The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) has transitioned its annual event and food expo to a virtual platform due to COVID-19. In line with this move, the US Dairy Export Council (USDEC) has released resources on this platform concerning topics ranging from the latest research on protein processing, “globally inspired” fusions, sustainable ingredient solutions and other milk-based innovations. Through its sessions, the association also spotlights global product trends ranging from novel beverages, appetizers and dessert formulations that activate dairy ingredients to deliver on flavor and nutrition.

“We’ve developed comprehensive, virtual resources so we can better help attendees explore the possibilities that exist for their market segment and find US dairy suppliers, product offerings, specific attributes and certification requirements. We are proactively sharing our innovation resources so dairy can continue to deliver on changing consumer needs,” Kara McDonald, Vice President of Global Marketing Communications for USDEC, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.

By exploring new menu and product concepts inspired by favorite foods and flavors from around the world, USDEC is showcasing how the versatility and functionality of US dairy ingredients can help food and beverage manufacturers meet consumer demands. 

“For example, to capitalize on the popularity of Asian flavors, we are highlighting vegetable-stuffed dumplings that pack a surprising nutritional bonus – an excellent source of protein. By combining high-quality dairy protein with flour for the dough, you can deliver 11 g of protein. Add a great-tasting sauce using whey permeate to create a 37 percent sodium reduction,” explains McDonald.

Consumer demand for sustainably produced high-protein ingredients is now driving the need for more effi­cient milk processing and drying technologies. In session 25314 of the virtual educational program, entitled Protein Processing 2.0: Next Gen Scalable Technologies for Advancing the Functionalization and Sustainable Production of Protein Ingredients, Rohit Kapoor, Vice President of Product Research at National Dairy Council, and others will present a survey of the current commercial production landscape for various food protein ingredients, analyzing how they are processed.

“[The session] will also highlight emerging and immensely scalable technologies that will shape the future of protein processing to deliver highly functional and more sustainably produced high protein ingredients to serve today’s evolving consumer needs,” adds McDonald.

“As in-person events are postponed, virtual resources are key to delivering reliable information from market insights to innovation ideas. Our goal is to stay connected and support and inspire business around the world,” she concludes.