Rocky Mountain IFT Suppliers Night – Mile High Station, Denver,CO

Over 50 exhibitors including a SPI Group team led by Mr. Hank Dres of SPI Group participated in the annual Rocky Mountain IFT Suppliers Nite, held at Mile High Station, in Denver,CO. The Mile High Station convention center is nestled under the highway interchange next to Denver Broncos football stadium, convenient for all the food companies in the Denver Metropolitan area. The Station is a converted train station with a large oval bar on one side of the lower level and two massive walls of windows stretching over its four story height. The second story mezzanine held about 20 exhibitors including SPI Group and the RMIFT team did a good job of having free food and drinks located on the mezzanine level to bring attention to the exhibitors upstairs.

RMIFT 2014As shown by the attached photo of Hank working the booth, action was pretty brisk at times and steady overall.

Due to the regional nature of the Denver show,the variety of attendees ranged from students for Johnston and Wales Culinary School;spice companies like All American Seasonings and Rocky Mountain Spice along with food manufacturers like Safeway, Fresca Foods and Udi’s Gluten Free(now Boulder Brands), and chefs and formulators for restaurant chains like Red Robin and others.  It was great to see so many of Hank’s customers in attendance!!

SPI Group demonstrated Saltwell, a natural sea salt with 35% less sodium with the assistance of Elin Rennerfelt, National Sales Manager of Salinity,Inc. Elin provided freshly baked baguette bread and commercial chips using Saltwell with great taste and functionality. In addition, Mr. Dave Hull of Wenda Ingredients was available to work with our culinary and meat processing customers to discuss Wenda meat solutions.

Combining the show with the RMIFT’s annual golf outing the day prior, the RMIFT Suppliers’ Nite helped to re-affirm SPI Group’s visibility and opened our eyes to new opportunities with new companies like Ready Foods , Total Foods(hummus) and Boulder Ice Cream.

Expo Comida Latina and Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo 2014

We attended the Expos co-located at the Anaheim Convention Center on August 17th to 19th. Exhibitors included food manufacturers and marketers, foodservice distributors, flavor houses, equipment, food truck vehicles and packaging suppliers. We saw a good representation of new food product lines ranging from Latin to Asian, conventional to natural to gluten free.

Sysco Food had a setup that attracted many attendees to try the brands they distribute including flavorful beefs, seafood, pasta, produce and baked products. Their service also includes fat recycling to soaps.

The food demos by startup companies or line extensions from established food manufacturers were for the most part very good. It included a variety of Indian naan breads, vegetarian patties, foodservice coffees and specialty tortillas.

It was pleasing to see so many companies exhibiting their new ideas.

The exhibit included educational sessions with food preparation demos or presentations geared to help foodservice organizations grow their business

Textured Soy Protein Veggie Patties

The benefits of using textured protein to make a meat or meat-like product are that it can improve costs, change or improve texture and appearance, change or improve protein quality, lower fat, and meet the heart health claim or child nutrition requirements. It will also improve the eating experience by binding more water, flavor and fat. Below are two formulas and a few notes on the role of ingredients.

Typical Veggie Patty                                             Percent

Cold Water                                                               64.94

Textured Soy Protein Concentrate*                       27.00

Functional Soy Protein Concentrate                      1.50

Wheat Gluten                                                          1.50

Methocellulose                                                        1.00

Carrageenan                                                             0.50

Soy Fiber                                                                  0.25

Salt                                                                            0.80

Flavors                                                                      2.25

*Textured soy proteins can be a variety of shapes or colors and are how you customize your product’s appearance. Firm dense granules are like ground pork, flakes and crumbles provide a ground beef or chicken texture and appearance, fibrous pieces can give a pulled look and create a unique high quality effect.

Binding systems are usually a blend and is where you customize your product’s density and eating experience. In addition to gums, proteins and fibers, egg (the most favored binder) or dairy proteins can provide unique benefits.

Note:   Sometimes you will want to add fat. This needs to be done at the very end of your process because it will coat the textured pieces and “clog the pores” like a sponge. There are unique fat flake products or you can add soybean oil. Around 3-5% will provide positive flavor and textural benefits.