This year’s Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) 2013 Annual Meeting and Food Expo attracted more than 23,500 food professionals to McCormick Place in Chicago from July 13-16 to seek out the latest innovations in food science and technology, according to organization.

At the opening general session, sponsored by San Francisco-based Solazyme, Fareed Zakaria,  host of CNN’s international affairs program “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” presented his keynote speech, “Facing the Extreme: Food Challenges,” encouraging an optimistic approach to global challenges and urging “borderless” collaboration in the interest of scientific advances.

Beyond Zakaria’s speech, IFT 2013 also featured more than 100 educational sessions and more than 1,200 poster presentations, according to IFT.  

On the show floor, the IFT Food Expo was sold out with more than 1,100 companies exhibiting in more than 2,300 booths, IFT says.

Many beverage companies attended to showcase their latest technologies, ingredients, color and flavor solutions, and more. The following are some highlights featured by beverage-related exhibitors at IFT 2013:

Consulting firm AIBMR Life Sciences, Puyallup, Wash., discussed its services available to help companies complete generally recognized as safe (GRAS) self-determination and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notification for new ingredients. The company also noted that it is working extensively with the energy drink market to offer advice about labeling, the selection of GRAS ingredients, the regulatory status of beverage ingredients, and the use of caffeine and taurine.

AIDP Inc., City of Industry, Calif., highlighted its Magtein magnesium-based ingredient designed to support cognitive function and brain health. It is self-affirmed GRAS, soluble in water, odorless, tasteless and colorless. The company also promoted its Gabiotein sprouted brown rice protein, which is ideal for sports drinks, protein drinks and smoothies;  its enVantec microencapsulation process, which delivers stability, solubility and affordability for clear and nutraceutical beverage applications; and its Rebevia all-natural Reb-A stevia, which is approximately 300 times sweeter than sugar. It also debuted a new line of tasteless minerals called TastiMin.

Ajinomoto North America Inc., Itasca, Ill., highlighted its Advantame artificial flavor enhancer for reduced-sugar applications. To showcase the product in action, the company offered samples of 30 percent reduced-sugar vanilla- and chocolate-flavored milks, a 25 percent reduced-sugar cranberry-raspberry drink, and a sugar-free iced coffee sweetened with Advantame.

Seattle-based AloeCorp Inc. talked with customers about its entire portfolio of aloe products for beverage applications.

Amelia Bay, John’s Creek, Ga., showcased its tea extract portfolio.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM), Decatur, Ill., offered samples of its Clarisoy 100 isolated soy protein ingredient in orange juice to showcase its performance in a high-acid environment. Clarisoy 100 stays in solution and offers a milder flavor than traditional soy to beverages in order to offer nutrition beyond hydration, the company says. Clarisoy also is available in an agglomerated form for use in powdered beverages. In addition, the company offered samples of its deZaan cocoa powder D-11-MA, which will officially launch in the U.S. market at the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) in October in Las Vegas, in a mocha beverage. The cocoa powder is suitable for coffee and dairy beverage applications, the company says.

Decatur, Ill.-based ADM/Matsutani LLC highlighted a diverse variety of beverage uses for its Fibersol product line, including instant hot chocolate and mocha mixes with Fibersol-2 AG, Fibersol stick packs for quickly dispersing fiber into a beverage, and an acai berry fiber infuser functional cap for adding a gram of fiber to any bottled water.  

Autocrat LLC, Lincoln, R.I., offered samples of  a ready-to-drink iced coffee made with its natural liquid coffee extract and a sparkling peach tea made with its natural oolong tea syrup.

Barrington Nutritionals, Harrison, N.Y., offered packets of powdered BiAloe featuring PureFruit monk fruit extract for gut health, which can be mixed into beverages. It also promoted Agaviotica agave nectar and Vinpocetine for cognitive health.

BASF Corp., Florham Park, N.J., unveiled its new Newtrition branding, which focuses on thinking the way its customers think. It also showcased its vast array of ingredients by offering samples of a tropical energy drink, which used an Apocarotenal 2 colorant instead of Yellow No. 6, and a clear tea drink, which used the company’s Divergan processing aid to reduce the bitter polyphenols and, therefore, reduce the need for sweeteners. It also offered packets of its Tonalin Power Mix with CLA for reducing body fat and highlighted its plant sterols for heart health.

