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IFT and Process Expo: One Time, Two Shows

Aug. 23, 2010
For the first and only time, IFT Food Expo and FPSA Process Expo shared Chicago's McCormick Place.

Consider it a one-time event. Or two food-related trade shows that just happened to be in adjoining halls of Chicago's McCormick Place.

Whichever scenario, there is no future for a combined Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo with the Food Processing Suppliers' Assn. (FPSA) Process Expo. But this past one appeared to do reasonably well.

The combination that was billed as a dream team a year ago unraveled even before the dual show opened its doors this July 18. FPSA already said it would hold its own show, a biennial event, starting in November 2011, also in Chicago's McCormick Place. IFT next year will return solo to New Orleans in June.

IFT, which was responsible for most of the logistics of the joint event, reported a healthy crowd this year: 21,500 attendees. There apparently was no practical way to figure how many came for the ingredients show versus how many showed up for the equipment. For IFT alone, that's close to previous Chicago events (IFT seems to always draw better than 20,000 in the Windy City) and far above the 15,000 who attended the 2008 New Orleans event and the 2009 Anaheim, Calif., show.

IFT reported for its hall more than 1,000 companies exhibiting in some 2,100 booths and taking up 230,000 net sq. ft.

FPSA had 333 exhibitors taking up 100,080 sq. ft. The association also conducted onsite sales for its 2011 show, and said it already had signed up 200 exhibitors requesting 156,400 sq ft.

Here are some of the developments we found interesting at the twin shows:

Barry Callebaut AG introduced Acticoa, a high-flavanol chocolate to meet increasing consumer demand for functional foods. Available in milk and dark chocolate, Acticoa has guaranteed levels of flavanols, linked to health benefits such as skin nourishment, protection against cell damage from free radicals, and maintenance of cardiovascular health. And the manufacturing process preserves up to 80 percent of flavanols found naturally in raw cocoa beans.

Bunge Oils won an IFT Innovation Award for its PhytoBake shortening. This vegetable-based plastic shortening includes phytosterols, which not only add structure to the shortening but have been proved to help lower blood cholesterol. PhytoBake adds zero trans fats and can lower saturated fats by 46 percent in some formulations. Parked outside McCormick Place was Bunge's M.O.E. (mobile oil experts) truck, which fried treats with Bunge oils, then used some of the spent cooking oil as a biodiesel fuel. It follows upon the food truck craze in some areas of the country.

Butter Buds Food Ingredients debuted Butter Buds-Bacon, a natural flavor concentrate made without animal products. Ideal for vegetarian products, seasonings, snacks, soups, salad dressings, cheese and prepared foods, it was developed using enzyme modification of sunflower oil to create the Kosher Parve-certified ingredient, which is heat stable and has an 18-month shelf life.

East meets West at IFT

As part of its commitment to provide a platform for future food technologists to engage in product innovation in China, while promoting California almond consumption in the rapidly growing Chinese market, the Almond Board of California (ABC) collaborated with Jiangnan University in China since 2004 to develop innovative products for the Chinese marketplace.

The annual Almond Student Innovation Competition has evolved into a national platform for food innovation as the ABC and the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology have worked together. Proof of the competition's success is reflected in the numbers of entries in 2009: 209 proposals were received from 1,020 students from 36 universities.

The grand prize winning team from Jiangnan University of Science and Technology came up with a great product, made from cooking and marinating blanched almond halves and slices with pickled chili. It's a great example of Western foods harmonizing with Chinese taste. The inspiration came from a traditional Chinese appetizer, and the innovation widens almond application by conceptualizing a fresh dish into a convenient snack with long shelf life and an excellent prospect for commercialization.

Cooking the almonds makes halves or slices tender while maintaining their unique crunch. Their acidic and spicy taste provides for unlimited usages, either as savory snacks or spicing or garnishing ingredients for salad or fast food menus.

The winning team was awarded 10,000 yen (nearly $1,500), a trip to a CIFST annual conference in Beijing, a trip to California and then to IFT,
Sponsored by the Almond Board, three students – Jia Liu, Shi Yin and Shanshan Huang -- and their Professor Zheng Zhao were at IFT, and attendees had great fun meeting them. R&D of the future is in great hands.

The price of cocoa has been steadily rising, while its supply is frequently in question. Issues surrounding insecure cocoa sourcing range from political instability and industry underinvestment, to drought, insect damage and plant disease. It all adds up to major worries about price pressures and supply shortages for consumer product manufacturers whose products rely on cocoa as a key ingredient. Comax Flavors developed a range of cocoa extenders and replacers, available in both powdered and liquid form, which can replace anywhere from 10 parts to 75 parts dutched cocoa in the finished product with one part Comax flavor. The results range from a rich chocolate taste with deep, complex notes to a light caramelic-type cocoa flavor.

