The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Chicago, saw more than 20,000 attendees attend IFT17, the association’s Annual Conference & Expo, which took place June 25-28 at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas. This year’s theme, Go With Purpose, highlighted the latest research, solutions, innovations and trends, including clean labels, sweeteners and sugar-reduction solutions, as well as plant-based alternatives.

In addition to various speakers, more than 100 scientific sessions and 700 poster presentations, the expo featured more than 1,200 exhibitors. The following are some of the beverage highlights from IFT17:

AIDP, City of Industry, Calif., promoted its expanded portfolio of protein and prebiotic ingredients, which includes kiwi-based ACTAZIN Organic and Livaux Organic from New Zealand-based Anagenix Ltd. It showcased its new plant-based proteins, Pumpkin Protein and Cran D’Or, which features protein from cranberry seed powder. Through its new partnership with Algaia, Paris, the company also announced that it will exclusively distribute sustainably produced alginates to improve the thickening, gelling and mouthfeel of foods and beverages.

Johns Creek, Ga.-based Amelia Bay highlighted its tea and coffee offerings in several on-trend prototypes. It offered samples of an organic matcha green tea with pineapple and mango, a premium-brewed lightly sweetened black tea, a premium-brewed organic unsweetened tea and an organic cold-brew coffee with caramel.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM), Chicago, showcased its portfolio of plant-based protein ingredients, Colors from Nature natural colors, sweetening solutions, and non-GMO and organic offerings. Among the samples featured at the show were an artisan blood orange and bourbon non-alcohol soda featuring American oak distillate, natural flavors and SweetRight Stevia; a coffee lemonade featuring cold-brew coffee extract and natural flavors; and a plant-powered frappe containing 10 grams of plant-based protein and six grams of fiber in each serving.

ADM/Matsutani, the joint venture between ADM and Matsutani Chemical Industry Co. Ltd., highlighted fiber fortification opportunities with its Fibersol brand, a soluble dietary fiber ingredient. Concept beverages included a spiced cold-brew coffee with Fibersol soluble vegetable fiber (corn), Clarisoy soy protein isolate, and cashew and almond butter, and a chocolate mint soft-serve ice cream with 10 grams of fiber and six grams of protein.

Basking Ridge, N.J.-based Arla Food Ingredients Inc. USA highlighted its natural whey protein ingredients sourced from grass-fed cows, making them non-GMO and rBST free. The ingredients are designed for on-the-go nutrition while meeting clean-label trends, the company says. The company offered samples of a clean and clear protein water containing Lacprodan DI-9213 to support strong muscles and bones in a low-energy beverage concept, which was sugar and fat free, it says.

Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Northbrook, Ill., promoted its new portfolio of Sweetech flavors available in liquid, powder and spray-dry formats to reduce sugar by as much as 50 percent in foods and beverages, it says. Among the products on hand was an apricot and jasmine Turkish tea.

Morris Plains, N.J.-based Beneo highlighted new trends in healthy ingredients and nutrition, focusing on sugar reduction through the use of natural ingredients derived from chicory root, sugar beet, rice and wheat. It noted the benefits of its slow-release Palatinose carbohydrate, a natural sweetener that provides sustained energy while reducing glycemic impact. It also highlighted the expanded applications for Orafti inulin, a functional fiber extracted from chicory root.

BI Nutraceuticals, Long Beach, Calif., showcased its range of 200 generally recognized as safe (GRAS) ingredients. It featured its new, clean-label sweet potato powder and cinnamon powder extract in a sweet potato corn muffin. It also offered samples of a high-protein iced coffee with its Faba Bean Protein 60 Percent, which adds 10 grams of protein to a 360-gram beverage, and a ginger pineapple orange juice containing ginger powder and pineapple orange juice.

Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.-based Blue California promoted its botanical extracts and natural ingredients, including BC-DHQ dihydroquercetin, a water-soluble flavonoid produced by fermentation. The sustainable product is ideal for dietary supplements and functional beverages, the company says. The ingredient also offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits as well as anti-bacterial protection, it adds.

Carmi Flavors, Commerce, Calif., highlighted its range of liquid and powdered flavors for the food and beverage industry. It noted that vanilla, coffee, orange and banana are among the most requested flavors.

Cargill, Minneapolis, promoted its range of stevia-based sweeteners, including ViaTech and EverSweet, which can provide as much as 70 percent and 100 percent sugar reduction, respectively, it says. The company presented a taste comparison of three waters: one with rebaudioside A (Reb A80), one sweetened with ViaTech and the other sweetened with EverSweet. It also offered samples of a zero-calorie sweet tea made with EverSweet and a no-sugar-added orange juice drink featuring ViaTech stevia leaf extract. Additionally, it announced that EverSweet, formulated with commercially viable Reb M and Reb D, will launch in 2018.

