IFT16 enjoyed its usual healthy run July 16-19 in the Institute of Food Technologists' hometown Chicago. 23,571 people attended the expo, which has a heavy emphasis on ingredients and the chemistry of developing new food products. There were 1,222 exhibitors and 420 speakers.
The biggest trend on the show floor, from our perspective, was the number of ingredient suppliers displaying the Non-GMO Project Verified label on specific ingredients or their whole booths. It’s a callout that previously was relegated to branded, consumer-ready food products.
"Market research suggests 40 percent of consumers are actively managing consumption of GMO foods in their daily diets," says Mark Stavro, senior director of marketing for Bunge North America. "Our expanded non-GMO offerings will create business opportunities for our customers."
With a national, mandatory GMO labeling law just passed (and going into effect Aug. 1, 2017), such sourcing help should be much appreciated by branded food and beverage processors.
The numerous suppliers of fiber were reacting to the two-month-old redefinition of dietary fiber by the FDA. The agency used beneficial physiological effects, rather than a chemical definition, in its new directive. "The U.S. went from one of the most liberal definitions of fiber in the world to one of the most restrictive," says Raj Mehta, senior director of specialty ingredients at Grain Millers. His company, like others, will need to prove the physiological effects of its products – but there's no great rush. Ingredient suppliers have until July 26, 2018 to comply with the final requirements.
Other trends apparent on the show floor and in the technical sessions included:
- Vegetarianism: Not necessarily in the strictest (or vegan) sense, but many ingredient suppliers were showing plant-based substitutes for meat or generally promoting plant-based foods – especially pulses, since this is the United Nations' Year of the Pulse.
- Clean and clear labels: Many exhibitors had developed consumer-friendly substitutes for onerous-sounding essential chemicals.
- Free-from: Gluten-free products especially were still there, although in lower visibility than they've been in previous years.
- A little indulgence: Despite all the talk of good-for-you products, many exhibitors created decadent but small prototypes to show off ingredients.
- No sugar added: Several suppliers addressed this issue, which will be called out in new Nutrition Facts panels starting in 2018.
By the way, IFT17 will be held in Las Vegas at the Sands Expo Center June 25-28, 2017.
Following are some of the booths we visited at the show, accompanied by their website urls.
With a new emphasis on convenient wellness, plant-based proteins and free-from ingredients, ADM demonstrated an innovative breakfast hybrid, the Wo-Nut, a yeast-raised, glazed Belgian-style waffle eaten like a donut. Beanoa chips were crunchy bites of ancient grains. A natural-sourced and colored, sugar-free gummy incorporated a variety of ingredients to manage hunger and sweet cravings. Also for sampling were plant-based protein snacks; vegan triple berry yogurt alternative drinks with chia seeds, an artisan roasted red pepper soup featuring maltodextrins, xanthan gum and almonds that doubles as a beverage; and spicy Asian dressings and sauces. Archer Daniels Midland; www.adm.com
Recent research conducted by independent firm CuliNex shows the superior function and flavor of eggs compared with replacement ingredients in baked goods. Part of a larger effort to win back manufacturers that reformulated recipes with fewer eggs during last year's Avian flu crisis, the research showed no single (one-to-one) substitution can supply some 20-plus functional properties of egg ingredients without sacrificing product flavor, form, texture and color. Real eggs also can help create clean labels and contribute viscosity, aeration, rise, color and appearance in food formulations. American Egg Board; www.aeb.org
As mentioned up front, Bunge is one of the suppliers offering certified non-GMO ingredients; in particular, corn products on a scale that makes them accessible to major brands. Those certified products include grits, meals, flour and whole grains. In addition to milled corn ingredients, non-GMO canola and soybean oils are available under the Whole Harvest brand. Bunge North America; bungenorthamerica.com
