Today's foods and beverages are more appealing to consumers if the items are fortified. SuperCoat[tm] microencapsulated nutrients and SuperBlend[tm] custom nutrient pre-mixes deliver effective fortification solutions in a wide variety of products. The Wright Group's proprietary SMART[tm] process allows SuperCoat microencapsulates to eliminate unwanted taste and odor, minimize degradation in extreme processing conditions, prevent reaction with other ingredients and protect nutrients in extreme acidic (low pH) environments. Wright SuperBlend custom pre-mix solutions offer precise nutritional solutions, delivering homogeneity and consistency in a single quality-assured blend, increasing the efficiency of the production process. Wright Group, Harry Bille, 800-201-3096, wei@wenrich.com, www.thewrightgroup.net

Software Addresses QC Issues

A joint venture between Color-Tec Associates Inc. and Bakery Innovative Technology (BIT Corp.) has resulted in a new set of Windows software tools for the prepared foods industry. The FORMULATOR[tm] with PRIMS[tm] software allows food manufacturers to control recipe development, develop quality testing, target and calculate nutritional properties, and then interface to lab and production scale controls in order to prepare the products. Additionally, the software allows food technologists to create nutritional labels, define quality control tests, archive test results, document QC test procedures and perform many other functions. A CD is available for a free test to qualified food and bakery technologists and formulation chemists, from either of the following companies. Color-Tec, Tanya Dobbs, 908-735-2248, ext. 10, tdobbs@color-tec.com; BIT Corp., David Thomas, 631-758-3081, david.thomas@bit-corp.com

Company Distributes Sweetener

This past summer, Univar was selected to be the North American distributor of NutraSweet's Neotame[tm], a high-intensity sweetener for the food and beverage industries. Univar already distributes that company's aspartame product. Neotame can help food formulators reduce calories, carbohydrates and sugar in consumer diets. The sweetener offers 8,000 times the sweetening intensity of sugar, but is less expensive than sugar, fructose corn syrup and high-potency sweeteners, say company officials. They indicate neotame can reduce sweetening costs by as much as 25% to 33%. Univar, Karen Weber-Millstein, 425-889-3475, Karen.webermillstein@univarusa.com

Rich, Spicy Sauces

Sauces add the finishing touch to foods such as burgers, chicken, pizza, barbecue dishes and many more foods. Unfortunately, some sauces mask the flavor of the dish with heat. Texas Pete's variety of hot sauces allows true flavors to come through. For example, the company's hot sauce features a special blend of peppers to make foods bolder and spicier, without overpowering the taste with stifling heat. Emerging cuisines such as Caribbean, Pan-Asian, Italian, Cajun, Mediterranean and Thai all benefit from the boldness that rich, thick, spicy sauces can add. Texas Pete sauces are available in packets, different-sized bottles (3-, 6- and 12-oz. bottles) or one-gallon plastic containers, ready to serve chains, independent operators, caterers and fine dining operators. Texas Pete, 800-476-PETE, < href="http://www.texaspete.com">www.texaspete.com

Reducing Pizza Carbs

A pizza that has 40% to 60% fewer carbohydrates than traditional pizza features a crust made using Watson's Low-Carb Pizza base WT-8447B. The finished crust has 16g of total carbohydrates, with 7g of dietary fiber. The net carbs per serving of crust is 9g, and the protein content is 7g. The pizza sauce was made by replacing a portion of the tomato paste with Watson's UltraCel[tm], for a sauce with 1g of carbohydrates per 33g serving. The company indicates this is a 75% reduction in carbohydrates, compared to traditional commercial pizza sauces. The company also added a custom vitamin and mineral pre-mix to increase the nutritional value of the pizza. Watson Foods Co., 203-932-3000

