Calcium for Health

A line of natural calcium sources based on lactate and gluconate offers the food industry highly-soluble calcium sources with a neutral flavor. Puracal® is used for fortification of fruit juices, sport and health drinks, dairy products, diet and baby foods, as well as a dietary supplement in vitamins. Its neutral flavor and high solubility makes it an excellent firming agent in canned fruits and vegetables. All Puracal products dissolve very quickly, a big advantage with low temperatures and blending in-line, and are highly bioavailable; tests have proven Puracal calcium is as effectively absorbed as calcium from milk. PURAC America USA, 847-634-6330,www.purac.com

News in Extrusion

With the acquisition of two new companies, a leader in extrusion is moving beyond twin-screw technologies. The Clextral Group, consisting of Clextral, Lymac and Afrem, has a presence on all five continents, and can now provide complete pasta and couscous production lines and packaging systems on a worldwide basis. And, in January, Clextral hosted the firm's Protein Fibration Workshop, designed to demonstrate this new technology, a unique, high-moisture extrusion cooking process that transforms vegetable or animal protein into whole-muscle, meat-like product. At the U.S. pilot plant, visitors were not only shown the process, but sampled the products, such as nuggets with bread crumb coating, vegetarian steak and ground meat, and provided comments on the excellent mouthfeel and texture. Clextral Inc., 813-854-4434, clextralusa@clextralusa.com,www.clextral.com

25 Years of Excellence

The first custom blending company in the U.S. to become HACCP-accredited is celebrating its 25th year in business. Blendex was founded for the purpose of blending dry ingredients for the food industry, and is firmly committed to Total Quality Management. Employees pride themselves on their zero tolerance-attitude toward anything less than perfection. All their products are packaged to the customer's specifications with or without private labeling, and are shipped when and where they are needed. For nearly a decade, the company has been rated “Superior” by the American Institute of Baking. Blendex plans an open house and plant tours sometime later this year. Blendex Company, 800-BLENDEX,www.blendex.com

Easy Green

A new patent has been issued for the production of a natural styralyl alcohol and its esters, a product that adds a powerful “green” character to flavors. International Flavors & Fragrance Inc. (IFF) has developed a fermenting process for producing styralyl acetate, which adds a fresh, natural accent to a wide range of flavors. It also can augment and modify fragrance compositions in need of a floral or fruit aroma. IFF is a leading producer of superior natural flavors, and this new natural chemical is a cutting-edge advantage in the flavor market. International Flavors & Fragrance Inc. (IFF), Jan Little,jan.little@iff.com

Sweetening the Pot

A recent study confirms that different sweeteners can actually manipulate the flavor top notes of coffee and tea beverages. Commissioned by specialty ingredients manufacturer Nutrinova, the research looked at nine different sweetening systems, including sucrose, sucralose and aspartame as single sweeteners, as well as two- and three-way blends with Sunett (Acesulfame-K)—all with the equivalent sweetness of 5% sugar. Nutrinova reports that blends with Sunett can actually deliver an even more intensive flavor than sucrose alone. Nutrinova Inc., Graham Hall, grahamh@nutrinova-na.com,www.nutrinova.com

Replacing Gelatin

Yogurt manufacturers use gelatin to manage water and provide a structured texture to yogurt products. Gelatin is notable for its gelling properties and clean favor profile. A new specialty starch permits yogurt producers to replace gelatin in stirred and cup-set yogurt. With Impression™ specialty starch from National Starch & Chemical, manufacturers can achieve similar textural properties and flavor profiles, while saving money and avoiding supply and quality issues. Impression™ starch requires no changes to processing and equipment, resists temperatures and the pressure associated with standard pasteurization, resists shear from blending and mixing, and is not affected by fruit acids. And it is easy to use—simply add to the milk and sweetener before heating. National Starch & Chemical Company, 800-979-4992,scinquiry@salessupport.com,www.nationalstarch.com

Natural Flavor Enhancer

Keep your labeling clean and enhance your flavor without MSG or HVP. Kikkoman's new NFE-S Natural Flavor Enhancer is made from fermented wheat protein and can be used as a replacement for monosodium glutamate and hydrolyzed vegetable proteins. High in glutamic acid, NFE-S offers a mild flavor and neutral color, making it ideal for a broad range of applications, including meat, poultry, seafood, soups, marinades and dry mixes. It is heat stable and offers excellent flavor retention during heating and freezing, and is instantly dispersible and water-soluble. Most importantly, it can be labeled as Fermented Wheat Protein (wheat protein, salt and maltodextrin), giving your product the cleanest possible label. Kikkoman, 415-956-7750,www.kikkoman-usa.com

