NEW ORLEANS — Bavaria Corp., Chr. Hansen and Comet Bio have all earned the Institute of Food Technologists Food Expo Innovation Awards. The awards were presented June 2 at the association’s annual awards ceremony during the opening of the I.F.T.’s annual meeting and food expo, held this year in New Orleans.

“Now in its 13th year, the Food Expo Innovation awards program is a showcase for amazing advancements in our profession,” said Noel Anderson, president-elect designate for the I.F.T. “Exclusive to companies exhibiting at the IFT19 Food Expo here in New Orleans, these awards honor outstanding innovation in products, ingredients, technologies, instrumentation, equipment, and services that were commercially introduced since Jan. 1, 2018.” 

Bavaria Corp., Apopka, Fla., was honored for its Bafos MP Natural Flavor, which contains natural preserving agents that have strong antimicrobial properties against yeast, mold and gram-positive bacteria. Derived from a food-grade aqueous extract of an edible fungus, the water-soluble ingredient offers an alternative to sorbate and benzoate and is well-suited for preserving low pH foods and beverages, according to the company.

Chr. Hansen’s Minimally Processed FruitMax Reds ingredient from its Hansen Sweet Potato line caught the award judges’ attention. The red colorings provide a plant-based alternative to carmine and synthetic reds, according to the company, which has offices in Milwaukee. The ingredient is available as a water-soluble powder or liquid, the red colorings are heat and light stable with no off-tastes and are less pH sensitive than other fruit and vegetable concentrates. Applications include confectionery, fruit preparations, bakery and fermented dairy products.

Comet Bio, London, Ontario, was honored for its Sweeterra Syrup Blends, which have up to 35% less calories, lower sugar, and higher dietary fiber content than traditional corn syrup, the company said. The ingredient is made from upcycled food and farm leftovers such as wheat straw and corn stalks, the sweetener blends are functionally equivalent to corn syrup and may be used in confectionery, gummies, fruit preparations, energy drinks, nutrition bars, and bakery products.

“We’d like to thank the Institute of Food Technologists for recognizing the innovation behind our Sweeterra syrups,” said Rich Troyer, chief executive officer. “Our customers are eager for ingredients that align with consumer trends around health and sustainability without sacrificing product taste or performance. This award validates the hard work and progress we’re making to build the future of ingredients without compromise.”

A panel of 10 jurors with expertise in research and product development, processing and packaging technology, and food safety selected the three innovations from 30 qualified entries. Judging criteria included degree of innovation, technical advancement, benefits to food manufacturers and consumers, and scientific merit.