Virtually Trans-fat-free Oil

A new alternative to partially hydrogenated oils is available to foodservice and food manufacturers. Natreon[tm] canola oil is virtually trans fat-free and low in saturated fat, with about 7% saturated fat, the lowest of any vegetable oil, the company claims. The oil has more than 70% monounsaturated fat and provides a significant increase in omega-3 fatty acid content relative to many partially hydrogenated and saturated oils it can replace. Natreon can replace partially hydrogenated oils in many foodservice and snack food applications, such as frying and non-stick spray applications, and in baked goods. In a typical cracker, the amount of saturated and trans fat can be reduced by as much as 85% by switching from partially hydrogenated oils to Natreon canola oil. Dow AgroSciences, Pablo Ilarregui, pilarregui@dow.com

Flash Point Tester Has No Flame

Dangerous chemicals are susceptible to fire or explosions; exact flash points are key in preventing hazardous situations. The Grabner MiniFlash is a newly developed flash point tester that is continuously closed cup and requires only 1mL of sample. It does not test with an open flame, allowing the instrument to be operated safely and without supervision. Developed according to ASTM D6450, it gives results equivalent to ASTM D56, D93 or ISO 2719. The D6450 method determines flash points of used oil, food and many other substances. Temperature ranges from -25 degrees to 400 degrees C (-13 degrees to 750 degrees F). Petrolab Company, Angel Schell, 518-783-5133, < href="http://www.petrolab.com">www.petrolab.com

Indian Foods Feature Raisins

Indian cuisine it is just starting to gain momentum in the U.S. The California Raising Marketing Board offers interesting Indian recipes featuring California raisins on its website, www.calraisins.org. Raisins are used in savory meals and sweet desserts. Some other ideas include Raisin Carrot Halwa, California Raisin Burfi, curried raisin snacks and yogurt-covered raisins. California Raisin Marketing Board, Thomas Payne Market Development, 650-340-8311, thomaspayne@msn.com

Soy Clear Soy Sauce

This naturally brewed clear soy sauce contains the complex salty and sweet notes typical of the Kikkoman slow fermentation process. With its light amber color, Kikkoman Clear Soy Sauce PK-56 is particularly appropriate for food applications requiring an end product with a lighter color. It is ideal for poultry and fish as well as soups, cream sauces and salad dressings. The company offers a full line of industrial products. Kikkoman International Inc., 415-956-7750, www.kikkoman-usa.com

FDA Approves EPA and DHA Label Claims

Last month, the FDA announced that conventional foods containing eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are mainly found in fatty fish (such as anchovies, sardines and salmon), may display a qualified heart health claim on the label.

Lester Crawford, acting FDA commissioner, stated, “Coronary heart disease is a significant health problem that causes 500,000 deaths annually in the U.S.” Crawford also noted that, “This new qualified health claim for omega-3 fatty acids should help consumers as they work to improve their health by identifying foods that contain these important compounds.” Consumers are urged to ingest up to 500mg per day of EPA and DHA.

Robert Orr, president and CEO of Ocean Nutrition Canada (ONC), noted, “Our FDA-notified GRAS omega-3 powdered food ingredient is an excellent solution for food manufacturers wishing to include EPA and DHA in their products because it allows people to eat foods they love and get the health benefits of fish (EPA and DHA), without the taste or smell of fish.” ONC produces highly concentrated omega-3 EPA/DHA powdered ingredients for food products such as bread, milk, yogurt, powder shakes, food and nutritional bars. Ocean Nutrition Canada, Lori O'Connell, 902-457-2310, www.ocean-nutrition.com

Trans-free/Non-GMO Ingredients

Trans-free? Non-GMO? If either of these questions is important with regard to your food emulsifier, American Ingredients Company has solutions. A newly developed range of trans-free, non-GMO emulsifiers has been designed for drop-in replacement of conventional mono- and diglycerides. These products function in a wide range of food applications such as: breads, sweet goods, flour tortillas, bakery mixes, shortening and margarine. They are vegetable-based, with GRAS status, FDA 21 CFR 184.1505 clearance and kosher certification. American Ingredients Company, 800-669-4092, ext. 1325, pbarnes@americaningredients.com