The Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) 2011 Annual Meeting & Food Expo took place June 11-14 in New Orleans. The event attracted food professionals from around the world as well as 900 exhibiting companies.
At the keynote panel, journalist Michael Specter and panelists representing the food industry tackled the question about how to go about changing the image of food science in the marketplace. Specter, who is a staff writer for The New Yorker, stated that U.S. consumers tend to mistrust science, which includes a wide-ranging — although unsubstantiated — mistrust of genetically modified foods.
He said one of the things that make it difficult for scientists to correct misperceptions about the dangers of science and technology is the fact that scientists tend to rely on a logical presentation of data without recognizing the importance of addressing the beliefs and emotions that consumers associate with technology.
“You can’t just say, ‘Look at the data,’” Specter said. “Instead, the food industry needs to do a better job of communication — using tools that include the Internet and social media.”
Also designed to promote food science, IFT announced a collaboration with Disney Consumer Products (DCP) to raise the visibility of food science careers and the innovative potential of the profession to develop healthy and nutritious foods. The two organizations also announced the winners of the third annual college competition designed to create healthy snacks for kids. All entries must focus on snack food or beverage product concepts featuring fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy or whole grains that are inspired by Disney characters and geared toward children age 12 and younger.
This year’s winner was Pixie Dust Fruit Beverage Mix created by a team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The mix combines raspberry and apple fruit powders in an easy open-and-pour package.
The show floor also hosted a variety of new innovations and prototypes. The following are some highlights featured by exhibitors at IFT’s Annual Meeting & Food Expo:
Ajinomoto Food Ingredients spotlighted its aspartame sweetening solutions in a range of beverage prototypes, including AminoVital Grape, N’awlins Power Punch, Berry Bayou and Jazzin’ Java beverages.
AIBMR Life Sciences Inc. highlighted its 30-year history working with nutraceutical companies in the United States and around the world. The company offers a range of services including clinical research and regulatory compliance insight from its staff, which features naturopathic physicians and Ph.D. research scientists.
Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) introduced Clarisoy, a new line of vegetable-based protein. Clarisoy ingredients are designed to provide clarity and complete protein nutrition for low pH beverage systems and were featured in a Lime Sport Recovery Beverage and Orange Mango Cooler prototype at the show. The sports beverage contained 6 grams of protein as did the Orange Mango Cooler, which also contained 50 percent juice from white grape, orange and mango juices.
ADM along with its partner Matsutani also highlighted new innovations in its Fibersol-2 soluble corn fiber ingredient. In addition to a powdered Acai Blueberry Flavor Electrolyte Beverage Mix, ADM/Matsutani shared news about its Fibersol-LQ liquid ingredient. Fibersol-LQ corn syrup contains 75 percent soluble dietary fiber on a dry solids basis and is designed for applications where sweetness and humectancy are beneficial. The ingredient has a sweetness similar to corn syrup, the companies say.
BASF co-located its booth at IFT with Cognis, which it acquired last year. Showcasing its combined abilities, the companies sampled Omega Chai Tea and Healthy Hurricane beverages. The Omega Chai Tea features omega-3s DHA and EPA, mixed tocopherols and vitamin D3 in a spiced tea beverage. Its Healthy Hurricane option is a 25 percent juice beverage fortified with lutein esters, beta-carotene, vitamin E and lycopene. In addition, BASF/Cognis highlighted its Tonalin CLA ingredient in food prototypes.
BI Nutraceuticals previewed next-generation ingredients, such as baobab fruit and blueberry extract. A fruit native to Africa, baobab is water soluble and contains more vitamins and minerals than are typically found in oranges, bananas and black currants, the company says. The fruit also contains prebiotic fiber and can be formulated into dairy products and smoothies, it says. The company also offers blueberry extract that contains antioxidants such as anthocyanins, resveratrol and tannins for which blueberries are known.
Cargill announced the initial findings from its multi-year research program to understand how beverage ingredients interact to affect taste, sweetness and mouthfeel. The preliminary results of research in Lemon-Lime beverages found that there is a connection between key mouthfeel sensations and consumers’ liking of a beverage. This confirms Cargill’s new TasteWise approach to reduced-calorie beverage formulations, it says. TasteWise reduced-calorie solutions allow beverage-makers to deliver better-tasting reduced-calorie products using Cargill’s patent-pending technology, application capabilities and ingredients to optimize the balance between texture, sweetness and flavor.
