More than 22,000 of the top food science and industry professionals from around the world will convene at the 2008 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo, June 28 to July 1. Held at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, attendees will learn about the very latest consumer trends, developments in scientific research, technologies and new products in the beverage and food industry.

Expo floor

The IFT Food Expo brings together buyers and sellers from all corners of the food science and technology world. With more than 1,000 exhibitors and 500 ingredient companies using 250,000 square feet of exhibition space, the IFT Food Expo is a one-stop-shop for trends, technologies and information in the food world.

Special pavilions on the show floor will include the International, Healthy Food Ingredients, Organic Food Ingredients, Food Safety & Quality, Global New Products (presented by Mintel) and Taste the Trend (present by Innova) pavilions. In the Taste the Trend pavilion, Innova will display a series of poster sessions and more than 200 international products, complete with opportunities for nine new beverage concepts and tastings.

Again this year, exhibiting companies at the 2008 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo had the chance to compete for an IFT Food Expo Innovation Award. Commercial products, technologies, ingredients, instrumentation, equipment, services and new applications of existing commercial products/services that have been introduced since Jan. 1, 2007, and are exhibiting at the show were eligible to enter. Winning entries will be announced and awarded prior to the opening of the exhibit floor in New Orleans.

Back for the fifth year, IFT food scientists and chefs from the Research Chefs Association (RCA) will team up with student members from IFT and RCA to present live Culinology demonstrations on the IFT Food Expo floor. The product development collaboration will showcase Culinology, the blending of the culinary arts with food science. This year’s theme, “The Sustainable Plate: From Farm to Table,” will provide each team with the chance to display the challenges and opportunities associated with creating a wholly sustainable meal option. Each day, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., a new team will present a fresh take on food development, from ideation to final product.

Supplier solutions

New to the expo this year, Supplier Solution Sessions can help attendees with applicable product and service solutions to address issues such as salt reduction, fiber, protein and weight management. The sessions provide a way to get in-depth information and different perspectives, all in one location on the expo floor. They will be held on Monday, June 30 and Tuesday, July 1.


The IFT Food Expo will open with a keynote address on Sunday, June 29, from Tom Kelley, best-selling author and general manager of Ideo, the design and development firm that designed such products as the Apple mouse and the Palm V. Kelley will share his experience in managing innovation and design. Kelley’s most recent book, “The Ten Faces of Innovation,” reveals 10 strategies for making sure good ideas make it to market.

“Environmental Sustainability and the Supply Chain” will be the topic of the General Session on Monday, June 30. Industry experts will talk about environmental sustainability standards and social responsibility programs being established and implemented throughout the supply chain. Additional insight will be provided about innovative “green” food packaging strategies. The session’s objectives include:

  • Learning about environmental sustainability standards in the food industry
  • Gaining insight about innovative and environmentally sound food packaging strategies
  • Understanding how ingredients can positively impact the greening of the food industry
  • Learning how product development and production affects “food footprints”


Scientific programs

IFT’s Scientific Program offers more than 200 educational sessions. IFT’s 2008 thematic programming addresses the topic of “Driving Growth and Sustainability through Innovation.” More than 50 sessions that specifically address the theme will be offered. The following elements will be covered throughout the thematic programming:

  • Product development
  • Ingredients
  • Food safety
  • Processing and packaging
  • Micro and nanosciences
Throughout the theme-related programming, participants will:

  • Showcase new technologies regarding product development, ingredients, food safety, micro and nanosciences, and processing and packaging. >li>Learn "state-of-the-art" innovation and consumer insight practices that help increase the success rate of new product introductions.
  • Learn about new developments in fundamental science that may be used to grow business, and in turn, research dollars.
  • Understand the intricacies and impact of intellectual property on innovation.
  • Learn about collaborative opportunities and pathways to innovation.
  • Understand the emerging challenges and implications of becoming a sustainable company.
For the first time at IFT, symposia, workshops, panel discussions and roundtables have been categorized into five tracks to help attendees efficiently choose from the scientific and educational offerings available. The Science Fundamentals track will showcase the best and most recent research representing an array of specialty areas. Sessions within the Applied Science track will provide cutting-edge science that attendees can adapt and apply to advance their work and meet consumer demands. The New Products & Technologies track will showcase new products and technologies released commercially within the past two years.

To help students and the field grow, the Student Programming track will offer a variety of programming to help educate and prepare under- and post-graduates for a career in food science. A portion of the Professional and Business Development track will offer attendees programming designed to improve professional skills. The track also will provide non-technical programming related to the field of food science, for example, marketing and regulations.


New products and technologies

This year’s New Products & Technologies Program includes three sessions and 22 presentations. Attendees will be introduced to companies with information on newly commercialized technologies that can be applied in businesses. The session on Sunday, July 29, will focus on ingredients, and the session on Monday, July 30, will cover analytical methods. Monday afternoon, the New Products & Technologies Table Top Showcase will be presented again as part of the IFT Food Expo. For three hours, attendees will be able to interact with 10 presenters at their table-top poster displays.

