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Ingredients to Boost Clean Label Efforts

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Ask any food manufacturer to list the hottest topics in the food industry, and clean label is sure to be at the top of the list. As consumers continue to push food manufacturers to produce lightly processed food products with ingredients that are easy to understand, ingredient manufacturers have developed ingredients from starches and preservatives to sweeteners and flavor enhancers that help product developers meet these demands for clean label products. Here is a sample of some of the ingredient suppliers at IFT16 showcasing their clean label ingredients.

  • Gummy bears Biospringer (booth 2448) launches Springer Organic Baker’s Yeast Extract for flavor enhancement and taste modification. The ingredient is produced from yeast without any chemical additives, according to the company, and it can be used to enhance savory notes in snacks, dressings, sauces, soups, gravies, and vegetarian products.
  • Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients (booth 561) is introducing four new ingredients brands and two new ingredients that can replace high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. The new brands are Carolina Original cloudy sweet potato juice, Carolina Clear clarified sweet potato juice, Carolina Craft dehydrated sweet potato ingredients (sweet potato flour and granules), and Carolina Sweet clean label sweetener. The two new ingredients are made from purple sweet potatoes. Purple sweet potato juice concentrate is rich in anthocyanins and has a purple hue. Purple sweet potato granules can provide fiber and other nutrients to baked goods and snacks.
  • To help food manufacturers produce fresher and safer food while still adhering to clean label demands, Corbion (booth 1221) will feature several ingredients made from naturally derived sources. Learn about Verdad Avanta for meat and poultry products and Opti.Form, which provides control of Listeria. Purac Powders lend a long-lasting sour taste to acid-sanded confectionery while Ensemble gives developers an alternative to partially hydrogenated oils. Stop by the company’s booth to try doughnut, bagel, turkey, ham, sausage, ice cream, cheese spread, and candy product concepts made with these ingredients.
  • Parker Products (booth 740) is introducing a line of cake inclusions for ice cream applications made without artificial flavors and colors, partially hydrogenated oil, preservatives, and allergens such as dairy, soy, and nuts. The colorful and flavorful inclusions are crunchy when dry, but once incorporated into the ice cream, where they absorb fat and moisture, they take on the dense mouthfeel of real cake.
  • PLT Health Solutions (booth 2026) will showcase the new PhytoShield Flavor Enhancer that can help improve the shelf life of products while satisfying clean label requirements. The company has demonstrated that the ingredient is effective against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, fungi, molds, and yeast. The flavor system’s antimicrobial activity is a synergistic effect created by the reaction of flavor components, polyphenols, bioflavonoids, and organic acids, according to the company.
  • Scelta Taste Accelerator from Scelta Mushrooms (booth 2012) is an alternative to flavor enhancers like MSG and autolyzed yeast extracts. This ingredient is made of vegetable extracts and is potassium-free.
  • TIC Gums (booth 3426) is debuting new texture and stability ingredients that meet labeling requirements such as organic and non-GM. Ticaloid PRO 181 AG emulsifies and stabilizes oils in nondairy milk alternatives like the toasted almond coconut milk that will be sampled at the booth. A gelatin-free gummy confection still has the sensory characteristics of a gummy made with gelatin thanks to Ticagel Natural GC-581 B. Dairyblend Natural IC CL hydrocolloid blend replaces monoglycerides and diglycerides in hard-packed ice cream applications.

Consumers Come Clean About Clean Label and More

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Consumers PanelWhat do consumers want? The large audience that assembled for Monday morning’s consumer panel session, “A Clean Label Revolution,” got a close-up view of how consumers feel about their food in a session that featured research findings on clean label as well as commentary from a group of seven Chicago-area consumers, who took part in a panel discussion.

Not surprisingly, nothing is simple when it comes to how consumers make their food choices. “The survey results painted a very complex picture,” said Paul Metz, executive vice president of C+R Research, who shared highlights from a C+R study conducted for IFT. The research included a survey of about 1,000 U.S. consumers as well as in-person interviews with 36 consumers.

Paul Metz“It’s clear that consumers are bombarded by all sorts of messages in the media,” said Metz. “All of these mixed messages put consumers on the defensive.” They’re challenged to try to make sense of it all, Metz observed, a sentiment that was echoed by several of the consumer panelists who spoke during the session.

One thing was clear from the research: Consumers say they are paying attention to food product labels.

“Our survey showed that nearly seven in 10 claimed regular label reading,” said Metz.

