New Orleans, LA--Each year, theInstitute of Food Technologists(IFT) showcases what's new and what's next in the food industry at its annual event and Food Expo.IFT19, held in New Orleans earlier this month, attracted an estimated 17,000 attendees from 90 countries, with more than 1,000 companies exhibiting to share the latest research, innovations and ingredient offerings. It was clear from the educational sessions and discussions on the show floor that interest is high in making our food supply cleaner, greener, more sustainable and all-round healthier for both people and the planet. A few highlights from companies shaping the future of food:
  1. Upping the plant power: Plant-based food was the most buzzed-about trend of the show, and there were plenty of companies on hand to help manufacturers with plant-based offerings.
  • Applied Food Sciences (AFS) discussed a range of plant-based proteins, including Green Coffee Protein, Andean Lupin Protein and Tomato Seed Protein for manufacturers of functional, organic products.
  • Pea protein was a hot topic, and PURIS was on hand to discuss the company's Texturized Pea Protein (TPP), which the company says is familiar like ground beef--plus it tastes great, is good for the consumer and better for the environment, so wins all around.
  • Ardent Mills and The Annex by Ardent Mills revealed their latest specialty grains and plant-based ingredients with a scrumptious sampling of products--including Colorado Quinoa, which tastes great while also supporting local farmers and promoting water conservation and soil health, and in-demand chickpea flour as a protein-rich alternative to flour.
  • From MGP comes TruTex Plant-Based Texture Proteins, including TruTex RediShred Series, which mimics the texture and mouthfeel of meat when rehydrated.
  • Blue Diamond Almonds Global Ingredients Division was there to talk about Blue Diamond Almond Protein Powder as an option for developers of clean-label, nutritionally focused products.
  • Planetarians discussed its technology for upcycling ingredients, like its upcycling of defatted sunflower seeds into a 50% protein concentrate and 35% protein flour.
  • There to help companies tie the whole plant-based package together was Hydrosol, a supplier of stabilizing and texturing systems for plant-based burgers, cold cuts, sausages and vegan alternatives to cheese and more. The company's HydroTOP Vegan Patty PP is based on fava bean and pea protein with a sunflower-based texturate that the company says enables manufacturers to make vegan burger patties that are similar to meat in taste, texture and mouthfeel.
2) Making healthy taste oh-so good:Consumers are demanding healthier foods--but they don't want to sacrifice flavor. And the experts showcasing their solutions at IFT were there to make sure taste is top-notch.
  • There was a good deal of interest around allulose at the show, in light of the FDA's announcement that it would allow the low-calorie sweetener to be excluded from total and added sugars counts on Nutrition and Supplement Facts labels when used as an ingredient. Tate & Lyle spotlighted its Dolcia Prima Allulose, which the company says offers bulk, texture and the sweet taste of sugar with only 0.4kcal/g. Ingredion launched Astraea Allulose at IFT19.
  • On the flavor front, Solvay announced that the company is adding to its portfolio of natural vanilla solutions to help companies meet consumer demand for clean and natural. The new offerings include Vanifolia and Vanifolia Bean; the company also offers Rhovanil US NAT, which is a one-for-one drop-in replacement for synthetic vanillin.
  • Olam was spreading the word about Olam Spices and Olam Cocoa--including the company's goal to achieve 100% traceable and sustainable cocoa volumes from its direct origination supply chain by 2020.
  • The salt experts as Cargill were also on hand, discussing Potassium Pro Ultra Fine Potassium Chloride, which can help manufacturers reduce sodium by up to 50% and boost potassium while still giving foods a salty flavor. And in the world of spices:
  • Asenzya Corporate Chef Dax Schaefer was at the booth serving up all sorts of deliciousness and discussing how product developers can use spice blends to create meat-free options that taste as good as--or even better than--the real thing. (For more on flavors, watch for feature coverage in the October 2019 issue of WholeFoods.)
