IFT 2017 Preview: 7 Things You Can’t Miss At This Years Event


IFT 2017 is right around the corner and this year there will be a lot of great products and companies at the event…

But with nearly 1200 exhibitors at IFT it can be difficult to find the companies that could truly transform your business and take your company to the next level.

This is why we put together a list of some of the most interesting innovations, companies and sessions that will be at IFT this year.

1. Organic Bitter Blocker

Are you looking to reduce the amount of sugar in your product while maintaining a clean label?

Well MycoTechnology has discovered the world’s first certified organic bitter blocker called ClearTaste® which is helping companies reduce their sugar content by blocking bitterness.

One of the primary reasons sugar is added to foods is to cover up flavor defects, with ClearTaste companies can drastically reduce their sugar content by managing flavor profiles.

You can find out how ClearTaste is helping companies reduce their sugar content by up to 100% in some applications.

MycoTechnology will be at booth 1982 and will be demoing a hibiscus pomegranate stevia beverage made by  the beverage formulation experts, Imbibe.  The beverage is meant to show how ClearTaste can remove the bitter metallic aftertaste of stevia so companies can finally use a natural alternative sweetener system.


2. Shiitake Fermented Protein

The number one issue facing the alternative protein market is taste and aroma.

If your protein does not taste good no one will want to come back for a second helping.

Well MycoTechnology has also developed a unique fermentation process that uses shiitake mushrooms to solve these deficiencies through a natural fermentation process that removes the undesirable aspects of plant based proteins while enhancing with the nutritional qualities of Shiitake mushrooms.

The result is a slightly savory, complete vegan protein, that is highly digestible, with the nutritional characteristics unlike any other plant based protein on the market.

You can find MycoTechnology at booth 1982.

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3. Rice Flour Increasing Shelf Life and Stability

Having a product that can stay on the shelf for a long periods of time is critical for new product development but…

shelf life and clean label often do not go hand and hand.

And with more and more consumers aware of what they are eating it is critical to find a way to increase shelf life while maintaining a clean label.

Well the folks over at Ingredion have found a way for companies to use “rice flour” while adding robust functionality, stability and shelf life.

And with the nutritional label only requiring rice flour you can be sure that your customers will be at ease.

The rice flour will be available to food manufacturers in the United States, Canada and Asia-Pacific following IFT 2017.

You can find Ingredion at booth 2056

Also download a copy of their rice flour brochure here:



4. Preserving Flavor Through Drying

You have spent months with your flavor company in order to perfect the flavor profile of your new product but there is just one problem…

When you scaled up your production process the flavor was completely destroyed…

Drying tends to be quite damaging to flavors so how do you protect your product to ensure that your customers are getting the best experience possible.

Well Clextral has made a breakthrough in its drying technology which claims to enhance the flavor and functionality of powdered foods.

This could be a major breakthrough that would have a significant impact in a wide range of food products.

You can find them at booth 2698

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5. Push the Limits of Shelf Life in Dairy Beverages

Increasing the shelf life particularly in dairy beverage applications can be quite difficult.

Especially when compounded with high protein and fat content.

The solutions that have previously been available are not particularly friendly to your label…

If you are a beverage developer you should definitely check out the Ticaloid Pro 192 line developed by Tic Gums.

You can find them at booth 1050.


6. Plant Based Natural Color Line

Color can make or break a product…

Ever heard that you eat with your eyes?

Well its true…

Color can make a product more sweet, sour, salty, or bitter. Color can manipulate our perception of foods and our experience with them.

But now a days consumers want their colors to come from natural sources.

Naturex has one of the most extensive lines of plant based colors.

Their unique expertise in plant based ingredients and toll manufacturing make them ideal in developing products that your customer will actually enjoy.

You can find them at booth 2457 and be sure to download a copy of brochure here

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7. FOOD EVOLUTION Film Premiere

You can often get swept up in the excitement of IFT and forget to go to the sessions.

