Cheese to Please
A new process cheese to assist food companies meet “better-for-you” demands of consumers is now available. Land O’Lakes Ingredient Solutions’ Reduced Fat, Reduced Sodium Process Cheese contains 50% less fat and 35% less sodium than traditional process cheese, without sacrificing authentic cheese flavor, creamy mouthfeel or the excellent melt characteristics for which process cheese is known. It also contains less cholesterol, fewer calories and more calcium than regular process cheese and can be customized to meet preferences for color, flavor, melt and pack size. Land O’Lakes Ingredient Solutions, www.landolakes-ingredients.com

Say Cheese--in Spanish, Please
The Hispanic population is the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. today; the U.S. Census Bureau projects the group will reach 55.2 million by the year 2020. Consequently, it is no surprise that Hispanic-influenced cheeses have been growing in popularity, showing up more frequently on grocery shelves and restaurant menus. With a wide variety of functions and flavors, Hispanic cheeses can add new appeal to entrées, snacks, sauces, appetizers, side dishes and salads, presenting new market opportunities for cheese processors and food manufacturers. The 44-page Hispanic Cheese Reference Guide, now available from Dairy Management Inc., provides a comprehensive primer on more than 60 types of Hispanic cheeses from Latin American countries, including translations, origins, flavors, mouthfeel, melting points and detailed production tips. To obtain a free copy of the Hispanic Cheese Reference Guide from DMI, send an e-mail to techsupport@innovatewithdairy.com. Dairy Management Inc., www.innovatewithdairy.com

A Base Hit
An innovative line of dry bases can be used to produce retorted sauces, soups and ready-to-eat meals for foodservice or retail. Advanced Food Systems’ Chef-Ready® Retortable Bases are specially formulated with ingredients that maintain excellent flavor, color and texture through the heat and pressure of retort processing and final preparation. The bases are available in a wide range of varieties, such as marinara, Cheddar cheese sauce, demi-glace and more. Custom bases are also available. Advanced Food Systems Inc., 800-787-3067, www.afsnj.com

Soup to Nuts
Sip a sample of delicious, organic lemonade made with MALTRIN OR organic rice maltodextrin. Or, savor a variety of tasty soups highlighting the thickening and stabilizing properties of PURE-GEL® stabilized starches. From soup to nuts, experience Grain Processing Corporation’s specialized ingredients in a variety of prototype foods and beverages at this year’s IFT Food Expo (booth #1409). Additional lines of specialty starches are also available from GPC. Grain Processing Corporation, 563-264-4265, grainprocessing.com

Isomalt Monograph
A leading manufacturer of sugar-derived ingredients has participated in the publication of the first monograph on isomalt in the Food Chemical Codex (FCC). This First Supplement to the Sixth Edition will become effective May 28, 2009. Analytical and regulatory experts from BENEO-Palatinit have contributed to the monograph. BENEO-Palatinit possesses extensive experience in isomalts and looks back on more than 25 years of regulatory excellence in over 70 countries. The monograph will provide a significant, additional reference for customers worldwide. BENEO-Palatinit Inc., 973-539-6644, www.beneo-palatinit.com

Whole Grains: A Matter of Definition
The definition of “whole grain” is often confusing. Whole grains provide superior nutritional value, when all of a seed’s components are consumed together ( i.e., the bran, germ and endosperm ). However, historically, some have defined “grains” as only referring to seeds of cereal plants related to the grass family Graminaea. A wider definition of “grain” is simply a seed. The FDA draft guidance includes seeds from pseudocereals, a loose classification that refers to broadleaf plants morphologically similar, but unrelated, to grasses. Flax seed, like quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth, is a pseudocereal that can be ground into flour, developed into dough (albeit gluten-free dough) and baked like wheat. For more information on the benefits of flax seed, as well as its whole-grain status, see www.enreco.com/the_facts_on_flax .

