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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LycoRed (www.lycored.com), Fairfield, N.J., already well known for its natural lycopene, touted its new, Tomat-O-Red brand of healthy red colorant from tomatoes in a variety of products, including cereals, condiments and vegetarian meat analogs.

Bookending the bright natural color solutions was D.D. Williamson’s (www.ddwilliamson.com), Louisville, Ky., display of certified organic caramel colors. Of course, the company is also expanding its organic natural colorants for foods on the brighter end of the spectrum.

Ocean Nutrition Canada (www.ocean-nutrition.com), Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, succeeded in taking the fishyness out of its omega-3 oils. As proof, it offered at its booth desserts and beverages laced with high concentrations of the nutrient. The petit fours were as delectable as any in a four-star restaurant, and the omega-enhanced orange juice would pass any blind taste test with panache.

One of the favorite booths near show-closing time belonged to the United Soybean Board (www.talksoy.com), Seattle. At cocktail hour each day, the board served up cold beer. And what’s beer without salty snacks? USB had that covered, serving kettle chips fried in low-linolenic soybean oil and containing 0g trans fat. When not talking shop over drinks, USB technical experts were discussing how to formulate food products with whole soy, soy protein, soy flour and soy oil.

Kraft Food Ingredients (www.kraftfoodingredients.com), Memphis, Tenn., celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Grill Flavor. “What began 20 years as a topical product developed solely for the meat industry has evolved into a savory component for enhancing the aroma and flavor profiles of marinades, sauces, dressings, soups, appetizers, side dishes, snacks and entrees,” read the promotional material. The more than 50 varieties of Grill Flavor reproduce the unique flavor of grilling, delivering the char, ashy and smoky notes associated with cooking over charcoal. Several were demonstrated at the show.

KFI also introduced a new senior executive chef. Michael Morrison, who’s been with the company since October, is a 1991 graduate of Johnson & Wales University College of Culinary Arts and a member of the Research Chefs Assn. As a food consultant in New Jersey, he founded Chef Relief on Sept. 11, 2001. After providing hot meals to the crews working at Ground Zero in New York, Morrison and his team of chefs has helped feed rescuers, volunteers and families affected by disasters across the country, including in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina last year.

There are 41 million documented Hispanics in the U.S. (14 percent of the population), and by 2050, the Hispanic population will exceed 100 million (24.4 percent). Virginia Dare (www.virginiadare.com), Brooklyn, N.Y., shared the results of research that Hispanic consumers are not monolithic, and it’s essential to understand taste preferences of Hispanics from different countries and regions. Mangos aren’t monolithic either, as evidenced by the different nuances of Manila, Indian and Mexican mango beverages in the Virginia Dare booth.

Digital Editor's Note: To read "Special Report: Warm weather delights," Diane Toops' companion article on the tasty prototype food products proffered by IFT exhibitors, click here.

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