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If only they were real products ...: IFT's prototype products sizzle with innovation.

EVERY YEAR AT THE INSTITUTE OF FOOD TECHNOLOGISTS' Annual Meeting & Food Expo, fabulous prototype food products are developed by ingredient manufacturers just to showcase their newst ingredients. This year's show, in Orlando, Fla., in June, was no exception. Even thought they come from industry suppliers, not food processors, I think many of these products are ready for supermarket shelves and foodservice venues just as they are. Some of the most interesting and innovative are listed below. Our apologies to those we couldn't include because of space.

Addressing health issues

Con Agra Food Ingredients (www.conagrafoodingredients. com, Omaha, Neb., served up a Chocolate Chipotle Smoothie (containing 9g of whole grain), prepared with ConAgra Mills' Sustagrain barley flour and Spicetec chipotle seasoning, which gives it a burst of flavor. With dietary fiber making up more than 50 percent of its carbohydrates--and 40 percent of that in the form of cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber--Sustagrain can be a potent tool for heart health.

DSM Food Specialties USA Inc.(, Eagleville, Pa., unlocks umami, the fifth taste sensation, with the introduction of Maxarome Select Yeast Extract, which allows up to a 50 percent salt reduction in snacks, marinades, dressings, dips, cheese sauces and prepared foods. At the show, we tasted Low-Salt Potato Chips, with a clean, well-rounded taste, super mouthfeel and flavor impact.

Almond Board of California (, Modesto, Calif., showcased the grand prize-winner in its fourth annual Almond Innovations Contest, open to food science and culinology programs in the U.S. The winning team from Washington State University--Shantanu Agarwal, Josie Landon, Esteban Mejia-Meza, Melissa Sanborn and Pei Shan Kuo--created Almond Dingers, microwavable, gluten-free cakes with a great texture, crunchy almond topping and frosting. They're ready to eat in 5 minutes and are an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, phosphorous, manganese calcium and vitamin E.

Fortitech (, Schenectady, N.Y., offered exciting and surprising functional chocolate cluster varieties targeted toward baby boomers. They were heart-healthy, brain-healthy and bone-healthy. But my favorite prototype was Pina Colada Ice Beverage, a healthy and refreshing slush that delivers a high level of essential vitamins and minerals including calcium, niacin and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D3 and E. So we boomers can improve our health and party at the same time.

SuperFruit Bar Acai from Kerry Ingredients (, New Century, Kan., was a high-fiber, high-protein bar with acai puree (Brazilian fruit known for its mega-antioxidants) and pomegranate fruit powder also features 500mg omega-3 per 50g bar. Best of all, it tastes great. Baby Greens with Raspberry-Yogurt Dressing and Brie Croquette, made with hormone-free dairy ingredients, also rates a thumbs up.

Attention low-fat and fat-free mayo manufacturers! TIC Gums (, Belcamp, Md., introduced Fat-Free Mayo Style Dressing, made with TIC's new gum system. Pretested Saladizer Mayo Cold Set, for low-fat and fat-free mayonnaise-type products, allows food processors to use a cold process instead of the traditional method in which heat is used to activate component starches, which can slow production and affect consistency. This dressing has all the taste, creamy texture and mouthfeel of regular mayonnaise.

Leavening agents from the former Astaris made their first appearance under new corporate name ICL Performance Products LP (, St. Louis. Levona Better for You Blueberry Muffins were great tasting, low in sodium and a good source of calcium. They were made with Levona, a new calcium-enriched leavening agent with zero sodium. It enables food manufacturers to formulate products that can carry healthy messages such as "low sodium" and "a good source of calcium," without compromising flavor, volume, texture and convenience.

Although not a vegetarian, I do aspire to be healthy. Surprise and delight were engendered by Vegetarian Empanadas prepared with NovaLipid zero/low trans-fat oils from Archer Daniels Midland (, Decatur, Ill.

Flavor flair

Kraft Food Ingredients (KFI) (, Memphis, Tenn., introduces Grated Asiago, Parmesan and Romano Cheese Blend. Chef Michael Morrison, who joined KFI last October, showcased it in a Vegetarian Four Cheese Pizza with Woodfired Crust (that is, a KFI Woodfired Grill Flavor) that is to die for. And among the appetizers was an innovative Savory Smoked Salmon Cheesecake, featuring Kraft Neufchatel Cheez Blend, an unexpected savory application.

Griffith Laboratories (, Alsip, Ill., sojourned to Asia with Chili-Scented Lemongrass Beef on skewers, incorporating its Southeast Asia and Mekong River region flavors and marinades.

Mediterranean cuisines and flavors from Greece, Lebanon and Morocco are attracting aficionados, and Wild Favors (, Erlanger, Ky., offered Chilled Moroccan Tomato Soup with Yogurt Lemon Pepper Pita Chips. And the Wild Pumpkin Punch would be a great product for the next "Harry Potter" movie.

At Comax Flavors (, Melville, N.Y., Japanese candy-making artist Shan Ichiyanagi crafted molten sugar lollipops in spectacular dragon and animal shapes. Comax Sweet Corn Flavored Ice Cream, which tastes exactly like fresh corn on the cob, is an innovative idea.

How many different flavors can you introduce into process cheese? Many, if you visited Land O'Lakes Ingredient Solutions (, St. Paul, Minn. Booth personnel daily were serving sandwiches: roast beef panini featuring Process Bleu Cheese, seasoned pork panini with Chipotle Jack Process Cheese and ham panini coated with Dijon Mustard & Onion Process Cheddar Cheese.

D.D. Williamson now offers a broad spectrum of colors from its colorMaker Inc. (, custom blends division in Anaheim, Calif. ColorMaker natural color blend emulsions, which can be incorporated into cocoa butter, palm kernel oil, jojoba oil and paraffin, were used in the Red White Chocolate and Green White Chocolate samples at the booth. How about a patriotic red, white and blue chocolate variety pack to send to our troops abroad?

David Michael & Co., (, Philadelphia, offered a theme park for our taste buds. I loved the Milk and White Chocolate Blackberry Red Tea Truffle, a great mouthful literally and figuratively.

Cargill (, Minneapolis, provided drinkertainment beverages: four colorful, show-stopping Flavor Shots with tastebud-tantilizing zing in their slushy bases. The shots contain organic erythritol, citric acid, trisodium citrate and flavors--all from Cargill units. We returned daily for Key Lime Mojito, Ruby Red Mimosa and Caramel Apple IFTinis.

Less weight(y) issues

Tate & Lyle ( London, topped chicken with Asian Ginger Sauce and Buttermilk Ranch Dressing & Sauce Rebalance 800, a balance of thickeners, texture-enhancing ingredients and Splenda sucralose. It allows a reduced-fat and reduced-calorie claim.

Stopping for a water break at Watson Inc. (www.watson-inc. com) West Haven, Conn., we had our thirst quenched with Clear-E Water, made with a fine, free-flowing form of vitamin E spray-dried within a modified starch matrix.

National Starch Food Innovation (, Bridgewater, N.J., offered a refreshing Nutriose Lemonade (with 2.5g of fiber in an 8-oz. glass). Nutriose, a prebiotic soluble fiber made from corn and wheat, enhances the taste of sugar-free and light drinks by compensating for the body and mouthfeel typically lacking in these types of beverages. And it helps control glucose levels and assists satiety in sugar-free beverages.

By Diane Toops, News & Trends Editor
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Title Annotation:SPECIAL REPORT; Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo
Author:Toops, Diane
Publication:Food Processing
Date:Aug 1, 2006
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