ConAgra Mills put its Ultragrain flour into a consumer product: Ultragrain Pasta. The spaghetti, penne, macaroni and rotini were made with 51 percent Ultragrain, which has all the benefits and fiber of whole grains but the taste, texture and appearance of white, refined flour. Nine-Grain Orzo was made with both Ultragrain plus Sustagrain, a whole-grain oat flour, and some of ConAgra's Ancient Grains (amaranth, quinoa and teff). Another baking trend, gluten-free, was addressed by Eagle Mills Gluten-Free All-Purpose Multigrain Flour Blend, featuring five of the Ancient Grains.

A reliable, safe and natural source of polyphenols with potent antioxidant properties and bioavailability, Hidrox 12% is a new particulate-free hydroxytyrosol formula from Creagri Inc.'s  line of natural, organic olive polyphenolic ingredients. Hidrox 12% is a clean and soluble product, ideal for a number of foods and beverages, including clear water and juices.

David Michael & Co. relaunched Cocoa-Mate, its line of cocoa flavor extenders that can replace up to 30 to 50 per cent of the cocoa powder in a finished product. Cocoa-Mates can replace Dutched Cocoa flavors and Natural Cocoa flavors, and are available in natural and artificial varieties. Applications include ice cream, yogurt, beverages, puddings, toppings and bakery goods.

Color improves the allure of foods and beverages through visual appeal. In fact, D.D. Williamson's wide array of natural coloring, along with its caramel color, helps sell 1.5 billion servings every day. New products on display included: Darkest Class One ("plain" in E.U.) caramel color stable in low pH, high alcohol, and high salt for natural food and beverages; Caramelized sugar flavor, a natural flavor stable in low pH; Annatto extract stable below pH 3.0 in flavor systems for yogurt; and Certified organic annatto extracts.

DSM Nutritional Products Inc. focused on its 12 Health Benefit Solutions – Defy your Age, Empower your Mind, Nourish your Beauty, Essentials for Women, Strengthen your Bones. Shape your Body, Flex your Joints, Upgrade Your Vision, Essentials for Life, Enhance your Immunity, Guard your Heart, and Power your Performance. Also, its Quali-Blends custom-designed premixes shorten time to market.
Dow Wolff Cellulosics showcased three new products. Methocel Gluten Replacement, which allows development of gluten-free products without sacrificing taste or texture. Available for the first time in the U.S.,this ingredient eliminates many technical problems associated with gluten removal. Methocel Fat Replacement replaces trans- and saturated fats with healthier liquid oils, such as olive or canola, allowing formulators to reduce the fat content by up to 60 percent. And Clear+Stable allows manufacturers to use less cellulose gum in formulations, yet still achieve the stability needed. It also improves protein protection in acidified milk and soy drinks, and enables customers to lower the overall cost of their formulations by reducing the number and quantity of ingredients.

EnWave Corp. a few days after IFT announced a "research and development agreement" with Nestec Ltd., a subsidiary of Nestlé SA of Switzerland. The agreement involves EnWave's nutraREV food dehydration technology. Although further details were confidential, EnWave officials were excited at the prospect of working with "the world's largest food and beverage company." EnWave's nutraREV technology performs continuous high-speed drying in a low temperature vacuum environment.

Esha Research demonstrated its Genesis R&D SQL software, which automates numerous product development tasks regarding, nutrition information, labeling, analysis and more. It can automatically generate a label complete with ingredient and allergen statements, as well as supplement facts, aggregate, dual declaration and the new child label. It also includes a database of more than 37,000 foods and food items, including raw materials, additives and ingredients.

French's Flavor Ingredients highlighted its flavor enhancement ingredients including prepared mustards, Worcestershire sauce, Rochester sauce, barbecue sauce, Cattlemen's BBQ Sauce, Frank's RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauces, French Fried Onions and Potato Sticks, and Mustard Flours. And French's Cattlemen's Master's Reserve Collection, made without starches, gums, artificial colors or fillers, offers authentic regional flavor from America's barbecue capitals – Memphis, Kansas City, Texas. Mississippi, Kentucky Carolina and Louisiana.

Ganeden Biotech revealed its patented probiotic strain GanedenBC30 will be used in yogurt covered raisins made by confectioner Tropical Nut & Fruit,Inc.