BI Nutraceuticals, Long Beach, Calif., featured a carrot juice with ginger and green tea to highlight the green tea’s ability to add functionality to a beverage without significantly changing the product’s flavor. The featured beverage contained 0.051 grams  of its green tea extract in each serving with 45 percent epigallocatechin gallate, 98 percent polyphenols, and 75 percent catechins to a conventional carrot juice, adding 50 mg of polyphenols, it says.

Bioenergy Life Science Inc., Ham Lake, Minn., highlighted its Bioenergy Ribose ingredient for restoring energy. With successful product developments in energy drinks, dry mixes, shots, juices, teas, hot chocolate, chai and coffee blends, Bioenergy Ribose can easily be incorporated into food and beverage formulations, it says.

Eagan, Minn.-based Biothera highlighted its Wellmune WGP natural immune health ingredient. At its booth, the company demonstrated its new Tubulars Immunity Straws, which are Passion Fruit-flavored functional straws formulated with Wellmune WGP for everyday immune support.
Blue California, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., showcased three ingredients with different functions. Its natural l-theanine 98 percent is designed to reduce stress and  is certified generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Also certified FDA GRAS, its Good & Sweet Reb-A 99 percent natural sweetener is 400 times sweeter than sugar. The company also highlighted its all-natural vitamin K2 1 percent for bone health.

Briess Malt & Ingredients Co., Chilton, Wis., highlighted its natural sweeteners, which act as an alternative to artificial sweeteners and offer a clean label solution, the company says. It also highlighted its malt extracts, which are suitable for coffee products and can add a creamy maltiness as well as a rich, malty caramel flavor to the beverage.

Minneapolis-based Cargill highlighted results of its research about purchase drivers that influence parents in the selection of foods and beverages for their children. In the survey of more than 1,000 parents with children between the ages of 2 and 12 years old, the researchers found that 85 percent of parents said they would be interested in purchasing healthier versions of juice drinks, and 59 percent said they would be interested in purchasing healthier versions of carbonated soft drinks. Along with this theme, the company offered samples of better-for-you beverage products, such as an apple berry sparkling juice drink and a reduced-sugar chocolate milk both sweetened with Truvia stevia leaf extract. The company also announced the launch of its new assessment tool to help Cargill customers identify and assess areas of risk and opportunity in order to take action on responsible sourcing issues.

Commerce, Calif.-based Carmi Flavors & Fragrances Co. showcased its beverage applications with frozen-served Granitas, which included no-sugar-added varieties.

Sparta, Wis.-based Century Foods International, a division of Hormel Foods Corp., promoted its specialization in ready-to-drink beverage applications, including high-acid, hot-fill beverages such as high protein drinks, energy drinks, nutritional drinks, juices and waters.

Milwaukee-based Chr. Hansen Inc. promoted its FruitMax line of natural colors that are naturally sourced and very stable, it says. Products using FruitMax can be labeled as “fruit and/or vegetable juice for color” in the United States, it adds. The company also offers ColorFruit Reds, which are a comparable match to FD&C Red No. 40, it notes.

Irvine, Calif.-based Cyvex Nutrition added Protomine to its expanding portfolio. Protomine is a new line of lean, sustainably sourced, fat-free fish protein powders made from a whole food source. It delivers a hydrolyzed marine protein at greater than 80 percent concentration in its natural unflavored form and contains naturally occurring trace elements in bioavailable organic forms – including a 1:1 ratio of magnesium to calcium, the company says. The company also showcased its Alfapro alfalfa juice protein concentrate as well as its antioxidant health product lines.

David Michael & Co. Inc., Philadelphia showcased its flavor and color applications for the food industry.

D.D. Williamson, Louisville, Ky., displayed its natural, clean label coloring solutions for beverages and sachet powders. These natural flavors add color and light flavor to a beverage, the company says. In the same booth, ColorMaker Inc., Anaheim, Calif., highlighted its all-natural color solutions, including colored soy protein isolates for soy beverages.  

Diana Naturals, Valley Cottage, N.Y., showcased its natural color concepts by offering tastes of a purple passion drink featuring red beet root, elderberry and purple carrot concentrate for color.

Didion Milling, Cambria, Wis., showcased its locally sourced HarvestGold corn bran, which can be used as a dietary fiber and to replace some of the gums in beverages. Corn bran has a high ratio of insoluble to soluble fiber, delivering a high degree of satiety, the company says. The company also identified high-fiber content as a consumer trend.