Tea Time
One of the largest producers of vanilla extract has leveraged its preeminent vanilla extraction technology to develop a full line of tea extracts and concentrates. Virginia Dare’s tea line is made from tea leaves and sourced from around the world. It includes black, green and oolong teas, in both liquid and dry forms. At the IFT Food Expo, Virginia Dare will offer various tea beverages, including flavored tea lattes, floral-flavored iced tea and tea-based smoothies (booth #1135). Virginia Dare, 410-569-9766, www.virginiadare.com

Colorful Options
Mango iced tea colored with certified-organic caramel color; juice drinks colored with natural beta-carotene; hard candies colored with red cabbage, turmeric and red beet—these are just a few of the features attendees of IFT’s Food Expo in Anaheim, Calif., will experience at booth #1347. D.D. Williamson and colorMaker will also host two sessions—a symposium on coloring options from natural sources and an oral session on heat and light stability of naturally derived red colorings for beverages. D.D. Williamson, 502-895-2438, ddwilliamson.com , colorMaker Inc., 714-472-0444, colormaker.com

Sweet Masking
Stevia is highly desirable and FDA-approved, and many food and beverage manufacturers have made it their sweetener of choice. Because stevia extracts may be 300 times sweeter than table sugar, its use requires careful management. Comax Flavors is offering a stevia masking flavor, a new addition to its extensive line of Special Effects flavors. It not only overcomes bitterness caused by stevia, but also deflects the lingering or clinging sweetness that interferes with the enjoyment and acceptability of the finished product. Comax Flavors, 800-992-0629, www.comaxflavors.com

Better Blends
A new multigrain blend requires no soak or pre-cook time, so manufacturers can incorporate the blends directly into the dough. BriessBlend™ multigrain blends make it easier to develop multigrain baked goods for niche and regional markets. These blends, from Briess, will be featured at the IFT FoodExpo, in booth #665. Briess has also relaunched its website, updating the look and adding content. Briess Malt & Ingredients Company, 920-849-7711, , www.brewingwithbriess.com  

Newly Minted
A new line of attractively priced, proprietary mint flavors deliver the consumer-preferred profiles of popular piperita oils, such as Far West, Willamette, Yakima and Madras mints. International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) is committed to delivering high-quality mint profiles, while keeping overall product costs in check. Mint prices are increasing significantly, due to reduced acreage coupled with rising manufacturing costs.  At the same time, the demand for mint is rising in categories like oral hygiene and chewing gum. International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., 212-708-7121, www.iff.com

Clean-label Starches
Two cold water-swelling, functional native food starches can withstand downstream processing--heat, shear and recycling--in a broad range of acidified foods. National Starch Food Innovations’ NOVATION® 43000 and 5300 also combine the instant thickening performance of premium modified starches with a simple “cornstarch” declaration. These clean-label products are functional, native, waxy maize starches that disperse readily in cold liquids for faster prep time and produce a smooth, short, high-quality texture, from salad dressings and sauces to fillings. National Starch Food Innovations, 866-961-6285, www.foodinnovation.com

Younger, yet Older
The March 10, 2009, issue of E-dition, Prepared Foods’ electronic newsletter, reported that the U.S. will see its young population increase noticeably in coming years. According to Business Insights, it is estimated there will be 20.8 million 5-9 year-olds by 2011. These consumers are facing a concept described as “growing older younger,” in that they have access to the Internet; food and drinks manufacturers can use social networks to target them from a young age; and an increasing number have their own cell phones. In addition, environmental concerns, food quality and food safety are driving parents to purchase ethical food and drinks for their kids. Products with organic claims took the largest share of new product launches, with 60.1% in 2008. The ethical area is benefiting directly from the “kids getting older younger” phenomenon.

For more information on the report, “Ethical and Wellness Food and Drinks for Kids: Key Product Trends and Manufacturer Strategies,” click “E-dition Archives” at www.PreparedFoods.com and click the May 10 E-dition.

To see more on the survey results, type in “Youth Market Comes of Age” in the search field at www.PreparedFoods.com . To subscribe to E-dition, go to www.PreparedFoods.com/enews .

Of Countries and Qualities
The March 30, 2009, issue of E-dition, Prepared Foods’ electronic newsletter, reported on results from PF’s “R&D Trends: Functional Foods and Beverage 2009” survey, conducted by Clear Seas Research, which investigated countries’ reputations for supplying quality ingredients. Some 195 North American food industry R&D, marketing/sales and general managers responded to the questions: 1. How do you perceive the overall quality of ingredients coming from the following regions, and 2. For each of these regions, do you feel the overall quality is improving, decreasing or remaining the same? Of the nine regions listed, The U.S./Canada region received top rank, with 85% of respondents saying the overall quality of its ingredients was “high,” followed by the E.U., Israel, Chile and Brazil. Also, Brazil, Chile, India and Mexico ranked well, in that 42%, 38%, 38% and 36% of the respondents, respectively, also said the quality of ingredients from these regions was increasing.

To see the complete version of the E-dition article, type in “PF Exclusive Survey: Countries and Quality” in the search field at www.PreparedFoods.com . To subscribe to E-dition, go to www.PreparedFoods.com/enews .