More than 18,000 attendees flocked to Las Vegas to attend the Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) 2012 Annual Meeting & Food Expo, June 26-28 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Food professionals were represented from all 50 states as well as nearly 80 countries at this year’s event. The ingredient show featured 1,066 exhibitors — an 8 percent increase from last year’s event — with 358 of those exhibitors being international.

At the keynote session, IFT launched a new campaign to counter misconceptions about food science. The video depicts what a grocery store would look like without the existence of food science. The campaign will feature five different video segments that feature interviews with experts from various food science disciplines to show the positive effects food science has on consumers, IFT says. The first video highlights the challenges surrounding availability of foods and the demands to feed the world’s population of approximately 9 billion people by 2050. The second video focuses on food safety and the role food science plays in ensuring that food is safe.

Presenting the keynote address was Starbucks Coffee Co. President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Howard Schultz. Schultz discussed the importance of job creation to spur growth in the economy as well as insights on the importance of scientific innovation. During the question-and-answer portion of the address, Schultz emphasized that innovation cannot be an isolated function. It must be multi-faceted and have cross functionality.

The show floor played host to 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 showcased Advantame, a sweetening system that is certified generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the Flavor Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) for use in beverages as well as dairy, ice cream and chewing gum. Made from a combination of aspartame and vanillin, Advantame is a cost-effective sweetening solution, the company says.

AIDP presented product concepts for Magtein, a compound for cognitive and memory health. It highlighted Magshot, a Magtein energy shot, and Magtea, a Magtein tea.

At its booth, Aloe Corp. had a continuous video showing the harvesting and processing of its aloe ingredients.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) unveiled Clarisoy 150 at IFT. Clarisoy 150 is a clean-tasting isolated soy protein specially processed for use in beverage systems with a pH of less than 4.0 with cloud systems or beverages neutralized to a pH of 7.0 or higher, the company says. It allows for greater use of soy protein in mildly flavored neutral beverages such as meal replacement and weight management products. ADM, along with its partner Matsutani, developed prototypes featuring at least one Fibersol ingredient. For beverages, it offered a peach-flavored effervescent beverage mix that contained Fibersol-2 AG to deliver 4 grams of fiber in a 9-gram serving.

Under its marketing initiative Think Newtrition, BASF demonstrated its portfolio of products in a range of beverage samples. Its tropical balance coconut water featured Tonalin CLA to keep weight in balance. A jet pack energy shot contained caffeine anhydrous granular, calcium D-pantothenate (B5) and vitamin B12 1 percent SD. The company also showcased Shape To Go, a liquid dietary supplement containing Tonalin CLA.

BI Nutraceuticals celebrated its 35th anniversary by sampling an emerald green tea ginger beverage at the show.

Biothera promoted its Wellmune WGP ingredient at the annual event. It also highlighted a clinical study published online in the British Journal of Nutrition, which found that Wellmune WGP prevented suppression of the immune system that normally occurs after intense exercise. The company most recently announced that Ultimate Sports Nutrition in South Africa selected Wellmune WGP for its new Immune Re-build supplement.

During IFT, experts with Cargill presented “Childhood Nutrition: Understanding the Changing Policies, Regulations and Recommendations.” The presentation highlighted the numerous nutrition policies and programs that have recently come into fruition as well as some of the major initiatives such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as well as the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. Due to changing regulatory and consumer pressures, Cargill noted it will work with customers to make healthier foods and beverages that are marketed to or consumed by kids.

David Michael & Co. featured its adults-only Plumcot Margarita water, which contains natural flavor Plumcot Type, natural Margarita flavor With Other Natural Flavors (WONF), Michtex stabilizers and natural red extract. Its adults-only mojito water ice contained natural flavor Mojito Type and Michtex stabilizers.

Showcasing a lemonade tea and a non-alcohol mango Margarita, D.D. Williamson highlighted naturally derived color solutions. Among its latest innovations is an oil-dispersible caramel color and an acid-proof Class One “plain” caramel color.

Dohler-Milne Aseptics promoted the addition of its WONF products to its portfolio. All WONFs can be provided in aseptic packaged bag-in-box or aseptic drums.