From Soup to Coconuts

Whether it's mac and cheese or chicken, mousseline potatoes or mocha tiramisu, the flavors are there for the tasting. Kraft Food Ingredients offers food developers, restaurateurs and consumers a tremendous variety of flavors, sauces, bases, mixes and finished products—cookies, cheeses, cereals and crackers, to name a few. Meats can be accented with flavors ranging from Caribbean to CharRoast™, potatoes with aged cheddar and bacon flavoring, and pies with Oreo® crusts and coconut flake topping. From Mexican to Thai, French to Homestyle, Kraft has the ingredients to match. Kraft Food Ingredients, 800-458-8324,www.kraftfoodingredients.com

Sweeter than Sweet

The results of more than 10 years of collaborative research have culminated in a new product that outsweetens even aspartame, with a clean, sweet taste like sugar. Neotame, from the NutraSweet Co., is approximately 8,000 times sweeter than sugar by weight, compared to 200 times for aspartame, which represents a significant potential cost reduction for food manufacturers. Moreover, this FDA-approved, JECFA-approved sweetener requires no special labeling, contains no calories and no carbohydrates, and stands to promote greater product innovation in the food industry. Neotame is very stable in dry form and has unique flavor-enhancing properties with no bitter or metallic notes—as concentration increases, only sweetness increases. The NutraSweet Company, 800-323-5321,www.nutrasweet.com/index01.asp

Perception Modification

Designed to address common problems with sweetness, flavor and mouthfeel perception, the Mag-nifique Line from Wixon Fontarome offers food manufacturers new solutions. Mag-nifique Sweet-Away reduces sweetness perception in products requiring high levels of primary sweeteners for bulk or functional benefits, while Mag-nifique Mouthfeel works with low- and reduced-fat systems. The Mag-nifique Flavor Technologies line is comprised of all-natural flavors in powder and liquid form. Wixon Fontarome, Kathy Tadych, 474-769-3000,kathy_tadych@wixon.com

Flexible Flavors

A leading manufacturer of vanilla, tea, coffee and cocoa extracts offers flavors to suit any application. Whether the product is nutrition bars, ice cream, cakes, dairy products or health foods, Virginia Dare offers a broad assortment of flavors. To address problems with off-flavors, the company also offers masking agents for food and beverage applications. The wide variety of flavors provided by Virginia Dare offers formulators a myriad of flavor possibilities. Virginia Dare, Paulette Kerner, 410-569-9766,pkerner@virginiadare.com,www.virginiadare.com

Starch Technology for Fiber Enhancement

Derived from wheat, MGP Ingredient's new starch has been developed for use in fiber enhancement. FiberStar 70™ is a highly effective resistant starch that outperforms other commercially available resistant starches, without significant sensory differences. FiberStar 70™ from MGP, a leader in innovative formulation, offers the greatest increase in total dietary fiber in tests compared to other common resistant starches. Testing also included consumer sensory acceptance, and scores showed no significant differences between muffins made with FiberStar 70™ and other frequently-used starches. FiberStar 70™ has a creamy texture, white color and clean flavor, and its water-holding capacity is significantly lower than traditional fiber sources such as wheat bran. This provides for high inclusion levels with only minimal reformulation. FiberStar 70™ can partially replace flour in bakery products, and is a natural fit for wheat flour-based product formulas. Applications include fermented dairy products, emulsified meats, nutritional supplements, breads, pastas and cereals. It also enhances crispness in crackers, waffles and other products. FiberStar 70™ provides a nearly invisible presence in finished products and, depending on usage levels, manufacturers can claim high fiber levels on labeling. MGP Ingredients Inc., 800-255-0302,www.mgpingredients.com

Functional Flavors

Consumers are reducing the amount of sugar in their diets; consumer concern over sugar intake has doubled since 1999. Ottens Plus™ Flavor Potentiators and Enhancers fortify product flavor while reducing the need for added sugar. Containing neither sugar nor other artificial sweeteners, these potentiators have very little flavor of their own. Instead, they can demonstrably replace up to 25% of sugar and other sweeteners in a variety of products. The flavor enhancers offer the same benefits, but with additional emphasis on specific flavor profiles, such as berry, tropical, dairy, and bakery. Ottens Flavors, 215-365-7800,flavors@ottens.com,www.ottensflavors.com