Sweet potato ingredients can replace artificial sweeteners and other ingredients in clean-label applications. Carolina Original cloudy sweet potato juice, which is nutrient-dense, adds a nutritional boost as well as flavor, color and functional properties to baked goods, sauces and more. Carolina Clear clarified sweet potato juice provides an option to high-fructose corn syrup and sugar for health-focused applications that require vegetable servings and a health halo. Carolina Sweet clean-label sweetener is a vegetable-based nutritional replacement for HFCS and other sweeteners. And Carolina Craft dehydrated sweet potato flour and granules support gluten-free and non-GMO products with added flavor, texture and nutrients such as fiber. Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients; cifiingredients.com
Ingredients such as Maltrin maltodextrins and corn syrup solids are available in quick-dispersing versions. Specialty starches such as Pure-Cote coating/film-forming starches, Inscosity instant starches and Pure-Gel B994 stabilized starches were featured in appetizers such as coconut curry chicken rice soup, Bloody Mary, Pina Colada and Peach Bellini mocktails. A chick pea fry recipe featured Pure-Cote film-forming starch and Maltrin as a binding agent. All of the appetizer concepts were created by Iowa State University students as part of an Ingredient Application Challenge development program collaboration. Grain Processing Corp.; www.grainprocessing.com
The Xtendra range of traditional antioxidants combines ingredients that have been long proven to protect the oxidative stability of products -- blends of BHA, TBHQ, ascorbyl palmitate and other traditional antioxidants remain effective even in low concentrations and do not contribute any color, odor or flavor. On the natural side, Nasure plant-based antioxidants rely on rosemary extract, green tea, mixed tocopherols and other natural ingredients to encourage high antioxidant activity and to ensure that food stays fresher for longer. Camlin Fine Sciences; www.camlinfs.com/food
This longtime maker of batters and breadings has been focusing recently on ingredients for food safety. Vinegar, rosemary and other natural ingredients can perform as antimicrobials and shelf life extenders. DefenStat is the newest weapon in the arsenal, a combination of vinegar, natural flavors and spice extracts that can be used for raw meat and poultry to "address the three systemic failures leading to E. coli and Salmonella outbreaks." In addition to mitigating pathogens, it also makes them more susceptible to destruction by heat, even in home cooking. Newly Weds Foods; newlywedsfoods.com
Natural colors from botanical sources, such as heat-resistant SupraRed, feature novel purification technology said to deliver bright red shades at a neutral pH. The solvent-free colors demonstrate excellent stability without browning during the heat step. Kosher, Halal and non-GMO, the colors' low usage rate minimizes challenges of off notes and product texture issues. Also sampled were global, upscale ingredients and assorted flavors such as Natural Rum Cake in ready-to-drink coffee; ackee flavored black tea with a 50-percent sugar reduction; grilled jerk chicken tacos with natural melon type flavor; organic minced onion, chili powder and natural sassafras dry blend flavor; hatch green chili pepper sorbet; and cherry blossom pate de fruit gels featuring natural preserved cherry blossom flavor. Sensient Technologies Corp.; www.sensient.com
Continuing its growth out of ice cream inclusions, the vendor offers inclusions, coatings, icings, toppings and fillings – in general, flavor systems and grinds that add color, flavor or crunch to bakery, dairy, beverage, confectionery and snack products. New is a clean label line of cake inclusions. Peppermint bark adds visual, taste and texture elements. Honey-glazed almonds have a clean label. Parker Products; www.parkerproducts.com
Bold, exciting and versatile are a few ways to describe the flavor of Tabasco-brand Original Red Sauce, but there are a wide range of sauce flavor choices and formulations (liquid, dry powdered and intermediate moisture) of this flavor enhancer. The easy-to-use, free-flowing orange to red powder can be used as a seasoning, in baked goods, snacks, desserts, sauces, cocktails and much more. The family of authentic pepper sauce flavors includes Green Jalapeno, Chipotle, Habanero, Buffalo Style, Garlic and the recently introduced Sriracha. All are hand-crafted and fermented according to a time-honored tradition. McIlhenny Co.; tabascoingredients.com
InnoSweet is a new, novel, nutritive sweetener that can help reduce "added sugars" on a label while keeping that label clean. It's a sprouted whole-grain wheat powder, and is labeled as such, thereby contributing sweetness without being called an "added sugar." It also increases fiber and protein content and is natural, non-GMO, kosher and made in the U.S. Briess Malt & Ingredients; www.briess.com
