I’m writing this fresh from the annual Institute of Food Technologists (www.ift.org) conference and expo in Chicago. If you didn’t attend, as a source of food science and ingredient trends in the trillion-dollar world of food product development and manufacturing, it can’t be beat. Kudos to the legions of IFT support staff, lead staff, and admin who made it happen!

Many ingredients showcased at these events promise the future, but one in particular is really delivering it: microalgae. The things food technologists and research chefs are doing with those powerfully nutritious, microscopic plants the size of a pinpoint are nothing short of mind-blowing. Formulations developed with algae constitute some of the most advanced and practical food science I’ve seen in my 30+ years in the food business. One vendor demonstrated an impressive variety of algae-based offerings, including:

eggless and dairy-free Devil’s food cupcakes and chocolate icing; ultra-creamy non-dairy Alfredo sauce; eggless “mayonnaise” spread; an ice cream made with 2/3 of the dairy replaced by lipid- and protein-rich algae yet of a truly super-premium quality (and I’m an ice cream snob!); eggless-flourless cake; and an eggless challah “egg” bread every bit as light and fluffy as what I enjoy each week myself. The unusual versatility of algae is long overdue for widespread use, especially since Dr. Isaac Asimov predicted its capacity to feed an overpopulated and resource-strapped world more than half a century ago.

Another excellent event just gone by was our R&D Applications Seminar. The annual two-day event brought to light a number of insights and upcoming trends that make it clear we’re on the verge of a big jump in creativity in our industry. Be sure to check out www.PreparedFoods.com for the many postings from this year’s presentations, applications labs, technical sessions, and exhibits. Speaking of trends, annual NutraSolutions Sports Nutrition feature is full of updates on trending ingredients for the active set, and there’s a piece on coatings and inclusions you’ll find snappy and filling. Trying to keep up with the new focus on food allergens? We’ve got that covered, on page 76. Plus, a primer on phosphates, true workhorses of the baking, deli, and beverage industries. Finally, We Want You! It’s time for our annual Ingredients and Formulations for Better Health issue with its Weight/Obesity survey and we want your feedback. So, when it hits your in-box, take that survey and give us a piece of your mind. You could win an American Express gift certificate!

Erratum: In our July issue, we implied that the Non-GMO Report is connected to the Non-GMO Project. The two are separate entities.

Transforming a Brand and Revolutionizing an Experience
Don’t Miss Out on the Best Line-up of Speakers Ever!

Ripe for Disruption

Speakers Include:

• Nancy Giordano, founder of Play Big Inc.

• Rick Lenny, Chairman, IRI (formerly chairman of Hershey Company)

• Jon Sebastiani, CEO, Sonoma Brands (founder of KRAVE jerky).

• Koel Thomae, Co-Founder, Noosa Yoghurt

• Jeff Church, Co-Founder & CEO, Suja Life LLC

• Susan Allen, Senior Director-Innovation, Schwan’s Consumer Brands

• Lisa Thorsten, Campbell Soup, Director-Global Regulatory Affairs

• Scott Aakre, Hormel Foods, VP-Corporate Innovation & New Product Development

• Pat Crowley, Founder, Chapul LLC (cricket bars!)

• Chastity Prince McLeod, Packaging Group Manager, Nestlé R&D Solon

• Craig Dubitsky, Founder and CEO, Hello Products (design thinking)

• Lynn Dornblaser, David Jago, Directors of Innovation Insights, Mintel

• Barb Stuckey, President and Chief Innovation Officer, Mattson

• Rachel Cheatham, PhD, Founder & CEO, Foodscape Group (nutrition)

• Dr. David Forbes, president, Forbes Consulting, author of “The Science of Why?”

Prepared Foods’ New Products Conference has arranged a special rate of $189 plus tax per night for attendees at Naples Grande in Naples, Florida. Make plans to attend now ensure availability. Register today and save $300!

For more information, visit www.NewProductsConference.com or contact Marge Whalen at 847-405-4071 or whalenm@bnpmedia.com.