Say Cheese

Celebrating its 50th anniversary of offering the “Best In Cheese” with new additions to the product line, Sargento introduces four new products—Sargento Premium Cheese Chunks, Family Pack Slices, individually wrapped American Singles, and three new flavors of Deli Style Slices, including Colby-Jack, Pepper Jack with Habanero Peppers, and Baby Swiss. Sargento was also awarded “Best of the Best” by Quality Institute International for the second year in a row for offering the industry's absolute best-tasting shredded cheese, and is offering consumers a recipe collection from Taste of Home to commemorate this banner year. Sargento Foods Inc., 800-795-7090,www.sargento.com

No Fuss Fruit

Rich in vitamins and minerals, fat-free and with a high ORAC level, California raisins appeal to today's health-conscious consumer. For the food producer, the “Easyfruit” offers several advantages: no need to peel, pit, core or stem; clean labeling; and easy to formulate in cakes, pies, cereals, snacks, baked goods and entrées. One-quarter cup offers one full serving of fruit as well as adding natural sweetness and a healthy profile to many food applications, with a universal appeal. California Raisin Marketing Board, 559-248-0287,info@raisins.org,www.calraisins.org

Low-Carb Sweeteners

New ingredients offer alternatives for high-glycemic carbohydrates. Specialty carbohydrates from Danisco Sweeteners have a low glycemic index and a minimal impact on insulin and blood sugar levels. Ideal for products designed to appeal to “low-carb” consumers, Litesse® polydextrose, lactitol and xylitol can be used to improve nutrition profiles in a variety of applications, as well as to replace traditional high-glycemic carbohydrates such as sugars, starches and maltodextrins. Litesse® is low in calories, sugar-free, and well-tolerated. Danisco Sweeteners, Donna Brooks, 800-255-6837, ext. 2521,donna.brooks@danisco.com,www.dansico.com/sweeteners

Eye Appeal

A combination of expertise in both printing ink technology and food coloring systems leads the way in creating new products with visual appeal. Sensient Colors offers new processes for digital imaging with edible ink on food substrates. Using concepts associated with traditional ink-jet printing, Sensient provides the ability to differentiate manufacturers' products while minimizing colorant and product waste. Customization and full-color imagery open new opportunities in upgrading older product lines while developing distinctive new products, all with minimal impact on existing production. Sensient food-grade colorants are FDA-approved, non-GMO and contain no animal-derived materials, and kosher certification is available. Sensient Imaging Technologies Inc., 760-741-2345,www.sensient-tech.com

Crossover Mojo

One of the few flavors that transcends almost every Latin culture is poised to cross over to the Anglo-American market as the next new taste sensation. A member of the Research Chefs Association, Palmetto Canning offers a Mojo (Moho) marinade that showcases this distinctive flavor. Different from most other marinades, Mojo is a brining/ceviche type sauce that penetrates meat and fish more deeply than other marinades, giving an intense, clean flavor to the end product. Palmetto produces both industrial concentrates for meat processors and retail packaging for the consumer end, and is an established producer of jellies, sauces and other marinades. Palmetto Canning, Jonathan Greenlaw, 941-722-1100

More than Marinade

Bring more than just marinade flavor to meats with a new powder-based marinating system from Bell Flavors. The powder in solution, when injected into the meat, develops a matrix which allows more of the marinade to be absorbed and held during the cooking process. The meat protein structure is improved, as well as the texture and water retention, while minimizing shrinkage during cooking. After the meat is cooked, the matrix releases superior meat flavor for maximum enjoyment. Bell Flavors & Fragrances Inc., 847-291-8300,www.bellff.com

Trans-free and Non-hydrogenated

Hydrogenated fats long have been associated with trans fatty acids, which have been linked to an increased risk of coronary artery disease. While new FDA rules will require labeling of trans fatty acid content, consumers may still shy away from products with “hydrogenated” on the ingredient statement. Loders Croklaan's solution to food manufacturers' concerns is SansTrans, a new line of trans-free shortenings and oils. They are prepared without hydrogenation, but feature properties comparable to partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil products. 100% vegetable oil, highly stable and with a long shelflife, SansTrans products possess excellent creaming and aeration properties. They are available in a variety of formulations for use in bakery dry mixes, cookies and crackers, cakes and vegetable dairy products, and frying, all non-GMO and 100% trans fat-free. And without hydrogenation, labels are clean and consumer friendly. Loders Croklaan, 800-621-4710,fats.lc@croklaan.com,www.croklaan.com