Encore ingredients are each a proprietary blend that is customized as needed for a customer or application, allowing formula optimization, freshness and fortification. They often include enzymes, specialty carbohydrates and/or calcium, but the solution set is not limited by raw materials. Delavau Food Partners; delavaufood.com
XtraBlend OA in the NATstabil colors keeps the color of fresh meat looking its best without artificial additives. XtraBlend combines onion extract and acerola juice to tackle color loss in modified-atmosphere-packaged beef, pork sausage and other products. Visitors also sampled healthy snack concepts such as a coconut ginger drink and an antioxidant-rich trail mix, and decorated ice cream using spirulina blue sparkles and fruit and vegetable flakes. A tart cherry veggie drink that's minimally processed highlighted the new UPJ colors line, featuring unpasteurized, unfiltered, cold-pressed carrot and beet juice. Available in organic and conventional versions, the HPP beverage incorporates a non-thermal, non-enzymatic process that provides enhanced flavor and color without compromising food safety, shelf life or supply. Naturex Inc.; www.naturex.com
For the super-sensitive and scrupulous, it’s no longer enough to eat organic food: Everything that comes in contact with it must be organically certified. In recent years, chefs were able to use organic release agents in aerosol cans. Now food manufacturers can order pails, drums and touts of Vegalene organic release agent in conveyor spray applications. Allergen free, non GMO and PHO-free versions also are available. Par-Way Tryson Co.; parwaytryson.com
A wide array of foods and beverages were made with the company's extensive portfolio of clean label ingredients: Non-GMO sweeteners and starches, gluten-free starches and bulking agents; maltodextrins; pulse proteins; and clean-label starches, such as the recently launched Novation Prima 340 and 350 functional native starches. Also featured were Nutraflora prebiotic soluble fiber; Enliten sweetener technology for enhanced sensory experiences; Vitessence Pulse CT 1552 pea protein concentrate; and Gumplete xanthan gum, which functions as a thickening agent and stabilizer. Ingredion; www.ingredion.us.ift
Already, 22 of the vendor's products are Non-GMO Project Verified, including signature, proprietary ingredients Fibersym RW resistant wheat starch, Midsol wheat starches, Pregel wheat starches, Optein lightly hydrolyzed what protein and Arise wheat protein isolate. Likewise, Fibersym RW has already been approved as a fiber under the FDA's new definition, as are all RS4 resistant starches. MGP Ingredients; mgpingredients.com
Denatured alcohol products can ride the wave of alcohol-flavored food products and moonshine in particular without adding significant quantities of alcohol. Moonshine and Porter Ale are the most recent flavors added to a portfolio that includes rums, tequila, French brandy, vodka, bourbon, straight whiskey, triple sec and Angostura Bitters. Mizkan; www.mizkan.com
The big news for this longtime flavor supplier was a corporate rebranding. The face of Virginia Dare, believed to be the first European born in the New World, is gone from marketing materials, replaced with a modern corporate logo. The change also was meant to draw attention to the fact the company deals in many more flavors than the vanilla it's famous for. Tea, coffee and cocoa extracts now are on equal footing with vanilla, and the company also offers flavor modulation and "taste improvement systems." Virginia Dare; www.virginiadare.com
Like the above, Graceland Fruit has undergone some rebranding. It still handles a lot of cherries, the commodity on which the cooperative was founded, but dried cranberries are now the now its top-selling product and it offers blueberries and apples, all of them infused and dried with the company's proprietary process. Graceland Fruit; www.gracelandfruit.com
This fiber supplier has been evaluating its products in the wake of the FDA's new definition of fiber. Its cellulose, psyllium, hydroxypropylmethylcellulose and brans already are FDA approved; fibers from oat, wheat, sugarcane and bamboo are "in alignment" with the FDA definition but need final approval; and fibers from apple, orange, pea, potato, rice, soy and vanilla need more clinical trials. J. Rettenmaier; www.jrsusa.com
