Reports from IFT17

Food innovation awards reflect clean-label trend

The Food Expo Innovation Awards were dominated by food ingredients that exploited the clean labelling trend

Food ingredients that exploit the trend towards clean labelling featured in the 2017 Food Expo Innovation Awards at the Institute of Food Technology’s (IFT’s) Annual Meeting and Food Expo.

Three of the four winning entries supported clean labelling, delivering trophies for Glanbia Nutritionals, Ingredion Incorporated in partnership with AFT Food and Ingredients Inc and Israeli company Salt of the Earth.

Glanbia Nutritionals won the award for its BevEdge Pea Protein. The ingredient is high in lysine, arginine, and glutamine and uses a patent-pending agglomeration technology that delivers instant dispersability in liquids.

The ingredient is also said to offer smooth mouthfeel, and a neutral flavour profile in powdered drink mixes. BevEdge Pea Protein was claimed to overcome clumping problems that can occur with conventional pea protein and its clean-label profile uses no lecithin.

The protein can be applied to whey-based, milk-based, casein-based, and plant-based formulations, including hydrolysates.

Ingredion Incorporated and AGT Food and Ingredients Inc received the prize for their jointly developed Clean Taste Pulse Ingredients.

Nutritional quality

The production process reduces the beany, grassy, and other undesirable flavours in pulse flours and pulse proteins without affecting protein content and quality, overall nutritional quality, and functionality.

The Food Expo Innovation Awards judges said: “This flavour improvement enables food manufacturers to use the ingredients at increased levels in current applications such as pasta, snacks, bakery, and crisps, and in new applications such as alternative dairy, beverage, confectionery, and savoury products.”

Salt of the Earth won the innovation award for its Mediterranean Umami Bold; a combination of plant extracts and sea salt that are high in umami flavour compounds.

The all natural and organic-compliant ingredient enables sodium reduction and flavour enhancement in a variety of applications such as meats, dips, dressings, soups, sauces, and ready-to-eat meals, said the judges.

Sodium reduction was said to range from 25% to 45%, allowing for reduced sodium claims.

Rapid fat analysis

Innovation award winners
  • Glanbia Nutritionals
  • Ingredion Incorporated in partnership with AFT Food and Ingredients Inc
  • Salt of the Earth
  • CEM Corporation

The fourth innovation award went to CEM Corporation for progress in offering food manufacturers improved quality control through simple and rapid fat analysis.

Its Oracle Universal Fat Analyzer was said to accurately determine the fat content of any food product in 30 seconds with no method development, calibration, or sample validation necessary. Accuracy was comparable to standard extraction methods.

The highly repeatable and simple-to-operate analyser was designed for use in research and development and technical centres as well as production labs near the plant floor.

The winners were revealed at the IFT17 Food Expo Innovation Awards on Sunday (June 25). They were selected from 41 entries by a panel of eight judges from universities, government, and industry, with wide expertise in research and product development, processing and packaging technology, and food safety.

Judging criteria included: degree of innovation, technical advancement, benefits to food manufacturers and consumers, and scientific merit.

Presenting the awards, IFT president-elect designate Michele Perchonok said: “Now in its 11th year, the Food Expo Innovation Awards programme is a showcase for amazing advancements in our profession.

“Exclusive to companies exhibiting at the IFT17 Food Expo in Las Vegas, these awards honour outstanding innovation in products, ingredients, technologies, instrumentation, equipment, and services that were commercially introduced since January 1, 2016.”      

IFT17 takes place between Monday June 26 and Wednesday June 28 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Meanwhile, ingredients feature in the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards. See box below for details.

Ingredients award features in food manufacturing Oscars

The Best new use of food ingredients is a category in this year’s Food Manufacture Excellence Awards. One of five Industry initiative awards, the category celebrates the achievement of the UK food or drink manufacturer that has demonstrated the most impressive new use of food ingredients over the past year. Enter this, or any other of the food manufacturing Oscar categories, here.

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