As we said in our August issue, the Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo, held in Chicago July 13–16, had the second-highest attendance in the show's 73-year history. More than 23,500 attended this year, behind only the 24,000 at the 1999 event.
- Hubert Deluyker, scientific adviser to the European Food Safety Authority, on how the agency is changing that continent's food safety landscape.
- David Robson, head of energy and environmental foresight with the Scottish government, on "Preparing for the unexpected."
- Mark Manary, professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the director of Global Harvest Alliance, on "How changes in food aid saved millions of lives."
The association's Innovation Awards were won by Glanbia Nutritionals, Nizo Food Research, PerkinElmer and Tate & Lyle.
Glanbia won for its Optisol 3000 egg replacement system, which is comprised of whey protein concentrate and milled flaxseed. Nizo for its new sensory technology, acoustic tribology, which records and analyzes the sound of rubbing of the tongue against the food, and can be used to predict the sensory effects of food innovations. PerkinElmer was cited for the AxION DSA/TOF mass spectrometry system, which eliminates time-consuming sample preparation steps and front-end gas or liquid chromatography. And Tate & Lyle was honored for its Soda-Lo salt microspheres, which can reduce salt content by 25-50 percent.
This year's IFT also was a time for a number of companies to change names or otherwise change their images.
The large Dutch ingredients company CSM NV for a year was shopping its bakery supplies unit, what it was perhaps best known for. That process ended in March with the unit's sale to Rhone Capital LLC for 1.05 billion euros ($1.36 billion), but started another process: the renaming of the holding company.
CSM was left with the Purac and Caravan Ingredients units. Just before IFT, those businesses announced a corporate renaming. While those two companies maintained separate booths at the show, Corbion is the new name for both units going forward, the common thread being "bio-based ingredients."
"Corbion has a wealth of expertise in the world of biobased food ingredients and biochemicals, combined with a rich history of service and innovations spanning more than a century," said the parent firm. Corbion is strong in the bakery and meat sectors. On the biochemicals side, the company focuses on fermentation-derived, sustainably sourced biochemicals, some of which carry over into food market. The parent already has struck partnerships with BASF and Cargill.
Caravan's portfolio included vitamin and mineral premixes, functional ingredients, emulsifiers, flour fortification and bread mixes. Purac's ingredients focused on food safety, natural preservation, shelf-life extension, sodium reduction and flavor enhancement.
A new business was launched at the show. DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products Company LLC, a joint venture between the two named companies, revealed its first ingredient for the U.S. food market. Zemea USP propanediol is a natural solvent and humectant that can be used to replace petroleum-based propylene glycol or glycerin in a variety of food and beverage products.
Another joint venture was expected but failed to launch. Solazyme and Roquette were planning a joint venture, Solazyme Roquette Nutritionals, to manufacture microalgae-based food ingredients. They even had names for the first high-lipid and high-protein products: Almagine HL and Almagine HP, respectively. With the dissolution of the joint venture, just before the IFT show, Almagine is no more; however, both companies appear to be working on similar algae-based products.
There were several companies with smaller changes of identity.
Edlong, long known as Edlong Dairy Flavors, rebrands itself Edlong Dairy Technologies, which also meant a stylish new logo. "Our new name positions us for growth in food ingredient technologies but remains true to our core competency in dairy," said Laurette Rondenet-Smith, president/CEO. Meaning the company plans to stay based in dairy but not limited to flavors. Edlong has expertise in fermentation and enzyme-derived ingredients, which could take it farther afield. And yes, Virginia, there was an Ed Long, a flavorist who started the company back in 1914 – which means Edlong will be 100 years old soon.
ICL Food Specialties is a slightly new name, combing longtime IFT exhibitor ICL Performance Products with BK Giulini, which had a stronger European presence. Both divisions were owned by ICL Corp. but had separate sales forces. ICL Performance Products has roots in phosphates and low-sodium formulations, especially for bakery; BK Giulini in natural shelf life extension, especially for meat and dairy applications.
Roha, an India-based colorants company, reorganized itself and other companies owned by parent JJT Group in conjunction with a bigger push for market share in North America. For the food industry, especially in North America, divisions include Idacol synthetic colors; Natracol "colors from nature"; Futurals, specializing in colors from fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers and algae; Essenzia feed additives; and Simpsons industrial dyes and pigments. Roha USA LLC is in St. Louis.