Exploring how color, shapes and flavor impact product perception, a hands-on workshop featured Edible Glitter, which now comes in new flavors and a variety of formats and shapes. Color influences consumer perceptions of flavor and affects food sales. Natural colors are being developed for more food and beverages, and color impacts the perception and acceptability of flavors. The discussion centered on the growing, consumer-driven demand for clean- and clear-labeling, including food developers' moves away from artificial colors toward naturally derived sources. Round-table participants had the opportunity to test examples of the new flavored Edible Glitter and a variety of Edible Glitter colors, sizes and shapes, as a color-delivery system for a range of food and beverage applications. Like the existing product, the new flavored version contains no sugars or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and is available in clean-label, plant-based colors as well as in FD&C colors. Watson Inc.; watson-inc.com
Both coffee extract and hibiscus extract are cold-brewed and new. The coffee extract has low bitterness and acidity with a clean character, and it's non-GMO Project Verified. Hibiscus has a subtle, unique flavor but an intense color from this plant. Also new are 10 vanilla replacers, all of which can be called natural, which are entering the market at a time of uncertainty over real vanilla price and supply. Flavorchem; www.flavorchem.com
A new powdered caramel color, the darkest Class 1 SB425, was exclusively developed in response to consumer demand for cleaner labels and the emerging popularity of minimally processed colors. With a Trinctorial Power of 0.235 - 0.265, the color is said to be significantly darker than traditional Class 1 powders. SB245 also offers an appealing brown hue unlike the distinctive red tones of other Class 1 caramel color powders for foods and beverages. It's also non-GMO, low in sulfites, gluten-free, Kosher and has no 4-Methylimidazole by formulation. Sethness Products Co.; www.sethness.com
Oats, corn, flax and natural oat fiber are available in conventional, organic, non-GMO and certified gluten-free forms. Seven milling and cleaning operations in North America provide a full range of flakes, flours, brans, meals, fibers and whole grains in oats, wheat, barley, rye, triticale, corn, flax and ancient grains, plus natural oat fibers and hydrocolloids. Grain Millers; www.grainmillers.com
With the ban on partially hydrogenated oils looming, high-oleic soybean crops are growing, and their resulting oils are ready for the market. Both DuPont and Monsanto have developed seeds with enhanced traits. It took a few years for the crops to reach critical mass, but they are ready for market. Qualisoy; www.qualisoy.com
Food-truck-inspired samplings of trendy global flavors consisted of a "label-friendly" sweet street taco; a fiber-enriched summer mango gazpacho; a reduced-calorie/reduced-sugar, spicy chocolate milk and a gluten-free cinnamon-sugar donut with a cake-like texture. The items showcased ingredients such as newly introduced Claria Delight tapioca-based starch and other texturants that can help customers create sensory experiences consumers expect. Clean-label starches like Claria Delight can help enhance food texture while maintaining excellent taste, color and performance. It can also be used as a one-for-one replacement for conventional tapioca starches. Tate & Lyle; www.tateandlyle.com
Samples of toasted almond coconut milk showcased the benefits of new Ticaloid PRO 181 AG. Suitable for formulators seeking to target texture and stability in ready-to-drink, dairy alternative beverages, the blend helps improve processing efficiencies and addresses beverage formulation challenges. PRO 181 AG also emulsifies and stabilizes oils found in non-dairy milk alternatives such as almond and cashew milk. Ticagel Natural GC-581 B non-GMO gelatin replacer, for use in gelatin-free gummy candy and nutritional delivery systems, helps mimic the sensory characteristics of gelatin, like springiness and toothstick while observing label restrictions. And Dairyblend Natural IC CL turnkey stabilizer eliminates the need for mono-and diglyceride emulsifiers in soft-serve and hard-pack ice cream. This label friendly hydrocolloid blend delivers enhanced moisture management and emulsification without increasing in mix viscosity before or after pasteurization. TIC Gums; www.ticgums.com
Natracol Chrome Red and other natural colors offer clear label identification. The water-dispersible beta carotene liquid is suitable for beverages, fondant, confections, ice cream and other applications where a bright orange to red shade is needed (the shade depends on the dosage and medium). Has good heat and light stability and a 2 to 7 pH range. Replaces carmine for products with a neutral pH. Roha USA; www.roha.com