Corn Products International and National Starch offered two powdered beverage mixes incorporating a range of its ingredient solutions. Its Southern-Style Sweet Tea mix was developed to support bone and digestive health and contains Aquamin calcified mineral source, NutraFlora prebiotic soluble fiber and Enliten Reb A stevia sweetener. The companies also showcased a Raspberry Twist mix that was designed to support immune function and digestive health. The mix contains NutraFlora prebiotic soluble fiber, Purimune high-purity GOS and Enliten Reb A stevia sweetener. In addition, the companies sampled a Crystal Clear Orange-flavored Vitality Shot fortified with Nutriose soluble fiber, Aquamin, Enliten and Q-Naturale emulsifier.
The Corn Refiners Association highlighted research from a comprehensive analysis of data compiled by The Nielsen Co. on products that reformulated from high fructose corn syrup to sugar. The association shares that reformulation has not helped brands across food and beverage categories increase their market share.
David Michael & Co. sampled a fruity flavored coconut water ice made with tropical flavors. The frozen treat uses coconut water as a base for a healthy option that hydrates and is fat- and cholesterol-free, the company says.
Döhler-Milne Aseptics LLC, a joint venture between DöhlerGroup and Milne Fruit Products Inc., sampled a variety of beverages that embody its product range, including Melon-Pineapple juice, a lightly carbonated Elderberry Malt beverage and a Ceylon black tea with mint. The venture’s capabilities include flavors, emulsions, natural colors and compounds. In addition, the venture offers fruit preparations, alcohol and non-alcohol beverage bases, dairy bases, sweetening systems including stevia as well as fruit and vegetable juices, purees, concentrates and blends. The company partnered with PureCircle to offer new stevia-based sweetening solutions.
DSM showcased its new Fruitflow ingredient in a grape juice beverage. The ingredient is derived from tomato seeds and is designed to help maintain healthy blood circulation by smoothing platelets in the blood, the company says. The ingredient has received generally recognized as safe status for incorporation in fruit-based beverages. In addition, DSM also highlighted its range of beta carotene-based colors, resveratrol ingredient and its omega-3 range. The company recently acquired Martek Biosciences, which produces Life’sDHA range of vegetarian-sourced omega-3 fatty acids.
Ethical Naturals showcased the beverage possibilities of formulating with its Super Soluble Resveratrol 10 percent ingredient. A polyphenol present in many fruits and vegetables, resveratrol has been linked to free-radical absorbing activity and possibly is responsible for extended lifespan in various mammals, the company says. Its ProfileProven Super Soluble Resveratrol is kosher-certified and uses a nanostructure carrier technique to enable resveratrol to dissolve in a clear aqueous solution, the company says.
Fonterra featured its range of whey protein ingredients in several food and beverage prototypes. Its ClearProtein range was highlighted in a Protein-Fortified Hurricane juice beverage. The “mocktail” combines fruit juices with whey protein for a beverage that offers 5 grams of protein in each 8-ounce serving. Fonterra also sampled a High-Protein Yogurt Smoothie that contains its ElevateProtein ingredient, which is designed to enable manufacturers to double or triple the protein content of yogurt without compromising the product’s sensory experience, the company says.
Custom nutrient premix manufacturer Fortitech showcased its specialty with a Strawberry Essential Nutrition Powdered Beverage. The stick pack contains 10 percent of the recommended daily value of 11 vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, D3, E, folic acid and
B vitamins. Fortitech also sampled a Clear Protein Beverage that contains 10 grams of whey protein in a serving.
Glanbia Nutritionals offered a Bayou Boost beverage with Immunity Benefits at IFT. The beverage featured an immune health micronutrient premix formulated by the company that provides an excellent source of zinc and B vitamins as well as more than 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin C. Bayou Boost also delivers 30 mg. of Bioferrin lactoferrin, which offers seasonal support to help strengthen the natural immune system, the company says. It also featured its whey protein ingredients in food prototypes at the show.
P.L. Thomas featured a line of prototypes formulated with its functional ingredients. In a Beauty from Within formulation, P.L. Thomas featured Kaneka QH Ubiquinol, which is the reduced active antioxidant form of Coenzyme Q10, the company says. The ingredient provides defense against oxidative damage to the body’s cells, including lipids, proteins and DNA, it says. Kankeka QH Ubiquinol also was featured in P.L. Thomas’ Louisiana Raspberry Herb Tea Infusion drink. The beverage also contained Satireal, a saffron-derived ingredient used to create satiety and decrease hunger, as well as MenaquinGold Natural vitamin K2. The vitamin K2 in MenaquinGold has been linked to bone health, cardiovascular health and can ease muscle cramping, the company says.
