Fresh and clean
Clean label is no longer considered a trend but a new reality for the industry, a sentiment that was echoed by many exhibitors, chefs and speakers at the conference and expo.
“We’re seeing a strong interest in clean and clear labels and organic compliant ingredients, though not necessarily for the purpose of making organic claims,” said Beth Blake, sales account manager at Kalsec, Kalamazoo, Mich. “Consumers don’t need more information. They need better information.”
At the show, Kalsec served Bloody Mary cocktails with a selection of garnishes seasoned with mint, garlic and dill from its IsoFresh portfolio. That line was created to help product developers maintain the fresh flavor and aroma of herbs, spices and vegetables in processed dressings, sauces, snacks, soups and more.
Bonduelle Americas, Montreal, exhibited a dehydration and preparation process used to maintain the taste, quality and nutrition in frozen vegetables with high water content, including bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. Domenico Forte, corporate chef, innovation at Bonduelle Americas, said the technology results in frozen vegetables that when thawed are indiscernible from fresh vegetables in soups and sauces or on a pizzas, burgers and sandwiches.
Milne, Nampa, Idaho, displayed its MicroDried line of fruits, vegetables and pulses, which are fully traceable and available in milled and whole formats for a variety of applications. Based on rising demand for authentic flavors and simple ingredient lists, Milne recently expanded production of the MicroDried line, said Heidi Farkas, sales manager, as manufacturers seek to reformulate products using real fruit and vegetables.
Qualisoy, Chesterfield, Mo., showcased high oleic soybean oil, an alternative to partially hydrogenated oils that doesn’t require the synthetic additives often added to edible oils used in food applications to control oxidation and extend shelf life of the finished product. The company served chocolate praline cups topped with rum icing made from interesterified high oleic soybean oil shortening.
“Clean label is a $180 billion opportunity for the industry,” said Bahman Ghavimi, Ph.D., chief executive officer and president of Dr. G’s Creations, L.L.C., Athens, Ga. At the show, his company demonstrated breading and batter systems that help products retain texture and appearance through freezing and thawing. Consumers want restaurant quality foods at home, Dr. Ghavimi said.Food safety was another important topic at the event. Siemer Specialty Ingredients, a division of Siemer Milling, Teutopolis, Ill., presented heat-treated wheat flour, germ and bran, which may replace chemically modified ingredients in cakes, coatings, batters and gravies. After a recent rash of food recalls, the products are positioned as a clean label solution for controlling microbiological presence, said Rob Ferguson, customer account executive at Siemer Specialty Ingredients.