Chicago, IL—The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) hosted its 75th conference in Chicago, IL, boasting 1,000 exhibiting companies. Four overarching themes tied together many of the new launches and applications on display on the tradeshow floor.

The first was an emphasis on ingredients for clean-label products, especially sweeteners. Carolina Innovative Ingredients showed off its North Carolina sweet potato-based ingredients, including a sweetener that is fully traceable. Meanwhile, BENEO upped the ante for what sweeteners typically do with a low-glycemic sweetener (Palatinose) that helps promote enhanced fat oxidation during physical activity. And, Monk Fruit Corp. stretched its wings by adding a monk fruit juice (Sweet-Delicious) to its lineup, while Ganeden and Sensus America have teamed up to offer a liquid prebiotic chicory root fiber (Frutalose PRO) that can be used in yogurt and other foods. Stevia is still a focus for food companies, and Sweet Green Fields USA launched a new stevia product (Intesse) said to offer a lot of sweetness with a significantly reduced bitter finish. And, Anderson Global Group now offers an allulose sweetener (AllSweet Low-Calorie Sugar), said to brown like sugar during baking at 0.3 kcal/g.

In light of the egg shortage due to bird flu, several ingredient companies highlighted their egg replacement offerings. For one, Glanbia Nutritionals has three new egg replacement systems (OptiSol line), including one that is said to work well in custard-based products like quiches and cheesecakes in lieu of the real thing. Two formulas blend flaxseed meal and whey protein, while another is a whey protein concentrate. And, Florida Food Products launched FiberGel LC to replace dried/pasteurized egg up to 75% in bakery applications. The source of this ingredient is its proprietary FiberColloid, made from a technology that “activates” plant fibers to enable texture creation.

Protein continues to have a strong presence, especially plant-based options. Glanbia Nutritionals launched a new vegan protein (HarvestPro) that blends pea, flaxseed and chia. The firm also offers a whole algal protein (Algavia) for supplements. AIDP showed off several proteins in its line, including those derived from brown rice (RisaPro, Gabiotein), pea (Peasipro) and rice/pea blend (Advantein).

Last, whole fruit and vegetable powders are drawing formulators. Offerings highlighted at the show included those from AIDP, PowderPure (which is responding to sriracha cravings with new powders), Nutri Fusion (with a new NutriStix powdered water enhancer) and Parabel (with its recently launched Lentein green protein powder), to name a few.

Given the success of this year’s show, many are also anticipating the 2016 event, to be held July 16–19, in Chicago.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, September 2015 (online 8/10/2015)