsi-Cola added that food producers and marketers often underestimate cost along with several other factors when considering replacement of synthetic colors with natural ones.
“In a perfect world,” she said, a natural color will be permitted for use in all markets, have no impact on product appearance, have excellent stability, will not change flavor, will not change processing techniques or packaging, and will not change calories.
As for the real world, Culver warns, “I hate to break it to my marketing folks, the cost is always going to go up.”
Culver and Wrolstad published a full review of the issues and challenges for replacement of artificial food colorants in Annual Review of Food Science and Technology (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22385164).
Consumers globally are seeking out more protein-rich food products, and interest in alternative protein sources is surging, reports Innova Market Insights. Information on this trend—“a boom for protein”—and dozens of others is highlighted on the Food Expo floor within Innova Market Insights’ Taste the Trend Pavilion (booth 2669).
“Europe is ahead [in this area],” said Lu Ann Williams, Innova Market Insights’ Head of Research, but the U.S. marketplace won’t be far behind. “It’s about to jump a notch,” she predicted.
Innova Market Insights research has shown that the U.S. accounted for more than 40% of recent alternative protein patent activity [1980–2011]. “Greek yogurt woke American consumers up to the fact that there’s an alternative to eggs [as a protein source],” said Williams.
Consumers understand the benefits protein delivers, including its ability to promote satiety, Williams continued. “It’s one of those benefits you can feel,” she said. “You know you’re less hungry when you consume protein.”
According to Innova Market Insights, traditional protein sources like soy and chickpeas are getting product development attention, and a range of new products are starting to appear based on beans as well as nuts, seeds, and grains. In addition, new techniques are being developed to enhance the texture, juiciness, and flavor of meat analogs and proteins. In the 12-month period ended March 2012, more than one-third of the new product launches marketed on an “added protein” platform contained soy, according to the research firm’s data.
Part of what’s driving interest in alternative protein sources is growth in the number of flexitarians—consumers who enjoy meat but occasionally opt out because of concerns about health and the environmental impact of heavy meat consumption, Williams added.
Interest in meat alternatives can also be linked to another of the top trends Innova Market Insights has identified—sustainability or, as Innova and Williams put it, “green is a given.” Companies are approaching sustainability in myriad ways—as it relates to packaging, water, and energy. “Everybody isn’t going to be able to do the same thing,” said Williams, but most will make an attempt to take some action as it relates to operating more sustainably.
For a close-up “taste” of these trends and dozens more, stop by the Innova Market Insights’ Taste the Trend Pavilion. The Pavilion includes six large-scale trend presentations featuring data on ingredient technology, new product trends, and consumer insights as well as more than two dozen smaller presentations broken down into “Packaging & Technology,” “Ingredients & Flavors,” and “Consumer Insights” categories. More than 200 innovative products from around the world are also on display.
Janet Collins, IFT Incoming President-Elect and Global Biotechnology Manager, Government Affairs Lead, and Ag Policy Manager for the DuPont Co., kicked off the awards presentation for the inaugural “Making Healthy School Meals Easy Challenge” on Wednesday, June 27 in the Special Events Pavilion. As she explained, IFT in partnership with the IFT Foodservice Division and the American Culinology Federation (ACF) developed this competition to increase the accessibility of healthy foods throughout the country.
And there is certainly a need for more nutritious foods to be available for America’s children and teens. According to Rachel Dickens, from the USDA and one of the competition’s judges, 22 million children and teenagers take advantage of the free and reduced-price meals offered at schools in the United States. And with 17% of U.S.’s children and teens considered obese, it is vital to provide healthier options. This was one of the reasons the USDA launched the “Recipes for Healthy Kids Competition” in 2011, which sought out new recipe ideas in three categories: Dark green and/or orange veggies; whole grains; and dry beans and peas.
From there, the “Making Healthy School Meals Easy Challenge” was conceptualized. The goal: to recreate one of the winning recipes into a manufactured food product that is affordable, maintains the nutritional content, enhances the flavor, and can be easily used in cafeterias. Entries from the three finalist teams—each one comprised of a chef, food technologist, manufacturer, and school foodservice worker—were judged by an expert panel of eight judges including Charles Wilson, Executive Chef of Caesars Palace.
The winners were announced by Brian Yager of IFT’s Foodservice Division:
3rd Place: Team Delicious’ Roasted Fish Crispy Slaw Wrap
2nd Place: Team Arizona’s Porcupine Sliders
1st Place: Team Z-Trim’s Smokin’ Powerhouse Chili
Congratulations to all of the teams on their hard work!
Although there is still debate regarding the health concerns caused by consuming too much salt, new sources for salt alternatives—as well as novel technologies and approaches—continue to increase. This is not surprising with today’s food formulators focusing attention on finding—and employing successfully—new salt-reduction strategies.
At one time, these strategies were limited to potassium chloride mixtures and spice blends. A little later, sea salt and technologies that altered the size and shape of salt particles emerged into the spotlight. But the options for salt reduction continue to expand.
For example, a new hydrolyzed vegetable protein that provides low sodium but high flavor enhancement was introduced by Innova, a Griffith Laboratories Co. (booth 2529). The company claims this HVP is the first product of its kind to lower sodium while maintaining the desirable flavor that food companies and consumers have come to expect from an HVP.
Here are a few other examples of products that are shaping the evolution of salt reduction that are showcased at the 2012 Food Expo.
What has been described as a breakthrough technology for sodium reduction has been developed by AkzoNobel Salt Specialties (booths 2885, 1641). The technology, Suprasel Loso OneGrain, can achieve up to 50% sodium reduction by combining regular salt, mineral salt, and taste-enhancing flavors in single salt grains. According to the company, the technology offers a direct, one-to-one replacement for regular salt with products that look, taste, flow, blend, dissolve, and cook exactly the same way as salt.
Because of its salt-enhancing characteristics, whey permeate can reduce sodium. U.S. Dairy Export Council (booth 1458), demonstrates this approach in several prototypes, including a Crispy Protein Cracker.
A range of functional milk proteins from Arla Food Ingredients (booth 467), also can be used as a dairy-based salt-reduction strategy. According to Arla, its Nutrilac® proteins make it possible for food manufacturers to reduce the salt content of their processed cheese products by up to 65%. Because these proteins offer excellent emulsification properties, they can replace the emulsifying salts normally used to achieve a stable texture in spreadable, block, and sliceable processed cheeses, as well as cheese sauce products.
Sodium reduction is not a “one size fits all” effort, explains Spicetec Flavors & Seasonings (booth 2401). Each product has its own ingredients, sensory qualities, and performance needs, all of which product developers have to take into account. Consequently, the company uses what it calls an integrated systems approach to sodium reduction by looking at the whole product from concept to finished product, customizing the sodium reduction solution and working cross functionally. One example is the newly introduced Micron Salt ingredient, a blend of ultra-small crystals made by micropulverizing salt to a patented particle size that has three times more surface area per volume than salt. The ingredient can be used in oil slurries, snacks, and other topical applications where fine texture and dispersion are desired.
“Not all sodium reduction alternatives are created equal, and in this new age for sodium reduction, the choice of ingredients and how they are blended matters in providing the best taste properties,” according to the Scoular Co. (booth 1807). The company is highlighting its SmartSalt® ingredient, described as a co-crystalized triple mineral salt (a blend of potassium, sodium, and magnesium. It is said to provide 100% salt taste with up to 60% less sodium in a number of applications.
Morton Salt (booth 2559), is unveiling the newest addition to its line of sodium reduction solutions. Because of its fine particle size, Fine KaliSel Potassium Chloride can offer a new option for blending with salt. Applications include seasonings, snacks, and other topical applications. Also offered is a granulated form of KaliSel for use in the production of meats, soups, sauces, snacks, dairy products, prepared meals, sides, breads, and other baked goods. Attendees can visit Morton’s “Salt Inspiration Station” to learn more about this specialty product.
And what more literal sign of the “mushrooming” of salt-reduction strategies than the use of mushrooms as a source? Research shows that while mushroom extracts serve as a base for soups and sauces, they can also be used as an effective salt-reduction tool. Scelta Mushrooms (booth 1741), notes that salt can be reduced in different products by up to 50% with a range of mushroom concentrates between 0.06% to 0.7%.
Chinese food science students were invited to the 2012 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo by the Almond Board of California to demonstrate their creativity and innovative spirit by showcasing the two new almond products they developed, how these products fit the needs of today’s contemporary Chinese consumers, and examples of marketing communication to promote the product to the Chinese population. These teams competed with hundreds of other students to develop a new healthy snack product for Chinese consumers using California Almonds.
The Almond Snack Product Contest is an annual competition organized by the Almond Board of California. The Board aims to develop key relationships with food science universities and food manufacturers to build long-lasting awareness and preference for using California Almonds in new snack products in China. It’s the innovation of the Chinese students of food technology that demonstrates the versatility of almonds as well as how almonds’ health benefits can make a positive difference in a product that makes this goal possible.
This year, two grand-prize winning teams were selected for the prize categories of Product Innovation and Product Communication. The Product Innovation prize-winning team came from East China University of Science and Technology, and won with their product Malt Cracker with Almond and Brown Sugar. Composed of graham cracker, melted brown sugar, and ground almonds, this team’s product was designed as a convenient and nutritious almond snack that is relatively simple to produce. The Product Communication prize-winning team came from China Agricultural University, and won with their TV advertisement for a product they developed called Almond Lover. A soft almond cake covered by chewy sticky rice mochi, this team’s product acts as a symbol of enduring love and is marketed towards couples in the student-made commercial.
Attending the IFT Annual Meeting offered the students a chance to interact with their peers in the IFT Student Association, learning all that this professional student organization can offer and how to build bridges across the United States and food science academic programs in China. IFT Student Association leaders and members from the academic community participated in a “Lunch and Learn” sponsored by the Almond Board of California where they learned more about the students’ products and also discussed potential ways to collaborate together in the future. This activity, in addition to a networking reception on Monday evening, gave everyone a chance to network and discuss issues impacting the academic community and the global food industry. Events such as the IFT Annual Meeting provide the best platform for academia, professional organizations, and food manufacturers to exchange and grow the opportunities to continuously improve and contribute to a better food supply for the world.
The development of sweeteners that have properties that can address the diabetes epidemic has come at a very important juncture in our history. The International Diabetes Federation recently revealed the results of a new study predicting that one in 10 adults could have diabetes by 2030. The report also estimated that more than 500 million people could be diagnosed with the disease in the next two decades.
In all likelihood, more and more sweeteners will be promoted as “diabetic friendly,” and the incorporation of these ingredients may be compared to what folate in bread did for birth defect rates. Many of the sweetener solutions discussed in the first two articles of this series may have an impact on both the diabetes and obesity epidemics that are occurring on a global scale. Furthermore, expect to see further developments ranging from what has been described as a sweet whey permeate sugar to one based on compounds found in fruits.
Future IFT Annual Meetings and Food Expos will provide an excellent forum to discuss these new solutions and strategies. Until then, here are a few more examples of sweeteners that are being spotlighted at this year’s Expo.
BioVittoria USA (booth 2549), has developed a process to concentrate monk fruit (also known as luo han guo) to produce an extract used as a naturally derived sweetener. Food manufacturers can reduce up to half the amount of sugar used in formulations while still providing acceptable taste by using the ingredient.
Blue California (booth 753), features its BlueSweet™ LHG Extract which has received GRAS certification. Derived from monk fruit, the ingredient has been standardized to mogroside V and is said to be 300 times sweeter than sugar.
Sensus America (booth 459), offers a low-calorie sweetener, Frutalose® SF75, which is specifically designed to help manufacturers reduce sugar in their products. Labeled as a chicory root fiber, it is a clinically proven prebiotic, shown to support digestive health and weight management. It can significantly reduce sugar in a variety of applications, including sweet baked goods, dairy products, and cereal bars.
Suzanne’s Specialties (booth 1946), displays an extensive line of organic and naturally derived sweeteners available in both crystalline and liquid forms. They include rice syrups, honey, agave nectars, and chicory syrup.
A number of food and beverage prototypes are formulated with sweetener solutions highlighted in this series. Attendees can taste for themselves the quality of these sweeteners and the potential they may have in addressing major health challenges.
Demand for almond ingredients is growing steadily, and to reflect its ability to meet that demand, the Blue Diamond Industrial Products Division has a new name: the Blue Diamond Almonds Global Ingredients Division.
“Our new name better captures our ability to service the market,” said Bill Morecraft, the Division’s General Manager, speaking at a press conference held Wednesday, June 27, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
“Global demand for almonds is unprecedented,” Morecraft continued. He noted that factors including the diversified array of product applications for almond ingredients, greater awareness of the health attributes of almonds, and increased demand from countries where improved economic conditions have spurred interest in almonds have all contributed to market demand.
“Almonds continue to grow around the world,” said Morecraft. “Consumption has really exploded in the last five to 10 years.”
For 2011, the California almond crop exceeded 2 billion pounds, a new record, and the 2012 crop will be similar in size, Morecraft said. Still, “the supply is not nearly enough,” he observed.
To better meet demand from its customers, Blue Diamond is expanding its manufacturing operations. The company is making a $100 million investment in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Turlock, Calif. The first phase will be complete in 2013. In addition, Blue Diamond Growers is enhancing its commitment to R&D with a new Innovation Center already under construction in Sacramento, Calif., Morecraft said. It too is expected to be operation in 2013.
At the press conference, the company highlighted its new website, www.bdingredients.com, as an important component of its new profile and positioning. The site features an interactive “Almond Center” designed to serve as a resource for product developers. It includes a matrix selection tool for matching different forms of almonds to specific end-use applications. The “Almond Center” is organized by categories including confections, cereal, health and energy bars, bakery, snacks, ice cream, and more.
The Global Ingredients Division is Blue Diamond Growers’ largest business unit. The company’s revenue for the year will be nearly $1 billion.