And then there's one looking for a new identity. U.S. Niutang Chemical was perhaps a less than food-friendly name for the American beachhead of this Chinese sweetener company. Now, the company plans an expansion into vitamins, amino acids and perhaps other ingredients – it's already making vitamin B and folic acid. "We're evolving into a life sciences company," as Nancy Hughes, vice president of sales and marketing, puts it.
And here are some exhibitor highlights from the show.
Ingredion Inc. introduced its line of Dulcent sweeteners, including aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame potassium (ace-K). Part of Ingredion’s Dial-In Sweetness Technology, their primary applications are in beverages, confectionery, dairy – especially yogurt and ice cream – and bakery.
Milne Fruit Products introduced new fruit and vegetable powders from carrot, corn, peas, aronia, apricot, peach and watermelon. Each has an interesting and legitimate nutritional profile, and Milne's low-heat, natural drying process preserves the nutrient levels and colors. Applications include breakfast cereals, baked goods, snack chips, smoothies, spreads, juices and more.
Nutrinova, the food ingredient business of Celanese, introduced the first ingredient in what will become a new sweetening system line called Qorus. Qorus Dolce combines acesulfame potassium (or ace-k), sucralose and a blend of proprietary ingredients, which can appear on a label as "natural flavors." That proprietary ingredient blend is a flavor enhancer, which precludes the need for product developers to mask certain off-notes taken for granted in other non-nutritive sweetening systems, according to the company. Qorus Dolce was the sweetening system in skinny cocktails and other drinks at the booth, and indeed this first product is aimed at the beverage industry, including carbonated soft drinks, flavored milk and yogurt. More sweetening blends are expected in the Qorus portfolio.
Lycored has been on a campaign to educate processors and consumers that much of the red color used in foods and beverages is derived from beetles (cochineal extract). Recent ads have four of the little critters crossing a street "Abbey Road"-like with the caption "Meet the Beetles." So while plugging its hilarious Youtube video "Cooking With Carmine,",Lycored also invited booth visitors to stick their hand in the "ick box" that supposedly contained bugs – but really was just beads.
Add-Here CSA, as the name implies, is a new gum-based adherent from TIC Gums. It improves particulate retention, whether you're sticking salt particles on pretzels or poppy seeds on bagels. The additional bonding strength helps particulates to stand up to the rigors of processing and shipping and, as a result, it reduces ingredient costs.
At last year's IFT show, Bunge introduced its Saturate Sparing technology. Still front and center in this year's display, the solution is based on two Bunge-developed, patented technologies: “fiber structuring” and “mis-match hard stock technology.” Through the combination, Bunge has developed highly functional shortenings that have zero trans fat and greater levels of heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated levels over traditional shortenings. With most applications in the bakery category, Bunge hinted at a second-generation version to be unveiled at the International Baking Industry Exposition Oct. 6-9.
Sensient Colors introduced Avalanche, what it claims is the first titanium-free opacity agent. It delivers the only clean-label alternative to titanium dioxide white powder that does not require California Proposition 65 labeling.
Blue California talked of its Sol Q10 Blue, a water-soluble coenzyme Q-10, suitable for functional beverages; and L-Tea Active, its natural, 98 percent pure L-theanine extract, which is said to reduce stress and anxiety and at the same time enhance concentration and productivity.
In addition to promoting its BactoCease liquid propionic acid-based antimicrobial, Kemin was inviting people to the August dedication of its Molecular Advancement Center (MAC), a new, $16.7 million R&D center at corporate headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. The 46,300-sq.-ft. facility includes two general labs, six shared labs, three pilot labs, a sensory lab, a test kitchen and a personal care application research lab. It's already occupied by 60 scientists.
Grain Millers' FiberMaxx line of ingredients are combinations of soluble and insoluble fibers, providing the benefits of both. In addition to increasing the fiber content of finished products, they also help with glycemic management and formula costs. Ancient Grain Blends also were displayed, drawing upon grains amaranth, buckwheat, chia, millet, quinoa, sorghum, teff, einkorn, emmer, spelt and kamut.