Based on the research, C+R breaks consumers out into four key groups, which divide up as follows:

  • The Vigilant (20%): They’re highly engaged with their food and pay close attention to product labels.
  • Balancers (15%): These consumers are attentive to labels but not nearly as anxious about it as the Vigilants. Their food philosophy is “eat everything in moderation.”
  • Keep It Simple (47%): Clearly the largest group of consumers, they want to eat healthier, but they don’t want to invest a lot of time in it, so they adopt simple strategies like shopping in a particular grocery chain that they feel is well positioned to meet their needs.
  • Not Bothered (17%): These shoppers are less concerned about health than the others. Their focus is on value and convenience.

The Vigilant and Balancer groups skewed toward Baby Boomers, and the Keep It Simple group skewed toward Millennials, Metz said. Many of the Not Bothered consumers are in Gen Y and at a point in life when they are raising families and focused on balancing their budgets.

Because consumers’ food philosophies often break out generationally, product developers should think carefully about their products’ target audience, Metz counseled. “Generation matters,” he said. “Know your products’ core target and understand their taboos and motives.”

Sugar appears in the list of top five concerns for all generations. All natural tends to be more important to Millennial and Gen X consumers, while sodium is more important to Boomers. Trans fat is not in the top five for Millennials, but it appears on the lists for Gen X and Boomers. For Gen X, the No. 1 factor is not nutritional, it’s “on sale.”

Baby Boomers, not surprisingly, are driven by health concerns, and what they’re looking for on labels often relates to those concerns. Nearly eight in 10 Boomers surveyed said they are purchasing less of specific foods because of clean label concerns.

Millennials are more skeptical—a view epitomized by Tom, one of the panelists who said he tends to view the word “natural” on product labels with suspicion. “If I see the word natural, I tend to distrust that,” he said, “because I feel like natural doesn’t really mean anything. You have highly processed foods that say natural on the front.”

The clean label sensitivity of consumers varies by product category. “Food categories matter,” said Metz. “There are different levels of scrutiny for different foods. The categories that are more indulgent, people tend to give a free pass to. But when it’s the center-of-the plate items, this is where clean label really matters.”

Consumer panelist Mickey observed that if he picks up a candy bar in the checkout line for immediate consumption, he doesn’t worry about its ingredient statement. “I’m not as quick to read the label for things I’m going to eat in the next a five minutes,” he noted. But if he’s buying food for his family, which includes a four-year-old, he pays considerably more attention to what’s on the label.

The C+R research produced some interesting findings about genetically modified (GM) foods. Although GM foods get a lot of press, only about a third of the survey respondents said GM affected their purchase decision—and that percentage was consistent across generational groups.

Overall, more than 70% of those surveyed included sugar, sodium, fat, amount of processing, whole grains, fortification, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and trans fat on the list of things that affected their purchasing decisions. Topics that receive a lot of media attention, but appeared to be of less concern to consumers in terms of purchasing behavior included probiotics, cage free, organic, and Fair Trade, Metz reported.

Virginia Dare Debuts New Branding & Product Lines

Monday, July 18th, 2016

At a press conference on Monday, July 18, Virginia Dare (booth 1226), a manufacturer of flavors and extracts for more than 90 years, debuted refreshed and evolved branding including a new logo and revamped website.

Virginia Dare logo

“The new brand better reflects our capabilities as a partner to the industry. As a more modern, refined look, it more fully communicates our technical capabilities. Also, our updated product lines better communicate the full breadth of what we have to offer,” said Michael Springsteen, vice president business and product development, Virginia Dare.

Since 1923, Virginia Dare has been a market leader in sourcing and processing extracts through the product line newly designated as the brand’s Taste Foundations platform, which includes premium vanilla, tea, coffee, and cocoa extracts. In addition, Virginia Dare’s technical team promotes preferred taste in healthy and clean label products through flavors and systems for taste enhancement and modulation, grouped under the Taste Collaborations platform.

As Springsteen explained, “The Taste Collaborations platform includes our flavors and systems for taste improvement, including flavors, masking, and taste modulation. Our dedicated technical team works with customers to produce products tailored to specific application needs, promoting preferred taste in healthy and clean label products.

Stop by the company’s booth, 1226, to discover the new brand and sample a tea flight, nutritional products, and other foods made with Virginia Dare flavors.


Up-to-Date Options for Clean Label Formulating

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

Woman reading labelSession 23
Sunday, July 17; 2–3:30 pm.
Room S402ab

Who in the food industry isn’t talking about clean label these days? As presenters in Session 23, “The Clean Label Market and How to Overcome Formulation Challenges Using Functional Clean Label Ingredients,” point out, clean label is much more than a trend—it’s reached the mainstream. This session has been planned to offer an overview of trends that are currently important in the clean label space and also present a preview of how they are expected to evolve.

Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at research firm Innova Market Insights, will set the stage for the discussion by sharing some important market trends, including statistics on the frequency of clean label product launches. A series of presentations in the symposium will explore some of the challenges that ingredient companies have faced as they deal with increased demand for products that make clean label claims.

Amogh A. Ambardekar, who specializes in grains and oilseed research, will discuss the use of fiber and proteins that deliver on clean label requirements while also providing required functional attributes including texture, viscosity, and structure. Daniel Grazaitis, beverage technology manager at TIC Gums, will share his insights into the impact of clean label demands on hydrocolloid ingredient reformulation and present a beverage application case study. The baking category will be the focus in a presentation on clean label solutions for industrial baking by Guohua Feng, a research fellow and manager of industrial ingredients for Corbion. Feng’s presentation will address the challenges in trying to replace chemical dough conditioners, chemical crumb softeners, and chemical preservatives with alternative clean label ingredients. Mike Beavan, director of technical services for Watson Inc., will also discuss the bakery products category, zeroing in on ingredients such as cultured flours, natural emulsifiers, mechanically modified fibers, and whole grains. Weizhu Hu, vice president of R&D with TIC Gums, will introduce the session.

New Regulatory Initiatives Will Shape Food Expo Offerings

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

New Nutrition Facts Panel


This past year brought in a host of new policy and regulatory measures for the food industry, and suppliers to the industry have been quick to respond with tools and support. The Food and Drug Administration released arguably the most important final rules emanating from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), for risk-based preventive controls for human food and parallel rules for animal feed, including pet food. The regulatory agency also issued the final rule for the most sweeping changes to nutrition labeling since the 1990s, which brings the issue of added sugar to the forefront for the industry and consumers. In addition, we saw the release of the much anticipated Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020, which encouraged consumers to restrict specific negative nutrients and brought other positive nutrients top of mind. Meanwhile, consumers continue their march toward minimally processed foods and more transparency about genetic engineering. Expect to find a variety of new products and programs related to all of the preceding on the IFT16 food expo floor this year.

  • Food Safety Plans. FSMA preventive control rules for human and animal feed require documented food safety plans that include thorough hazard analyses and preventive control plans. The sanitary transport final rule also requires new procedures and documentation for food carriers that change the paradigm for many companies not familiar with these “HACCP-like” requirements. Look for service vendors who can support the design and implementation of new rules and for software providers that offer tools to support the documentation of plans and ease the burden of inspection and audit requirements.
  • Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020. Every five years, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and Dept. of Health and Human Services are mandated to update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This document guides policy makers and directs new government feeding programs, including school lunches. This eighth edition of the Dietary Guidelines once again draws attention to added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium in the diet, but it omits warnings about cholesterol, changing the pattern of consumer and policy advice spanning two decades. The emphasis is placed on healthy eating patterns characterized by colorful vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and low-fat and fat-free dairy products. Protein is emphasized, but the focus is on sourcing protein from plant sources. Manufacturers need to be mindful about providing complete proteins to consumers. Look for novel plant-based complete protein providers at the food expo.
  • Nutrition Labeling Reform. FDA released its final rule for revision of nutrition and supplement fact labels. Highlights include a refreshed fact panel design that will prompt revisions for all product labels. The list of required nutrients has been updated to include vitamin D and potassium, which will drive testing for these nutrients’ labeling. Also, there is a requirement to label “added sugars” and not just “total sugars,” which will prompt label changes, but more importantly, will drive a search for alternative flavor enhancers that will modify the sweetness of food products without added or with limited added sugar.
  • Verified. The trend for clean label and minimally processed foods continues. There will be services to support product development for clean label and alternatives to genetically modified ingredients. Look for other service providers who can help verify ingredients are what they are reported to be and are free of allergens or verified to contain only those allergens declared. Undeclared allergens continue to be the greatest reason for food recalls. Regulators look to verification organizations like the Non-GMO Project Verified to support labeling.

Catherine Adams Hutt is chief science and regulatory officer for SloanTrends and president and CEO of RdR Solutions Consulting (

Integrating Clean Label Sweeteners Into Food Products

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

Trends and Ingredient Solutions for Clean Label/Non-GM Sweeteners
Session 043
Monday, July 18; 10:30 a.m.–noon
Room S403

In recent years, the clean label movement has swept the food and beverage industry, with consumers demanding less processed, “better for you” products made without genetically modified ingredients (GM), and the sweeteners used in these applications are no exception. To answer these desires, manufacturers have turned to “off the kitchen shelf” options like honey and agave, sweeteners derived from fruit concentrates, and ingredients such as syrups and maltodextrins sourced made from sources ensured to be non-GM, including tapioca, potato, and rice.