Milwaukee-based Chr. Hansen highlighted its portfolio of natural, oil-soluble colors and organic-compliant fruit and vegetable juices for the food and beverage markets.

Darmstadt, Germany-based The Döehler Group highlighted its range of flavor solutions and fruit and botanical extracts as well as its comprehensive portfolio of colors, coloring concentrates and color extracts.

DSM, Parsippany, N.J., showcased its range of Fortitech premixes that enable manufacturers to incorporate functional ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and nutraceuticals into any application, it says. It introduced research-backed Hydrate, which contains electrolytes as well as B vitamins for sustained energy; and Omega Hydrate, which contains 32 mg of fish oil, an omega-3 fatty acid that supports brain and heart health.

Lincoln, R.I.-based Finlays showcased its tea and coffee solutions in a variety of formats and applications. It offered samples of a cold-brew horchata rice milk latte, a maple ginger puer tea, a cold-brew iced coffee lightly sweetened with maple syrup, and a black pepper chai tea latte. It also highlighted its cold-brew process, including sourcing, steeping and extraction, as well as its ability to deliver a fresh-brewed coffee taste in a shelf-stable, scalable cold-brew coffee extract.

Flavorchem Corp., Downers Grove, Ill., unveiled a world flavor tour passport and offered samples of a strawberry basil granita with coconut milk and a peach qishr featuring its cold-brewed cascara spiked with chai spice and rounded out with a natural peach flavor. It also highlighted its range of vanilla alternatives.

North Brunswick, N.J.-based FlavorHealth, the flavors business unit of Chromocell Corp., demonstrated its sugar-, salt- and bitterness-reduction solutions in a range of food and beverage prototypes that used a “standard” formulation versus a “test” formulation. The reduced-sugar beverages were an orange drink and a stevia-sweetened iced black tea. The company’s bitterness-reduction capabilities were highlighted in a green tea with a double dose of polyphenols.

Gelita, Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, highlighted its range of clean-label, bioactive collagen peptides, an ideal source of protein for maintaining the health of the body’s connective tissues, bones, joints, skin, ligaments and tendons, the company says.

Glanbia Nutritionals, Fitchburg, Wis., unveiled Bev Edge Pea Protein, a highly dispersible, neutral-tasting, ready-to-mix solution for use in sports nutrition and protein drinks, it says.

Commerce, Calif-based Gold Coast Ingredients offered a different beverage and food concept for each day of the expo to highlight its natural flavor capabilities. The first day featured a Vietnamese iced coffee, a pomegranate honey tea was served on the second day, and an orchard beer beverage was featured on the final day. 

GNT USA Inc., Tarrytown, N.Y., showcased its natural colors from fruits, vegetables and plants as well as its hand-crafted soda syrups. It offered samples of hand-crafted sodas featuring its all-natural color solutions. The concept beverage was available in three flavors: pineapple tangerine, raspberry black currant and mint mojito.

Hilmar Ingredients, Hilmar, Calif., offered samples of a cinnamon horchata agua fresca fortified with its skim milk powders, 8360 Whey Protein Hydrolysate and 9010 Whey Protein Isolate. The beverage contained 8 grams of protein and 90 calories in each 240-ml serving.

Jerome, Idaho-based Idaho Milk Products showcased its IdaPro Micellar Casein in a clean-label, ready-to-mix chocolate protein drink with 18 grams of protein in a 30-gram serving, which provides energy and facilitates muscle recovery, it says. It also unveiled IdaPlus, an enhanced milk protein concentrate for use in drinkable yogurts. Additionally, it announced the launch of its new website,

Ingredion Inc., Westchester, Ill., showcased the latest technology in a “breakthrough” booth format that featured three interactive innovation stations: Clean & Simple explored how manufacturers can bring authentic ingredients to life in new ways with non-GMO sweeteners, texturizers, proteins, fibers and flours; Health & Nutrition explored innovations in clean-taste pulse proteins, flours and dietary fibers; and Sensory showcased its Idea Lab’s innovation center and ability to create one-of-a-kind texture experiences. The company also featured its new 95 percent pure BESTEVIA Reb M stevia leaf sweetener in a no-sugar-added Marion blackberry iced tea. In partnership with SweeGen Inc., Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., Ingredion announced that it is the exclusive global distributor of BESTEVIA Reb M stevia leaf sweetener in the United States and Canada, with other countries, except China, where it is a non-exclusive distributor, to follow as additional regulatory approvals are granted, it says.

New York-based International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) announced the launch of Tastepoint by IFF, a company that represents the merger of Philadelphia-based companies David Michael & Co. and Ottens Flavors. Tastepoint by IFF will leverage the expertise of both companies and offer IFF’s research and development capabilities, technologies and consumer insights along with enhanced go-to-market approaches to accelerate growth in North America. The brand platform is based on “the perfect blend of heart and science” and features new branding for the on-the-road Great Escape to Educate van, which was displayed at IFT and is scheduled to hit the road this fall, it says.