Feedback for Quality

Whether the issue is product development, marketing or consumer complaints, customer feedback is vital to the growth of any company. RQA offers professional, trained staff to meet the needs of any aspect of consumer outreach, whether it is product or package optimization, taste testing, consumer research, quality improvement, product liability or consumer complaint investigation. RQA works with its clients to strategically develop and launch new products, minimize risk and liability while improving customer retention, and offers fast, efficient and professional handling of complaint samples. RQA Inc.,info@rqa-inc.com,www.rqa-inc.com

No More Mineral Oil

Derived from vegetable oils and fully saturated for oxidative stability, medium chain triglycerides function as a replacement for mineral oil in a variety of applications, including moisture barriers, viscosity modifiers, mold release agents and lubricants for food processing equipment. NEOBEE® from Stepan Company Food Ingredients are low viscosity liquids that spread easily and are superior for use as carriers for flavors, vitamins and colors. They offer metabolic properties ideal for use in sports drinks, infant formulas, nutritional supplements and power bars, being metabolized at 1/8 the time of typical long chain triglycerides. NEOBEE® products are odorless and tasteless and a product of choice for the medical and sports nutrition industries. Stepan Company, James Butterwick, 201-712-7642,www.stepan.com

Stuck on Food

Food processing equipment means food processing problems. Among the most common difficulties are foods and extrusions that clog up expensive machinery. Acatris Inc. offers custom solutions to sticky issues. Whether the problem requires pan oil, emulsions, or special greases, Acatris has over 50 different release agents designed to handle the problems. Their applications lab can develop solutions tailored to fit customers' food application needs, and their production facilities meet or exceed GMP guidelines, are kosher and AIB-certified, and meet HACCP standards. Acatris Inc., Laurent Leduc, 952-920-7700,www.acatris.com

Clean Apple Caramel

In a response to the need for clean labeling, a new, 100% caramelized apple product adds flavor and color to beverage and food products. D.D. Williamson's new caramelized apple product, made from 100% apple concentrate, was primarily designed to add a clean, clear color to beverages and foods, and to enable producers to label foods as “100% Apple.” D.D. Williamson is the world's largest manufacturer of caramel color, providing major brand names with color in beverages, mixes, sauces, bakery goods and pharmaceuticals. D.D. Williamson, Campbell Barnum, 800-CARAMEL

Fortified with Fiber

An all-natural acacia gum product combines the benefits of nutritional soluble fiber with the technological properties of acacia gum. FIBREGUM™ from Colloides Naturels Inc. is available in an easy-to use instantized form and can be labeled as “Fortified with Fiber” for maximum consumer appeal. FIBREGUM™ stabilizes texture, acts as a binding agent for components, imparts a prebiotic effect, extends shelflife and increases crispiness. Used in beverages, it offers a smooth and rounded mouthfeel with reduced astringency and no added taste or smell. Colloides Naturels Inc., Kim Meaney, 908-707-9400, ext. 111,meaney@cnius.com,www.cniworld.com

Sweet “Peppas”

The first new fruit discovered since the kiwi offers a new spicy new taste. Believed to be native to Central America, the Peppadew was discovered in South Africa. Resembling something between a miniature red pepper and a cherry tomato, the fruit has a sweet taste with a peppery bite. The piquant fruit is becoming more and more popular and is an excellent garnish for food and particularly beverages, such as martinis made with Damrak gin. Peppadew offers a new, distinctive flavor designed to appeal to sophisticated palates. Damrak Gin,www.damrakgin.com

Natural Calcium from Eggs

A revolutionary new process separates naturally refined eggshell calcium from other parts of the eggshell, resulting in a pure source of natural calcium and micromineral nutrients. Natures Calcium™ with Ornical™ is a food-grade supplement that is more than 38% calcium, derived entirely from the calcium-rich shell of a hen's egg. The crystalline structure of micronized eggshells results in a particle that is small and potentially more absorbable than other sources of supplemental calcium. The process is all-natural and chemical-free, and offers producers of nutritional supplements a pure and natural source of calcium without the potential heavy-metal content of other sources, such as bone meal and coral calcium. Holt M.D. Labs/Nature's Benefit, 877-765-1099,info@naturesbenefit.com,www.naturesbenefit.com