Roha USA LLC featured its Natracol line of natural colors that are designed to meet consumer demand for natural products while also adapting to the technical challenges of specific beverage formulations, the company says. Roha conducts extensive shelf-life and stability tests on all Natracol colors under various light, temperature and pH conditions. Natracol products include colors derived from turmeric, beta carotene, red beet, purple carrot and copper chlorophyllin.
Sensient displayed its range of beverage color options, including a range of blue colors that it is currently testing, the company says.
Symrise showcased its fragrance and functional ingredient capabilities with a lineup of beverage prototypes. The company offered a ready-to-drink (RTD) Energy Tea formulated with its natural citrus and peach flavors, green tea, ginseng extract and fortified with 10 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamins B3, B5, B6 and B12. It also highlighted its research on key tropical flavors, such as guava, pineapple and prickly pear, the company says. Additional beverage samples on display at IFT included a Mango Orange Smoothie, Clementine Lime sports drink and Cinnamon Apple-flavored RTD tea.
Tate & Lyle highlighted the possibilities of its new Purefruit monk fruit extract sweetener in beverage applications. The company formulated Strawberry Passionfruit and Yuzu Sparkling Waters as well as an Orange Smoothie with Purefruit. The beverages used Tate & Lyle’s Rebalance formulation service, which helps manufacturers reformulate for less fat, sugar, calories and sodium without compromising taste, it says. It also featured its Splenda sucralose sweetener in a Guava Tea Lemonade that was developed along the company’s Optimize formulation service. Its Optimize platform helps manufacturers create recipes that are more cost-effective and taste just as good, the company says.
TIC Gums introduced a new lexicon devoted to the description of texture for liquid, semi-solid and solid foods. TIC Gums spent hundreds of hours tasting, testing, and mapping the more than 30 food attribute maps, it says. The terms were developed to provide food scientists and developers with a better way to express the textural qualities desired in food products early in the development process, the company says. The company’s “Texture Revolution” offers a vocabulary of terms based on food sensory evaluations to help developers express the ideal attributes of a product in development.
Treatt USA featured its TreattSweet range of essence flavors that offer sweetness, mouthfeel and clean label without the carbohydrates and calories. The company featured its TreattSweet stevia solution as well as Black Currant flavors and a Passionfruit Mango brewed black tea. It also sampled prototypes featuring its Hibiscus essence, a Raspberry Green Tea, Watermelon Margarita and TropiBerry smoothies that were developed using its Treattarome essence technology.
The U.S. Dairy Export Council, along with its partners the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and Dairy Research Institute, developed a portfolio of prototypes showcasing the benefits of eating protein throughout the day. Its samples included a Cucumber Lemon Yogurt Drink. The beverage has a smooth and savory yogurt-base and takes its flavor cues from the Eastern Mediterranean. The yogurt base contains probiotics and high-quality dairy proteins for a nutritious drink, the council says.
Virginia Dare presented the findings from its research into smoothie beverages. The company surveyed respondents on their opinions about what comprises a smoothie, who in their household consumes smoothies, when they are consumed, what ingredients are used and how they prepare a smoothie. The research showed the majority of consumers make smoothies at home although nearly 50 percent seek the beverages at fast food restaurants and a little more than 40 percent purchase pre-made smoothies at retail. The most popular ingredients were ice, fresh strawberries, fresh bananas, milk, frozen fruit, fresh blueberries, yogurt and fresh mango, according to Virginia Dare’s research. In terms of functional additions, consumers favored heart-healthy ingredients, vitamins, antioxidants, calcium and energy boosters to add to their smoothies.
The company found that consumers might be interested in trying smoothies from retail locations, as more than 35 percent indicated that RTD smoothies possibly could taste as good as blender-prepared options. Leading consumer preferences in smoothie flavors, Virginia Dare found that Strawberry Banana and Strawberry top the favored flavor list. In addition, Mixed Berry, Mango and Tropical flavors were identified as baseline flavors in the smoothie marketplace. The company also reported that kefir, nectars, Greek yogurt, Hispanic smoothies and yogurt could provide inspiration for new smoothie varieties.
Wild Flavors offered a range of beverage prototypes leveraging its flavor expertise. The company sampled a Natural Zero-Calorie Enhanced Water with a Cool Berry flavor that was formulated with Immunel and sweetened with stevia. It also developed an Antioxidant Coconut Water featuring a Mixed Berry flavor and natural red color, Praline Latte with Wild’s Brazilian coffee flavor, and a “Cool Energy” juice spritzer fortified with choline, potassium and B vitamins. Wild Flavors also showcased functional formulations developed for beauty and brain health benefits. BI