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In the business of innovation.

How one company eases product formulating for food processors.

Food formulators are watching their resources diminish while pressure to create successful new products is at an all-time high. Current formulating challenges, together with company downsizing, leave many food companies faced with a gap - how to create food products using ingredients that have been tested in multiple applications, that have undergone rigorous sensory testing and that are viable components of on-trend products.

T&G Food Ingredient Services in Glenview, Ill., takes on this challenge for the food industry, acting on behalf of value-added ingredient companies as an ad-hoc R&D lab paired with a complete marketing and sales function. The company works with value-added ingredients that are relatively unknown in the food ingredient world. T&G performs ingredient evaluation, investigates the best method of incorporating product features and benefits into food processing, performs sensory evaluation and market research, and ultimately develops marketing plans to communicate how these ingredients can best be utilized in on-trend food products.

Consider the new perspective T&G delivered to an often-overlooked source of fiber and protein that is in-line with the current popularity of healthy foods - the familiar bean. T&G worked extensively with two bean suppliers to investigate how new methods of bean processing could make the functional ingredient satisfy customer need for time efficiency and cost effectiveness.

T&G evaluated the multiple dried bean varieties offered by Zateca Foods in Greeley, Colo., to create innovative food applications resulting in healthy food products with low-fat and non-meat ingredients. The entire line of precooked whole beans, bean flakes and flours includes pinto, black, red, navy, pink, green pea, lentil, black-eyed pea, kidney, lima and garbanzo varieties.

These instant bean powders are a low-cost source of additional protein and dietary fiber for food applications such as energy bars, breads or other bakery applications. Pre-cooked bean powders also offer versatility because the bean variety selected can determine flavor delivery. Black bean wholes or flakes, for example, can add an ethnic flavor when used in place of conventional pizza sauce to create an overall Mexican pizza experience. In baked goods, bean wholes or flakes can increase nutritional value, and in various bar applications will add flavor and impart a unique texture.

On the other hand, beans that are individually quick frozen are a perfect solution for food companies that use beans in frozen rice and pasta meal kits, retort and canned soups, and commissary foodservice operations. T&G evaluated the existing pre-cooked, individually frozen bean line offered by Seenergy Co. and proposed incorporating IQF beans into processing lines, thereby eliminating the soaking, boiling and time-consuming cooking process required for products that include beans as an ingredient.

For both of these product lines - dried beans and IQF beans - T&G was presented with a functional ingredient and was able to perform extensive applications testing, market research and sensory evaluation to determine how the ingredients could be used in an overall food system to deliver value to both food processors and the end consumer.

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Title Annotation:T and G Food Ingredient Services; Food Processing Solutions
Comment:T and G Food Ingredient Services acts as an ad-hoc research and development laboratory for value-added ingredient firms that are planning to introduce products into the food processing industry.
Publication:Food Processing
Geographic Code:1U3IL
Date:Aug 1, 1999
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