But there are a few that you do not want to miss…

At IFT they will be premiering the film Food Evolution, which is directed by academy award nominated director Scott Kennedy and narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson. The film goes into why consumers distrust the food industry and starts a conversation to rationalize the role of sound science in the global food system.

This is one that you definitely do not want to miss.

The premier starts on Tuesday, June 27, 8:30-10:30 a.m.

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How Do You Solve the Sugar Epidemic? Solve Flavor Defects

 sugar epidemic and flavor defects
With the average American consuming three times the daily recommend amount of sugar and obesity reaching epidemic proportions, the food industry is frantically trying to develop healthier products. However, taking sugar out of foods is not as simple as it sounds as it provides a critical role in product development due to flavor defects.

Product formulators are tasked with creating great tasting products that can be enjoyed by the masses. The challenge is that many natural ingredients have flavor defects such as bitterness, astringency and sourness which are off-putting to consumers. Their efforts become particularly challenging when developing products that are also, non-GMO, chemical-free and organic. To combat flavor defects, food manufacturers have adopted a practice known as masking, which is capable of hiding the unwanted tastes. Flavor masking works by over satiating taste receptors to the point of not being able to detect flavor. Vanillin and aroma chemicals are common masking agents but the most popular is sugar. Sugar is highly effective, inexpensive and provides structure to foods that few ingredients can; however, its health implications and the changing consumer landscape poses a challenge for its use in future product formulations.

But the challenges continue:

Although more than 51% say they want less sugar in their foods, taste is the most important factor in product acceptance and consumers are unwilling to compromise. Over the past several years, food manufacturers have been looking for solutions that are capable of providing full flavor without the added calories; however, finding effective sugar replacements that align with consumer trends has posed challenging.

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Artificial sweeteners

One of the first solutions to solve flavor defects without the use of sugar was artificial sweeteners. These substances were created to have zero calories while mimicking the taste of sugar. It was promoted as the perfect solution for the obesity epidemic. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that researchers found a link between the use of artificial sweeteners and bladder cancer. Soon after, researchers also implicated aspartame (a popular artificial sweeter) in causing a variety of tumors. In 2008 research showed that consumption of artificially sweetened beverages is associated with increased risk of diabetes.

Natural Sweeteners

Because of the controversies surrounding artificial sweeteners, scientists today are in constant search for healthier alternatives, especially from natural sources. Stevia is one of the most popular natural sweetener alternatives available on the market. Derived from a plant, this natural sweetener is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar with zero calories. The challenge with Stevia is its bitter metallic aftertaste. Several companies are looking for a solution to the aftertaste issues of stevia.

What is Reb A Stevia
Stevia Leaves – Image courtesy pixabay.com

Monk Fruit is another popular natural sweetener alternative. Monk fruit was GRAS approved in early 2010 and has seen traction in several different categories. However, monk fruit’s high price point and unique aftertaste has limited its potential. Typically, monk fruit has been used in conjunction with stevia to increase overall sweetness with less flavor defects.

Monk Fruit – Image Courtesy wikimedia.org

Artificial Bitter Blockers

Flavoring companies have also tried to address bitterness by developing synthetic bitter blocking compounds. They work by blocking a bitter taste from binding with a taste receptor site; without the binding, the bitter taste is not perceived. Historically, chemical blockers have had varying degrees of success at mitigating bitter tastes, usually with limited applications and parameters. Artificial bitter blockers have also had challenges with the evolving consumer landscape who are looking for more natural ingredients.

Organic Bitter Blockers

Till recently there have been no known organic bitter blockers available on the market. It wasn’t until mid 2014 that MycoTechnology discovered the first of its kind. The certified USDA organic blocker is derived from a mushroom extract and used as a processing aid to effectively modulate a wide variety of substrates. MycoTechnology recently struck a deal with several major sweetener manufacturers to improve the flavor defects of stevia and monk fruit, however, it can be used in a broad range of applications.