What makes blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, and blackberries so rich in color? The answer is anthocyanins. Because of their rich hues of red, purple, and blue, anthocyanins are used as food colorants to produce some of the more popular food colors in the food and beverage industry. Anthocyanins are flavonoids, so in addition to their ability to provide a spectrum of intense hues, they have a wealth of antioxidant properties that researchers are beginning to explore.
During the session “Anthocyanins: A Colorful Array of Health-Promoting Properties” on Wednesday morning, June 27, speakers presented epidemiological studies that seem to prove that anthocyanins exhibit health-promoting benefits against chronic inflammatory diseases. Seven hundred anthocyanins have been identified in nature, but not all of them have the same properties or behave the same way. According to speaker Elvira de Mejia, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, certain anthocyanins were demonstrably effective in reducing at least two biomarkers for inflammation: nitric oxide and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Nitric oxide is associated with many diseases, including cardiovascular disease; COX-2 is associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Other epidemiological evidence also demonstrates the effectiveness of anthocyanins’ anti-inflammatory action. In the real world, however, the effectiveness of anthocyanins against disease may not be realized.
Speaker Taylor Wallace, Council for Responsible Nutrition, pointed out that only 3% of Americans follow the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for consumption of vegetables and fruits, the primary dietary sources for anthocyanins. This means the intake of anthocyanins by U.S. consumers is very low and perhaps accounts for the high incidence of cardiovascular disease among Americans. Despite the fact that studies indicate anthocyanins can lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and glucose in the blood, Mary Lila, The Ohio State University, offered a caution: Such studies rely on concentrated doses of anthocyanins, and the potency of anthocyanins is often diluted during processing and preserving. In addition, the bioactivity of any one phytochemical compound is often dependent on the many other compounds present in plant foods.
So until researchers learn more about the interactions of anthocyanins and other phytochemicals in plant foods, the best practice is to maintain a diet rich in whole vegetables and fruits for a healthy lifestyle.
When talking about texture-related ingredients and strategies being used to meet textural needs in food products, here’s one that’s enough to make ice cream manufacturers scream.
With the cost of guar gum climbing to new heights and demand soaring, a growing number of food companies are searching for cost-effective alternatives that will act as thickeners in a variety of food and beverage formulations. Ashland Specialty Products (booth 2848), showcases two new cellulose gum products, Aquacel™ GSH and Aquasorb™ A-500, that can be used either to supplement or replace guar. These two cost-effective options deliver the required flavor and consistency profiles in beverages, baked goods, and ice creams.
For ice cream, Aquacel GSH is said to have outstanding viscosity synergy with guar gum to enable formulators to either replace guar all together or to reduce the overall doses of the total hydrocolloid in their formulations. The company selected Bruce Tharp, a leading industry expert, to head a panel test of ice cream samples developed in Ashland’s laboratories. From a sensory perspective, Tharp was unable to tell any significant difference between ice creams using guar gum and those using cellulose gum or blends of the two. “If anything, the ice creams with cellulose gums have slightly more body, as typically seen in premium brands,” noted Tharp. “Cellulose gum has always been considered a premier stabilizer in ice cream, but historically guar gum has been cheaper. It does not surprise me that with guar prices rising, formulators are now switching back.”
For bakery products, Aquasorb A-500 has exceptional water-binding capacity. Formulators are not only seeing the guar/cellulose gum synergies, but are also improving their products’ yield, moisture, appearance, and shelf life.
BASF Nutrition & Health (booth 1611), is highlighting innovative food and beverage performance ingredients that target formulators looking for the “perfect combination” of texture, volume, structure, taste, and shelf life for a variety of applications. The company invites attendees to “get better acquainted with our products, concepts, and solutions so together we can develop ideas to meet consumer demand worldwide, including diverse cultures and eating experiences,” said Samy Jandali, Vice President, BASF Nutrition & Health, North America.
For example, BASF offers Lamequick whipping agents that provide excellent taste and pleasant mouthfeel in whipped desserts, cream fillings, cake decorating creams, ice cream, and frozen desserts. They are made largely from mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. In decorating creams, Lamequick provides sharp edges when piping, smooth texture for spreading, and stability for serving. In desserts, it creates a light and creamy texture. These spray-dried powders, when whipped up with milk or water, produce light and creamy foams.
BASF is also highlighting Spongolit aerating emulsifiers, which allow cakes to be produced faster and with consistent quality. Used in whipped batters for a variety of cakes, the emulsifiers ensure excellent stability, volume, and crumb structure. With Spongolit, all components may be added at the same time and whipped together. It is ideal for small bakeries, large-scale cake manufacturing, and home-use cake mixes. The emulsifiers are available as spray-dried powders.
Visitors to the BASF booth can sample light and fluffy sponge cake bites with creamy frosting, and smooth and airy chocolate mousse. Other prototypes featuring nutraceutical ingredients are also available.
A recent merger may also provide new opportunities for texture. Colloides Naturels International and Bio Serae laboratories are coming together to become Nexira (booth 3375). Nexira and its food division (previously CNI) are launching a new range of highly purified acacia gum products with enhanced properties. The attributes of this new acacia range was achieved through a proprietary process developed by the Nexira R&D team to protect the natural characteristics of the gum. The acacia gum provides better transparency with reduced turbidity, which broadens the scope of applications for this natural soluble fiber.
Palsgaard® Extrulce 258, the latest addition to a family of emulsifier/stabilizer blends for extruded ice cream, is introduced by Palsgaard (booth 329). The blend provides a rich and creamy texture to ice cream, by preventing the formation of coarse ice crystals. It facilitates the incorporation of air into the mix, giving a high and stable overrun, and protects ice cream from damage that could be caused by heat shock should it be exposed to fluctuating temperatures during distribution and storage. Moreover, it is based on tara gum and not increasingly expensive guar gum.
Also making its debut for the first time in the U.S. market is Palsgaard Ice Triple—a fully integrated emulsifier and stabilizer system with a lower content of guar gum that helps deliver the best quality ice cream by adding an extremely smooth and creamy sensation; providing excellent heat shock stability that ensures a pleasant texture and mouthfeel even after repeated exposure to fluctuating temperatures; and delivering the slowest melt rate.
CEAMSA (booth 3668), features carrageenan and pectin, which offer texture solutions. Derived from natural sources such as red seaweed and citrus peel, the hydrocolloids offer an optimum texture solution for all food products, including meat, dairy, water, and fruit. Representatives are on hand to discuss how to meet texture challenges with a broad range of hydrocolloids.
So for all you explorers out there, enjoy rediscovering texture on the show floor.
At the Beacon Lecture on Tuesday afternoon, Mehmood Khan, M.D., Chief Executive Officer, Global Nutrition Group, and Chief Scientific Officer of PepsiCo, discussed the global food landscape from food policies, obesity, and food production to waste, water usage, and population growth, and how the food industry and food science can solve present and future challenges.
“The food industry has saved more lives and helped humanity more than any other profession,” said Khan. But it is also under attack from several groups for things like water usage, pesticides, additives, and obesity, he noted. Food policies following World War II, when many young men joining the armed services were undernourished and underweight, encouraged the production of safe, affordable, and convenient food. “We did what society and the government wanted us to do,” stated Khan.
Today we have an imbalance in our food system with 1 billion hungry people and 1 billion overweight people on our planet, noted Kahn. “We added 1 billion people in the past 10 years and our population will rise from 7 billion to 9 and a half billion by 2050. We will have to increase our food production by 50% to meet the demand. Otherwise, mass starvation will lead to mass conflict between village to village, state to state, city to city, and country to country,” declared Khan.
Americans eat about 2.5 servings of fruits and vegetables today and the government recommends that we eat 4–5 servings, reported Khan. “We would have to increase our fruit and vegetable production equivalent to what the State of California produces today in order for Americans to eat the recommended amounts.”
In Africa, Asia, and India, about 40% of the food is lost through spoilage or the inability to preserve and transport it. In North America and Europe, about 40% of the food is thrown away. “If we could save half of the food that is thrown away, we could feed 1 billion more people without any more resources, such as land or water,” declared Khan.
Solving these problems will require a different way of thinking, stated Khan. For example, Khan located his engineering center in Delhi, India, so that they could gain a new perspective on these and other food issues. For example, in large cities in developing countries, the road infrastructure is poor and PepsiCo delivery trucks spend a large amount of time sitting idle in traffic jams, wasting fuel and energy. And this will only get worse. By 2050, 70% of the global population will live in cities. There will be 50 megacities of populations of 20 million or more and 49 of those cities will be in developing countries, noted Khan.
Khan referred to the traditional practice of bringing foreign scientists to the United States to learn about our way of doing things as “historical arrogance.” Young scientists in the U.S. need to go overseas to learn and understand the culture and problems and the resources available to overcome these challenges,” declared Khan. He pointed to an example of a six-minute Pepsi marketing video that was produced inexpensively in Shanghai that was seen by 750 million people in its first 100 days. “If it were produced here, it would have cost us a couple more zeros following the 750 number,” joked Khan.
A new state-of-the-art culinary center is being constructed by Bunge North America (booth 2420), according to Dilip K. Nakhasi, the company’s Director of Innovation. The facility, which is anticipated to be ready for unveiling later this year, will be added to Bunge’s Innovations Center for Edible Oils and Carbohydrates in Bradley, Ill.
This center, opened in October 2010, combines the company’s food ingredient innovation and pilot plant facilities into one location. The primary focus of the center is on providing applications support for existing products and customers, with the staff working to develop innovative solutions to meet the customer’s needs for next-generation shortenings and oils. The center includes a scaled-down version of an actual edible oil plant capable of creating shortenings, oils, and other products used by food manufacturers, bakeries, and restaurants. The center also has an extrusion pilot plant to test snack food and cereal applications made from milled grain products.
And now with the addition of the culinary center, the picture will be completed with chefs preparing a variety of dishes made with ingredient innovations available from Bunge.
In addition to the culinary center, Nakhasi discussed the other latest advancements from the company. For example, “simplified solutions,”—
the theme of the company’s booth—are featured in the form of hybrid shortening options that balance nutritional and functional ingredient performance needs. These next-generation solutions demonstrate the innovative directions that blends of fats and oils are taking and can be targeted for a number of application categories.
Nakhasi discussed the further advancements of the company’s UltraBlends line of bakery shortenings and oils. These products, which use an enzymatic interesterification process to rearrange fatty acids to provide structure and functionality at room temperature, are designed to eliminate trans fats and optimize saturated fats while delivering a wider plasticity range. Latest additions to the line are All-Purpose Bakery Shortening (Designer Solution 172) and Emulsified Bakery Shortening (Designer Solution 358.) These two products use what is described as a “saturate sparing” technology, an approach that utilizes cellulose fibers and triglyceride mismatch technology to develop functional plastic shortenings with reduced levels of saturated fatty acids.
“Bunge’s innovative approach of utilizing proprietary non-lipid ingredients and blending and crystallization processes (triglyceride mismatch) provides the capability of reducing saturated fatty levels to greater than 40% in all-purpose and emulsified shortening systems,” said Nakhasi. This technology is based on a special hard stock blend, which when combined with a fiber addition, enables the shortening system to trap and bind large amounts of free oil, while contributing structure.
“This technology successfully provides us the means to achieve functional shortenings with saturates at 17–19%,” explained Nakhasi. “Nutritional analysis indicates that the shortenings are virtually trans free with 40% reduced saturated fatty acids when compared to conventional reduced trans shortening.” Both ingredient solutions also increase monounsaturated fat and low linolenic content, further providing a healthier profile that appeals to health-conscious consumers.
Saturate sparing shortening can be used in many all-purpose and emulsified shortening applications, he added. It can be utilized in place of many other all-purpose shortenings to confer the nutritional benefits of reduced saturates without affecting the taste or mouthfeel of the finished product.
In addition to saturate sparing technology, Nakhasi also described the company’s growing interest in powdered nutritional lipids and ease of ingredient handling. Recently, it introduced Delta Dry, a powdered vegetable-based oil that may be used as a nutritional lipid component in healthy beverages and other mixes. Nakhasi noted that the ingredient consists of a core of Delta SL oil multilayered with soy or whey protein and hydrocolloids such as starch or gum arabic. (A randomized triacylglycerol blend of high-oleic canola oil and medium-chain triglycerides with added phytosterol esters, Delta SL is metabolized by the body more rapidly than traditional vegetable oils and inhibits the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol. These attributes combine to present a vegetable oil that helps maintain desired weight and can reduce low density lipoprotein cholesterol when used as a replacement for traditional vegetable oils. Delta Dry P/RB, a structured lipid oil made from medium-chain triglycerides and canola oil but without phytosterol esters may also be used as a core for the powdered ingredient.)
A multilayered encapsulate, Delta Dry offers protein enhancement for healthy lipids as well as an ideal form for incorporation into powdered-based systems or other applications where liquid fats are not desirable, noted Nakhasi. The powdered nutritional lipid has 18 g of polyunsaturated fat per 100 g. Available as a free-flowing powder, it offers easy dispensability and zero grams of trans fat per serving.
Attendees can experience these solutions in a number of prototypes highlighted at the booth. Representatives are on hand to discuss the functionality and health benefits that these solutions can provide.
At a Tuesday evening reception hosted by the Netherlands Office for Science and Technology, the Royal Netherlands Embassy and the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (booth 1641/1741) unveiled a new website, www.HollandFoodPartner.com, that provides American businesses a portal to investment opportunities, trade information, and the latest developments in food and nutrition research in the Netherlands.
The agro-food industry is the largest contributor to the Dutch economy, responsible for 10% of the Dutch GPD and 21% of exports from the country. The value of Dutch agro-food exports to the U.S. is more than $2 billion.