Innophos Inc., Cranbury, N.J., highlighted its portfolio of specialty ingredient solutions that address mega-trends in the dietary supplement, nutraceutical, and food and beverage industries. It also showcased its lineup of sodium and potassium phosphates, along with its fortification expertise and technology to support digestion and nutrient utilization.

Salem, Ore.-based Kerr Concentrates Inc. showcased its clean-label product line of fruit and vegetable juices, concentrates, purees, essences and distillates along with its tailored formulation expertise. It offered samples of a mango mule mocktail made with Sweet Squash 100, mango puree and butternut squash juice from concentrate; and a black tea sweetened with jicama juice concentrate, showcasing a 70 percent reduction of added sugar in each serving, it says.

Kerry, Beloit, Wis., promoted the launch of NutriVie, a range of nutritional lipid powders with fat content derived from high-oleic sunflower oil, coconut oil or palm kernel oil, which can assist with weight management, general wellness and healthy aging, it says. It also showcased ProDiem, a plant-based protein solution containing a blend of pea and rice proteins that has been optimized for nutrition, taste and texture. It offered samples of a reduced-sugar chocolate milk formulated with its TasteSense flavor masking to bring out a rich mouthfeel with as much as 30 percent less sugar and 12 percent fewer calories than low-fat chocolate milk. Due to the number of samples served, the company was able to donate $5,000 to Three Square, a nonprofit food bank in Las Vegas.

New York-based Kyowa Hakko USA Inc. promoted Cognizin citicoline, an ultra-pure, vegetarian, allergen-free, non-stimulant GRAS ingredient that is stable and effective for use in dietary supplements and functional foods and beverages. Cognizin citicoline has been clinically proven to boost brain health and improve focus and attention, the company says. It also highlighted Sustamine, a dipeptide ingredient combining the amino acids L-Alanine and L-Glutamine to help the body rehydrate, replenish and recover in sports performance and hydration support applications. Additionally, it promoted L-citrulline, which supports nitric oxide production.

New York-based Nagase North America promoted Treha trehalose, a multi-functional disaccharide found in nature that offers benefits for flavor, freshness and texture while masking offnotes in a variety of nutritional beverages, it says. The company offered samples of a tangy juice beverage featuring the ingredient with a carrot juice base, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, aromatic bitters, ground cinnamon and stevia leaf extract.

Naturex, Avignon, France, showcased its range of natural coloring solutions, including vivid, traceable yellows made with curcumin extract, which soon will be available in a 100 percent organic version, it says. It also noted that the number of new food products in the United States featuring spirulina blue for color tripled between November 2015 and November 2016. To showcase the color, the company offered samples of ice pops containing Vegebrite Ice Blue enriched with acerola for its antioxidant properties.

Carol Stream, Ill.-based Prinova featured a number of beverage samples containing its nutrient-enhanced premixes. It offered a blackberry cola craft soda; reduced-sugar tangerine and mountain berry hangover helper beverages infused with natural flavors and colors and fortified with vitamins A, B and E as well as electrolytes; and a pineapple, lychee and strawberry energy water. It also announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Israel-based Lycored’s China and United Kingdom premix operations, which will give the company a global footprint with six manufacturing sites on three different continents, it says.

Prova Inc., Danvers, Mass., showcased its portfolio of more than 40 clean-label extracts and flavors that meet consumer demands to “go clean.” It featured its vanilla, cocoa and coffee extracts as well as its sweet brown flavors and alcohol-inspired flavors like whiskey, vodka and amaretto. Among the beverage samples offered was an almond soy drink containing sweetened coconut and almond flavoring and a mocha soy milk with dark chocolate and slightly roasted ground coffee.

Oak Brook, Ill.-based PureCircle announced the launch of a new stevia antioxidant product for food and beverages, making it the first company to develop a commercially viable process for extracting antioxidants from the stevia leaf on a global scale, it says. Now being sampled by customers, the product is expected to rollout in 2018. It also promoted its StarLeaf stevia, which contains more than 20-times the sugar-like steviol glycosides than standard stevia leaf varieties.

Concord, N.C.-based S&D Coffee & Tea offered samples of several dairy and non-dairy cold-brew coffees featuring its toddy cold-brew coffee extract. It also provided samples of two teas: a blueberry habañero black tea latte and a sparking green tea bellini. Additionally, the company announced the launch of its new website,

Sensus America Inc., Lawrenceville, N.J., showcased the benefits of chicory root fiber for digestive health and calorie and sugar reduction. It highlighted its clean-label liquid sweetener solution Frutalose SF75, which contains 75 percent fiber, and its powdered sweetener Frutalose SF, which contains 85 percent fiber. It also offered samples of a lime energy drink containing its GRAS-approved Betawell Arabinose ingredient.

