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Innovation Awards Honor Plant-Based and Upcycled Product Advancements

The companies - Bavaria Corporation, Chr. Hansen, and Comet Bio – won the award for their innovative product designs, including a flavor with natural antimicrobial properties, a plant-based red food and beverage coloring, and sweeteners made from upcycled food waste.

Bavaria Corporation received the award for its Bafos MP Natural Flavor, which contains natural preserving agents that have strong antimicrobial properties against yeast, mold, and gram-positive bacteria. Derived from a food-grade aqueous extract of an edible fungus, the water-soluble ingredient offers an alternative to sorbate and benzoate and is well-suited for preserving low pH foods and beverages.

Chr. Hansen was honored for its FruitMax Reds food coloring. The minimally processed red colorings are derived from the Hansen Sweet Potato, providing a plant-based alternative to carmine and synthetic reds. Available as a water-soluble powder or liquid, the red colorings are heat and light stable with no off-tastes and are less pH sensitive than other fruit and vegetable concentrates. The colorings can create a vibrant red or soft pink hue and can be used in confectionery, bakery, fruit preparation, and fermented milk products.

Comet Bio garnered the award for its Sweeterra Syrup Blends, which have up to 35% less calories, lower sugar, and higher dietary fiber content than traditional corn syrup. Creating healthy, sustainable, and natural ingredients from upcycled food and farm leftovers such as wheat straw and corn stalks, the sweetener blends are functionally equivalent to corn syrup and can be used in confectionery, gummies, fruit preparations, energy drinks, nutrition bars, and bakery products.

Each year, IFT recognizes outstanding innovation in products, ingredients, technologies, instrumentation, equipment, and services that were commercially introduced during the previous calendar year with its Food Expo Innovation Awards. Only companies exhibiting at the IFT19 Food Expo were eligible for this year’s award.

A panel of 10 jurors from academia, government, and industry with broad expertise in research and product development, processing and packaging technology, and food safety selected the three companies and their innovations from 30 qualified entries. Judging criteria included degree of innovation, technical advancement, benefits to food manufacturers and consumers, and scientific merit.

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