The food chain in the Netherlands is vast, extending from new seed and ingredient development to processing and packaging. This large community of industrial and academic players has led to a dynamic, research-intensive sector that has spurred many new innovations focused on sustainable production and foods with additional health benefits. In addition, the Dutch food sector works hard to increase animal welfare and food safety, as well as to understand better the interaction between behavior and nutrition.
Examples of some of these exciting new developments are featured on the new website. Some of the innovations involve products that slow digestion or have a reduced fat content, machinery that packages vegetables so they stay fresher longer, and more efficient greenhouse technologies. The site is a source of information for American industries and research institutes looking to identify investment opportunities and partnerships within the Dutch agro-food cluster.
The site emphasizes how the Netherlands is a leader in sustainable agriculture and environmentally friendly and energy-efficient greenhouses; provides innovative solutions for sustainable livestock practices; has developed food and ingredients that lower the amount of salt, sugar, and fat in food, making it easier for consumers to combine good taste with a healthy and convenient meal; and is an expert in developing superior textures and flavors for nutritious foods.
Representatives of Innova Market Insights and Netherlands Food Valley offered an update on ways in which consumer demand for healthy products, an emphasis on food safety, convenience solutions, and sustainability are advancing innovation in the Netherlands—and globally—in a Tuesday afternoon Special Events Pavilion presentation titled “Trends + Innovation + New Technologies: Bringing It All Together.”
“Food safety has crossed the barrier of being just an issue for a production manager to being something that you can market to consumers,” said LuAnn Williams, Head of Research with Innova Market Insights. She pointed out that manufacturers’ use of pesticide-free claims is increasing, for example.
That food companies will operate sustainably is becoming something of an expectation with consumers, according to Williams. “Last year we were still defining what sustainability is,” said Williams. Now, however, “I think all consumers will assume that companies are trying to take action to reduce packaging and water use.”
Health positioning continues to be a huge driver of product development, Williams continued. Healthy aging is a particular hot button, she said. “I think every customer we have is interested in this, but no one has figured out how to crack this nut.” That’s because it’s tough to communicate the message of healthy aging without making consumers feel old, she said.
Food Valley is a community in the Netherlands comprised of food-related companies, science companies, and research institutes, explained presenter Bernold Kemperink. Food Valley provides an environment that allows companies to shorten product development time, share state-of-the art facilities, and access a worldwide trade network, among other benefits.
A long list of food industry innovations have flourished in this environment, said Kemperink. They include, among many others, new approaches to salt reduction, innovative encapsulation techniques, ingredients to help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, 3D food fabrication, and packaging technology that helps control the temperature of different microwaveable meal components so that they can be heated at different rates. Food Valley is even home to “The Restaurant of the Future,” a field laboratory for consumer sensory research.
“Wellness has become a part of consumers’ everyday lives in a variety of ways,” said Lynn Dornblaser, Director of Innovation & Insight at Mintel, in her introduction to Mintel’s “Approaches to Weight Management” presentation at their booth (Mintel’s “New Products and Consumer Insights” pavilion, booth 1569) on Tuesday afternoon. In fact, 42% of Americans strive for balance when it comes to their health, and they are starting to understand that healthy means many different things—from getting enough sleep, to riding a bike to work, to eating more fruits and vegetables. Moderation has become the key to living well for 98% of consumers. But while moderation, diet, and exercise seem to be well understood, consumers are still not necessarily following through.
Given the obesity epidemic, “weight management is the single most important health and wellness issue facing the nation,” said Mintel’s David Jago, Direcotor of Innovation and Insights. And food manufacturers are taking notice; there has been an increase in active health positioning of products to aid in weight control. Americans are using products that increase satiety, enhance metabolism, and block fat to aid in weight management. “There has been a shift away from dieting to lose weight towards dieting to maintain weight,” said Dornblaser. This demonstrates that consumers are increasingly seeking balance and health management and not a “quick fix.”
Overall, Mintel sees the concept of satiety gaining ground, especially using high fiber and protein claims. For example, General Mills’ Fiber One Bar provides 20% of the daily recommended fiber as a way to maintain fullness longer. And this is ringing true with consumers; the popular product had $149 million in sales in 2010. Other products are combining fiber and protein to enhance the message of satiety and healthiness. Take Life Choice Foods’ Wellness Bar, which contains fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
“Staying fuller longer really does resonate with consumers,” said Dornblaser. Given this, manufacturers are starting to expand beyond cereal-based products with fiber and satiety claims. Baxters’ Stay Full canned soup was launched in the U.K. and claims to balance carbs, increase protein, and keep you full longer. Although sales for the product have been slow, they are building and Mintel expects to see more products like this one introduced in the marketplace in the near future.
Additionally, Mintel expects to see the idea of “stealth health”—or building better nutrition into various products—increase over the coming year. “The focus is shifting to the positives of fullness and away from the negatives of dieting,” concluded Dornblaser.
Texture plays a critical role throughout the product development process. Understanding its fundamental attributes can lead to innovation and product variety. Unfortunately, although a great deal of attention has been spent on the development of flavors and colors over the years, texture has been frequently overlooked and sometimes even taken for granted. At this year’s IFT Food Expo, visitors are able to see a number of emerging approaches designed for a better understanding of texture as well as ingredient innovations that can help solve texture-related challenges in food formulating.
One of the companies that has taken a pioneering approach to rediscovering texture is National Starch Food Innovation (now part of Ingredion, booth 1211). Ingredion’s Dial-In Texture Technology enables food manufacturers to target and achieve the precise food texture they desire in their product, in far less time than for typical texture explorations. The Dial-In technology is based on the company’s proprietary, data-driven modeling approach to texture understanding and formulation. It’s an integration of core capabilities in consumer insights, material science, sensory evaluation, and application and processing knowledge. It enables the company to rapidly optimize the texture system in a food application “dialing in” the appropriate level and intensity of the individual texture attributes desired. This approach, according to the company, has been instrumental in helping food manufacturers bring new products to market quickly—yogurt, baked snacks, dairy desserts, tomato-based and creamy sauces, salad dressings, and gluten-free baked goods.
Many of the prototype products featured at Ingredion’s booth demonstrate some of its latest innovations in texture. Furthermore, the company will provide a number of technical presentations, including “Impact of Processing Conditions on Stirred Yogurt Texture: Understanding the Role of Starch Functionality and Different Starch Sources” and “Advances in Carbohydrate Texturizers to Address Texture Challenges with Removing Wheat and Eggs.”
TIC Gums (booth 421), is another company that is renewing its efforts to focus on texture. According to the company, product developers are handicapped by the lack of an agreed upon language to describe texture. Developers are further challenged by the fact that texture cannot be “added” to a product at the end of the design process, but rather must be integrated into the development of a new product from the very beginning. To help overcome these challenges, the company recently developed a texture lexicon that offers clearer definitions of the different kinds of texture available and makes texture a quantifiable part of the food design process. At the Food Expo, TIC Gums uses its texture lexicon as a basis for demonstrating how blends of gums and gum systems can very closely mimic the texture, body, and adhesiveness that is lost when sugar is replaced with artificial sweeteners.
TIC Gums’ new video series, “Does This Have Gum in It?” talks about the different types and uses for gums in everyday foods. In the first episode, host Harold Nicoll speaks with Gum Guru® Maureen Akins about how gums are used in chewing gum applications. Atkins explains the benefits of the company’s TicaPan® Coating Systems for panned confections. This system offers food manufacturers a low-cost, non-gum arabic alternative that provides a crunchier texture to the finished shell. Experience a piece of candy-coated chewing gum’s crunch and crackle, and the benefits of the system will be evident.
Through a partnership between Gum Technology Corp. (booth 3255), and Fiberstar, a new generation of texturizers is being launched. Hydro-Fi ingredients—a combination of Gum Technology’s Coyote Brand® hydrocolloids and Fiberstar’s Citri-Fi® citrus fiber—improves texture, increases yield, and enhances mouthfeel.
In tomorrow’s second part of this article, we’ll continue to look at new texture discoveries and explorations. Stay tuned to get a good “feel” for the emerging subject of texture.
Imagine an oasis … not in the middle of the dessert, but rather on the IFT Expo floor. That is just one of the many exciting (or in this case relaxing) themes that can be experienced by attendees. Yesterday, we looked at several of these themes, and now here’s the second installment.
• “Flavor Oasis.” Attendees can sit by a waterfall while enjoying a refreshing, healthy, lightly flavored spa-type beverage. At Virginia Dare (booth 2521), trendy new flavors, varieties of vanilla, various masking flavors, and new teas and coffee concentrates are featured for all you “nomad” food professionals out there. Quench your thirst with a ready-to-drink iced tea made from tea concentrate and fruit flavors. The company recently developed new chocolate flavors coupled with natural black tea that impart a distinctive chocolate scent and taste. Several prototypes made with new coffee concentrates are being introduced, including several roasts and popular flavors. Or visitors can sample a refreshing healthy frozen dessert designed with masking flavors and made with natural fruit flavors. And then there’s vanilla’s delicate aromatics and complex, full-bodied flavor profile that can be experienced in a beverage formulation. As you enjoy, just remember one thing: Please leave your camel parked outside.
• “Developing Kid-Friendly Foods.” New ingredients and prototypes that illustrate kid-friendly food and beverage products are showcased by Cargill (booth 1721). These products do not compromise on taste, while containing less sodium, calories, and fats, and more whole grains, fiber, and protein. For example, Blueberry Breakfast Cookies with Yogurt-flavored Drizzle, feature white whole wheat flour, inulin, a stabilizer blend, and a yogurt-flavored compound. Mini burgers—Soy Sliders—are formulated with textured soy flour and served on a white whole-wheat bun. Chicken Quesadillas contain a new sodium reduction system (SodiumSelect™) that has less sodium than traditional chicken quesadillas, and the tortillas offer whole-grain nutrition benefits. Sugar-free Mint Patties are a sweet treat made with erythritol and maltitol syrup for a 50% calorie reduction compared to full-sugar mint patty candies. Other formulations include fiber-containing pretzels, a reduced-sugar raspberry juice beverage made with sucromalt, and beverages that feature omega-3 oils. Kristen Dammann, the company’s Regulatory Senior Scientist, is conducting live presentations at the booth on Tuesday, June 26, at 1:30 p.m. and Wednesday, June 27, at 11 a.m. to help product developers better understand how the regulatory environment is changing in regard to children’s nutrition.
• “The Color House.” Almost sounds like a new Las Vegas casino, but actually it is the theme of D.D. Williamson/colorMaker Inc. (booth 1551). Come visit The Color House to see the newest innovations in color, including certified organic annatto powder, oil-dispersible caramel color, low 4-Mel caramel color, and acid-proof Class One “Plain” caramel color. A variety of food and beverage prototypes made with naturally derived colorings are available for sampling, such as lemonade tea, non-alcoholic mango margarita, snack/cereal bar, processed cheese shaped for children, panned confections, potato chips, popcorn, breakfast cereal, and crackers.
• “Finger Food Fusion.” Finger foods that capture the eye and the palate are available for sampling at Gold Coast Ingredients (booth 1435). The prototype formulations demonstrate the use of both sweet and savory flavors from the company’s extensive portfolio.
• “Salt Inspiration Station.” Morton Salt (booth 2559), is displaying its specialty products at its Salt Inspiration Station. Visitors can learn more about how these products deliver on three important fronts for food manufacturers—shape, size, and stickiness or adhesion—and experience for themselves different salt particles and their functionality across a range of product categories. Specialty products include Morton California Pure Salts, Star Flake® dendritic salt, and Top Flake Coarse Salt. Newest addition to its line of sodium-reduction solutions is Fine KaliSel Potassium Chloride.
• “How to Build a Better Burger.” Bringing value to every layer of a hamburger is demonstrated through the use of a broad range of potato-based ingredients by KMC (booth 138). Let’s start by giving your buns a lift by adding potato flakes, potato granules, or FiberBind, which can help delay the staling effect in yeast-based dough and keep those buns fresh and appealing for longer. Representatives show how potato-based ingredients can improve the functionality of beef patties, cheese, and dressings.
What theme are you interested in? Most likely, you’ll find it at the IFT Food Expo.
Over the past few years, stevia as a sweetener has been having a major influence in food formulating, its presence frequently playing a key role in the development of different sweetener strategies adopted by food and beverage manufacturers. And as stevia continues to evolve, more and more stevia-based ingredients are being derived through patented processes, as well as the creation of new blends of sweeteners using stevia and new flavors and taste modifiers that are compatible with stevia.
The evolution of this sweetener can clearly be seen at this year’s IFT Food Expo.
Producer and marketer of high-purity stevia ingredients, PureCircle USA (booth 343), has increased production of its new “breakthrough ingredient,” PureCircle Alpha, in response to market demand. The ingredient, officially launched in September 2011, is described as a proprietary combination of steviol glycosides, with a clean, sugar-like taste capable of achieving a deeper calorie reduction in foods and beverages. “We have learned that Reb A is not the right solution for all product applications,” explained Jason Hecker, the company’s Vice President Global Marketing & Innovation. “Our search for a better-performing stevia sweetener led us to PureCircle Alpha, which has unquestionably become the next generation of stevia beyond Reb A.” The first products sweetened with the new ingredient are expected on shelves in the second half of 2012. In preparation for these products, the company’s Global Technical Center developed a wide array of ready-to-go formulations across food and beverage categories, including carbonated soft drinks, tea, and dairy products. Rigorous testing and sensory evaluation have shown an improved taste and sweetness profile compared with other stevia ingredients.
Sweet Green Fields (booth 645), was recently granted a U.S. patent covering the company’s highly efficient method for extracting Rebaudioside A. The company claims that its proprietary extraction method is 33–50% faster than the industry’s conventional methods, resulting in a much more efficient and cost-effective process. Known as the “Fast Precipitation Process,” the procedure draws Reb A out of a mid-grade stevia extract and turns it into a highly purified Reb A powder of 95% purity grade and higher. Another key differentiator is said to be the process’s reliance on a water and food-grade ethanol for the extraction, as opposed to methanol or wood alcohol. “This patent is significant because prior to this, the stevia industry’s published methods have long relied on methanol as part of the extraction process, and these methods were time-consuming and costly,” observed Mel Jackson, the company’s Vice President of Science and the creator of the patented process.