Stevia and honeyIn this session, speakers will present market trends and consumer behavior with regard to clean label and non-GM sweeteners and their labeling, as well as the application, perception, and nutrition aspects of common clean label sweeteners as well as novel sweeteners derived from tapioca and potato. It will also highlight fruit-based sweeteners and discuss the challenges associated with using fruit concentrates and syrups and their blends as sweeteners. The session will conclude with a comparison of the temporal profiles of clean label high potency sweeteners and that of sugar and will demonstrate how flavor tools such as flavor modulators can be developed to overcome taste deficiencies associated with these alternatives.

Presented by Steve French, Adams Berzins, Erin S. Marinan, Andrew Daniher, Didem Icoz, and Ioana Ungureanu

Short Course Dives Into Clean Label Development

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

Over Friday and Saturday, July 15 and 16, nearly 100 people gathered at the Palmer House Hilton to attend Clean Label Product Innovation. This pre-event short course—one of 11 offered during IFT16—provided attendees with the latest ingredient and processing solutions to develop safe and successful clean label products.

Clean Label Product Innovation“Clean label is a very relevant and compelling topic today,” said presenter Terry A. Clark, and course director Maria Del Pilar Cobos agreed. “IFT is always trying to be in tune with the needs of its members and has a good read on what trends affect the industry and the direction of applied science,” she said. “When consumers indicate they want less processed foods and know what is on a label, the traditional toolbox that food scientists have been using becomes more limited, so the idea is to provide an assessment of the situation and potential solutions.”

On Friday, Lynn Dornblaser, director of innovation and insight at Mintel, began the course with some insight into the shift toward clean label, offering the perspective of the marketplace and sharing what consumers have to say about clean label. “This isn’t a trend for everyone—not everything can be clean label, but the trend is growing in importance and isn’t going to go away,” she said, though consumers don’t necessarily understand what the terminology means. She urged companies to focus on educating them about what ingredients are being used and why to help alleviate what she called “factory fear,” or the idea that there are harmful and unnecessary ingredients in their foods. “There’s no downside in helping consumers understand what’s in a product and why it’s there,” she said.

IFT Past President Roger Clemens, adjunct professor in the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, focused on the difficulty of communicating food science to consumers. “Processed food has saved the world,” he said, but consumers don’t understand the value of the ingredients in the foods they eat. Because there is no regulatory definition of clean label, what it means to manufacturers has to do with consumer perception of what ingredients are good for them. Some companies are committing to removing certain ingredients to comply with consumer demand, though Clemens pointed out that Nestlé has been careful to explain that these changes do not have to do with science. He advised companies in the industry to establish continuity in how they are using clean label terminology, asking, “How do we harmonize so the industry isn’t shooting itself in the foot?”

short course demonstrationDuring the rest of the day, instructors delved into the specifics associated with clean label in various ingredient categories. Pernille B. Arskog, commercial technical manager, North America, at Chr. Hansen, provided insight into formulation considerations relating to natural colors, including how light, heat, pH, processing, and packaging can affect color’s stability and vibrancy over time and reviewed some options formulators have when switching to natural colors. Though it currently costs 10–20 times more for a natural color than a synthetic one, she hopes that advances in technology will help bring costs down over time. Ravi Joshi, strategic business development director at Magrabar, provided an overview of antifoam and defoamers, which help prevent or control foam during processing or use of a product, and Wanda Jurlina, technical service manager at CP Kelco, discussed hydrocolloids and the individual functions of the various thickening and gelling agents, highlighting options that would be suitable for clean label products and leading the class through a demonstration of just how differently they can behave in the same environments.

Mark Stavro, global marketing director at Bunge, explored clean label trends in fats and oils, presenting his ideas about how the trend might evolve over the few years, such as tracing oils to a region or farm and drawing on minimal processing methods with little waste. Using margarine and shortening as examples, he demonstrated how manufacturers could eliminate or adjust certain ingredients to create cleaner labels, something he said Unilever is working on and that Earth Balance does well. Ingredion technical services manager Heidi Adams and Diana Nieto, principal technologist, technical services, US/Canada, closed out the day, discussing clean label sweeteners and starches. Adams outlined options for non-GM sweeteners consumers will readily accept, such as honey and agave, discussing the properties and challenges of each, and Nieto shed insight into the possibility of using functional native starches in place of modified food starches.