Almond Board of California revealed new consumer research that showed North American consumers' views of almond are growing more positive across a variety of attributes. And almonds are particularly well suited for most growing eating occasion, snacking.
Ganeden Biotech continues to find new applications for its process-resistant probiotic BC30. Pursuing a strategy of cobranding its ingredient in finished food products, the bacterium appeared in PreGel Happy Yo Super Sprint (a frozen yogurt premix), Tapout All-in-One (a meal replacement), Six Star Instant Protein Smoothie and Fizz Sparkling Probiotic Lemonade, among others.
NFE-PY sounds clinical but the Natural Flavor Enhancer with Powdered Yeast extract (now you get it?) imparted that umami punch in everything from Italian beef sandwiches to, believe it or not, caramel sauce in the booth of Kikkoman Sales USA. The foundation is the company's fabled soy sauce, but processed to create a neutral but savory taste booster, surprisingly low in sodium and with myriad applications.
Gum Technology was passing out gluten-free brownies made with GumPlete SXCT-GF-707, a mixture of xanthan, carageenan and tara. The "complete stabilizing system," plus tapioca flour, rice flour and citrus fiber, mimicked the texture of a full-gluten brownie.
"Smart energy management" is a topic we usually deal with in our Plant Operations section. But to Beneo it means the company's specialty carbohydrates and prebiotic fibers. Studies show Palatinose, its brand of isomaltulose, a low-glycemic sweetener derived from sugar beets, helps the body burn fat more effectively as an energy source when under physical activity. That's why Palatinose is the key ingredient in Nth Degree's recent eponymous energy/performance drink. Prebiotic fiber Orafti, a chicory inulin-type fructan, helps curb appetite and assist in weight management.
P.L. Thomas is representing a number of novel new ingredients. Zembrin is an "experiential" ingredient said to relieve stress, elevate mood, enhance cognition and promote calm. It was awarded the "first Export and Bioprospecting permit by the South African government," which is where the botanical comes from. Wellmune WGP is manufactured by Biothera and while also having some stress-related health claims focuses on improving immune systems.
While it's mostly about ingredients, the IFT Show has a significant equipment vendor presence. Food safety and product consistency get their due in equipment improvements from Buhler Aeroglide. Uniform heat and airflow distribution for better product consistency is provided with a dual plenum design that eliminates the need for diffuser plates in Aeroglide's roaster for nuts, seeds and other foods. Both the roaster and the AeroDry SD+ dryer have been enhanced with sanitary features for faster cleaning, such as full welds and pitched surfaces to eliminate water pooling.
Viterra Canola Processing was displaying its verraUltra and verraUltra9 oils. Both are natural, certified non-GMO canola oils with improved formulating characteristics. Ultra9 has omega-9 oils, based on Dow AgroSciences seed, with high oleic content (70 percent minimum) but low linolenic (3 percent maximum).
Stevia supplier Sweet Green Fields spent three years tinkering with composition ratios to come up with Optesse HPX, a proprietary composition of purified steviol glycosides. The company says its ideal for formulations with more complex or acidic flavor systems when developing a zero- or mid-calorie product.
Previously, about all you could do with dehydrated chicken powder was to use it in a stock or a sachet for ramen noodles. But with new interest in protein and natural foods, IDF (International Dehydrated Foods Inc.) is marketing versions to makers of performance foods, snacks and ready meals, including pasta. At the show, IDF was sampling a high-protein pasta and smoothie made with the company's High-Protein Chicken Powder.
In addition to promoting its Exberry line of color additives from natural sources, GNT USA revealed it petitioned the FDA for approval for a blue colorant made from spirulina.
Wild Flavors for a few years has been promoting its H.I.T.S. (health ingredient technology and solutions) approach. The company this year added "RPM Factors for Sports Nutrition, "a clinically tested, cost-competitive milk peptide [a bioactive whey protein concentrate] that supports sports nutrition and is easily incorporated into food and beverage products with minimal impact on taste, color and texture."
