2006 Institute of Food Technologists Show

Health and nourishment were the key ingredients at June’s IFT show.

By David Feder and Dave Fusaro

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There was no doubt that “food technology” is now virtually synonymous with “nutrition technology” at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Expo. Even companies focusing on “run of the mill” basic ingredients at the June show were not missing out on pushing the health angles inherent or adaptable to their product lines.

The 66th annual show attracted 16,111 attendees and 935 exhibiting companies, which took up 211,000 sq. ft. of floor space at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

With the FDA having approved a qualified heart-health claim for barley’s soluble fiber, Sustagrain barley was center stage at ConAgra Food Ingredients (www.conagrafoodingredients.com), Omaha, Neb. It’s a proprietary, waxy, hull-less barley variety that’s high in fiber (accounting for more than half of its carbohydrates) and low in starch. It’s available in flour, thick and quick-cooking flakes and steel-cut and whole kernels.

Cargill fiber-rich chocolates
In its booth at IFT, Cargill offered deliciously decadent chocolates, which also contained 4g fiber per serving.

Wheatex, a highly functional, textured wheat protein, was featured by MGP Ingredients (www.mgpingredients.com), Atchison, Kan. The company claims the ingredient is superior to soy in building meat analogs or extending meats because of its neutral flavor profile and textural properties. It’s available in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors that can replicate meat, fish or poultry.

National Starch Food Innovation (www.foodinnovation.com), Bridgewater, N.J., highlighted two recent extensions of its Hi-maize line of resistant starch products. Hi-maize Corn Flour 150 and Hi-maize Corn Meal 150, introduced earlier this year, provide functional and nutritional benefits to food formulators while meeting guidelines for wholesome and natural labeling. The products have primary applications in extruded, puffed and flaked cereals, batters and breadings, and specialty baked products. In addition to increasing the dietary fiber content of foods, they provide a high degree of functionality.

Grain Processing Corp. (www.grainprocessing.com), Muscatine, Iowa, introduced TruBran corn bran, a new dietary fiber that can help processors get a good or excellent source of dietary fiber claim. It was showcased in two bakery applications. Also featured in the company’s booth were meat and sauce prototypes that highlighted GPC’s Inscosity and Pure-Gel stabilized starches and their respective moisture-managing properties.

One hot trend in ingredients for health continues: making fat-soluble compounds water-soluble and vice versa. Microencapsulation is the usual solution, although Kaneka Nutrients (www.kanekaq10.com), Pasadena, Texas, presented its emulsified powdered CoQ-10 product, which allows the normally fat-soluble compound to enjoy a wider variety of applications.

Fiber is holding its own in the trend wars and was perhaps best demonstrated in the massive display by Cargill Inc. (www.cargill.com), Minneapolis. Snaking through the genuinely tasty samples of fiber-enhanced savory snacks, chocolates and even frozen treats, one had to acknowledge how far fiber enhancement has advanced. Think back to the first-generation fiber-filled products that served better as wallboard than as food. Those chocolates, for example, were positively decadent -- and somehow held 4g fiber per serving.

FiberAid is the newest nutritional product from Lonza Inc. (www.lonza.com), Allendale, N.J. Created from wood (the larch tree), water and steam, it’s an all-natural, soluble, prebiotic dietary fiber, a polysaccharide that has GRAS status. It can be consumed in its standard form or combined with other products to increase functionality.

Weight control ingredients are top of mind at InterHealth (www.interhealthusa.com), Benicia, Calif. SuperCitrimax is a hydroxycitric acid extracted from the fruit of Garcinia cambogia (India’s brindleberry tree), which has been shown to reduce appetite, inhibit fat production and possibly to burn fat. ChromeMate is an oxygen-coordinated, niacin-bound chromium complex that controls blood sugar and cholesterol levels. And OptiBerry is a multiple-berry extract containing standardized levels of anthocyanins, which provide whole-body antioxidant protection.

DSM (www.nutraaccess.com), Parsippany, N.J., was out in force with a healthy display of healthy ingredients and colors. As a companion to its popular antioxidant Teavigo EGCG tea extract and Hidrox olive extract, the company presented its player in the rapidly developing CoQ-10 field: All-Q.

Watson Inc.'s fortified muffins
Besides launching its Clear-E vitamin E, Watson Inc. fed visitors "cardiomuffins," which were fortified with a custom premix of L-Arginine, vitamins A, C and E, oleic acids, omega-3 fatty acids and calcium.
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