Skokie, Ill.-based Sethness Products Inc. highlighted its range of non-GMO Project Verified caramel colors and caramelized sugar syrups in its Class I, III and IV color portfolios.

Sweet Green Fields Co. Ltd., Bellingham, Wash., launched its newest portfolio for stevia application, Optimizer Stevia 3.1., at the tradeshow. The new Optimizer series, which also includes Optimizer Stevia 1.1 and Optimizer Stevia 2.1., can be used to replace Reb A stevia in beverages for better taste, higher solubility and lower costs, it says. It also offered samples of a zero-calorie acai blueberry pomegranate vitamin water featuring its Intesse sweetener.

Wauconda, Ill.-based Synergy Flavors Inc. invited attendees to choose a side while highlighting two booth themes: hashtag #cheatday and hashtag #cleaneating. On the indulgent side, the company featured a non-alcohol gin and tonic float with juniper-flavored ice cream and lime soda, while samples of a raspberry vanilla oak tea and a cold-brew coffee were offered to showcase the clean-label trend. 

Taiyo International Inc., Minneapolis, announced that Sunfiber, a galactomannan-based soluble dietary fiber made from hydrolyzed guar gum, qualifies as a dietary fiber as per the new U.S. Food and Drug Administration nutrition labeling rules. The company also highlighted the release of a certified whole green coffee powder that can be used in food, beverages and dietary supplements as a natural energy booster and organic source of caffeine.

Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Tate & Lyle engaged attendees with interactive theaters focusing on three trending topics: reducing sugar and calories while maintaining functional attributes, appealing to consumer demand for nutritious and delicious food with enrichment solutions, and creating memorable eating experiences through texture. Through its new partnership with Sweet Green Fields, Bellingham, Wash., the company announced a new global distribution partnership to deliver stevia ingredients and solutions around the world. It offered samples of a reduced-sugar Thai iced tea with almond, cashew and hazelnut milk made with Optimizer Stevia 2.10 and Dolcia Prima Crystalline Allulose, which decreased the beverage’s sugar content by more than 40 percent and the calories by 30 percent, it says.

White Marsh, Md.-based TIC Gums debuted two hydrocolloid solutions: GuarNT USA for delicate applications to offset the “beany” or “grassy” offnotes of traditional guar gum and Ticaloid PRO 192 for use in ready-to-drink dairy beverages. Among the samples it offered were a toasted coconut almond milk containing Tiacolid Pro 181 AG, a cold-brew buttered coffee using Ticaloid Pro 192 AGD for adjusting texture attributes; and a chocolate protein beverage with Ticaloid Pro 192 AGD.

The U.S. Dairy Export Council, Arlington, Va., offered samples of two clean-label beverages: a whey protein cherry switchel for improved muscle health and a milk-and-honey bedtime beverage made using reduced-fat milk, milk protein isolate and micellar casein concentrate.

Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Virginia Dare Extract Co. Inc. showcased its lineup of clean-label, natural flavors and extracts, and its ability to mask offnotes in fortified products. It also highlighted its two platforms: Taste Foundations and Taste Collaborations. The Taste Foundations platform includes the company’s premium vanilla, tea, coffee and cocoa extracts, while the Taste Collaboration platform features its flavors, taste-enhancement systems and taste-modulation systems. The company also offered samples of a cold-brew coffee, a nitro cold-brew coffee, a vanilla cold-brew coffee and a caramel cold-brew coffee.

Watson Inc., West Haven, Conn., promoted BetaClear, a solution that delivers 25 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin A from beta-carotene without the intense orange color. It also showcased its water-soluble Sol-U-Pak for protein powders and pre- and post-workout drink mixes. Sol-U-Pak proteins quickly dissolve when added to a shaker bottle, eliminating messy powders and scoops, it says.

Concord, Mass.-based Welch’s Global Ingredients Group highlighted the benefits of the Concord and Niagara grapes and their abilities to deliver polyphenols and heart-health benefits in a plethora of applications, including beverages, juices, smoothies, cocktails and dairy. The company offered samples of four 100 percent juices, including its new, refrigerated Welch’s Natural 100 Percent Heirloom Niagara Grape Juice.

Wisdom Natural Brands, Gilbert, Ariz., reinforced its line of SweetLeaf Water Drops, a stevia-sweetened water enhancer.

Crowley, La.-based The Wright Group featured its SuperBlend custom nutrient premixes and offered samples of a chocolate and strawberry value-added beverage fortified with omega-3 fatty acids that are non-GMO and organic compliant, the company says. 

IFT18: A Matter of Science and Food will take place July 15-18, 2018, in Chicago. BI