Las Vegas, NV – At Tuesday morning’s keynote session of the 2012 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo®, IFT President-Elect John Ruff and incoming President-Elect Janet Collins announced and presented four companies with the 2012 IFT Food Expo Innovation Awards. The winners are Advantix Systems, Ampac, Ecolab, and Glanbia Nutritionals.
“The Food Expo Innovation Awards are a showcase for amazing advancements made in our profession,” said Collins.
A panel of nine jurors from industry, academia, and government with broad expertise in research & product development, processing & packaging technology, and food safety selected the four companies and their innovations from 44 qualified entries. Only companies exhibiting at the 2012 IFT Food Expo in Las Vegas were eligible. Judging criteria included degree of innovation, technical advancement, benefits to food manufacturers and consumers, and scientific merit.
Advantix Systems garnered the 2012 IFT Food Expo Innovation Award for its liquid desiccant dehumidification and cooling technology, which reduces energy use by 50%. The technology uses liquid desiccant, which is a natural salt solution that absorbs moisture directly from the air. By utilizing the solution’s natural affinity for moisture, air can be dehumidified without needing to overcool or post-cool the air as required by conventional approaches. The desiccant is also a natural disinfectant, removing almost all airborne bacteria and microorganisms in a single pass.
Ampac won the award for its No. 2 pouch. The recyclable packaging is made from a coextruded film blend of predominantly high-density polyethylene (HDPE) that yields a pouch with excellent stiffness and strength characteristics as well as high barrier to moisture and excellent puncture resistance. It is designed to be compatible with existing post-consumer recycled waste streams, such as retail plastic grocery sacks. The stand-up pouch also saves energy to produce, since it does not require a separate laminating step.
Ecolab was honored for its RAC residual antimicrobial coatings program, which consists of EPA-registered products that enhance food safety by providing improved microorganism control of plant non-food contact environmental surfaces. The products are ready-to-use and can be applied with spray, roller, or brush to provide residual sanitizing activity on environmental surfaces. Proper application of the products can reduce 99.9% or 3 log reduction of pathogens, such as E. coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enteric, and Staphylococcus aureus.
Glanbia Nutritionals captured the 2012 IFT Food Expo Innovation Award for its Optisol 2000 binding system for sugar reduction. The binding system is a milk protein concentrate that can reduce sugar usage up to 50% in many food applications, such as baked and chewy type granola bars, cereal clusters, and other snack products. In reduced-sugar applications, OptiSol 2000 functions to bind water and maintain a sticky matrix in food products. The clean-label ingredient contributes protein to the formulation and enables the addition of other desirable nutrients such as fiber.
For more than 70 years, IFT has existed to advance the science of food. Our nonprofit scientific society—more than 18,000 members from more than 100 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related professions from academia, government, and industry. For more information, please visit ift.org.