3) Adding function to foods: Consumers want their healthy foods to go above and beyond, and many were sharing news of branded ingredients that can help products do just that.
  • BI Nutraceuticals showcased its new line of fermented ingredients, including commercially available Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Powder, which offers 4-10% Acetic Acid and can substitute for liquid ACV in beverages, dry mixes, seasoning blends and more. BI also offers Organic Kombucha Powder as a shelf-stable substitute for liquid Kombucha. The ingredient offers versatility in both powder and granulated formats.
  • On the prebiotic front, BENEO was educating son the company's prebiotic chicory root fiber for digestive health. The company shared that its plant-based, science-backed inulin and oligofructose are two of the three proven prebiotics according to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP).
  • Kerry was there to inform on its Wellmune baker’s yeast beta glucan--read more on the benefits of Wellmune for athletes here.
  • Bioenergy was sharing the news about its new Anti-Aging RiaGev, a compound combining Bioenergy Ribose and vitamin B3 to boost NAD--discover more on the benefits here.
  • Another top trend--collagen--was the focus of the Gelita booth. The company was offering samples of their Beauty Gummies – made with Gelita Gelatine and Verisol Bioactive Collagen Peptides. Gelatine is a natural protein extracted from collagen that the company says offers functional properties as a binding, gelling and whipping agent; emulsifier and stabilizer and more. And Gelita's range of collagens offer science-backed benefits for toning, beauty from within, joint health, bone health and more.
  • PLT Health Solutions showcased Earthlight Whole Food Vitamin D, a vegan mushroom powder that the company says can add a source of vitamin D to products without affecting taste or texture.
  • Layn was there with its portfolio of functional botanical ingredients and plant-based sweeteners--but the buzz at the Layn booth was the news that the company was entering the CBD market, investing $60 million in US CBD production with a manufacturing facility expected to be completed in fall 2020. As Elaine Yu, president of Layn USA, explained to WholeFoods, the move is in line with the company's expertise: Layn already works with botanical extracts, and now the company is applying their knowledge to hemp. Layn will offer full spectrum oil, broad spectrum oil, CBD distillate and a crystallized isolate offering the purest CBD.
  • And while pre- and probiotics, collagen and CBD may be the hot-right-now ingredients, one company was there offering to help manufacturers discover what will be in demand in the future. IMCD, a distributor of specialty chemicals and food ingredients, offers a portfolio for food formulators in beverage, bakery, nutrition, dairy/dairy alternative, confectionary, savory, meat/meat alternative and animal nutrition--and the company works to help manufacturers "jumpstart" products to the market food and nutrition prototypes, keeping an eye on future trends to stay on the cutting edge.
4) Sharing what's new with hues: Food can't just taste good--it needs to look good, too.
  • Lycored was highlighting its lycopene-based color and taste-enhancing ingredients to give foods and beverages vibrant hues from red to yellow to a stunning array of oranges. In addition to being tested for stability across a range of applications, from flavored waters to UHT treated dairy drinks to yogurts, gummies and more, the company says the colors can help manufacturers reduce packaging thanks to their stability (ie, no need for the sleeve on beverages).
  • Exberry by GNT was also educating on coloring, discussing the companies "coloring food with food" approach featuring colors from fruits, vegetables and plants.
  • Diana Food displayed its line of Organic Colors--including Organic Spirulina Blue, Organic Purple Carrot Juice Concentrate and Organic Red Beet Juice Concentrate--to support organic product development.
5) Focusing on farming:Many companies at IFT, including Ardent Mills, PURIS, Olam and more, talked about their regenerative and sustainable farming practices. Also generating quite a bit of buzz on that topic wasCorteva Agriscience, which debuted at IFT as the largest global agriculture company. The company's goal: to help meet the needs of today’s consumers by working across the food chain through farmers who support people, progress toward a sustainable future and adapting to an ever-evolving planet. Look for more on Corteva and others focused on farming in the September issue ofWholeFoods, where we will take an in-depth look at regenerative agriculture.