What to see at IFT

Innophos Inc. (Booth 3137), a manufacturer of specialty phosphates, offers a complete range of food-grade phosphates for beverage, dairy, nutritional supplement, and other applications. Innophos combines its knowledge of phosphate technologies, ingredients and processes to develop innovations that will enhance products, increase consumer appeal and add nutrition and convenience.
For the beverage industry, Innophos provides electrolytes, sequestrants, calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus, which enhance and fortify formulations. Now available, VersaCAL Clear is a highly soluble calcium source specifically designed for use in clear beverages. VersaCAL Clear has a clean taste and is an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus, which together are essential for developing good bone health, the company says. Innophos also offers a range of phosphates formulated for many other beverage applications.

Tate & Lyle (Booth 1633)will showcase new developments for health and wellness products at IFT. The company will have several great-tasting prototypes made with PROMITOR Dietary Fiber. The fibers offer significant processing benefits and add fiber to a wide range of products, with no impact on taste or texture. The PROMITOR Dietary Fiber range currently includes: PROMITOR Soluble Corn Fiber and PROMITOR Resistant Starch. Visit for more information.
At IFT, attendees also will be able to taste some of the products made from the no-calorie sweetener that is made from sugar, tastes like sugar, but is not sugar: Splenda Sucralose. It is a core component of Tate & Lyle’s comprehensive portfolio of high-quality sweeteners and food ingredients designed to meet the needs of its customers. Splenda and the Splenda logo are trademarks of McNeil Nutritionals LLC.


Ganeden Biotech’s (Booth 2709)GanedenBC30 (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086) is a high-survivability probiotic ingredient that can be baked, boiled and frozen for use in many applications. In short, GanedenBC can take it, the company says. The probiotic is unique because it is shielded by a natural layer that protects it from high and low temperatures in the manufacturing process. GanedenBC is self-affirmed GRAS, has a two-year shelf life, does not require refrigeration and survives gastric acidity. It is suitable for dairy applications, health bars, muffins, beverages and nutraceutical products. GanedenBC has shown to be heartier than other probiotic strains and exhibits excellent stability, offering more flexibility in manufacturing and delivery systems, the company says.

DSM Nutritional Products (Booth 4226)has created a new beverage fortification Web site ( designed to showcase the new business opportunities for today’s beverage manufacturers when they partner with DSM. The Web site shows how DSM’s market knowledge and broad portfolio of healthful ingredients can add value to brands, while its expertise in beverage science and fortification can develop customized blends that help customers gain competitive advantage. Beverage manufacturers also will learn how DSM can help them package flavor and nutrition in beverage blends, enabling them to satisfy the growing consumer demand for better taste and better nutrition.
DSM Nutritional Products has an international network of technical service, production and distribution facilities, as well as a major sales and marketing presence in more than 100 countries. In addition to its vast ingredient portfolio, DSM provides processing and manufacturing expertise in innovative formulations that provide optimum performance and health appeal.

Amelia Bay (Booth 2249)provides custom tea extraction and formulation for the retail beverage and foodservice industry. Consumers want ready-to-drink products that are healthier and more natural. By linking consumer insight with product development, the company can help turn current or new product lines into custom functional beverages.
Vertical integration is the key to Amelia Bay’s success with RTD beverages. All raw materials are custom extracted using a proprietary process in its state-of-the art facility. The company’s tea extracts provide substantial antioxidant capacity, and polyphenol levels can be adjusted to meet preferred specifications. Amelia Bay provides full in-house technical support, and customers are advised on raw material selection, formulation and packaging options.


NutraGenesis (Booth 5127)is a nutraceutical product development and marketing company dedicated to the commercialization of proprietary, scientifically validated, GRAS-affirmed, bioactive ingredients that enhance human and animal health for the functional foods and beverages, dietary supplements and cosmeceutical industries worldwide. NutraGenesis will introduce several innovative ingredients at IFT 2008, including Sensara, the multi-patented, GRAS-affirmed, beauty-from-within nutraceutical that has several areas of claims support, including skin health, anti-aging, antioxidant and mood/emotional uplift health benefits. NutraGenesis also will show product concepts of its flagship products Essentra, Essentra Trim and OptiNutrin.

X Café LLC (Booth 532)is a manufacturer of shelf-stable premium coffee extracts for ingredient use and ready-to-dispense beverages. The company’s coffee extracts are used as an ingredient in canned or bottled beverages, liquors, frozen drinks, ice creams, gelatos and confectionary products. X Café can provide organic, kosher, halal, Fair Trade and NSF International third-party audit certifications. The company’s new product development team can provide samples for a beverage formulator’s project or match the taste profile of an existing product.

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulezas they say in New Orleans! And that’s exactly whatFortitech (Booth 4515) will be doing as the company displays a mélange of beverage and food samples supporting overall health and wellness during IFT 2008. The samples clearly define Fortitech’s abilities in fortification technology and demonstrate its innovation and versatility as a premix manufacturer.

Virginia Dare (Booth 2731)will feature “Food on the Go” at IFT. On-the-go beverage and food products are a growing category fueled by irregular working hours, busy schedules, longer commute times and frequent travel schedules, to name a few examples. People are eating more frequently in their cars, on planes, at their desks, at sporting events and “on the go.” Time-pressured consumers need beverages and foods that are designed for their “on the go” needs. At this year’s IFT, Virginia Dare will feature beverages and snacks that “on the go” consumers can enjoy.