LAS VEGAS – While plant-based ingredients had a strong presence at IFT17, the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting and exposition, held in Las Vegas June 25-28, animal-sourced ingredients, most notably proteins, stood their ground as being clean label, nutrient-dense, functional ingredients and on trend.
Dairy-derived ingredients had the greatest showing, with more than 10 exhibitors promoting the benefits of formulating with everything from cheese powders to whey proteins. Representing suppliers of U.S. dairy ingredients, the U.S. Dairy Export Council (U.S.D.E.C.), Arlington, Va., showcased varied prototypes to demonstrate the versatility of dairy ingredients.
A frozen matcha dairy sandwich featured a Greek yogurt and milk protein isolate filling flavored with matcha green tea and wedged between oat wafers. A single serving contains 15 grams of protein and is ideal as a frozen breakfast food or a high-protein snack.
Drinking vinegars, which are gaining popularity for their digestive health benefits, may also deliver protein. The U.S.D.E.C. showcased how the right whey protein isolate may be added to a cherry-flavored drinking vinegar without producing sedimentation. The prototype delivered 11 grams of protein and 120 calories per 8-oz serving.
There was also a milk and honey bedtime beverage designed to address consumers’ desire to relax after a long, busy day. The prototype contained 20 grams of protein and provided half of the Daily Value for calcium. Served warm or cold, the chai and honey-infused beverage was made with reduced-fat milk, milk protein isolate and micellar casein concentrate. The milk protein isolate provides a clean dairy flavor without adding significant levels of lactose, while micellar casein concentrate is an excellent fit for shelf-stable, protein-fortified beverages because of its heat stability. In this beverage, all nutrients and viscosity came from these ingredients so no separate vitamins, minerals or stabilizers were needed.
Lastly, U.S.D.E.C. sampled a next-generation udon soup. The savory, protein-enriched udon noodles and Asian broth dish contained 11 grams of protein per serving with 45% less sodium than similar products on the market. The protein came from whey protein concentrate, while whey permeate enabled the sodium reduction in the broth.
Dairy ingredient suppliers shared some noteworthy prototypes. For example, Ingredia, Wapakoneta, Ohio, created a high-protein (10 grams per serving) instant oatmeal using instantized micellar casein. The unique dairy protein was specifically developed to formulate ready-to-drink beverages and ready-to-eat foods. Micellar casein is a slow-digesting protein, which helps keep consumers fuller longer. This makes it ideal for weight management food innovations.
Idaho Milk Products, Jerome, Idaho, introduced a milk protein concentrate designed for drinkable yogurt and ready-to-drink protein beverages, as it combines the value of being 85% protein (casein and whey in the same unaltered ratio as in fresh milk) with improved texture, consistency, flavor and prolonged shelf life. It is produced using a low-heat membrane filtration process to ensure protein is undenatured and remains highly nutritional.
Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Milk Specialties sampled its new Non-GMO Project verified organic milk protein concentrate in a powdered form of cream of mushroom soup. The soup, once hydrated, may be consumed out of its carton or poured and heated up for consumption. Providing 30 grams of protein in one serving, this on-the-go meal is an easy choice for consumers looking for increased protein, as well as for weight management.
Agropur Ingredients announced a broadening of the ingredients business of Agropur Cooperative, which is based in Canada. To showcase its expanded portfolio, the company offered an array of prototypes. One example was bagel bursts, which were bite-size bagels with a creamy, flavorful cream cheese center. The filling was made using a flavor system based on dairy product solids, which contributes dairy deliciousness and allows for a claim of no sugar added. There was also a shortbread cookie made with deproteinized whey, which enabled a 25% sodium reduction without any compromise on buttery flavor.
The company’s all-natural, highly pure whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolysate were showcased together in a nutrient-dense trail mix bar that provides 13 grams of protein while still maintaining a desirable soft yet crunchy texture. The bar included protein crisps for visual appeal.
Land O’Lakes Inc., Arden Hills, Minn., unveiled a new organic white cheddar cheese powder line that boasts a distinctly bold flavor. The line includes three products at three different price points, each with different tastes, mouthfeel and levels of creaminess. Attendees were able to taste all three powders on popcorn, the most popular application. Other ready-to-eat applications include organic cheese curls, cheese puffs, potato chips, crackers and pretzels, as well as food applications such as macaroni and cheese, soups and dips.
Glanbia Nutritionals, Fitchburg, Wis., debuted freeze-dried shredded cheese. The convenient, shelf-stable, nutrient-packed dairy ingredient delivers cheddar or mozzarella cheese when hydrated. It’s versatile enough to be used in snacks, bars, instant foods such as grains and soups, and ready-to-eat meals. It is high in protein, rich in calcium, lightweight, portable and delivers the flavor cheese lovers crave.
Rembrandt Foods, Spirit Lake, Iowa, debuted its recently commercialized egg white protein isolate that is more than 92% protein on a dry basis, making it comparable to whey and soy isolate. It is made using patent-pending technology that de-flavors the protein and reduces its foaming, gelling and whipping properties, rendering the instantized version ideal for protein beverage mixes. One 30-gram powdered serving provides 26 grams of protein, which is the equivalent to eating eight egg whites, something very common among athletes and body builders.
The company also has developed a new dried egg yolk ingredient made using natural fractionation technology that does not use chemical solvents. Yolks are a rich storehouse of nutrients, including the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are associated with eye health. They also provide more choline per serving than any other food, which is a nutrient associated with cognition and brain health. The new yolk-based ingredient is a protein and phospholipid complex that is lower in fat and cholesterol than traditional dried egg yolk. It can easily be used in ready-to-mix nutrition shakes, especially those targeted to pregnant and nursing women and young children, as well as older adults for healthy aging. Depending on the formulation, a good or excellent source of protein is possible.
Gelatin is an animal-derived protein responsible for binding water and providing a one-of-a-kind melt-in-your-mouth eating experience. Gelita USA, Sergeant Bluff, Idaho, showcased how its portfolio of instant, cold-water soluble gelatins can be used in instant dessert preparations and powders, mousses, toppings and fillings. This assists bakers, confectioners and dessert manufacturers with improving efficiencies by reducing preparation times.
One of gelatin’s close relatives, hydrolyzed collagen peptides, is gaining traction as a powerful nutrient. Gelita showcased how highly specialized collagen peptides make sense for health and wellness foods and beverages. This is because research shows collagen peptides counteract the progressive loss of joint cartilage tissue and help to reduce functional joint pain. There are options that may increase bone mass density or muscle mass, and others that may reduce the depth of wrinkles.
Essentia Protein Solutions, Ankeny, Iowa, introduced its functional ingredient solutions based on proteins from pork, beef or poultry. Finely ground and injectable, the proteins improve yield, purge, texture and sliceability in fresh and processed meat products. They function as a natural alternative to phosphates and hydrocolloids and are a clean label lean-meat replacer that reduces formulation costs.Lastly, Entomo Farms, Norwood, Ontario, North America’s largest cricket farm, sampled cricket flour in a number of snack foods. But the real attraction was the roasted whole crickets.