Saturday began with a discussion of natural flavors from Jennifer Hoffman, senior manager of regulatory affairs at FONA International. Clean is a continuum, not a checkbox, she said; because clean is not a defined concept, she advised companies to do as her company has done and think about what ingredients must always be present, can never be present, and will sometimes be present in a clean label product, some of which will be dictated by customers’ own interpretations of clean. Consumers don’t understand the term clean, she said, but they are looking for simple, non-GM, and organic claims, and by explaining these claims to consumers in nonscientific language they can understand, companies can encourage consumer loyalty. “Verified claims build trust,” she explained.

When it comes to bioactive ingredients such as antioxidants, polyphenols, and carotenoids, the industry is being forced to go backward in how it creates these health-boosting ingredients to meet clean label demands, said Mario Ferruzzi, professor of food science and nutrition at Purdue University. Fractionating, modifying, and refining these nonnutritive compounds is no longer accepted for today’s clean label products, and formulating has evolved to consider more natural sourcing that includes whole foods and extracts. In addition, because interactions between bioactives from these sources and the food matrix can present problems within food systems, he advised formulators to think about starting from scratch when creating products with bioactive compounds.

The morning was rounded out by sessions about proteins and protein blending and alternative preservatives for use in meat products. Laurice Pouvreau, senior scientist at NIZO, spoke about the possibilities that protein offers in formulations. Formulators must be aware of how using proteins to replace ingredients such as carbohydrates will affect the overall product, as well as understand the amino acid compositions of the proteins being used, particularly when designing foods for different population groups such as infants. Mixing proteins together to create protein blends can also help formulators deliver the required amino acid score of a given food.

Rodrigo Tarté, assistant professor of meat science and technology at Iowa State University, reviewed the functions of nitrates and nitrites in meat products. Nitrates are converted in the body into nitrites, which give cured meats their flavor, color, and texture, as well as provide antioxidants and antimicrobial properties. There are no known substances that can provide all of these functionalities, he said, so formulators must replace both the curing system and antimicrobial system in these food products, as well as phosphates and binders. Nitrates derived from vegetables such as celery and Swiss chard can be used in natural or alternative curing; these must still be converted to nitrites through fermentation either in-plant or by the supplier. Because nitrites must be included in meat products to label them as cured, products such as ham and hot dogs must be labeled as uncured and include a several statements, including “No nitrate or nitrite added.”

The final afternoon began with a discussion of clean label processing and packaging, a unique element to this course, according to Cobos, who said that for a clean label product to be truly successful, the approach must be holistic and encompass all parts of production. On the processing side, Tom Woodward of Avure discussed the opportunities high pressure processing (HPP) provides brands to address the concerns of multiple food industry stakeholders, including consumers, distributors, and legislators. HPP’s benefits include alleviating safety concerns by inactivating food pathogens and providing longer shelf life, greater geographic reach for brands with its longer chilled shelf life, and food waste reduction. In addition, products that use HPP can command a premium price as consumers are willing to pay for safer, longer shelf-life, high-quality foods, he said.

Industry consultant Terry A. Clark finished the course with a discussion on packaging, explaining that cleaner ingredient labels may demand different packaging attributes, such as compensating for reduced product stability and shelf life by providing increased barrier, modified atmosphere, or “active” functions like oxygen scavenging or antimicrobial. In addition, light barriers for more sensitive natural colors and improved material and seal strengths for the stresses of high pressure or temperature processes are also key considerations. She also provided information about existing and emerging technologies and offered packaging tips and considerations when developing cleaner label products.

Cobos hopes that IFT will be able to offer this course again in the future. “If the course helps the audience to have a better understanding on how to approach the challenge with new learning and professional contacts, most likely it will be offered again, as this trend in not going away. The course is oriented to everybody, no matter your function, as at the end we are all consumers,” she said.

For more information about future IFT short courses, click here. For information about on demand courses, click here.

‘Fresh’ Foods through High Pressure Processing

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

Hot Topic Session: Advances in High Pressure Processing for Healthier Foods
Session 031
Sunday, July 17, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
Room N427bc

Over the past five years or so, high pressure processing (HPP) has emerged to become a leading option for the production of meats, premium fruit juices, seafood, and vegetable soups. More than 100 food companies worldwide are using HPP to meet consumer demand for foods that are healthier, fresher, more natural (reduced additives and preservatives for a clean label) and safe for extended shelf life chilled products. With the U.S. as the largest manufacturer and consumer of HPP products, the value of HPP products in the North American market is growing rapidly, projected to reach about $14 billion annually by 2018, and the HPP equipment market is growing in an exponential fashion. This symposium will cover a cross-section of the state of current commercialization of HPP and future innovations.

