Space, the final frontier…
The food industry and NASA share mutual goals in producing higher quality, more nutritious foods, and lessons learned on both sides could ultimately help feed astronauts on missions to Mars and beyond, according to Dr Michele Perchonok, project scientist, advanced food technology at NASA.
We caught up with her at the show to find out how to create foods with a shelf-life of five years (and whether anyone would want to eat them…)
One of the hottest topics at the IFT expo this year was sodium reduction, with insights from a huge range of companies from giants such as Cargill to relative minnows such as UK firm Kudos Blends, which has developed a highly innovative solution to sodium reduction for cakes, pancakes and biscuits.
But there were also some fascinating solutions on offer from whey permeate to a calcium-based leavening phosphate for leavened baked goods, a flavor-boosting vinegar and a soy sauce that doesn't taste like soy sauce. Click here for a quick round up.
The next generation of healthier oils
For those interested in improving the nutritional profile of their wares without breaking the bank or compromising on taste, solutions were also at hand from the big guns in the oils and seeds industry.
First to enter the fray was DuPont's Pioneer subsidiary with Plenish, a high oleic soybean boasting a fry-life two to three times longer than conventional soybean oil, superior stability to high oleic canola or sunflower oil, zero trans fat and less saturated fat.
Next in the ring was Monsanto with Vistive Gold, which also promises extended fry life and stability at high temperatures – along with a sharp reduction in saturated fat.
Meanwhile, manufacturers of everything from nutrition bars to salad dressings were seeing encouraging results using a novel soybean oil developed by Monsanto and Solae that was rich in the omega-3 fatty acid stearidonic acid, claimed the pair.
The rise and rise of Greek yogurt and specialty flours
Finally, trend watchers should check out our interviews with the US Dairy Export Council’s Sharon Gerdes on the meteoric rise of Greek yogurt and John Leighton at Corn Products International on specialty flours with nutritional and textural functionality.