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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Watson Inc. (www.watson-inc.com), West Haven, Conn., offered Clear-E water-dispersible vitamin E. Demonstrated in bottled water, the certified-kosher product does not foam, cloud or ring in concentrations up to 35 percent of daily values. Even at the full 100 percent DV, there is only the slightest clouding that, had it not been pointed out, would likely have gone unnoticed.

Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods (www.landolakesfid.com), St. Paul, Minn., was pumping out a new Performance Butter Blend. A mixture of butter, soy and canola oils, it was trans fat-free and was pumpable even at refrigerated temperatures. The product provides buttery flavor and tenderness to baked goods and flavor and mouthfeel to sauces. Butter appears first on the ingredient deck, and it substitutes 1:1 for butter in most applications, although custom formulations are available for specific performance or labeling requirements.

“Solution sets”

More and more ingredient suppliers, especially the large ones coming from commodity backgrounds, are offering semi-customized “solution sets” to customers. Rather than hawking ”soy” or “enzymes,” they bundle the broadness of their portfolios with the expertise of their own R&D staffs to offer multi-purpose solutions for “savory snacks” or “ice cream and dairy.”

ADM (www.admworld.com), Decatur, Ill., introduced the Aspire Food System, designed to help snack food manufacturers “bridge the gap between indulgence and healthful eating.” This solution set includes isolated soy and whey proteins, extruded protein pieces, Fibersol dietary fiber, edible bean powders, vitamin and mineral enrichment blends, whole wheat flour, CardioAid phytosterols, crystalline fructose, low-trans shortening and soy lecithin.

After working with customers, ADM product developers could develop formulations for snack pieces, cookies, trail mixes, crackers, wagers and nutrition and energy bars. As an example at the show, snack bars were made with ADM soy protein, navy bean powder, CardioAid phytosterols and even peanuts from the company’s Golden Peanut subsidiary.

London-based Tate & Lyle (www.tateandlyle.com) dove into solution sets at last year’s IFT under the general names of Rebalance, Create, Optimize and Enrich. At this year’s show, the company displayed solution sets for beverages, snacks and bakery, dairy and dressings. For beverages, Sweetener Rebalance M60 is co-processed maltodextrin and Splenda sucralose in powder form, 60 times sweeter than sucrose and carrying 5 calories per 8-oz. serving. Rebalance LF3 contains fructose and sucralose, not only sweetening but improving the mouthfeel of carbonated beverages and still drinks. A low-sugar iced tea with Rebalance LF3, sampled at the booth, had 15 calories per 8-oz. serving.

GTC Nutrition (www.gtcnutrition.com), Golden, Colo., launched its “Nutrition Solutions for Life” campaign, also geared toward custom ingredient solutions but with a focus on functional ingredients and including a strong dose of consumer education. The current foci are on bone, digestive, glycemic, heart and immune health. As an example, GTC scooped ice cream sundaes with toppings that were fortified: chocolate sauce with CalciLife; caramel sauce and fruit clusters with NutraFlora; cookie crumbles with NutraFlora and NatuReal; and cake bites with NatuReal.

Wixon Inc. (www.wixon.com), St. Francis, Wis., exhibited its Mag-nifique line of specialty flavor technologies for addressing flavor problems for a wide range of applications. Special mention was made of the fact the line’s ingredients are “label friendly as natural flavors."

Naturally burgeoning

“Natural” was an operative word throughout the exhibits. Few were the ingredients that were not touted as being organic-certified or “naturally derived.”

wraps made with omega-3 from Ocean Nutrition
Ocean Nutrition's tasty demos of wraps, petit fours and juices proved there's nothing fishy about the company's omega-3 oils.

Along this line were the scores of offerings of nutraceuticals from botanical extracts, such as rosemary antioxidants from Vitiva (www.vitiva.si), Markovci, Slovenia.

One source in the botanical extract field has ripened amazingly fast is grapes. The number of companies providing extracts of grape skins, grape seeds or whole grapes must have been double that of last year. Phytochemicals from grapes are especially interesting because they pack a lot of punch. Resveratrol, the best known and best studied grape compound, promises to be the hot phyto trend of the coming years. Research is showing it has one of the widest health-benefit profiles known. It has shown multiple anticancer, anti-heart disease and pro-immune benefits.

Companies to watch in this field include San Joaquin Valley Concentrates (www.sjvconc.com), Fresno, Calif., and one of the pioneers, Polyphenolics (www.polyphenolics.com), Sun Valley, Ariz.

One company banking on the public interest in natural extractions is Food Ingredient Solutions LLC (www.foodcolor.com), Mundelein, Ill. Talk about breaking the color barrier. CEO Winston Boyd demonstrated the company’s successful solution to the difficulty in replacing artificial reds – a hot-button issue with the new labeling requirements for insect-derived colorants. The company provides a full line of nature-derived true analogs to artificial colorings.

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