DSM Food Specialties, Delft, the Netherlands, announced the launch of its latest natural preservation solution for beverages, DelvoCid+. This product can improve the shelf-life and taste profile of a beverage while providing a clean label and minimal product use, the company says. DSM Nutritional Products, Parsippany, N.J., also highlighted its color capabilities by showing its prototypes for drop-style liquid beverage mixes infused with nutrients and natural and nature-identical carotenoid colors. In addition, the company offered samples of a goji berry melon beauty drink formulated with DSM’s SuppleSkin signature beauty premix and a vanilla chai nutrition shake with Fabuless for appetite control. It also showcased its Fruitflow nutritional ingredient for healthy blood flow and EnergyPlus! visual performance energy shot featuring ForaGlo Lutein and Optisharp Zeaxanthin.

Downers Grove, Ill.-based Flavorchem offered samples from its coffee extract portfolio.

Florida Food Products Inc., Eustis, Fla., featured its frozen vegetable juice concentrates and vacuum-dried fruit powders from concentrate for beverage applications.  

Food Ingredient Solutions LLC, Teterboro, N.J., highlighted its FISclear transparent emulsion colors. This carotenoid emulsion technology can be used to make clear or cloudy beverage emulsions by controlling particle size, the company says.

Showcasing its custom nutrient premixes, Fortitech, Schenectady, N.Y., featured prototypes aimed at healthy aging and antioxidant fortification. For healthy aging, the company featured a peach-flavored tea sweetened with stevia powder with PowerCaps for market-ready powdered solutions. Highlighting antioxidant fortification, the company offered both brewed and instant coffee.

Mayfield Heights, Ohio-based Ganeden Biotech announced six new partner product launches, five of which are beverage products. BarnDad’s Rise original instant green coffee with probiotics and Copper Moon probiotic instant coffee both offer the benefits of GanedenBC30 probiotics, the company says. In addition, TapOut All-In-One meal replacement beverage, Six Star instant protein smoothie, and Fizz sparkling probiotic lemonade all are formulated with the probiotic to add digestive and immune health advantages to these products.  

Highlighting its ongoing innovation, Glanbia Nutritionals, Fitchburg, Wis., showcased nutritional and functional prototypes at the trade show. The company offered samples of a tropical fruit smoothie that featured Chromax and VitaCholine ingredients, which help support cognitive function and memory problems associated with aging, it says. The smoothie also featured BevGrad XtraThick flaxseed designed to enhance the body of the beverage while delivering omega-3 fatty acids and other nutritional benefits, it says. Another beverage application was its Fatigue Fighter Energy Shot fortified with fast-acting, energy-boosting PepForm peptides, it says. Other ingredients used were PhytoForce green tea extract for natural energy, CarniPure carnitine for sustained energy, and pTeroPure pterostilbene to support healthy blood flow.

GNT USA, Tarrytown, N.Y., featured an old-fashioned soda fountain to showcase its color capabilities utilizing fruits and vegetables.

Gold Coast Ingredients Inc., Commerce, Calif., offered beverage samples highlighting its featured flavors and colors, including an energizing vitamin beverage with natural pomegranate flavors, a  flavored water with natural lychee and coconut flavors, and a homestyle tea with natural peach, passion fruit and tea flavors.

Hilmar Ingredients, Hilmar, Calif., highlighted its Hilmar 9400 Whey Protein Isolate and Hilmar 8500 lactose-free Whey Protein Concentrate formulated into a whey and oat shake with a vanilla chai flavor. These products add satiety and heart-health benefits to a beverage, the company says.

Ingredion Inc., Westchester, Ill., introduced its new Dolcerra sweetness and texture system for reduced-sugar juices. Utilizing its data-driven Dial-In Texture and Sweetness Technology, the Dolcerra system was created to allow beverage producers to capitalize on consumer trends for reduced-sugar and -calorie fruit juices while still delivering the taste and texture of full-sugar juices, it says. It also introduced its new Dulcent aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) sweeteners.

Cranbury, N.J.-based Innophos Inc. highlighted its VersaCal Clear in a raspberry-lemon flavored enhanced water. VersaCal Clear is a highly soluble calcium phosphate that can be used in all acidic beverage applications but has been specifically formulated for clear beverages, it says. The company also provided information about its K-Pure products, a line of mineral amino acid chelates, through Kelatron, a subsidiary.