With perhaps the broadest ingredient portfolio, Cargill Inc. applied products such as its Horizon Milling WheatSelect flour, Clear Valley shortening, Safar modified food starch, Truvia stevia sweetener, Oliggo-Fiber chicory root fiber and Wilbur chocolate to a whole-grain chocolate chip cookie that meets the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative standards for grain items, with 10g of whole grains and a "good source" of fiber claim. Seven other tasty products were similarly nutritiously constructed.
ConAgra Mills continues to evolve its Ultragrain product base. The whole wheat flour with the taste, texture and appearance of regular flour already evolved into Ulgtragrain High Performance (with better gluten strength, absorption and mixing tolerance) and Ultragrain Pasta. This year Ultragrain Pasta Plus debuted, a protein-enriched line somewhat targeted to school lunch needs, enabling an "excellent source" claim for fiber and "good source" claim for protein.
Minsa is a Mexican company that made its IFT debut last year. Its specialty is a wide variety of corn flour products, some of which can be certified as organic or non-GMO. Corn sources can be white, blue, red or yellow maize, and solutions can be customized for flat breads, bakery, cereals, snacks and pastas.
Spicetec Flavors & Seasonings handed out two fellow ConAgra products: Slim Jim Dare Kinda Hot Chili Pepper (featuring SFS' chili pepper seasoning blend) and Marie Callender's Easy Side Parmesan (that uses SFS' parmesan seasoning blend, beef flavor and sour cream flavor).
Penford Food Ingredients Co., a leading potato-starch processor, has expanded its enzymatic technology to include PenNovo 03, a line of emulsifying starches that serve as caseinate replacements, and PenNovo MD, a line of non-GMO maltodextrins that build solids and provide minimal viscosity while serving as flavor carriers in foods.
Is that vanilla extract really from Madagascar? Raw material analysis moves from lab-based testing to raw materials receiving with PerkinElmer's Spectrum Two, a portable instrument for spectroscopic analysis using Fourier transform infrared. Results of chemical analyses are generated in minutes by laymen with a simple red-green readout. The instrument's software stores material data for long-time monitoring. With its advanced power management system, Spectrum Two requires 76 percent less energy and is 79 percent lighter at 26.4 lbs. than the PE Rx spectrometer. Milk powder analysis will be possible in September.
Forget those bittersweet memories of how stevia used to taste. Reb-B steviol glycosides, separation and purification of elements in the stevia leaf can now be characterized, as the software segment might say, as Stevia 3.0, according to PureCircle. The Malaysia-based supplier of high-intensity sweeteners describes 3.0 as a portfolio of sweeteners, including sugar blends and rebaudioside-A, for a variety of applications. U.S. consumer acceptance has topped 60 percent, the firm claims, and PureCircle is working directly with some of the largest beverage and food companies to develop successful formulations.
With price spikes looming and supply shortages possible, two-fold pure vanilla extract may become a luxury many food manufacturers will no longer be able to afford. Instead of switching to vanilla flavors, product formulators can blunt cost increases with Vanilla Bold from Synergy, a single-fold extract that packs the flavor punch of two-fold. The company credits new extraction and handling methods that pull more of the flavor out of the vanilla beans without reliance on chemical extraction.
Preconfigured programs for business processes, training materials and other ERP elements will help food & beverage companies hit the ground running faster and for less cost, thanks to Infor's Implementation Accelerator. It is the latest enhancement to M3, the ERP package Infor acquired in the purchase of Lawson Software in 2011. One of the package's hallmarks is eTrace, a track & trace solution.
Six of the most popular ionization and deionization resins for food filtration are assembled in a kit containing 250 ml samples from Dow Water & Process. The ion exchange resins can add or subtract various elements from a fluid stream, and the kit is intended to kick-start process changes and speed up the transition from R&D to commercial use.
Whether an undesirable off-flavor needs to be masked or a pleasing taste needs to be highlighted, Sensient Flavors has a portfolio of extraction and filtration technologies that can deliver via chromatography and without solvents. The firm provides value-added flavor systems for savory snacks, beverages and sweets. A current R&D focus involves extracting the sweet taste of honey and molasses while leaving behind the calories.
High-fiber foods and gluten substitutes are booming, with snacks and cereals keying growth to $28 billion in fiber foods by 2018. A label-friendly way to serve those trends is with whole grain corn flour in lieu of white patent flour – provided by Didion Milling.