Prototype Products at the 2006 IFT Show

IFT’s prototype products sizzle with innovation.

By Diane Toops, News & Trends Editor

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Healthy, wealthy and wise could have been the theme for the 2006 Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo held in July in humid Orlando, Fla. Healthier ingredient prototypes proliferated this year, a wealth of information was exchanged and wise food processors were able to sample new ingredients and flavors, check out new equipment technologies and get inspiration for new products.

Fabulous prototypes, developed by ingredient manufacturers, were in abundance. Even thought they come from industry suppliers, not food processors, I think many of them are ready for supermarket shelves and foodservice venues just as they are. Some of the most interesting and innovative are listed below. Our apologies to those we couldn’t include because of space.

Addressing health issues

ConAgra Food Ingredients (, Omaha, Neb., served up Chocolate Chipotle Smoothie (containing 9g of whole grain), prepared with ConAgra Mills’ Sustagrain barley flour and Spicetec chipotle seasoning, which gives it a burst of flavor. With dietary fiber making up more than 50 percent of its carbohydrates — and 40 percent of that in the form of cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber — Sustagrain can be a potent tool for heart health. In fact, the FDA recently approved a heart-health claim for soluble fiber from barley foods.


Kerry Ingredients Super Fruit Bar
Kerry Ingredients' SuperFruit Bar Açai featured high protein and fiber as well as açai puree and pomegranate powder.

DSM Food Specialties USA Inc. (, Eagleville, Pa., unlocks umami, the fifth taste sensation, with the introduction of Maxarome Select Yeast Extract (Kosher, Halal certified and allergen-free), which allows up to a 50 percent salt reduction with full and longer flavor delivery in snacks, marinades, dressings, dips, cheese sauces and prepared foods. During a press conference, we tasted Low-Salt Potato Chips, with a clean, well-rounded taste, super mouthfeel and flavor impact.

Almond Board of California (, Modesto, Calif., showcased the grand prize-winner in its fourth annual Almond Innovations Contest, open to food science and culinology programs in the U.S. The winning team from Washington State University – Shantanu Agarwal, Josie Landon, Esteban Mejia-Meza, Melissa Sanborn and Pei Shan Kuo – created Almond Dingers (what a great product name), microwavable, gluten-free cakes with a great texture, crunchy almond topping and frosting. They’re ready to eat in 5 minutes and are an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, phosphorous, manganese calcium and vitamin E. They’re also a tasty solution for the 2.2 million consumers who suffer from celiac disease.

Fortitech (, Schenectady, N.Y., offered exciting and surprising functional chocolate cluster varieties targeted toward baby boomers. They were heart-healthy, brain-healthy and bone-healthy. But my favorite prototype was Pina Colada Ice Beverage (Slush), a unique healthy refreshing slush which delivers a high level of essential vitamins and minerals including calcium, niacin and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D3 and E. So we boomers can improve our health and party at the same time.

Healthy went mainstream at Kerry Ingredients (, New Century, Kan., as its SuperFruit Bar Açai makes healthy a joy to behold especially for on-the-go consumers, This high-fiber, high-protein bar with real açai puree (a Brazilian fruit known for its mega-antioxidants) and pomegranate fruit powder also features 500mg omega-3 per 50g bar. Best of all, it tastes great. Baby Greens with Raspberry-Yogurt Dressing and Brie Croquette, made with hormone-free dairy ingredients, also rates a thumbs up.

Attention low-fat and fat-free mayo manufacturers! TIC Gums (, Belcamp, Md., introduced Fat-Free Mayo Style Dressing, made with TIC’s new gum system. Pretested Saladizer Mayo Cold Set, for low-fat and fat-free mayonnaise-type products, allows food processors to use a cold process instead of the traditional method in which heat is used to activate component starches, which can slow production and affect consistency. This dressing has all the taste, creamy texture and mouthfeel of regular mayonnaise.

Leavening agents from the former Astaris made their first appearance under new corporate name ICL Performance Products LP (, St. Louis. Levona Better for You Blueberry Muffins were great tasting, low in sodium and a good source of calcium. They were made with Levona, a new calcium-enriched leavening agent with zero sodium. It enables food manufacturers to formulate products that can carry healthy messages such as “low sodium” and “a good source of calcium,” without compromising flavor, volume, texture and convenience.

Although not a vegetarian, I do aspire to be healthy. Surprise and delight were engendered by Vegetarian Empanadas and Chik’n Wings prepared with NovaLipid zero/low trans-fat oils from Archer Daniels Midland (, Decatur, Ill. ADM also launched its Aspire Food System to help food formulators bridge the gap between indulgent and healthful eating by providing product development expertise for snacks, cookies, trail mixes, crackers, and nutrition/energy bars.

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