Layn USA Inc. (booth 2578), is making available a proprietary blend of Reb A extracted from stevia leaves and mogroside V extracted from the luo han guo fruit. The resulting sweetener, Lovia®, is said to weaken the bitter compounds in stevia with the front-end sweetness of luo han guo providing a more rounded, longer-lasting sweetness perception. The company can customize formulas based on customer applications.
Wild Flavors (booth 401), showcases its Taste Modification Solutions for Stevia, which possess the ability to dramatically reduce the negative taste characteristics linked with stevia. The company also offers a variety of versions of Sunwin Stevia (Reb A 95%, 60%, and 80%) that are conveniently blended with the taste modification ingredients. Wild customizes the blends for optimal balance and overall sweetness profile. Several of its food and beverage prototypes feature these sweetener solutions.
Ingredion (booth 1211) (formerly Corn Products International and National Starch Food Ingredients), offers a variety of food and beverage prototypes that demonstrate the effectiveness of Enliten® Reb A stevia. Attendees should particularly sample a sugar-reduced frozen Meyer lemon yogurt with a fat-reduced blood orange drizzle that stimulates the taste buds.
Domino Specialty Ingredients (booth 1629), provides an extensive portfolio of sweetener solutions including sugar and stevia blend. That addition alone from a company that is known for its sugar lends a lot of credence to the growing importance of stevia as a sweetener solution.
Tomorrow’s third part of this sweetener series will focus on how overcoming the problems of obesity and diabetes can help spur the development of sweetener strategies.
Healthful recipes for school cafeteria fare will be in the spotlight in a presentation from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 27, at the Special Events Pavilion, booth 776, on the Food Expo floor.
At that time, awards will be presented to the winners of the “Making Healthy School Meals Easy Challenge” conducted in partnership with the IFT Foodservice Division, the American Culinary Federation, and the Research Chefs Association.
The competition challenged participants to convert a recipe from the 2011 U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s “Recipes for Healthy Kids” contest into a manufactured product that maintains the nutritional content, flavor, and taste of the original version and is cost-effective for school systems. The recipes that the teams were asked to adapt included Smokin’ Powerhouse Chili, Roasted Fish Crispy Slaw Wrap, Central Valley Harvest Bake, and Porcupine Sliders.
Entries from the finalist teams—each one comprised of a chef, food technologist, manufacturer, and school foodservice worker—were judged by an expert panel. This unique competition was designed to strengthen the alliance between food technologists, manufacturers, chefs, and school foodservice workers.
So plan to stop by the Special Events Pavilion to congratulate members of the winning teams and be inspired by their examples of recipe development creativity.
At Tuesday morning’s keynote session, IFT President-Elect John Ruff and incoming President-Elect Janet Collins announced and presented four companies with the 2012 IFT Food Expo Innovation Awards. The winners are Advantix Systems, Ampac, Ecolab, and Glanbia Nutritionals.
A panel of nine jurors from industry, academia, and government with broad expertise in research & product development, processing & packaging technology, and food safety selected the four companies and their innovations from 44 qualified entries. Only companies exhibiting at the 2012 IFT Food Expo in Las Vegas were eligible. Judging criteria included degree of innovation, technical advancement, benefits to food manufacturers and consumers, and scientific merit.
Advantix Systems (booth 3956) garnered the 2012 IFT Food Expo Innovation Award for its liquid desiccant dehumidification and cooling technology, which reduces energy use by 50%. The technology uses liquid desiccant, which is a natural salt solution that absorbs moisture directly from the air. By utilizing the solution’s natural affinity for moisture, air can be dehumidified without needing to overcool or post-cool the air as required by conventional approaches. The desiccant is also a natural disinfectant, removing almost all airborne bacteria and microorganisms in a single pass.
Ampac (booth 2980) won the award for its No. 2 pouch. The recyclable packaging is made from a coextruded film blend of predominantly high-density polyethylene (HDPE) that yields a pouch with excellent stiffness and strength characteristics as well as high barrier to moisture and excellent puncture resistance. It is designed to be compatible with existing post-consumer recycled waste streams, such as retail plastic grocery sacks. The stand-up pouch also saves energy to produce, since it does not require a separate laminating step.
Ecolab (booth 2129) was honored for its RAC residual antimicrobial coatings program, which consists of EPA-registered products that enhance food safety by providing improved microorganism control of plant non-food contact environmental surfaces. The products are ready-to-use and can be applied with spray, roller, or brush to provide residual sanitizing activity on environmental surfaces. Proper application of the products can reduce 99.9% or 3 log reduction of pathogens, such as E. coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enteric, and Staphylococcus aureus.
Glanbia Nutritionals (booth 1241) captured the 2012 IFT Food Expo Innovation Award for its Optisol 2000 binding system for sugar reduction. The binding system is a milk protein concentrate that can reduce sugar usage up to 50% in many food applications, such as baked and chewy type granola bars, cereal clusters, and other snack products. In reduced-sugar applications, OptiSol 2000 functions to bind water and maintain a sticky matrix in food products. The clean-label ingredient contributes protein to the formulation and enables the addition of other desirable nutrients such as fiber.
If you are a student and looking for events to connect with your peers you’ve come to the right place. You can always participate in the Fun Run which takes place Wednesday, June 27, from 6:15–7:15 a.m. Or there are many other events—social and educational—to get involved with your peers. These events not only help you network with industry professionals, but they also provide ways to advance your professional and technical skills. Here’s a look at some of what is planned for this year.
Booth and Student Lounge: The IFTSA booth will be located in the registration area, Hall N1 of the Las Vegas Convention Center, and is a popular gathering place for both students and members. Be sure to stop by and pick up your brochure of student events. IFT will also be offering a student lounge, located in room N231. This is a great place to meet, mingle, and lounge.
Mixer and Chapter of the Year Display: Plan on attending the Mixer, to be held 5:30–6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27 at the LVH-Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, Ballroom B. Meet and mingle with other students and professionals while viewing the Chapter of the Year displays.
Welcome Assembly and College Bowl Competition: Join your fellow students on Wednesday evening, immediately following the Student Association Mixer at the LVH-Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. It will feature an introduction of the IFTSA leadership and presentation of awards, including Chapter of the Year and Most Improved Chapter, Product Development Competition winners, Fun Run winners, and recognition of the Excellence in Leadership Award recipients. Afterwards, the finals of the 27th anniversary of the Food Science and Technology College Bowl Competition will take place. The eight teams competing in the finals will be:
- North Carolina State Univ.
- Purdue Univ.
- Brigham Young Univ.
- Cornell Univ.
- Univ. of Minnesota
- Univ. of California, Davis
- Clemson Univ.
- Univ. of Arkansas
Undergraduate Research Paper Competition: For the third year, the competition finals will feature both an oral and poster component. Finalists will have 5 min to present their research orally before manning their posters to discuss their research and answer questions from the judges. These hybrid finals of the Undergraduate Research Competition will take place on Tuesday, June 26, from 3:30–5:00 p.m., at the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N107. Winners will be announced at the IFTSA Welcome Assembly on Wednesday evening. Finalists include:
- Margaret Debrauske (Univ. of Wisconsin)
- Evonne Lau (Cornell Univ.)
- Brittany Miller (Cornell Univ.)
- Graysen Ortega (Texas Tech Univ.)
- Sara Spoede (Univ. of Missouri)
- Ashleigh Willems (Texas Tech Univ.)
Professional Development Oral Sessions (Sessions 310–318): These sessions are designed to give students, who are presenting posters, experience in presenting orally, as well as feedback to refine their presentation skills. Selected students will have the opportunity to present at eight professional development sessions which are scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon from 4:30 –5:30 p.m. A panel of food science and technology professionals will act as judges, and provide written feedback to student presenters. Come support the students and learn about their research in the process. See the Scientific Program portion in the Program Directory (Tab A) for more information.
Product Development Competitions: Always highlights of the Student Association year and Annual Meeting, there are three product development/process competitions taking place this year.
The Product Development Competition, sponsored by Mars, showcases the food scientists of tomorrow and their ability to apply the knowledge and skills learned in school to a real-world situation. Product development teams from participating universities each conceptualize a new food idea, then work to see that idea through the stages of production and marketing. The finalists are:
- California Polytechnic State Univ.: Veg This Way
- Cornell Univ.: Dough TEMPtations
- The Ohio State Univ.: UnBeetable Burger
- Pennsylvania State Univ.: Brew Bites
- Univ. of Minnesota: Theikos Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars
- University of Wisconsin-Madison: Cranberry POPlers
Oral presentations will be 12:00–3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, in room N101. Product posters will be on display from 8:00–11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 27, in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Hall C5. Winners will be announced at the IFTSA Welcome Assembly on Wednesday night, where Mars will present the winning teams with their prizes.
In the Disney-IFTSA Product Development Competition: Nutritous Food for Kids, the IFTSA and Disney Consumer Products Inc. have challenged student members of the IFT to address and important wellness need by creating healthy snacks for kids. The competition goal is to create a market-relevant, nutritious and delicious snack applicable to a retail food or beverage item that integrates a fruit or vegetable in a product targeted to children under the age of 12. The finalists are:
- Cornell Univ.: Vegginators
- Univ. of Florida: Yum-e-Milk
- Univ. of Minnesota: Mickey Fantasticos
- Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison: Peanut Butter Jamsicles
- Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison: Pit Stop
The competition’s oral finals will be held in the Special Events Pavilion on the IFT Food Expo floor. Winners will be announced at the IFTSA Welcome Assembly on Wednesday night, where Disney will present the winning teams with their prizes.
Now in its fourth year, the Developing Solutions for Developing Countries Competition encourages food science and technology students from around the world to address the critical issues in the development, safety, and distribution of food. The 2012 theme is “Mangoes—especially the Apple, Kent, and Tommy Atkins varieties—grow abundantly in Kenya, but a short harvest season, high fiber content, and typically irregular quality (size, shape, color, etc.) make it difficult for growers to realize the full potential of this crop. Develop a mango-based product that can be produced rapidly in order to realize the full potential of this crop during its short harvesting season.”
The following teams were chosen as finalists:
- Bogor Agricultural Univ. (Indonesia): Magnut
- Brawijaya Univ. (Indonesia): Stift Oorrid Mango
- Universiti Putra Malaysia (Malaysia): Vit-A-Go
- Univ. of Massachusetts-Amherst: Mango Meal
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ.: Uji-mate
- Washington State Univ. & Univ. of Idaho: Maandazi
IFTSA Retro Bowling Party: Don’t miss the IFTSA Bowling Party, Thursday evening, June 28, starting at 9:30 p.m. Plan on wearing your neon clothes and fingerless gloves … this year the theme is an 80s bowling night. This event will bring students together in an informal atmosphere to network and have some fun. The party will be held at the Gold Coast Casino Bowling Alley (4000 W. Flamingo Rd.). Stop by the Student Association booth (in the registration area, Hall N1 of the convention center) for more information.
Attendees can sample a wide range of food and beverage prototypes from Wild Flavors (booth 401). These prototypes highlight seasonal flavors, coconut water, coffee concepts, mint, immunity, vegetable nutrition, and natural ingredients such as sweeteners and colors.
For example, take innovative concepts organized by season. Winter includes Holiday Sangria (100% Juice with Red Vegeceuticals), Mochacino Caramels (coffee extract and complementary flavors), and Blue/Green Mint Candies (stevia-sweetened hard candies with naturally derived blue and green colors and spearmint and peppermint flavors).
Spring is represented by Tahiti Lime Ginger ImmuniTea™ (iced tea with a fragrant Tahiti Lime Ginger flavor and fortified with Immunel™ for immune support) and Plumberry Mango Filled Licorice with Immunel. (A new trend in confections, filled licorice is shown in natural flavors, colors, and with an ingredient for immune support.)
Summer consists of Strawberry Melon Mojito (non-alcoholic mojito with fresh mint flavors in a 15% coconut water formula), Savannah Lemonade Slush (frozen drink with very on-trend lemonade flavor that has a slight twist of spiced berry), and Mini-Sandwiches (a different sandwich each day, featuring Farmstand Favorites™, flavor marinade systems inspired by summer farmers markets, flavorful sauces, and fresh breads).
And for autumn, there’s Vanilla Cinnamon RTD Coffee (a ready-to-drink coffee with an on-trend vanilla-cinnamon flavor), 50-Calorie Juice with Stevia (showcasing stevia and taste modification technologies in an autumn-inspired flavor), and Glazed/Seasoned Nuts (on-trend protein-packed nuts in a harvest-inspired blend).
As can be seen (and tasted), these prototypes are formulated with flavors, colors, and nutraceutical ingredients from the company’s extensive product portfolio. Here are just a few of these ingredients in the spotlight.
Vegeceuticals are special taste-free vegetable extracts that can be easily incorporated into a wide array of foods and beverages. They currently include two varieties: red and orange blends that are available in liquid and dry form. The orange extract blend provides beta-carotene from carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, paprika, and reishi mushroom. The red version is an extract blend providing anthocyanins from purple sweet potato, purple maize, purple carrot, beet, rhubarb, tomato, and red cabbage.
Taste Modification Solutions for Stevia possess the ability to dramatically reduce the negative taste characteristics linked with stevia. Wild offers a variety of versions of Sunwin Stevia (Reb A 95%, 60%, and 80%) that are conveniently blended with the taste modification ingredients. The company customizes the blend for optimal balance and overall sweetness profile. These natural sweetening systems can help reduce the amount of sugar or artificial sweeteners in applications including beverages, baked goods, sauces, snacks, nutrition bars, supplements, and low-calorie, low-glycemic products.