Mintel Intelligence Zone

Saturday, July 16th, 2016
Booth 4953

Mintel BoothThe Mintel Intelligence Zone (booth 4953) will be home base for a number of the market intelligence company’s food and beverage industry analysts during IFT16. Innovative food and beverage products, trends, and food science presentations will be highlighted. Always a go-to source of market information, Mintel offers a market intelligence mix that incorporates data, market research and analysis, competitive intelligence, product intelligence, and analytical expertise.


Interactive Experience:

Comfort Food: Modernized
From macaroni and cheese to birthday cake to hard soda, consumers are flocking to recognizable flavors when it comes time to indulge. What innovations are expanding “comfort food” into new formats? Which categories are capitalizing on this trend? What’s next?
Monday & Tuesday: 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

What’s Next in Beverages?
A look beverage innovations from around the world and how these are leveraging or driving consumer trends, such as health and wellness, new flavors and hybrid formats.
Sunday, Monday & Tuesday: 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.

Eat With Your Eyes: The importance of appearance
Food and drink continues to be a leading topic on social media, creating a need for products that are as documentable as they are delicious. How can color, shape and texture be used to attract shoppers and their hashtags?
Sunday, Monday & Tuesday: 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Consumer Presentations:

Innovating for the iGeneration
Sarah Theodore
On the heels of the oft-hyped Millennial generation, the iGeneration, or those born between 1995 and 2007, are another important group to consider when formulating. Who are these consumers? What are they looking for in terms of flavors, functionality and formats?
Monday & Tuesday: 10:00 a.m.

Senior Solutions: Developing products for the aging consumer
Stephanie Mattucci
As the senior population continues to grow globally, there is an increased opportunity to provide products tailored to their needs. This presentation will cover things product developers should consider when formulating for seniors, from flavors to nutrition to packaging.
Monday & Tuesday: 10:30 a.m.

The Value Paradox: The challenge of creating products for the budget consumer
Lynn Dornblaser
Many of the trends driving the food and beverage industry today, such as organic, clean label, and authentic ethnic foods, are ones that often are more challenging to develop and command a price premium. But what about products for those budget- conscious consumers? We’ll look at what retailers and consumer packaged goods companies are doing to offer choices across a price spectrum, and provide insight into what consumers are looking for.
Monday & Tuesday: 11:00 a.m.

Innovation Presentations:

What does product innovation really look like?
Lynn Dornblaser
Many in the industry like to talk about the most unusual product development, but what do consumers think? You may (or may not) be surprised that what we think as innovative is not necessarily what consumers think of as innovative or as products they would actually purchase. We’ll use new data from Mintel to uncover consumers perceptions and intentions regarding what we may think of as truly innovative, compared to the products that they see as innovative.
Sunday, Monday & Tuesday: 12:00 p.m.

Charting Flavor Expansion and Innovation
Lynn Dornblaser
How can you predict where a flavor may be going next? It truly is part art and part science. Using Mintel’s global tracking of product introductions, we’ll look at a few established flavor profiles (such as sriracha and caramel) to chart where they developed, how they moved regionally and from one category to another. Using that model, we’ll then look at a few emerging flavors to offer insight on where they may be going next.
Sunday, Monday & Tuesday: 12:30 p.m.

Helping Consumers Cook Dinner: Innovation in Meals and Meal Kits
John Owen
We know that consumers tell us they don’t have time to cook. So what are they doing? We’ll explore what’s happening in meals and meal kits, how ideas from outside the US may have application for the US market, and discuss the impact meal kit delivery has on prepared products.
Sunday, Monday & Tuesday: 1:00 p.m.

Ingredients & Claims Presentations:

“Simple” isn’t so simple
Stephanie Mattucci
Interest in clean labels and concerns about ingredients and food safety continue to be pressing issues for the food industry. In an effort to communicate naturalness and freshness, brands have shifted to an emphasis in simplicity in all aspects of a product, including labeling, ingredients, and packaging. However, as many food scientists know, making something simple can be very complicated. This presentation will not only explore what it means to be simple but also the challenges that face simplicity.
Sunday, Monday & Tuesday: 2:00 p.m.