JK Sucralose Inc., Beijing, featured its Sucralose sweetener product. Sucralose is approximately 600 times sweeter than sugar by weight, offers great heat stability, and does not contain any calories or carbohydrates, the company says.

Jungbunzlauer Inc., Netwon Center, Mass., gave away functional cap products for bottled waters that impart potassium and magnesium mineral salts as well as a lemon-mint flavor into the beverage. It also sampled a gelatin dessert made with its all-natural Erylite Stevia sweetener, which can be used as a sugar replacement in all food and beverage products.

Nutrinova, the food ingredients business of Celanese Corp., Dallas,  introduced attendees to its Qorus sweetener system by providing taste tests of juice drinks, cocktails and chocolate milk that compared the full-calorie beverages with reduced-calorie, Qorus-sweetened alternatives. Qorus was designed to reduced calories and also deliver authentic taste.

La Verne, Calif.-based Pat Vitamins focused on its B and C vitamin solutions for beverage applications.

Pharmachem Laboratories Inc., Kearny, N.J., highlighted the growing trend of aloe use in beverages and described how the botanical can mix well with other fruit flavors in a beverage.

Lincolnshire, Ill.-based Purac America Inc. showcased its calcium portfolio. The company offered samples of a 50 percent reduced-sugar strawberry lemonade drink with Puracal XPro that offered 30 percent of the recommended daily value of calcium. It also highlighted its Purac Fit Plus lactic acid line, which can help with overall beverage flavor and even improve the flavor of stevia, the company says.  

Oak Brook, Ill.-based PureCircle sampled a mojito-flavored sparkling white tea showcasing its new Stevia 3.0 sweetener that blends stevia glycosides for optimum sweetness without off-notes.

Roha USA, St. Louis, announced a corporate reorganization and rebranding initiative designed to streamline service and position Roha for future growth. The company also launched its latest brand, Futurals, a range of stable shades of coloring foodstuff and extracts from fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers and algae. The product allows for a clean label, it adds.

Roquette America, Geneva, Ill., promoted its microalgae-based food ingredients. At the trade show, Roquette showcased two new ingredients: a high-lipid and a high-protein microalgae-based ingredient, both of which are natural-origin, whole ingredients that improve nutrition and texture in many applications, the company says. The protein product is suitable for dietary supplement applications, it adds. The company also promoted its Nutralys pea protein and Nutriose soluble fiber.

San Joaquin Valley Concentrates, Fresno, Calif., highlighted its portfolio of natural anthocyanin colors.
Concord, N.C.-based S&D Food Innovation and Ingredients, a division of S&D Coffee, highlighted its coffee portfolio with samples of a dairy-based coffee drink, an iced coffee drink mixed with flavor, a frappe-style coffee- and dairy-based drink, as well as coffee extract on draught that was infused with nitrogen to be served as an iced coffee.

Milwaukee-based Sensient Technologies mixed some of the natural ingredients from its Natural Origins line with trendy flavors to create beverages with ethnic flavor concepts, including a mango horchata, a cucumber citrus agua fresca, an Asian orchard green bubble tea, and a lotus blossom mocktail. Sensient Colors LLC, a business unit of Sensient Technologies, also recently announced that it renewed its commitment to sustainable practices. The company continued its focus on energy reduction by installing motion-detecting, energy-efficient lighting systems; working with raw material suppliers to limit usage of non-renewable energy sources such as coal; and implementing zero-discharge programs with suppliers in China and India to eliminate wastewater. It also has implemented waste-reducing systems, including a corporate-wide recycling program, capital investments in packaging systems with a reduced carbon footprint, and new software programs to eliminate paper transactions.

SensoryEffects, St. Louis, offered three different flavored beverage samples — an energy mocha coffee, a peaches-and-cream milk and juice drink, and a spiced horchata — to promote its customized, concentrated bases, which are available in powder or liquid formats.

Sethness Caramel Color, Lincolnwood, Ill., discussed some of its new specialty caramel color solutions, including DSL4 and RTO4 colors, which offer a low 4-Methylimidazole (4MeI) alternative in line with California’s Proposition 65 rule enforcing the listing of 4MeI as a possible carcinogen.

Sweet Green Fields LLC, Bellingham, Wash., gave its booth visitors the chance to sample its stevia products in action. The company highlighted its latest products, Puresse Stevia 100 and Optesse HPX Stevia, in a zero-calorie diet soda and a sugar-reduced green tea, respectively. It also offered samples of a 60 percent reduced-sugar lemonade and a no-sugar-added chocolate milk with Optesse HPS Stevia.   