A Flavonoid First

For the first time, bioflavonoids are being offered as additives for the food manufacturing process, rather than simply for inclusion in nutraceuticals or vitamin supplements. Bioflavonoids are well-known antioxidants, but research has shown that they also have other functional capabilities, including anti-cholesterol and anti-viral properties. Flavonoid Technologies, a division of The Arnhem Group, offers the bioflavonoids in three powdered forms; they are extracted from 80 different natural sources and are all GRAS. Flavonoid Technologies LLC, 908-709-4045,info@flavexprotein.com

Clearly Superior

A superior-quality, natural, water-soluble gum system is designed for clear-gelling applications in low-calorie and no-sugar-added jams and jellies. The components of Gumixall 780 Premium synergistically interact to create systems with excellent gel strength. Boiling the solutions of this natural gum system causes full hydration. With a suggested usage level of 1.0-2.0% of the solids of the finished product, Gumixall 780 Premium is extremely cost effective. Gumix International Inc., 800-2-GUMIX-2

Technology for Fresher Applesauce

The leading applesauce manufacturer in Canada, Leahy Orchards Inc., recently has announced plans to introduce a new premium applesauce product for institutional distribution using Avure's high-pressure processing technology. The technology enables Leahy to produce fruit-based snacks with optimum flavor and nutrition, qualities traditional heat-based systems impact negatively. High-pressure processing (HPP) ensures product safety and longer shelflife by destroying foodborne pathogens and spoilage organisms. With the process, which Avure Technologies Inc. calls “Fresher Under Pressure”®, foods retain more of their fresh taste, color, texture and nutritional values than is possible with food processing techniques that depend on chemical additives or heat treatment. The systems provide food manufacturers alternatives to optimize convenience and shelflife, without sacrificing flavor. Avure Technologies Inc., Pat Adams, 253-850-3500

Focus on Flavor

Specializing in flavors for the food and beverage industries, a leading manufacturer goes global. Originating in Europe and a division of the Kerry Group plc, Mastertaste is now a major player in the flavor industry. Its most recent acquisition, SunPure, a manufacturer of natural citrus flavors and ingredients, joins Mastertaste's other divisions focusing on premium sweet and savory flavors for the beverage, bakery and confectionery, and dairy industries. Mastertaste, Nancy Lawrence, 847-823-9300,www.mastertaste.com

Almonds for Heart Health

The results of a rigorous review of a large amount of scientific research cites the heart health benefits of nuts such as almonds as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, leading to the FDA's approval of the first qualified health claim for conventional foods. The evidence supports the recommendations of leading heart health organizations such as the American Heart Association. They promote eating foods that contain unsaturated and monosaturated fats—such as those found in almonds—instead of foods high in saturated fats. Almonds are a natural favorite of consumers: high in important nutrients such as vitamin E and magnesium, almonds are flavorful, crunchy and go with just about everything. Almond Board of California, Molly Spence, 209-549-8262,www.almondsarein.com.

Agar as a Food Thickener

Japanese sugar refiner Taito Co. has developed a type of agar that does not solidify, making it suitable as a natural food-thickening agent. A gelatinous substance comprised of two compounds extracted from algae, agar normally requires that the two substances be mixed in a ratio that results in solidification. Using an opposite ratio, Taito found a version suitable for thickening uses in food. Considering that this agar-based thickener will not require registration as a food additive, the company regards it as a boon for makers of natural food products. Furthermore, the agar is reportedly less gluey than other thickening agents.

The Licuado Entices More than Latins

There is a new drink that is gaining popularity in the U.S. The “licuado,” a fresh fruit and milk-based Latin drink has been part of the Latin American culture for centuries and traditionally is served as a light meal, snack or dessert. Licuados are made with cold milk and fresh fruit, such as mango, papaya, guava, apple, banana and even cocoa powder. Latins have enjoyed licuados at home, or at the many street stands that are popular in their countries.

The California Milk Processor Board has published a guide to licuados in California titled, “A Guide to California's Best Licuados.” It features a foreword written by nationally known Mexican chef Toribio Prado. Each entry features the name of the establishment, the closest cross streets and the restaurant's specialty licuado. The guide also features a fun page of how to ask for licuados in Spanish (many establishments only have Spanish-speaking personnel), and offers tidbits of “Licuado Lingo.” California Milk Processor Board, www.gotmilk.com

Danisco Tired of Dust

Danisco AS has developed a low-dust powder technology for food manufacturers, capable of reducing the amount of dust generated by mixing dry ingredients by up to 98%. The primary target will be powders for dairy, ice cream, soups and sauces, bakery and meat production, the company said.www.danisco.com