Free-From for All: Alternatives are ready for the spotlight
Amanda Topper & Billy Roberts
Alternatives are infiltrating the mainstream as variety grows and tasty innovations contradict olds reputation of being inferior substitutions to meat and dairy. Vegan and vegetarian options, non- dairy milks and yogurts, and allergen-free product are proudly promoting their free- from claims and are being embraced by a variety of consumers.
Sunday, Monday & Tuesday: 2:30 p.m.

From the Inside Out: The embrace of ingredients as superheroes
Jenny Zegler
As more consumers use their diets to help improve the way they feel and/or look, ingredients are fast becoming the new focal points. How are brands communicating the potential benefits inherent in specific ingredients? What are some of the most desirable ingredients?
Sunday, Monday & Tuesday: 3:00 p.m.

Hot Topic Sessions

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Want to stay up to speed on some of the most current topics related to food technology, food science research, and future trends, often while gaining a global perspective? If so, then Hot Topics sessions are for you. 2016 hot topics include high pressure processing, current innovations in food quality and safety, designing emotion into food products to create long-term consumer appeal, clean label, and the latest developments in industry trends and fads. The hot topic sessions for IFT16 are:

  • Session 015: Clean Labels
    Sunday, July 17; 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
    Room N427bc
  • Session 031: Advances in High Pressure Processing for Healthier Foods
    Sunday, July 17; 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
    Room N427bc
  • Session 074: Current Innovations in Food Quality and Safety
    Monday, July 18; 2:15 – 3:45 p.m.
    Room N427bc
  • Session 087: Crickets, GMOs, Gluten-Free … Separating Food Fads from Food Trends
    Tuesday, July 19; 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
    Room N427bc

On Trend by IFT (Booth #2242)

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

New this year, IFT’s On Trend display (booth #2242), powered by Innova Market Insights, will allow attendees to see the latest innovative products or services, as well as relevant solutions for the top trends facing the food industry. Categories include the following:

  • Proteins: Protein is top of mind for many consumers, which are adding it to their diets to help maintain energy levels, support overall health, improve muscle tone, and feel satisfied by a meal or snack.
  • Gluten-Free: While a very small percentage of consumers have a severe immune response to gluten, many believe they are sensitive to gluten or feel that the avoidance of gluten makes for a healthier diet.
  • Food Safety: With new rules and ongoing implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), food safety—always a priority—is a higher-profile topic than ever before.
  • Health & Wellness: Whether it’s weight management, functional fortification, or myriad other health and wellness areas, many different types of food ingredients can help product developers deliver more nutritious foods and beverages.
  • Clean & Clear Labeling: Consumers are looking for more natural, simpler, and less processed foods and beverages and the food industry is responding to the challenge with more whole foods and closer to nature ingredients that are recognized and understood by the consuming public.

The participating exhibitor companies are, as of June 21, 2016:

  • Proteins: Axiom, Medallion Labs, TerraVia, and WOWBUTTER Foods
  • Gluten-Free: Grain Millers, Hormel Foods, and Watson
  • Food Safety: Everspring Farms, Hawkins, Newly Weds Foods, and Radiant Industrial Solutions
  • Health & Wellness: Bloomer Chocolate, Pizzey Ingredients, Sensory Effects, and Watson
  • Clean & Clear Labeling: colorMaker, Flavor Consultants, Land O’Lakes, Naturex, Pizzey Ingredients, and Scelta Mushrooms BV

Consumer Panel: A Clean Label Revolution

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Paul Metz

Kat Figatne

Kat Figatne

General Session: Consumer Panel: A Clean Label Revolution

Monday, July 18 | 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
McCormick Place South, S100 Ballroom

There’s no doubt the clean label trend is impacting the food industry. so let’s hear directly from the consumers. This session will feature original data presented by Paul Metz, Executive Vice President, of C+R Research. Then, a panel of Chicagoland consumers will join the stage to reveal their opinions about products currently on the shelves, and what they’d like to see in the future. The panel will be moderated by Kat Figatne, Vice President of the Qualitative Team at C+R Research.


Paul Metz brings a wealth of knowledge about research design and quantitative analysis, and has extensive experience with market segmentation, brand positioning, advertising assessment, and new product development. Prior to joining C+R Research in 1999, Paul worked at The Quaker Oats Company and began his career at M/A/R/C, a custom marketing research agency.

With more than 11 years of market research experience, Kat Figatne moderates both traditional and digital qualitative research, including focus groups, ethnographies, shop-alongs, online communities, and mobile journals with consumers and B2B respondents.


Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Kneading dough in a factoryEnzyme Innovation, Booth 4062

SEBake PF can be used to strengthen the dough, improve dough mixing tolerance & machinability, as well as to enhance the gas retention capacity of the dough. The resultant baked goods thus have a more whiter & uniform crumb structure and also exhibit a significantly increased volume. SEBake PF is used for effective replacement of chemical dough strengthening emulsifiers such as DATEM (diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono/di-glycerides), SSL (sodium stearoyl lactylate) and CSL (calcium stearoyl lactylate). Replacement of such chemical emulsifiers with SEBake PF can enable bakers to produce the much-desired clean-labelled baked goods.

Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients Inc. Debuts Clean-Label Products

Monday, July 13th, 2015

sweet potatoesCarolina Innovative Food Ingredients Inc. (CIFI) has developed a line of sweet potato-based ingredients to meet the growing demand for clean-labels foods. At a press event on Monday, July 13, CIFI highlighted its sweet potato ingredients, which provide nutritional benefits and are sourced from domestically grown sweet potatoes. During the IFT15 food expo, the company is showcasing a menu of food samples formulated with sweet potato ingredients; the menu includes a fruit and vegetable juice blend, a nutrition bar, marinated sliders and condiments, and cheesecake featuring a vegan caramel sauce. In September 2015, CIFI’s will open a new plant in Nashville, N.C., where sweet potato juice, dehydrated sweet potato granules, and sweet potato flour will be produced. CIFI is excited about the new sweet potato offerings, which will provide alternative sweeteners and GMO-free ingredients for food manufacturers, a company spokesperson said.

Keeping Fresh Foods Fresh

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Grocery shoppingThe perimeter of the store and its assortment of fresh bakery, meat, dairy, produce and prepared foods is stealing market share from the center aisles, declared Agnes Lapinska with Ingredion at a session on “Increasing Freshness in Fresh Prepared Foods” on Sunday afternoon. “Consumers are demanding less processed, fresher ingredients and more participation in food preparation, which is a huge challenge for the food industry,” said Lapinska. Shoppers are also looking for transparency and ingredients they recognize.

According to Lapinska, sales of perimeter of the store foods in the U.S. were $296 billion in 2014, which represents about a 15% increase over 2009 sales of $257 billion. Sales are forecast to reach $346 billion by 2019—an increase of nearly 17%. Shoppers spend nearly 40% of their time in the supermarket’s perimeter and 18% of their grocery trip in the center of the store. The remainder of their time (about 40%) is navigating the aisles and checking out.

The main factors driving this store behavior, said Lapinska, are consumers’ desire for health and wellness—food at the perimeter is perceived to be less processed, higher quality and healthier, the ability of consumers to personalize and customize their selections, and the economy of eating at home vs. eating out.

To succeed in the growing fresh foods landscape, Lapinska told attendees to focus on the value propositions of freshness, health, clean label, and taste and comfort. If you have a presence in the perimeter, look for points of differentiation such as new ingredients, single-serve packaging and sustainability.

Catherine Proper of Supervalu discussed some of the opportunities and challenges in fresh prepared foods from the retailer’s perspective. About 20% of fresh food is private label, representing a $26 billion market, said Proper. Fresh is the fastest growing category in private label foods.

Proper described a problem with English muffins that were frozen and then merchandised at ambient temperature. The products, which had a 16-day shelf life, were receiving quality complaints, including dryness. A review of the supply chain discovered that the products were frozen, on average, six days following manufacture at individual stores. Housed on pallets, some of the products could take up to three days to freeze in the walk-in freezers. What was thought to be a 16-day shelf life turned out to be less than a week.

Poulson Joseph of Kalsec discussed freshness in the meat case. Research in the U.S. and UK found that more than 70% of consumers want meat and poultry products with no artificial ingredients—the top food category cited. The use of natural antioxidant and clean-label ingredients (e.g., rosemary and rosemary plus acerola for fresh meat, rosemary plus green tea for cooked meat, and cherry powder and celery powder for cured meats) can extend the shelf life of meat products and provide color and flavor stability.

John Garrison of Ingredion talked about the advantages of using functional native starches in delivering stability in refrigerated products. According to Garrison, functional native starches provide a wide peak viscosity, temperature, pH and shear tolerance, a smooth, short texture, and clean label. In a marinade application of poultry, a functional native waxy rice starch produced a succulent and juicy product and offered a clean-label alternative to phosphate. In another application, functional native starch delivered superior freeze-thaw stability in a beef gravy in a ready meal.

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