Immunel is a milk peptide that supports immune health and has no impact on taste, color, and texture of the formulation.
In addition to the above mentioned food and beverage prototypes, a range of other concepts can be shown to customers in the company’s private meeting area. These include a 25% juice beverage enhanced with omega-3s; PrOATein shake, a smoothie mix in a creamy vanilla flavor made with real oats and fruit; Coconut Water/Almond Milk, a lower-calorie drink in a kid-friendly strawberry flavor; Endurance Protein Water, a lower-calorie formulation with a “good source” of protein; Chef’s Shortcuts™, flavors to replace the time-honored cooking processes of the chef in a manufacturing-friendly format; new flavors and concepts for gelatos and sorbets; and Relaxation and Energy Chewing Gums. Attendees interested in this “private collection” should inquire for more details at the Wild Booth.
All of these innovative prototypes suggest that it’s going to be a “Wild Time” in Las Vegas.
Six teams will vie for top honors in the finals of the 2012 IFT Student Association & Mars Product Development Competition. This prestigious annual competition challenges student teams to apply their academic knowledge to the process of developing a winning product prototype.
The process is a long one; the competition’s first deadline was Feb. 1, when initial product proposals were due. Each year, participating teams come up with a concept and carry it through marketing and production, approaching the project much like a commercial product development team.
Here’s a preview of the product development creativity that will be on display from the finalists in this year’s competition.
• California Polytechnic State University—Veg This Way, a vegetable leather snack that features gourmet flavor combinations
• Cornell University— Dough TEMPtations, a fruit-filled, compound-coated, cookie dough snack formulated to be enjoyed straight from the refrigerator or oven-baked to produce coated cookies
• The Ohio State University— UnBeetable Burger, a flavor-packed, frozen veggie burger slider that comes conveniently pre-assembled and can be microwaved and ready to eat within minutes
• Pennsylvania State University— Brew Bites, bite-sized crackers shaped like a bottle cap and made largely out of spent grain left over from the brewing process as well as hop and malt extract to provide an authentic beer-like taste sensation
• University of Minnesota— Theikos, a frozen vanilla Greek yogurt bar atop a bed of crunchy granola topped with a sweet honey drizzle
• University of Wisconsin-Madison—Cranberry POPlers, soft pretzel balls made of sweet potato filled with a tangy cranberry sauce
The oral component of the Product Development competition will take place from noon to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, in Room N101.
Product posters will be on display from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 27, in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Hall C5.
Competition winners will be announced on Wednesday night at the IFTSA Welcome Assembly, where Mars will award prizes to the winning teams. The competition is sponsored by Mars Chocolate North America.
A line of transparent isolate soy protein, Clarisoy 100 and its extension Clarisoy 150, is in the spotlight at Archer Daniels Midland (booth 2020). (See the earlier article in IFT Live for full details.) A prototype showcases Clarisoy 100 in a Fruit & Veggie Jive beverage. A great tasting drink, it packs a protein punch and includes one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetables.
In addition to this beverage, ADM is demonstrating a number of other food prototypes made with ingredients from its extensive portfolio.
For example, one of the prototypes highlighted is a “chocolaty” peanut spread on 100% whole-wheat graham crackers. This savory snack features a wholesome cracker formulated with ADM’s white whole-wheat flour, graham flour, mid-oleic vegetable oil, Sweet N’ Neat® honey powder, and Prolite® wheat protein isolate. The cracker is topped with a sweet spread that includes cocoa, crystalline fructose, high oleic-soy/palm oil blend, and lecithin.
A Cranberry Crisp is a healthful and tasty nutrition bar that includes a combination of ADM ingredients, including sorghum crisps, edible bean crisps, soy protein crisps, lecithin, isoflavones, phytosterols, Fibersol® LQ, and corn syrup. Fibersol LQ, the result of a joint venture between ADM and Matsutani, is a soluble corn fiber that has been specially designed for applications where added sweetness and humectancy are beneficial, as well as for the ease of handling of a liquid product. The ingredient contains 75% soluble dietary fiber on a dry solids basis.
Chocolate ice cream is made with deZaan™ cocoa powders and then covered in a chocolate coating that features ADM cocoa liquor and cocoa butter. This dessert is a sweet ending to any meal.
Crispy chips feature a surprising ADM ingredient—navy beans. The formulation, Eat Your Vegetables™ Chips, is produced by Snikkidy Inc. and includes half a serving of vegetables per half-ounce bag.
Attendees will be able to sample all these prototypes and see for themselves the functionality and nutritional benefits that these ingredients offer.
The food industry continues to search for ways to reduce sugar levels while retaining the same perception of the original foods and beverages. At the IFT Food Expo, a variety of evolving strategies are highlighted that can help mimic the qualities lost when sugar is taken out of the formula. This is the first of a three-part series, exclusive to IFT Live, that will describe some of these ways.
Food scientists from TIC Gums (booth 421), have developed blends of gums and gum systems that can very closely mimic the texture, body, and adhesiveness that is lost when sugar is replaced with artificial sweeteners.
According to the company, high-intensity sweeteners can replace the sweetness of sugar or corn syrup, but not necessarily the texture, stability, and pleasing sensation in the mouth that are all attributes of fully sugared items. To demonstrate firsthand to attendees how hydrocolloids can be used to replace texture and adhesion, full-sugar and no-sugar comparisons are made with beverages (liquid), desserts and dessert toppings (semi-solids), and granola bars (solids). There are visible and experiential differences for each, with the full-sugar and no-sugar samples juxtaposed in side-by-side comparisons.
A formulation service, Beverage Optimize™, is offered by Tate & Lyle (booth 2501); it can help manufacturers reduce calories in their products. The service provides direct access to the company’s extensive beverage formulation experience and wide portfolio of ingredients, including sweeteners such as Splenda® sucralose and Krystar® crystalline fructose, as well as texturants and acidulants. The company has developed a number of new prototypes to showcase the great tasting sugar-reduction capabilities of its formulation service for customers. Visitors at the booth can sample prototypes including juices, carbonated soft drinks, still drinks, and beverage mixes.
Scientists from the Dutch research group NIZO (booth 1641), have found that by alternating levels of taste intensities in the mouth, they can help reduce sugar levels. Their research, which will be available at the company’s booth, may provide an alternative solution to the use of traditional sugar replacers. According to the company, the researchers investigated the effect of concentration changes of the sweetener sucrose on the perceived sweetness intensity. They found that the perceived sweetness intensity increased with the magnitude of the sucrose concentration contrast.
Sweetener synergy in beverages is demonstrated by a sweetener innovation platform, Sunsation™, highlighted by Nutrinova (booth 1685). This platform combines synergistically acesulfame potassium (Sunett® SL) with other high-intensity sweeteners and specialty ingredients to produce low- and no-calorie products that taste closer to sugar and high fructose corn syrup. A number of innovative prototypes based on this platform are available for sampling. Attendees can learn firsthand how these solutions are designed to meet consumer and manufacturer needs, which subsequently stimulate the development of new ideas, concepts, and products for the food and beverage industry.
Tomorrow’s second part of this sweetener series will look at the evolving sweetener stevia and the impact it is having on formulating.
Among the 11 Pre-Annual Meeting Short Courses held prior to the 2012 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo, a new course—Commercializing Innovation in Food Products (Monday, June 25)—offered attendees an inside look at commercializing innovation from ideation, sourcing, intellectual property considerations, valuation, and implementation to market launch.
The term “open innovation” is relatively new; in fact, it wasn’t officially coined until 2003 by Henry Chesbrough who got companies thinking about a new way of conducting the product development process. While Chesbrough firmly believed that companies have excellent internal resources—meaning the employees have a great deal of knowledge—he was also willing to admit that there are many smart people outside of company walls. Therefore, he believed it to be vital to seek out external experts to get insight on how to solve certain product development problems.
Since 2003, many large companies have implemented the open innovation process and have used it to successfully launch new cutting-edge products in the marketplace. For example, General Mills launched the General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network (G-WIN) in 2010 to actively seek partners that can help the company deliver breakthrough innovation in categories such as packaging, technologies, and ingredients.
As Alfred Malouf, NineSigma, explained in the opening presentation to the Short Course, there are many advantages to utilizing open innovation for product development. “People can have preconceived notions about how something should be done, but maybe there is someone out there who has a better idea that may be simpler, costs less, and is easier to develop,” said Malouf. In addition, this can help save time that would be lost “reinventing the wheel” and accelerate the innovation process.
However, in order to be successful, an open innovation program has to be integrated and sustained across the value chain. “It is vital to get all the stakeholders along the value chain involved in the beginning,” said Malouf. Another mistake some companies make is that they use the open innovation program solely for large projects. Malouf believes it should be used for smaller, incremental projects as well.
To give the short course attendees an example of open innovation at work, Malouf offered a case study of how NineSigma helped Kraft solve a packaging problem. As an open innovation service provider, NineSigma works as an intermediary between a client and solution providers. In this case, Kraft’s consumer research showed that while consumers love Ritz Chips, they aren’t fans of the re-sealable bag. NineSigma sought out solution providers and came back with nine proposals. One was from Biomimetics, which uses nature to solve human problems. In this case, they looked at how nature would repeatedly open and seal items. Kraft ended up contracting with Biomimetics to develop a biology report on closures used in nature.
At that point, Kraft was still faced with the challenge of how to take these solutions found in nature and apply them to packaging. So they reached out to Michigan State Univ.’s Packaging and Engineering School and created a student competition to develop a solution to the Ritz Chip packaging problem using one of the methods described in the Biomimetics report. The winning team’s concept is currently patent pending and will be on store shelves soon.
Malouf ended his presentation by reminding attendees that open innovation—in fact, any kind of innovation—is hard work and requires persistence. As illustrated by the Kraft case study, it is often the nontraditional paths that lead to some of the most exciting new technologies and products.
A new hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) that provides low sodium but high flavor enhancement is being introduced by Innova, a Griffith Laboratories Co. (booth 2529). The company claims this HVP is the first product of its kind to lower sodium while maintaining the desirable flavor that food companies and consumers have come to expect from an HVP.
HVPs have been used for more than a century as a cost-effective flavor enhancer that serves as the backbone for gravies, soups, sauces, and other savory products. But the high levels of naturally occurring sodium in HVPs have limited their use in low-sodium products, which increasingly are in demand. Previous attempts to develop a viable low-sodium HVP option relied on potassium chloride, resulting in a bitter-tasting product that had limited uses.
According to Innova, which specializes in creating customized meat and savory flavors for food applications, its new Vegamine® Advanced Technology has solved this ingredient challenge that has vexed food manufacturers for years. The lower-sodium Vegamine AT products increase enhancement without sacrificing taste, and will support cost-reduction initiatives by allowing for a reduction in usage of expensive ingredients. Additionally, flavor creators will benefit from the high protein content of Vegamine AT.
“Low-sodium products have presented a real challenge from both a taste and cost standpoint,” noted Enrique Medina, Innova President. “Companies have struggled to find reliably affordable ways of lowering sodium without sacrificing taste. By reducing sodium levels in an HVP without losing its traditional flavor, our solution is a win-win proposition.”
Medina emphasized, “Our customers said we could really fill a void in the HVP marketplace if we could find a way to reduce sodium while still providing them the taste and affordability of the Vegamine they already know and love.”
The company is demonstrating the capabilities of the new HVP line in a chicken bouillon application at its booth. The significant implications for a wide array of food products are evident as a result of just a few early applications using the new AT products, observed Dafne Diez de Medina, Innova’s Vice President of Innovation, Research and Development. “This, really, is just the beginning of our journey.” For instance, by simply substituting Vegamine 83D AT for regular Vegamine 83D and reducing the amount of salt in the formula by 25%, a 25% reduction in sodium is achieved with a cost impact of only one cent per serving and with sensory attributes comparable to the control. Even greater sodium reduction solutions are possible, reflecting the Vegamine AT line’s improved flavor profile. An expert taste panel making blind evaluations of products containing them clearly perceived the benefits of the lower-sodium Vegamine products.
Vegamine AT is one of many innovative research advances that Innova’s flavor chemists and food chemists have developed in ongoing efforts to introduce the highest-impact, best-tasting meat and savory flavors for customers. Previously, Innova introduced SaltSavor™, a salt-reduction portfolio of taste-modulation technology based on the enhancement of sodium channels and the binding of umami receptors. Umami, one of the five basic tastes, is the Japanese word for “meaty” or “savory.” SaltSavor delivers an increased salty perception through stimulating taste buds compared to using salty-tasting compounds. Flavor enhancement is an added benefit.
At its booth, Innova will also be highlighting prototypes that showcase customized meat and savory flavors with special signatures that can be used in a broad range of food applications. By controlling all product development steps from concept through delivery and drawing upon a deep history of reaction flavor expertise, the company offers flexibility, creativity, quality, and value in flavors. Spray- and pan-drying technologies for products delivered in powder, paste, liquid, and water- or oil-soluble forms are available.
Flavors highlighted include Robust®, a full line of meat flavors; Vegamine hydrolyzed vegetable proteins; and SavorNotes™, a portfolio of savory flavors and flavor enhancers. Visitors will be able to sample dishes made with the company’s flavor bases, flavor enhancers, masking flavors, and savory flavors. Innova will also participate in a Trend & Solutions Tour on the “Evolution of Sodium Reduction.”
With casinos ranging from Treasure Island to Circus Circus, from the Venetian to Paris, Las Vegas is a city of themes. In a short distance, you can visit the duplication of various settings from around the world. It is quite appropriate then that many exhibitors at the IFT Food Expo are showcasing their own distinctive and exciting themes.
In this article, we’ll look at six examples of these themes. Then tomorrow, we’ll finish up with another six, completing a baker’s dozen of booths that you won’t want to miss. Let’s begin with a Vegas bar scene that is definitely “off the Strip,” you might say.