Fortitech showcased its new brand and logo at the IFT show. In the beverage space, the company also featured its Powercaps, which adhere to bottled water and release flavor, coloring and nutrients into the bottle. Its effervescent tablets also can be added to a glass of water for another convenient delivery system.

Gelita USA featured its Collagen Peptides, which can be used as natural emulsifiers capable of creating stable dispersed oil-in-water systems suitable for forming and stabilizing homogeneous emulsions, the company says.

Highlighting its beverage ingredient portfolio, Glanbia Nutritionals sampled a cherry protein beverage that featured a sports nutrition micronutrient premix. The customized premix included Carnipure, l-carnitine, l-tartrate and electrolytes to support muscle recovery and hydration, as well as vitamins B6 and B12. The recovery beverage also features BevWise A-101WS, a whey and soy protein blend that not only provides protein fortification, but also offers excellent flavor expression and clarity in high-acid beverage applications, the company says. A ready-to-drink smoothie featured BevWise I-302WM, a milk protein and whey protein blend designed for the rigorous processing requirements of intermediate pH beverages. The smoothie also contained BevGrad fine milled flaxseed and a micronutrient premix featuring chromium, grape seed extract and caffeine for energy and weight management.

Under its Coyote brand, Gum Technology promoted its guar gum replacement products. For instant beverages and smoothies, the company offers Stabilizer CT-1201.

Hilmar Ingredients featured a protein energy shot that uses its 9420 Whey Protein Isolate for long lasting energy, satiety and muscle protection, it says. Hilmar’s 9420 Whey Protein Isolate is highly functional with excellent clarity, the company says. Its clean flavor, acid and heat stability, and quality protein nutrition make it ideal for gels, waters, juices and low-pH beverages, it adds.

Ingredion, formerly Corn Products International and National Starch, sampled a mandarin orange fusion beverage, which featured Purity Gum Ultra Emulsifier. The new emulsifier improves manufacturing efficiencies by doubling the oil load while achieving stability in alcohol beverages and carbonated soft drinks, the company says. Purity Gum Ultra features four times the emulsification power up to 30 percent oil, increases manufacturing throughput, does not use expensive weighting agents, reduces water by 54 percent in the emulsion, and offers excellent process tolerance, the company says. Also on hand at IFT was a Sangria-inspired beverage that features Enliten TG 302000 Reb A Stevia Sweetener and Q-Naturale Flavor Emulsion. Q-Naturale allows for clear beverages without any weighting agents and high oil load emulsification up to 50 percent. Enliten is a natural, plant-based sweetener that allows for reduced dusting during processing and handling, the company says. The company also highlighted its Nutraflora ingredient, which is a prebiotic fiber that supports digestive and immune health and features the highest purity short chain Fructooligosaccharides, it adds.

Nutrinova, a business of Celanese Corp., launched the new Sunsation platform to help food and beverage manufacturers develop low- and no-calorie products with better taste profiles, it says. The first product in the platform is Sunsation Sunett SL, a sweetener system for sugar-reduced or sugar-free food and beverage products.

High-purity stevia sweetener supplier PureCircle promoted its stevia ingredients at IFT by offering full-calorie beverage comparisons at its booth.

Featuring its natural color, flavor and fragrance solutions, Sensient sampled a pineapple cilantro green tea beverage and a guava hibiscus coconut water at IFT.

Showcasing its range of caramel colors, Sethness Products Co. provided materials on its product portfolio, which includes Class I, Class II, Class III and Class IV caramel colors.

Solazyme Roquette Nutritionals shared its Almagine HP Whole Algalin Protein, a microalgae-based whole food ingredient solution. The company offered a green tea that included 8 grams of protein in each serving. Almagine is vegan, stable in low-pH beverages, allergen-free and genetically modified organism-free.

Sweet Green Fields highlighted its range of stevia ingredient offerings, including its Optesse HPS, which is designed to be blended with sugar. Its Optesse HPX is a 100 percent sugar replacement. The company also noted that it will soon introduce Sweet Green Fields Organics for its stevia extracts.

Noting that Hispanic and Asian populations are the two fastest growing races in North America, Symrise presented culinary demonstrations that are influenced by the respective populations during IFT. For Asian beverage offerings, Symrise developed a Guangzhou mule cocktail featuring East Asian ingredients. It also offered a peach pear smoothie, Mandarin grapefruit sparkling beverage and Thai iced tea. For Hispanic beverage samplings, the company presented a fresco loco cocktail, which includes yuzu, lime, cucumber, cilantro, ginger, yerba santa and bay leaf. Other offerings were strawberry hibiscus aguas de frescas and a mango lime cooler.

