The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo is where key companies in the food world meet to share their latest product news and consider the future of the industry. 

At this year’s event, held in early June in New Orleans, Ardent Mills and The Annex by Ardent Mills (the Annex) showcased how grain-based innovations can lead the food industry by identifying, sourcing, growing and pioneering leading-edge ingredients. 

Major themes to emerge from IFT19 included (1) consumer demand for plant-based proteins, (2) maintaining better digestive health, (3) focusing on more functional foods and (4) prioritizing sustainable food production. 

Ardent Mills’ booth and sampling menu featured grain and milling innovations to help manufacturers meet demands for all these trends.

  1. Power Plants

Pulses–in particular, dried-pea forms–proliferated at IFT19 as food manufacturers and consumers continue to learn how pulses can provide plant-based protein, alternative starch, non-dairy “milk” replacements and more formulation solutions. Ardent Mills and The Annex are bringing their capabilities and expertise in R&D, operations, and food safety, plus insights to chickpea flour milling, feeding the demand for this versatile alternative flour.

Ardent Mills’ Usage Idea: Chickpea Crackers made with finely milled chickpea flour and ready for hearty dips like hummus and Colorado Quinoa™ and Artichoke dip

  1. Gut Check

Industry experts are predicting that product formulations using fiber will revolutionize the way consumers look at gut bacteria, fiber and health. More new product releases, like gluten-free pasta and high-fiber cereals are marketed as “good for the gut.”

Ardent Mills’ Usage Idea: Ardent Mills’ proprietary Sustagrain® barley has the highest fiber and protein combined and is among the lowest Glycemic Index of any whole grain commercially available, plus has 35% more fiber than oats. Its soluble and insoluble fiber, when part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, are key for maintaining digestive health and increased satiety.  The Annex culinary team boosted flavor and fiber in an Applesauce Bread made with Sustagrain Flour and Flakes.

  1. High-Functioning Foods

An IFT19 speaker panel featuring Britt Burton-Freeman of the Illinois Institute of Technology examined how fiber and other plant-based ingredients are playing a larger role in appetite regulation, energy, availability of nutrients and other health functions. Many of Ardent Mills’ menu samples demonstrated how combining different high-fiber ancient grains flours and chickpea flour can maximize nutrition, satiety, energy and provides other functional advantages.

Ardent Mills’ Usage Idea: Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies made with Chickpea Flour, Ultragrain Flour and Sustagrain Flour

  1. Sustaining Food’s Future

According to many expert panels and exhibitors at IFT19, the industry is shifting more attention to food sources that improve soil health and fertility, increase biodiversity, improve water quality and availability, empower farming communities and reverse climate change. 

This research aligns with The Annex by Ardent Mills’ commitment to supporting sustainable, local quinoa. At IFT19, The Annex announced a new relationship with Colorado farmers to grow Colorado Quinoa™, a crop that supports biodiversity, sustainable growing practices and the conservation of the water of the Rio Grande Aquafer.

Ardent Mills’ Usage Idea: Creole Quinoa Burger made with Colorado Quinoa.

From Pure-Purple™ Barley and berry smoothies and food-safe edible cookie dough made with SafeGuard™ RTE Application flour, the Ardent Mills’ culinary team served more ideas for using grain innovations to meet demands for simple, delicious and wholesome plant-based foods. 

To learn more about the ingredients used at the IFT19, contact Ardent Mills at 800-851-9618 or email 

About The Annex by Ardent Mills™

The Annex is a business unit of Ardent Mills that is cultivating the future of specialty grains and plant-based ingredients. It’s supported by a dedicated team committed to exploring what’s next in whole grains, pulses, mixes, custom multigrain blends and finished breads. Its broad portfolio includes ancient & heirloom grains, organic grains and flours, sprouted wheat, and chickpeas as well as innovations such as Sustagrain High-Fiber Barley and White Sonora, an heirloom wheat. 

To learn more, visit or call 888-680-0013.

About Ardent Mills®

Ardent Mills is the premier flour-milling and ingredient company whose vision is to be the trusted partner in nurturing its customers, consumers and communities through innovative and nutritious grain-based solutions. Ardent Mills' operations and services are supported by 40 flour mills and bakery-mix facilities along with a specialty bakery and Mobile Innovation Center, all located in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Deeply rooted in communities throughout North America, Ardent Mills is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, and employs more than 100 certified millers, supporting thousands of local jobs and contributing billions of dollars to local economies. 

To learn more about Ardent Mills, visit Ardent