• “What’s Happening in Vegas is Happening at the IFT Tabasco Booth.” McIlhenny Company/Tabasco Brand Products (booth 733), transforms its booth into a Vegas bar scene that serves up its famous hot sauce ingredients in a number of applications. On the bar menu can be found Cajun Lightning and Thunder, a chilled cocktail made with SoCo Fiery Pepper, cranberry juice, and Red Bull, and Blue Voodoo, a chilled cocktail made with SoCo Fiery Pepper, Blue Curacao, Malibu Rum, and pineapple juice. While enjoying these drinks, bar regulars can sample such appetizers as Buffalo Hummus Filled Filo Cups, Spicy Chex snack mix, and Crawfish Artichoke Spinach Dip. New products featured include Tabasco Brand Buffalo Style Hot Sauce, which is now available for industrial ingredients, and Southern Comfort Fiery Pepper created by Brown-Forman using Tabasco Brand Original Red Pepper Sauce.
• “Snack Attack.” Snacking has become one of America’s new favorite pastimes and applies to all ages. As consumers look for ways to achieve a healthier lifestyle, key snacking trends include creating kid-friendly, nutritious snacks and developing bite-sized, portion-controlled snacks for adults to enjoy. Grain Processing Corp. (booth 1259), demonstrates the use of its ingredients in these trends. TruBran® corn bran—a natural, insoluble dietary fiber said to boost fiber levels without sacrificing taste—is featured in a tasty, kid-friendly pizza snack. The light, creamy color of the ingredient makes it easy for manufacturers to add fiber with minimal impact on finished product appearance. Delectable, portion-controlled dessert bites for a more grown-up appeal are available. Utilizing the moisture-binding attributes of Inconsity® instant food starch, frozen desserts can maintain product integrity during a longer freezer shelf life.
• “Seasonal Surprises.” We’re all familiar with the taste of a strawberry, but what would a strawberry taste like had if it grown and matured in the middle of winter, adapting itself to all the elements of that season? It would probably have some significantly different aromatic notes. In its 2012 Flavor Collection, “Seasonal Surprises,” Jean Niel (booth 1271), is having fun with Mother Nature and delectable fruit flavors. The flavors in this collection were the result of revisiting their organoleptic characteristics to create new tastes. Attendees will be able to sample these new “out-of-season” flavor experiences.
• “Twist on Street Food.” Daily chef demonstrations at French’s Flavor Ingredients (booth 661), will show how to put a twist on familiar street foods, such as sandwiches, wraps, and tacos. On Tuesday, June 26, attendees can learn how to turn the Philly cheesesteak sandwich into a spicy Italian Buffalo Philly using Italian-spiked Buffalo Wing sauce over grilled steak and onions covered with melted provolone cheese. On Wednesday, June 27, the chef shows how to add flavor to a plain chicken taco by stuffing a masa flour tortilla with Spicy BBQ Chipotle Chicken and Avocado Slaw. And finally on Thursday, June 28, learn how French’s Dijon, cream, beef demi-glaze, and tarragon can flavor beef chuck to produce a hearty sandwich served with Swiss cheese on a crunchy French baguette.
• “A Retro Resurgence.” Using the current retro resurgence as the inspiration, David Michael & Co. (booth 1901), features two Adults Only® flavored water ices that taste just like their real cocktail counterparts. Don’t let your taste buds fool you—no alcohol was used in these cool treats. Also highlighted are Gluten-Free Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Gluten-Free Cocoa Buttercream Frosting (guaranteed not to disappoint) and an Achiote Lime Greek Yogurt Dip.
• “From Palatable to Delectable.” Following the growing trend of wellness, Edlong Dairy Flavors (booth 2447), showcases its premium concentrated dairy flavors that transform better-for-you foods from palatable to delectable. One application includes a Vitamin Fortified Pudding made with milk and cream flavors to mask the off notes of added vitamins and minerals.
Stay tuned tomorrow to visit the second half of theme booths.
The first extension of the Clarisoy™ line of transparent isolated soy protein from Archer Daniels Midland (booth 2020), makes its debut at the 2012 IFT Food Expo.
Clarisoy 150 is a clean-tasting isolated soy protein for use in beverage systems with a pH of less than 4.0 with cloud systems or neutralized to a pH of 7.0 or higher. The new product enables beverage manufacturers to “comfortably” formulate with up to 10 g of protein. It is extremely heat stable with proven compatibility with dairy-based protein sources. The ingredient allows for greater use of soy protein in mildly flavored neutral beverages such as meal replacement and weight management products, soy milks, and smoothies.
Clarisoy 100, introduced at 2011 IFT Food Expo, is an isolated soy protein that offers clarity and complete protein nutrition for transparent and refreshing low-pH beverage applications. It was specifically developed for use in beverages with pH levels below 4.0, providing them with 5 g to 10 g of protein. In low-pH beverages, it is 100% soluble and transparent. Applications include sports nutrition beverages, citrus-based drinks, fruit-flavored beverages, powdered beverage mixes, fruit juice blends, and fortified waters. Extremely heat stable, it allows thermal processing such as hot fill without any loss of clarity or notable change in viscosity. It requires no homogenization or stabilizers in low-pH beverages.
Both Clarisoy versions allow beverage manufacturers to create products with good or excellent sources of protein. At the Food Expo, ADM is offering samples of Fruit and Veggie Jive, a nutritional beverage formulated with Clarisoy 100 transparent soy protein.
ADM presents the science behind the Clarisoy line at the New Products & Technology Table Top Showcase on Wednesday, June 27, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Russ Egbert, Director of Protein Research for ADM, is available to discuss the distinctive properties of Clarisoy. Attendees are able to sample Harmony Soymilk made with Clarisoy 150.
To meet growing customer demand, ADM has expanded production of Clarisoy. The company recently opened its first commercial-scale plant to produce the vegetable-based protein, which offers clarity and high-quality protein in beverage products. The ingredient is available to customers looking to purchase quantities beginning in June.
“Since launching Clarisoy at IFT last year, customer feedback has been positive, and demand for clean-tasting, transparent proteins continues to increase in the rapidly growing fruit and vegetable juice and sports nutrition categories,” said Bruce Bennett, General Manager of ADM Specialty Products—Oilseeds. “Creating a dedicated plant to produce our signature Clarisoy product line will allow us to serve growing customer demand for proteins in low pH beverages.”
The facility, located in Decatur, Ill., provides a new line extension for ADM’s existing isolated soy protein production. Clarisoy is created through a patented process that delivers a highly purified product with a 95% protein concentration on a moisture-free basis. “We expect this plant to be the foundation for an entire Clarisoy product line, as we continue to evolve it to meet our customers’ needs,” said Bennett.
In March 2011, ADM entered into a licensing agreement with Vancouver-based Burcon NutraScience Corp., which allowed ADM to be responsible for the worldwide production, distribution, and sale of Clarisoy soy protein. The license agreement gives ADM exclusive rights across all geographic regions and all potential product applications to produce, market, and sell the ingredient.
Nanoscale science, engineering, and technology (nanotechnology) is undoubtedly one of the hottest and topical areas of research. Nanotechnology continues to rapidly advance and show great promise for valuable applications throughout the food system. Promising areas of research in the food sector include, but are not limited to: nanocomposites for food packaging, nutrient delivery systems, and nanomaterials that could block certain substances in food, such as harmful cholesterol. In order to fully realize the benefits of nanoscale research in the food industry, it is vital to better understand the basics of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology; applications; and the regulatory and legal landscape. Sunrise session 006 “Nanotechnology and the Food System: Fundamentals, Applications, Education and Outreach, and the Legal and Regulatory Landscape” will provide an overview of fundamental concepts, applications, and the legal and regulatory environment, and will also address issues and challenges relating to consumer acceptance, public outreach initiatives, and educational developments.
Jozef Kokini, Univ. of Illinois, will get the session started by introducing concepts of nanotechnology that offer useful applications in food science. The talk will explain what nanotechnology is and what kinds of characterization and design tools are being used. Applications will include manufacturing and characterization of nanoparticles, the design and utilization of microfluidic and nanofluidic devices, surface science, and imaging tools that have been used so far. The talk will also show examples of useful applications in food science.
Rickey Yada, Univ. of Guelph, will follow up with a discussion on how nanoscience can be adopted in the food industry. A big part of this includes educating the public, expanding nanotechnology programs at universities, and addressing consumers’ issues with nanotechnology.
Finally, Mitchell Cheeseman, Steptoe and Johnson LLP, will examine nanotechnology from the political and regulatory point of view. As with previous emerging technologies, political forces and regulatory environments have forced divergence between the dominant food regulatory forces in the United States and Europe. Cheeseman will discuss the challenges and opportunities that the global legal and regulatory climate will create moving forward.
If nanotechnology is a new subject for you, or if you need an update on the regulatory happenings surrounding this controversial topic, don’t miss out on this session’s great speakers on Tuesday, June 26, from 7:15–8:15 a.m. in room N116.
As space exploration becomes more ambitious, finding better ways to nourish astronauts while they are in space has become imperative. During Session 025, “NASA Food System Challenges: They Are Out of This World,” speakers will discuss the challenges of developing nutritious food for astronauts who have extended missions in space. Not only will NASA missions gradually extend in duration, but they could involve large numbers of people or perhaps include prolonged stays on extra-terrestrial surfaces. Food scientists are exploring innovative food systems that would best meet the needs of each mission.
For example, food scientists along with space mission planners must determine whether providing crew members with prepackaged food provisions would be the best option for a mission to Mars or having the crew grow food plants as part of a biodegenerative food system. A biodegenerative food system, such as fresh-grown crops and bulk packaged ingredients for a mission to Mars, would be a departure from the prepackaged food systems currently consumed during NASA space initiatives. More importantly, would such a food system provide adequate nutrients and be easy to sustain and prepare. In addition, food scientists are adapting high-energy electron-beam irradiation as an advanced form of non-thermal food processing to serve NASA’s space food program. Speakers Michele Perchonok, Suresh Pillai, Jean Hunter, and Maya Cooper will explore these issues and more on Tuesday, June 26, at 10:30 a.m. in room N109.
This accomplishment can be compared to a Royal Flush in poker. (Only there’s very little luck involved—it’s based on hard work and experience.) And although it doesn’t happen too often—after all, it takes a little while to reach this particular feat—when it does occur, it can be considered a most singular, valuable, and winning hand. I’m referring, of course, to those companies celebrating 100th year anniversaries.
These events are particularly exciting—and fun—when they are celebrated at our IFT Food Expo. This year, two companies are having centennial celebrations
Let’s start with Bell Flavors & Fragrances (booth 2101). Since 1912, the company has developed and manufactured flavors for its food and beverage customers. Its diverse lines have been created for a number of application areas, including confections, beverages, savory, dairy, bakery, and pet care.
Bell’s theme for this year’s IFT Food Expo is “Celebrating 100 Years with Flavor.” As part of its anniversary bash, the company is highlighting a number of food and beverage prototypes featuring flavors from its 2012 top 10 list, organized into three categories—sweet, savory, and beverage. From the savory category, for example, come flavors such as White Truffle Oil, Kimchi, Absinthe, Calamansi Lime, Rich Umami, Rose Water, Aged Cayenne Pepper, Satsuma Orange, Mirin, and Romesco. The top sweet flavors category includes Salty Caramel, Red Velvet, Strawberry Jasmine, Cinnamon Chipotle, Eucalyptus, Taro/Sweet Potato, Roasted Coconut, Café de Olla, Lucuma, and White Sesame. And the top beverage flavors consist of Lemonade, Maqui Berry, Aloe Vera, White Tea, Mamey, Cucumber Mint, Chysanthemum, Kumquat, Honey Ginger, and Green Coconut.
Several of Bell’s prototype dishes are focusing on emerging cultures. With consumers having more interest in cuisines throughout the world, these menu items are becoming more mainstream. Korean cuisines are predicted to make a huge hit in the market with Cajun and Greek following close behind. Attendees can sample a variety of dishes that represent these emerging cultures.
Celebration is also the theme at the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (booth 2438), which is marking the centennial of the highbush blueberry’s 100th birthday. A century ago, USDA botanist Frederick Coville and collaborator Elizabeth White began breeding the best and most promising blueberry plants and produced an entirely new variety—the highbush blueberry, which provides a sweet, fruity, burst-in-the-mouth flavor and bright, bold possibilities for innovative product development.
As part of its celebration, U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council is also honoring the birth of Julia Child on August 15, 1912. For Julia Child, the emergence of oven-warm blueberry muffins was reason for a late-night champagne celebration. Julia was the first “star” chef, and her efforts helped spawn the appearance of the celebrity chef, which has become so common on television and the book circuit.
Today, blueberries are an important ingredient in many recipes—both sweet and savory. They can form flavor combinations with spices, botanicals, floral flavors, and citrus and herbaceous products, and they can complement and enhance as well as balance flavors. Their sweetness adds excitement to the smoky qualities of sauces and salsas. With the birthdays of the highbush blueberry and Julia Child, U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council is truly honoring two American originals.
Although this company is not celebrating its 100th anniversary, it has reached the halfway point and should be recognized. German/Finnish titanium dioxide manufacturer Sachtleben (booth 2648), celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The company started the production of titanium dioxide in Finland in 1961 and in Germany in 1962. Experts from the company will explain how to incorporate this white colorant into several food products and how to improve coloration and clouding properties. In addition to its international purity and quality standards, all Sachtleben products are kosher and halal certified.
Happy anniversaries to all!
Want to spend a fast-paced 45 minutes expanding your horizons and gaining new insights? If so, you’ll definitely want to set aside time in your schedule for the Beacon Lectures, which take place from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, and Wednesday, June 27, in Room N101 of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Interestingly, both of this year’s speakers will bring a health and wellness perspective to their respective presentations. Both are medical doctors who have high level food industry experience.