This specialty oils supplier incorporated Cisao 7831 non-hydrogenated flakes into a savory flatbread to improve flakiness. EsSence 86-43, a non-hydrogenated/no trans solution with a low satured fat profile delivered a moist, soft texture in lavender cupcakes. Illexao CB 58, a cocoa butter equivalent, contributed the same physical properties and triglyceride composition as cocoa butter in cookies. AAK USA; www.aak.com
With the recalls of flour just weeks before the IFT show, new ways to make that raw ingredient safe was on the minds of many at IFT16. This vendor offers heat-treated wheat flours with a validated 5-log reduction of pathogens, making them suitable for cookie doughs, ice cream inclusions and similar applications that may not receive later high processing temperatures. And this wheat flour can replaced modified food starch yielding a cleaner label. Siemer Specialty Ingredients; www.siemerspecialtyingredients.com
Designed as a replacement for super-fine powdered sugar, new Erysweet+ Ultra is an ultra-fine mesh powdered Erythritol stevia blend with a clean-label profile. Finer than confectioners’ sugar, Erysweet+ Ultra is suitable for chocolate tempering, which can be challenging, during which chocolate gains its shiny, crisp exterior. Consisting of SteviaSweet 95-60 and Erysweet Non-GMO erythritol, a polyol offering low-calorie sweetening and bulk, the blend can also help processors create sugar-free chocolate. The proprietary powder delivers a clean flavor without bitter notes and an aftertaste. Resists browning as it has a heat tolerance beyond 250 degrees F. Folds into any hot or cold process. Erysweet+ Ultra can also be used in coatings, fillings, frostings, glazes, fondants and icings. Steviva Ingredients; www.stevivaingredients.com
AlgaWise algae oil with Omega-9 and AlgaWise whole algae are protein- and lipid-rich ancient sources of macro and micronutrients. New Thrive culinary algae cooking oil has 75 percent less saturated fat than olive oil. The algae-based food ingredients provide healthy sustainable products, a rich texture, optimal nutrition and environmental sustainability. The algae is grown in fermentation tanks, and is then pressed to make oil and powders for gluten-free baked goods, breading , butters, sauces/dressings, coatings, spreads and fried foods. AlgaWise oil has a clean, neutral flavor, a low level of polyunsaturated fat (2 percent) and a high smoke point. Vegan and free of known allergens, AlgaVia and AlgaWise algae products can deliver fiber, micronutrients and fortification in challenging product applications. TerraVia; terravia.com
While much of the talk of fiber was new, this joint venture celebrated 10 years of developing its Fibersol products. New is Fibersol-2L, a soluble dietary fiber now available in a liquid form. ADM Matsutani; www.fibersol.com
Another answer to the recent flour recalls is SafeGuard Flour. Not just a heat treatment step, this product is the tip of an integrated production and distribution process that preserves gluten functionality and taste while reducing microbiological risk associated with raw flour. Simply Milled is a clean label line of bread, pastry, whole wheat and all-purpose flours made without bleach, bromate or other additives. The supplier also added heirloom spelt to its ancient grains portfolio and Sprouted White Spring Whole Wheat Flour. Ardent Mills; www.ardentmills.com
Building what could be the largest global natural stevia supply, the vendor is investing $100 million into an agronomy program will fuel growth in more than 15 stevia farming areas around the world. The program supports a sustainable agricultural expansion and will help the company further develop its farming footprint outside of China. The net effect over the next five years is expected to result in a 24,000-acre pipeline to provide customers with year-round access to stevia leaf extract. The program will focus on three areas: scaling naturally; research and development; and training farmers. Pure Circle; purecircle.com
Two new ingredients have been made by fermentation. ErgoActive re-creates the amino acid L-erogthioneine found in mushrooms and some other plants, which can provide anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits. BC-DHQ dihydroquercetin also is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, as well as an antibacterial and color stabilizer; it's a flavonoid found in plant such as red onions. Blue California; www.bluecal-ingredients.com