Brazil's Gelnex opened a new plant (its third) producing bovine gelatine. The plant, which was designed to maximize the use of clean and renewable energy sources, minimize the company's greenhouse gas emissions and reduce use of petroleum-based electric power generation, is located in the northern Brazilian city of Araguaína. Solar energy is used to generate a significant amount of the plant's electricity demand, to heat water used in processing and in offices. A unique innovation at the company's Itá plant is the generation of electricity by diesel engines powered by pork fat, a by-product of the gelatin production process. According to Felipe Chaluppe, vice president, sales and marketing, all three of its plants take advantage of location and advanced technology to reduce energy demands, enhance water conservation and use renewable resources. This newest plant uses all the latest technology such as solar photovoltaic systems, solar water heating, wastewater recycling, and use of renewable biomass fuels. Gelnex achieved Silver Certification through the prestigious Brazilian GHG (GreenHouse Gas) Protocol Program, fully compatible with the norms of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the methods of quantification of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

GLG Life Tech Corp. launched BlendSure, the first blended stevia-based sweetening system that combines specific glycosides such as rebaudioside A and pure stevioside together to deliver sugar-like sweetness while providing a favorable cost. BlendSure can be used in food, beverages and as a tabletop sweetener, and it can be combined with other natural sweeteners. It meets the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) international standard for stevia extracts and is on track for GRAS approval by the end of the year.

Infused Dried Vegetables from Graceland Fruit have up to a two-year shelf life and superior rehydration and cooking performance. Among available options, broccoli is ideal in dry soups, rice mixes and boxed dinner kits; dried cubed carrots have the taste and color of fresh carrots and make the grade for pasta dishes, rice mixes and dry soups; and whole kernel sweet corn is perfect for dry soups, breads and stuffing mixes.

News from Grain Processing Corp. is its exclusive alliance with Enreco Inc. to offer Sterling Choice flaxseed ingredients. Flaxseed, an oilseed with stability in manufacturing, is nutritionally dense and provides fiber, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids in foods and has a guaranteed shelf life of 24 months.

Hormel Foods Specialty Products Div. introduced Eterna Omegasource omega-3 EPA/DHA and vitamin D combination ingredient for food and beverage applications. Using proprietary technology, Hormel Foods created an ingredient that can be added to foods and beverages. The combination ingredient is allergen free, GMO free, GRAS affirmed and Kosher. It contains efficacious doses of omega-3 DHA/EPA and vitamin D, although Hormel Foods has the capability to customize its ingredients based on customer needs. As with omega-3 EPA/DHA, vitamin D stability is an issue, especially when exposed to light. Hormel Foods' proprietary technologies stabilize and protect the ingredients, allowing for easier emulsion in water-based drinks such as sports and energy drinks, smoothies and fruit juices.

The new Dietary Guidelines may be a boon to ICL Performance Products. The guidelines suggest sodium reduction and shed some focus on secondary fortification with micronutrients such as magnesium. ICL's Levona family replaces sodium-based leavening agents with calcium acid pyrophosphate. And Mag-nificent is a neutral mineral source that can add magnesium and phosphorus to a wide range of products.

Kikkoman Less Sodium PTN is a tamari-style soy sauce featuring high impact soy sauce flavor, with the added benefit of reduced sodium. During manufacturing, Kikkoman (www.kikkoman.com) uses a proprietary process to remove excess salt, resulting in a soy sauce with stronger flavor and no dilution, and the higher amino acid content offers increased flavor enhancement properties. It also stands up to the harshest production and cooking environments.

Natural sea salt products were added to Morton Salt's portfolio of products for processors. They include GRAS California Pure Sea Salt (Fine, Medium and Coarse) harvested from water taken from the San Francisco Bay using solar evaporation; Refined Sea Salt (screened to the size of table salt) for soups, meat, poultry, cheese and dough applications; TFC Refined Sea Salt (treated with a trace of Yellow Prussiate of Soda, an anticaking agent); and Extra Fine Refined Sea Salt for salted nuts, potato chips, soup bases and snack seasoning applications.

China's Niutang Chemical, one of the world's leading suppliers of sucralose, introduced a liquid sucralose, manufactured by partner Viachem Ltd.. For some applications, particularly in beverages, it will blend more easily than a powder product.

Ocean Spray Ingredient Technology Group launched a new variety of its BerryFusions line of dried fruit pieces. Pomegranate is a contemporary and distinctive taste with high consumer recognition – of both its flavor and its health benefits. It joins BerryFusions strawberry, raspberry, cherry, blueberry and mango.

Bret Lynch, executive chef from EverGreen Culinary Solutions, developed a menu for P.L. Thomas that featured a number of the company's health-promoting ingredients. For heart health, attendees enjoyed Wild Sockeye Kodiak Island Salmon Omega Skewers with Sesame Five Spice Chia Seed. For bone and heart health, Yuzu Citrus Glaze was highlighted. For bone health, Ancient Grain Garbanzo Salad with Yogurt Tahini Dressing. And for omega delivery and antioxidants, Gluten-free Chia Seed Rosemary Baguette were the options. Salsa Rosso Dipping sauce for sustained energy was ideal for tired attendees, and for skin hydration, Antioxidant Mini Cupcakes with Natural Colors and Beauty from Within Drink was definitely a boost for the ladies.

