Glanbia Nutritionals Among IFT 2012 Innovation Award Winners

June 29, 2012

The winners were announced at this week’s trade show in Las Vegas.

Four winners were named at the 2012 Institute of Food Technologists’ Food Expo Innovation Awards. The winners were announced at this week’s trade show in Las Vegas.

Ingredients firm Glanbia Nutritionals received an 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. According to the company, in reduced-sugar applications, OptiSol 2000 functions to bind water and maintain a sticky matrix in food products. The clean-label ingredient also contributes protein to a formulation and enables the addition of other healthy nutrients such as fiber.

Other winners included Advantix Systems, which won for a liquid desiccant dehumidification and cooling technology that reduces energy use by 50% by using 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 company says. The desiccant is also a natural disinfectant, removing almost all airborne bacteria and microorganisms in a single pass. 

Packaging firm Ampac won for its No. 2 pouch-recyclable packaging that 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 postconsumer-recycled waste streams, such as retail plastic grocery sacks. The stand-up pouch also saves energy to produce because it does not require a separate laminating step.

Finally, 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.

The winners were chosen by a panel of nine jurors comprising industry, academia, and government representatives. Only companies exhibiting at the 2012 IFT Food Expo in Las Vegas were eligible to enter. Judging criteria included degree of innovation, technical advancement, benefits to food manufacturers and consumers, and scientific merit.