Wauconda, Ill.-based Synergy Flavors showcased its capabilities in flavors and essences with two beverage prototypes: a Mexican mocha latte and a jasmine grapefruit green tea. The company also noted its ability to create a beverage  with a body and mouthfeel  consistent with that of  brewed tea products. In addition, it highlighted its proprietary technology for its essences.

Tabasco Brands/McIlhenny Co., Avery Island, La., brought the heat to the beverage segment by offering attendees a taste of its specially crafted Windy City Cooler. The carbonated concoction featured a mix of sweet and spicy flavors, including lemonade, red and white grapefruit juice concentrates, pomegranate juice concentrate, bitters, orange bitters, simply syrup, cherry juice, Tabasco, Grand Marnier and vodka.

Tate & Lyle, Hoffman Estates, Ill., featured prototypes that contained its natural sweetener products: Purefruit monk fruit extract and Tasteva stevia sweetener, a proprietary blend of steviol glycosides. Purefruit is 200 times sweeter than sugar and can provide a “naturally sweetened from fruit” claim, the company says. Tasteva is 250 times sweeter than sugar and can maintain the sweetness and flavor without the bitter licorice notes sometimes associated with Reb A 97, it adds. The company also offered a mocktail mojito sweetened with Splenda sucralose.

TIC Gums Inc., White Marsh, Md., which offers a portfolio of gums for beverage applications, focused on the food applications of its gum products at the show.

Lakeland, Fla.-based Treatt USA showcased new introductions to its product range. Debuting at the show were Pineapple Treattarome 9736, Green Tea TrueTaste Natural 200, and a new version of TreattSweet, which has been designed to improve the taste of stevia in an extended range of beverage applications, it says. The TreattSweet range also includes TreattSweet 9854, TreattSweet Extra 9856 for reduced-odor applications, and TreattSweet Sparkling 9857, which tackles the issues associated with carbonation, acidulants and sugar in low-calorie beverages — all of which have a significant impact on flavor perception and sweetness.

Univar Inc., Redmond, Wash., offered samples of  an almond milk featuring stabilizers from CP Kelco, Chicago. The beverage contained Kelcogel HA-B gellan gum for suspension, Genuvisco JD-S carrageenan to stabilize fat, and Genu Gum RL-200Z refined locust bean gum for a creamy mouthfeel. Univar also showcased its newly developed interactive formulation tool designed to help manufacturers and food formulators choose ingredients and develop new products with ease and efficiency.  

Virginia Dare, Brooklyn, N.Y., highlighted its flavor and masking abilities as well as its vanilla and tea products through samples of a cherry lime rickey carbonated soft drink, a ginger rooibos herbal tea, a vanilla green tea, a brut peach black tea, a cantaloupe lemonade, and an iced coffee. The company also announced its new presence in Madagascar to produce vanilla extracts and flavors.

Watson Inc., West Haven, Conn., featured prototypes of its Clarity energy premix and its Wellness antioxidant and immunity premix. Clarity provides mental focus as it contains choline and vitamin B5 , which combine to form acetalcholine, a neurotransmitter, it says. For Wellness, Watson used betaClear, a product that allows beverages infused with beta carotene to have a clear appearance, and Clear-E, which is used for beverages infused with vitamin E, it adds.

Erlanger, Ky.-based Wild Flavors Inc. showcased its various beverage flavor innovations with fruit profiles by offering samples of a black raspberry mint smoothie, a non-alcohol strawberry melon mojito, a natural fuji apple flavor with other natural flavors (WONF) drink, a natural clementine flavor WONF drink, a natural marion blackberry flavor WONF drink, a citrus peach mango vegeceuticals enhanced water, and a summerberry juice cocktail, all made with natural colors and flavors. The company also highlighted its newest technology, RPM Factors, a milk peptide for sports nutrition beverages that offers minimal impact on taste, color and texture, the company says. Studies have shown that RPM Factors can aid in recovery and resistance, boost performance, and help support muscle mass, it adds.

The Wright Group, Crowley, La., showed how its omega-3 fatty acid products can help give an RTD beverage a weight management profile. It offered samples of chocolate- and strawberry-flavored omega-3 beverages to show that the fatty acids do not add any undesirable flavors to the beverage and that it can perform well in both milk and juice applications.