A month before the IFT show, Roquette's flagship ingredient Nutriose soluble dietary fiber won a Ringier Technology Innovation Award at Food Ingredients China. The prebiotic has a clinically proven positive effect on weight management/satiety and on intestinal well-being.

Six years ago, Sargento started developing reduced sodium cheeses, and in the past two years the company perfected the technology. Sargento unveiled Reduced Sodium Cheeses made with 2% milk (Mild Cheddar, Whole Milk Mozzarella, Provolone, Colby Jack and String varieties) and we couldn't tell the difference with whole milk cheese in a taste test. Sargento's R&D team developed a new processing technique that allows for the salt reduction without additive replacement. And the company introduced Duets, a breakthrough portion-control packaging system (sealed down the middle) that allows manufacturers to fill two 4-oz packets simultaneously with products that cannot normally be co-mingled — cheese, meat, dried fruit, grains, etc. This new system streamlines current production processes, improving efficiency and adding flexibility.

Despite a new corporate emphasis on applied innovation and custom development for clients, TIC Gums showed the less-then-year-old Ticapan Quick Crunch, a binder for sugar and sugar alcohol syrups that are used in confection coating and panning. Designed to replace gum arabic in those applications, it has comparable binding and viscosity properties, yet it dries faster than gum arabic. It also lends a crunchier texture to the finished shell. It is used as a drop in replacement for gum arabic at a usage level between 2-4 percent of the syrup recipe.

Treatt USA unveiled two 100% natural FTNF (from the named food) distillates, which impart a high impact, authentic area in a variety of food and beverage applications. Treattarome Spearmint 9764 offers clean, fresh "mojito"-like top notes, and as a water-white product, it provides an effective solution for clear beverages, as well as dairy, juices and juice –based drinks. Treattarome Ginger 9745 delivers a rooty back note while ensuring a strong ginger character. This is achieved without the ginger heat making it suitable for alcoholic beverages.

Trendy new flavors -- nectarine jasmine green tea and black currant raspberry black tea -- were on the ready-to-drink tea menu at Virginia Dare's Garden of Flavors. Made from leaves sourced from around the world, Virginia Dare tea concentrates are offered in black, green, Assam, oolong and white, as well as herbal fruit and true-to-fruit flavors. Green peach and maqui grapefruit beverages were refreshing options for attendees. Also enjoyable was a variety of delicious vanilla tea beverages, made with extracts, concentrates and oleoresins of vanilla beans from every commercially viable origin. To demonstrate Virginia Dare's masking capabilities, peach honey rooibos and berry black tea pectin candies made with sweetener/sugar alternatives were also on display.

And on the Process Expo side:
The Comitrol Processor Model 1700 from Urschel Laboratories offers overall cost-savings by delivering increased edible yields. Widely used in the soup, nutritional supplement, baby food and sauce industries, the precision cutting principle of the unit produces slices, flakes, shreds, viscous slurries, or purees from a myriad of fruit and vegetable products. Latest beverage industry uses include the reduction of mango pulp and fibrous fruits as tropical fruit juices gain popularity. Pre-crushed fresh, ripe mango is easily fed into the machine equipped with a microcut head. This process disperses black spots, so they are not detectable in the final output. This generates an attractive, smooth consistency while producing added yield and reducing processors' costs.

From Seydelmann grinders, cutters and emulsifiers to Vemag portioning stuffers and linking equipment, Reiser has a full line of machines for sausage-making, as well as other protein products. The Vemag Stuffer provides the highest levels of production and portioning accuracy while producing a superior looking sausage. Its modular construction allows it to be configured for virtually any processor and can be reconfigured as the application or requirements change.

Vicinity Manufacturing is the batch manufacturing solution for Microsoft Dynamics. Its ERP software coordinates raw materials, certificates of analysis and country of origin labeling, MSDS and hazardous bills of lading, formula management, shop-floor control and all points along the way to finished goods.

Gamajet  explained its patented "rotary impingement tank cleaning." This automated form of tank cleaning projects a concentrated jet stream of cleaning fluid on the interior of the tank with enough impingement to blast residue from the surface. The power of the streams, as they rotate around the tank in a 360-degree pattern, remove all residue.

Clean Water Technology offered a variety of solid/liquid separation technologies for cleansing plants' water and wastewater. The company mixes flocculation and flotation (especially in its lead Gas Energy Mixing, or GEM, system), biological reduction technologies and system peripherals (screen filtration units and automated chemical delivery systems).

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