Tuesday’s lecturer, Mehmood Khan, M.D., Chief Executive Officer, Global Nutrition Group, and Chief Scientific Officer of PepsiCo., will speak on the topic “PepsiCo: Leveraging a Legacy of Taste to Lead Global Food and Beverage Innovation.”
On Wednesday, José M. Saavedra, M.D., Head of Medical and Scientific Affairs, Nestlé Nutrition, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Gastroenterology, and Nutrition, at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, will discuss “Diet and the Epidemics of Today: Opportunities for Change.”
Khan’s lecture will consider the resources and expertise that global food and beverage businesses can leverage in order to provide consumers with access to food that is safe, delicious, affordable, and nutritious. At PepsiCo, Khan has been tasked with an ambitious project: more than doubling sales of the company’s portfolio of nutritious foods and beverages, taking it from the current level of $14 billion to $30 billion by 2020. The Global Nutrition Group he leads works to accelerate product and process innovation for brands including Quaker Oats, Tropicana, Gatorade, Pepsi, and Lay’s. Khan was previously a faculty member at the Mayo Clinic, where he served as Director of the Diabetes, Endocrine, and Nutritional Trials Unit in the division of endocrinology.
Saavedra holds joint appointments to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In his role at Nestlé, he has worked on furthering the development of education and research into nutrition products for infants, children, and adults for broad clinical and medical applications. His current focus is on fostering collaborative efforts between industry, healthcare providers, and academic organizations to develop interventions for the prevention of childhood obesity. His career highlights include creating and developing the Johns Hopkins Children’s Nutrition Center, which he directed for a decade.
The backgrounds that both men bring to the speaker’s podium make them a perfect fit for the role of Beacon Lecturer. The lectures made their debut last year as a vehicle for adding new perspectives to the Annual Meeting with presentations by high-profile individuals capable of imparting cutting-edge, game-changing perspectives on food science and technology. The format for the lectures on both days is a 30-minute presentation followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session.
Corn Products International has changed its name to Ingredion (booth 1211) to better reflect the company’s position as a leading ingredients supplier to a range of industries. The name change is the culmination of a long-term growth strategy that included Corn Products’ acquisition of National Starch in 2010. The U.S. units making the name change in June include Corn Products U.S. and National Starch.
“We are thrilled to face the marketplace with a name that says ‘ingredient solutions,’” said Ilene Gordon, Corn Products’ Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re proud of our legacy in providing consistently high-quality ingredients to our many customers and helping them succeed in new realms with these innovations. And we will continue to build our expertise and ingredient solutions portfolio to help our customers address trends and compete better around the world.”
Many of Ingredion’s latest innovations in sweetness, texture, nutrition, delivery systems, and clean-label ingredients are on display at the IFT Food Expo. The prototype products at the company’s Booth 1211 highlight the diversity of the two companies now unified by one name. Prototypes representing various sectors (beverages, sauces, dairy, and bakery) are made with ingredient solutions from the company’s portfolio. Here are some examples of the prototypes available for sampling.
• Beverages. Mandarin Orange Beverage is a high-oil-loading product that allows beverage manufacturers and flavor houses to produce concentrated, non-weighted emulsions for cost savings. Reduced-Sugar Sangria-Flavored Beverage, uses Q-Naturale®—a natural emulsifier with three to four times the oil load capacity of gum arabic for the highest clarity—and naturally based, clean-tasting Enliten® Reb A stevia for sweetness. Almond Milk is fortified with Aquamin® calcified mineral source, giving the beverage a higher calcium content and making it nutritionally competitive with dairy milk without affecting the taste of the end product. The formulation also contains NutraFlora® prebiotic soluble fiber, which promotes greater calcium absorption that could lead to improved bone health, and provides a good source for fiber claim.
• Sauces. Pourable Salad Dressing is formulated with cold-water-swelling starches that can reduce costly vegetable oil. South African Curry Stir-Fry with beef is made with a functional native starch that has exceptional freeze-thaw stability. Sugar-Reduced Topping for Gluten-Free Pancakes is sweetened with Enliten Reb A stevia. Homecraft® GF 10, co-processed gluten-free flour, gives the pancakes the taste and texture customers expect without the dry, gritty qualities so often found in gluten-free formulations. Coconut Lucuma Fruit Topping for Cheesecake is thickened with Novation® Prima 600 functional native starch. The cheesecake gets its creamy smoothness from Novation Indulge 3340 texture system.
• Dairy. Frozen yogurt, made with a naturally based sweetener is cool and creamy, and yet tangy and tart. Queso Salsa Yogurt Spread for fish tacos is formulated with Greek-style yogurt.
• Bakery. No Sugar Added Yellow Cupcake features Enliten Reb A stevia sweetener, which gives the product a clean taste from a natural source, and Maltisweet®CM40, a crystalline maltitol replacement for corn syrup and sucrose that supplies sucrose-like viscosity and flavor release. High-Fiber, Reduced-Sugar Blueberry Muffin, developed to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and support weight management, incorporates Hi-maize® 260 resistant starch for its dietary fiber and proven health benefits, as well as Enliten Reb A stevia for its sweet taste. Other formulations include Tart Cherry Almond Cereal Bar (a sugar-free, chewy bar made with polyols), a fiber-fortified tortilla made with resistant starch, the gluten-free pancakes, and a cheesecake dessert.
The Ingredion booth demonstrates these prototypes in five kiosks—Nutrition Worth Eating, Value Matter$, Healthy Reduction, Taste, and Natural/Clean Label.
In addition, the company provides a number of technical presentations. For example, a poster, “Impact of Processing Conditions on Stirred Yogurt Texture: Understanding the Role of Starch Functionality and Different Starch Sources,” analyzes the results achieved in a stirred yogurt formulation using three types of starch texturizers under different process parameters. The findings identify optimum process conditions for creating the preferred texture. (Thursday, June 28, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Hall C5)
A poster presentation on “Impact of Functional Native Starch Characteristics on Storage Stability of Formulated Food Products” covers the effect of such factors as starch base, food processing, and formulation on the stability of soups, sauces, and fruit preparations stored under ambient, refrigerated, and frozen conditions. Mechanisms that lead to instability and ways of detecting them are also presented in this poster. (Wednesday, June 27, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Hall C5)
Other presentations include “Healthy Ethnic Foods and Ingredients: A Culinary Perspective” (Tuesday, June 26, 10:35–10:55 a.m., Room N119); “Fiber for Health: Innovation in Nutritional Ingredients” (Tuesday, June 26, 10:55–11:15 a.m., Room N114); “Making Yogurts Even Healthier: Fat and Sugar Reduction” (Tuesday, June 26, 3–5 p.m., Hall C5); “Advances in Carbohydrate Texturizers to Address Texture Challenges with Removing Wheat and Eggs” (Wednesday, June 27, 9:15–9:35 a.m., Room N114); and “Leveraging Sustainability for Your Business Strategies” (Thursday, June 29, 7:30–7:40 a.m., Room N110).
In order to be successful in the competitive food industry, it is necessary to stay on top of the newest advancements in technology and ingredient innovation. Instead of spending days calling your contacts and googling, attend the 2012 IFT Food Expo where 900+ companies will be showcasing innovative ingredients, instruments, equipment and services. And for the second year, IFT has made it easier to the new products and services being introduced at IFT12. Hundreds of new products will be identified with an attention grabbing yellow “What’s New!” logo.
At the Food Expo, “What’s New!” floor stickers will help exhibitors with featured products stand out. Products labeled with the “What’s New!” logo will also be included in the mobile application. In addition, products labeled with the logo will be featured on IFT Live’s homepage and listed within the tabbed section in the printed Program and Exhibit directory available on-site.
Taste the Expo
Attendees state that product tasting/obtaining samples was one of the top three reasons for attending the IFT Food Expo. IFT’s Taste the Expo program was designed to make it easy for you to locate those exhibitors who will be providing samples on the expo floor. You can find the list of products being sampled in the following places:
- The Taste the Expo section in the event mobile application
- In the Taste the Expo tab (Tab D), of the onsite directory
- In the Food Expo flyer available onsite
This year’s IFT Food Expo contains the newest developments in color, including the latest breakthroughs in natural colors. The following solutions and many others will help create a colorful spectrum that should dazzle attendees:
- D.D. Williamson (booth 1551) has developed an improved oil-dispersible caramel color using emulsion technology that offers a 25% increase in color intensity compared to its previous blend version and demonstrates improved solubility in food and beverage systems containing lipids.
- Sensient Technologies (booth 1440) will highlight its Fusion Precise Natural Colors line that features bold colors with improved visual consistency allowing food manufacturers to add vibrant color to food and beverage products.
- Food Ingredient Solutions’ (booth 2575) new line of clear carotene colors will be shown in a full range of yellow to orange.
- GNT USA Inc. (booth 1501) will showcase Exberry—a colorful spectrum of naturally derived food colorants made exclusively from fruits and vegetables in a variety of applications ranging from beverages to confections.
- Naturex (booth 2221) will feature the NAT color range which offers lots of possibilities in color through its VegeBrite and E-Color lines. VegeBrite gives a comprehensive, vibrant palette of shades made exclusively from concentrates of fruits and vegetables. Obtained without selective extraction or isolation, these ingredients perform in a wide range of applications. E-Color is a complete range of color additives extracted and isolated from natural origins to ensure exact color targets are achieved.
Through traditional breeding or advancements from biotechnology, compositional traits within a bean or seed can be enhanced to produce better-for-you oils with improved functionality characteristics. Here are some of the directions that emerging fats and oils—as well as novel oil blends—are taking in a wide range of prototypes:
- Heartland Flax (booth 1851) recently began producing Real Cold Pressed (RCP) Premium Flax Oil, which is an ultra-pure, virgin flax seed oil that demonstrates the potential of flax products in terms of functionality, stability, and long-lasting qualities.
- Pioneer Hi-Bred (booth 1426) will be offering samples of its Plenish high-oleic soybean oil. The oil offers food industry and consumer benefits with improved performance and broader applications than other available edible oils to help meet the need for a soy-based trans fat solution.
- Austrade Inc. (booth 3269) will showcase its raw sunflower lecithin—Giralec SF—which is made without the use of chemical solvents like hexane and reportedly has the same functionality as conventional sunflower lecithin.
- Representatives from SK Food International (booth 1855) will be on hand to discuss the benefits of canola oil, which is low in saturated fat, has zero trans fat, and contains a healthy blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
- Technology Crops International (booth 3854) will introduce a plant-based source of omega-3 stearidonic acid called Ahiflower oil. It contains 20% stearidonic acid, as well as other fatty acids, including 5.3% gamma-linolenic acid, 38.8% alpha-linolenic acid, and 11.2% linoleic acid.
Savory foods are always popular on the Food Expo floor, and this year will be no different. However, as the push for lowering sodium in formulations continues, you will find a plethora of new ingredients and technologies that help lower sodium in food. Here are just a few:
- Kudos Blends (booth 2381) showcases its potassium bicarbonate—a patented alternative to sodium bicarbonate—which maintains all the functional qualities of sodium bicarbonate without the sodium content.
- Balchem Corp.’s (booth 2755) C-Salt choline chloride can be used as a 1:1 “drop-in” replacement for salt, allowing reduction in sodium chloride of up to 50%, without imparting undesirable flavor or otherwise complicating food processing operations.
- OneGrain technology from AkzoNobel Salt Specialties (booth 2885) can achieve up to 50% sodium reduction by combining regular salt, mineral salt, and taste-enhancing flavors in single salt grains.
- Biorigin (booth 1735) highlights the use of ingredients from the Bionis and Bioenhance lines, which allow for a 70% reduction in sodium in snack applications. The Bionis line of yeast extracts provides body, mouthfeel, and umami taste and the Bioenhance line of naturally derived taste enhancers will help improve the salty taste in sodium-reduced products without the addition of salt.
- The Scoular Co.’s (booth 1807) SmartSalt ingredient is formulated with a co-crystallized triple mineral salt—magnesal—which the company reports is primarily a form of magnesium chloride that has a clean flavor profile and reduced hygroscopicity. It is said to provide 100% salt taste with up to 60% less sodium in a number of applications.
- Spicetec’s (booth 2401) newly patented Micron Salt ingredient is a blend of ultra-small crystals made by micropulverizing salt to a patented particle size, making it have three times more surface area per volume than salt.
- Visit Morton Salt’s (booth 2559) Salt Inspiration Station where you can learn more about the company’s specialty products, and experience for yourself different salt particles and their functionality across product categories. In addition, Morton Salt will introduce the newest addition to its line of sodium-reduction solutions—Fine KaliSel Potassium Chloride (KCI).
Is your company a leader in its field but may not always get the credit it deserves? And are you exhibiting at the 2012 IFT Food Expo in Las Vegas, Nev., June 26–28? If you answered yes to both questions, then gain recognition for your ingenuity and achievements by entering the 2012 IFT Food Expo Innovation awards. The deadline of April 15 is fast approaching so enter today.
The product, technology, ingredient, instrumentation, equipment, or service must have been commercially introduced since Jan. 1, 2011. In addition, new applications of existing products/services that were commercially introduced since Jan. 1, 2011 also are eligible. There is no entry fee, and companies may submit more than one entry. Qualifying entries will be reviewed by an independent, expert panel of judges.
Some guidelines for submitting:
- All entry materials must be in English.
- All entries must be submitted online.
- All entry descriptions must be 500 words or less.
- Once your entry has been submitted, you cannot re-submit the form.
- You may attach up to three supporting documentation, such as brochures, by using the “Attach File” option located at the top of the online form.
Winning entries will be announced and awarded prior to the opening of the exhibit floor at the 2012 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Las Vegas. This allows winning companies to promote their achievements at their booths, increasing booth traffic and attracting prospective customers. In addition, IFT will further spread the word by publicizing these outstanding innovations in the IFT Live (the electronic show daily), on-site press materials, ift.org website, and in the September Official Post-Show issue of Food Technology magazine.