Synergy highlighted its increased capabilities since its acquisition of Sensus Flavors and Sethness Greenleaf in 2011. Its prototypes featured a pear vanilla white tea and blueberry pomegranate green tea, which was a green tea base but used black tea essences.

Tate & Lyle showcased its Optimize formulation service with a cranberry raspberry juice drink and an orange carbonated soft drink. Featuring Krystar Crystalline Fructose and Splenda Sucralose, the cranberry raspberry juice drink Optimize concept offers a 19 percent reduction in sweetener cost compared to a full-sugar version, the company says. Using Mira-Mist SE Modified Food Starch in the orange carbonated soft drink, flavor emulsions achieve stable refrigerated emulsion. It also contains Krystar Liquid Fructose and Purefruit Monk Fruit Extract.

TIC Gums introduced Ticaloid SF 1 and Ticaloid

OC 1, hydrocolloids for texture and stability in full sugar and sugar-free syrups. Ticaloid SF 1 was designed to replace the textural and stability attributes found in full-sugar systems that are lost when artificial sweeteners are substituted. Ticaloid OC 1 was developed to improve the stability of fully sugared syrups.

Treatt USA expanded its portfolio with the introduction of two new Treattarome products: Coffee Treattarome Full Roast 9780 and Coffee Treattarome Mellow 9781. The products were developed to deliver an authentic roasted bean flavor in a wide variety of applications at a cost-effective price, the company says. These latest additions to Treatt’s range of From The Named Food (FTNF) ingredients are wholly distilled from Arabica coffee. When used in application, Coffee Treattarome Full Roast 9780 and Coffee Treattarome Mellow 9781 confer a full, rich coffee character, according to the company. They are particularly effective when incorporated as a top note in ready-to-drink coffee beverages, it adds. Treatt also introduced TreattSweet Extra 9856 and TreattSweet Sparkling 9857.  TreattSweet Extra 9856 has been formulated to overcome compatibility issues with other components of flavor blends, providing flavorists with a low-odor alternative. They are both “water white” making them particularly suitable for clear beverages but also for juices, waters, alcohol drinks and dairy applications.

To emphasize the various combinations of its ingredients, Wild Flavors displayed many of its ideas in a “Flavors of the Seasons” format, whereby creativity was shown via seasonal attributes reminiscent of summer, fall, winter and spring. Wild emphasized its new capabilities for mint from the A.M. Todd acquisition, and stevia with Taste Modification Technologies. Concepts included a mint lemonade sweetened with stevia and a 50-calorie juice beverage. Other concepts were an apple cranberry cider, winter punch, Tahiti lime ginger ImmuniTea, grapefruit omega-3 juice drink, strawberry melon mojito and vanilla cinnamon iced coffee.

Highlighting its custom premix solutions, The Wright Group sampled a tropical fruit flavored immunity drink and strawberry flavored energy punch drink. The tropical fruit drink contained a custom blended premix of immunity-enhancing vitamins, while the strawberry flavored drink contained an energy nutritional premix with a customized blend of l-taurine, glucurolactone and inositol.

 Promoting Flavor Oasis, Virginia Dare unveiled numerous new product offerings at the IFT show. Highlighting the number of apple varieties available, Virginia Dare’s latest apple flavors include Macoun, Fuji, Jazz and Honeycrisp. Noting the popularity of iced coffee, the company’s beverage laboratories have created iced coffee units that can be dairy-free or milk additive-free. They also vary in degree of coffee roast and can be flavored with popular varieties such as hazelnut, French vanilla, Irish crème, amaretto and blueberry. Virginia Dare also sampled its Chocolate Tea, which contained its new tea concentrate TT99 that eliminates the need for tea solids in ready-to-drink teas. Based on its marketing department’s fast track consumer market research, the company has developed almond milk beverages to appeal to Hispanic consumers of Mexican and Central American heritage. The four prototypes developed are horchata, dulce de leche, Mexican chocolate and flan de nuez. BI