If you experience technical difficulties or have questions, please e-mail email@example.com.
by Mary Ellen Kuhn
Understanding how consumers respond emotionally to a product is a potentially important addition to the sensory evaluation process, according to speakers in Session 123, “Using Emotions in Research to Deliver Great Products to Market—Part 1.” The session was held Monday morning, June 13, at the 2011 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo.
Assessing consumers’ emotional response to a proposed product reformulation provided important insights—and helped Kraft Foods shift gears on a reformulation initiative, according to Melissa Knorr of the Kraft Foods Department of Consumer Sciences.
“I believe that traditional research tools may no longer be enough to answer all of our research questions,” said Knorr.
Working with her team on a product reformulation, initial sensory testing exercises indicated that the reformulated product was scoring well with consumers in terms of overall liking. But adding emotional profiling to the evaluation process prompted the Kraft consumer sciences team to tweak the reformulation.
“Emotional profiling gave us critical direction,” said Knorr. “Traditional tools were not enough for this situation. … We had to go beyond liking to gain critical insights.”
“Traditional research may be adequate for many situations,” she summarized. “But enhanced research may be necessary if you’ve changed the product in a way that you are putting it into a new sensory space.”
In such cases like this, “you may want to consider adding emotional profiling to your standard research approach,” she said, adding that emotional profiling can help provide a “holistic consumer experience.”
Presenter Silvia King, Distinguished Scientist with McCormick & Co., indicated in the session that she too is finding value in adding emotional evaluation to the sensory evaluation process.
“Emotion testing is still a relatively new approach in sensory and consumer science,” King observed, adding that, “I think we may get to a point where we start identifying best practices.”
Presenter Shane Skillen, Founder and CEO, Hotspex, a company focused on delivering insights into consumer behavior, shared information about the way that emotions affect consumer behavior. “We use our emotions to filter what enters into our consciousness,” he explained, adding that, “our emotions determine what we remember.”
Hotspex has quantified the relationship between rational and emotional impulses for more than 100 companies and their brands. On average, 50% of consumers demonstrate a rational response and 50% an emotional one, but it varies by brand and product.
“Consider emotion when doing your R&D,” Skillen summarized. “Without such a consideration, you’re literally missing half the equation,” he said.
by Kelly Hensel
At the beginning of each year, Mintel releases their flavor and ingredient predictions for the year ahead. Now, six months into 2011, Mintel reviewed the top seven of 12 trends at their New Products & Consumer Insights Pavilion presentation on Sunday, June 12. In addition to reviewing the data on new product introductions, Mintel’s Lynn Dornblaser and David Jago offered 23 products for attendees to taste featuring these trends. Here’s a look at the top seven trends influencing the marketplace now:
1. Seeds: In recent years there has been an emphasis on ancient grains, and as Dornblaser explained, seeds are just the natural outgrowth of this. They are showing up in a variety of categories, but mostly in sauces and seasonings. Among the samples in this category was Natural Imports’ Mitoku Natural Black Sesame Seeds.
2. Coconut: This trend is mainly being driven by coconut water, which up until a few years ago was not seen in the U.S. retail marketplace. Now there has been a lot of development around coconut’s functional health benefits. North America and Asia continue to show the greatest growth, and coconut is starting to appear in a number of applications outside of just pure coconut water. For example, Dean Food’s has introduced International Delight Almond Joy Creamer.
3. Smoked Salt: While salt has been talked about in the media in mostly a negative way—in terms of needing to reduce our intake—there has been a movement by consumers who are interested in different and unique salts. They aren’t showing up in many retail applications yet, but upscale restaurants and chefs are using them more often. An example available in the retail U.S. market is Williams-Sonoma’s Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt.
4. Umami: According to Dornblaser, “consumers are starting to become more aware of the term, and beginning to understand it.” This “fifth taste” is still really only showing up on restaurant menus. Attendees were able to sample Gia’s Taste 5 Umami Paste, which the manufacturer deems as the “ultimate flavor bomb.” Dornblaser recommended adding the paste into a soup, stew, or meatloaf to increase the sense of savory on the palette.
5. Dark Spirits: While dark spirits, such as brandy, whisky, and dark rum, have always been popular in the beverage category, according to Jago, they are seeing much more use in food applications. One of the attendees’ favorite products featured was Stonewall Kitchen’s Roasted Peach Whiskey Sauce.
6. Beets: Popping up more and more for their flavor and functional properties, beets are becoming more popular due to the push for consumers to eat more fruits and veggies. Some of the health benefits of beets include lowering blood pressure and increasing strength and stamina during exercise. One of the featured beet product samples was Pomegreat’s Pomegranate & Beet Juice drink from the United Kingdom.
7. Sweeteners: As an ingredient, the use of high-intensity sweeteners has been growing exponentially in food products. Globally, the top sweeteners being used are acesulfame potassium, aspartame, and sucralose. The non-alcoholic beverage and sugar and gum confectionery market categories account for 55% of all introductions with high-intensity sweeteners. While in terms of overall numbers stevia isn’t as big of a player yet, it is growing considerably in the United States. Some products with stevia choose to focus on its naturalness, while others play up its more functional side. One product with stevia that was available to taste was Zevia’s All Natural Cream Soda, available in the United States.
by Mary Ellen Kuhn
Want a preview of the kinds of offerings tomorrow’s star food product developers may be bringing to the marketplace? The IFT Student Association’s Product Development Competition is a good place to find it.
This prestigious—and demanding—annual competition invites participating teams to conceptualize a new food idea and then work to take the concept through all stages of product development. At this year’s Annual Meeting, finalists from six universities will move into the final stretch of a competitive process that began months ago.
Oral finals will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 12, in Room 388 of the Morial Convention Center. Product posters on display from 8–11 a.m. Monday, June 13, in Hall I-2 will offer a close-up view of the products and the processes involved in developing them.
Here’s a sneak peek at what the six finalist teams will be bringing to the table in New Orleans.
• Cornell University — Vege3 product developers bill their healthful snack offering as “veggies … cubed!” It’s a lightly seasoned, shelf-stable snack made from real vegetable puree and ranch seasoning—presented in cube form.
• Michigan State University — Minute Escape brings together apple pie and ice cream into a single, microwaveable dessert experience. The convenient treat comes in the form of a small pie (5 inches in diameter) complete with crust, filling, crumble topping, and ice cream positioned in the center of the pie in an inverted cup.
• Ohio State University — Omega Munch is formulated to deliver heart-healthy omega-3s without the fish oil aftertaste. This fruit and seed snack combines organic flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, quinoa, and raisins.
• Pennsylvania State University — Par-Fections, “the portable parfait,” features a mixture of granola, fruit leather, berries, and yogurt leather in 2-oz bags. This low-fat, nutrient-packed snack is targeted to busy, health-conscious consumers.
• University of Massachusetts-Amherst — Joe Nuts’ product developers describe their offering as a twist on the classic on-the-go breakfast of coffee and doughnuts. The product is a doughnut hole with a liquid coffee center.
• University of Wisconsin-Madison — Blissful Bites, which team members describe as “elegant yogurt truffles on the go,” feature three layers—a filling made with real yogurt that is dried so that it is shelf-stable surrounded by a yogurt-flavored coating and topped with a blend of oats, flax puffs, and rice crisps.
The Product Development Competition, which is sponsored by Mars Chocolate North America, is an IFT tradition dating back to 1991. Look for an announcement of the competition winners in IFT Live.
by Kelly Hensel
For the third year, the Disney-IFT Student Association (IFTSA) Product Development Competition challenged student teams to address an important wellness need by creating healthy snacks for kids. Participating teams were asked to develop a nutritious, unique, and innovative concept, applicable to a food or beverage item for retail or foodservice, and intended for children under the age of 12.
Finalists from four universities will participate in oral finals on Monday, June 13, from 2–5 p.m. in the Special Events Pavilion, Booth 8153 on the Food Expo floor. Winners of the competition, which is sponsored by Disney Consumer Products, will be announced on Monday, June 13, at the IFTSA Welcome Assembly, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel, Grand Ballroom CD.
One travel grant of $1,000 will be awarded to each of the six finalist teams. The travel grants are provided to help subsidize the expenses incurred for airfare and lodging to compete at the Annual Meeting. The grand prize winners will receive a check for $7,500 and a trophy from Disney. The first place winners will receive a check for $3,500, while the four remaining teams will be given honorary prizes in the form of a check for $1,000.
Here’s a peek at the entries submitted by the six finalists.
- University of Arkansas: Phenomenal Funchies—A hand-held, baked snack filled with dried fruits including berries, mango, and banana.
- University of Nebraska: CarsZone—A microwavable, stuffed, whole-grain calzone filled with a variety of vegetables and cheese.
- Rutgers University: Gitchi Gitchi Goo—A lactose- and gluten-free, whole grain pudding with containing vitamin C, vegetables, and fruits.
- Washington State University: Mater’s Craters—A carrot-based, cracker sandwich made of whole grains, vegetables, and dietary fiber.
- University of Wisconsin, Madison (Graduate): Pixie Dust Fruit Beverage Mix—A combination of raspberry and apple fruit powders in an easy open-and-pour package.
- University of Wisconsin, Madison (Undergraduate): Tangerine Dream—A portable, yogurt-based, carbonated beverage.
Watch for an announcement of the competition winners in IFT Live.
by Donald E. Pszczola
Traditionally, texture has been under-utilized in food product development. Take sauces, for example. Other than formulating to a target viscosity, the deliberate design of texture is nearly always absent, noted Matt Patrick, Vice President of Research and Development for TIC Gums, Booth 7029.
Product developers are handicapped by the lack of an agreed upon language to describe texture. Developers are further challenged by the fact that texture cannot be “added” to a product at the end of the design process. But rather, it must be integrated into the development of a new product from the very beginning. The manner various food ingredients can be used to manipulate texture attributes is not always clear.
“All of this makes the food industry ripe for a new language that describes and makes texture a quantifiable part of the food design process,” emphasized Patrick. TIC Gums has been actively developing a comprehensive texture lexicon for describing texture and evaluating benchmarks for achieving the desired texture in a product. “Customers can use this lexicon as a starting point for their particular texture design projects,” Patrick explained.
The company is also investing in consumer research to demonstrate in quantitative terms the impact that texture design can have on the acceptability and likeability of finished products. “That consumer testing,” noted Patrick, “will be conducted with the results used in texture programs going forward.”
At the company’s booth, various demonstrations allow attendees to use this lexicon—as well as their senses—to discuss texture and their textural needs in product development. These demonstrations include three gels made with different gum systems for manipulation; three teas made with different gum systems with similar viscosities and solids; and three sauces also made with different gum systems with similar viscosities and solids. Attendees are able to participate in these demonstrations, sampling prototypes and becoming involved in texture discussions.
Also, at the booth, TIC will be giving out new literature describing several of its textural solutions. For example, a new brochure, Texture Solutions for Frozen Microwavable Foods, discusses how using gums and stabilizers can help meet challenges in moisture, texture, and stability. Other brochures focus on gum solutions that meet challenges in the production of icing, and the use and benefits of Fastir Xanthan Gum EC which offers a highly dispersible, fast-drying, consistent-quality xanthan gum. This new and improved gum in the Fastir line is making its debut at the IFT Food Expo.
by Kelly Hensel
Need incentive to get up early? How about free coffee and the opportunity for some bonus education? You can have it all at the Sunrise Sessions taking place from 7:15 –8:15 a.m. on Sunday, June 12, and Tuesday, June 14. There will three overview sessions offered each day. Given the popularity of the Sunrise Sessions last year, make sure you arrive early to get a seat..
Sunday’s bonus sessions are as follows (Sunday’s Sunrise coffee break is sponsored by Ajinomoto):
Nanoscale science for food: A primer
Session 6, Sunday, 7:15–8:15 a.m.
Track: Food Processing & Packaging
Nanoscale science, engineering, and technology are rapidly advancing and demonstrating great potential for applications in the food industry. Research is ongoing globally in various application areas, including food processing, food safety, product/ingredient development, and food packaging. The research is geared to generate a large number of new food products that could be in commerce in the near future. This symposium describes the fundamental concepts of science, engineering, and technology at the nanoscale level and discuss potential impacts. The focus is recent developments for applications in the food industry and their benefits to consumers. Also, the symposium provides a perspective of the potential risks and challenges facing nanoscale research.
Product development 101: Project and portfolio management
Session 7, Sunday, 7:15–8:15 a.m.
Track: Product Development & Ingredient Innovations
Product development is a project that should be established the successful formation of a concept. This session provides a tutorial on the elements of developing a project as well as the stages of project management. Speakers will share their knowledge of systematic approaches to portfolio management. The session is designed to benefit entry-level and mid-level product development project managers.
Fundamentals of sustainability for the food industry
Session 8, Sunday, 7:15–8:15 a.m.
Sustainability is a trend that continues to be reflected in the business models of various companies and organizations in the food industry. It is based in three pillars: environment, economy and society. This session teaches the basics of the sustainability movement.
by Kelly Hensel
Keeping your head down while on the Food Expo floor usually only leads to accidents. However, at the 2011 Food Expo you are going to want to make sure you keep an eye out for the yellow What’s New! logo on the floor next to exhibitors’ booths. IFT launched the What’s New! program to help make it easier for you to locate the companies bringing the hottest new products and innovations to the Food Expo.
Hundreds of new products will be identified with the sticker on the floor and you can also find them on IFT’s new mobile app. We also encourage attendees to use the mobile app to vote for what you consider the best new products/services introduced this year. Also, you may have noticed that IFT Live has a nifty new feature area on its homepage highlighting these great innovations. Needless to say, please be careful while you are on the Food Expo floor hunting down the latest and greatest … we don’t want your Expo experience to be marred by a sprained ankle!