In­no­va­tive food ideas steal the Sum­mer Fancy Food Show

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Taste - By LEANNE ITALIE

WA­TER that packs a hy­dro­gen punch, snack bars as sticks and con­fec­tions more savoury than sweet are among in­no­va­tions to emerge at the Sum­mer Fancy Food Show.

The an­nual show­case, hosted by the Spe­cialty Food As­so­ci­a­tion, wrapped Tues­day in New York, af­ter more than a lit­tle sam­pling of the bites and bev­er­ages from over 1,200 com­pa­nies.

Denise Purcell, head of con­tent, of­fered th­ese ob­ser­va­tions.

Spe­cial­ity wa­ters

Over the last cou­ple of years, Purcell said, some­thing has hap­pened to wa­ter. Com­pa­nies are play­ing with its nat­u­ral prop­er­ties to claim added ben­e­fits.

“Wa­ter is up 75% in dol­lar sales from 2014 to 2016,” she said.

HFac­tor Hy­dro­gen is in­fus­ing its pouched wa­ter with molec­u­lar hy­dro­gen, re­port­edly to boost anti-in­flam­ma­tory and an­tiox­i­dant prop­er­ties. It also claims an ad­di­tional en­ergy boost.

And there’s For­mula Four Bev­er­ages’ OXiGEN wa­ter, in­fused with molec­u­lar oxy­gen. The com­pany said it uses 1,000 parts per mil­lion of bio-avail­able oxy­gen per 20 ounces in a bot­tle, com­pared to be­tween five and 40 parts per mil­lion in tap or other bot­tled wa­ter.

Ac­cord­ing a study cited by For­mula Four, all of that helps clear lac­tic acid, for faster re­cov­ery af­ter ex­er­cise. It also claims a boost in en­durance, stamina, men­tal clar­ity and, wait for it ... de­creased hang­over ef­fects.

There’s a com­pany en­hanc­ing wa­ters with pome­gran­ate seed oil, re­port­edly good for in­flam­ma­tion and di­ges­tive health, Purcell said.

Rogers Col­lec­tion has taken a dif­fer­ent ap­proach with its Oak Smoked Wa­ter, made from Welsh oak chips. Smoked over four days, the wa­ter is for use in soups, risot­tos and casseroles as a way to add depth, or as ice cubes for cock­tails.

Snack bars that aren’t

“Snack bars are up about 50% since 2014, and fore­cast to grow.”

Among re­cent in­no­va­tions: A com­pany called Aunt Dot­tie’s mixes salad in­gre­di­ents – greens, veg­eta­bles, nuts, seeds and fruits – and con­denses them into a bar.

The snack stick is a vari­a­tion on the bar. Viv­ify is do­ing en­ergy snack sticks in com­bi­na­tions of nuts, quinoa and seeds like flax and sun­flower.

Plant-based foods

There are cheese, meat and dairy al­ter­na­tives but also condi­ments, frozen desserts and wa­ter, said Purcell.

The show in­cluded cashew sauce as a cheese sauce al­ter­na­tive in a handy add-hot-wa­ter for­mat.

For dessert? “We are see­ing a lot more ve­gan-friendly desserts, whether it’s frozen ice creams or sor­bets. Al­ter­na­tive milks, nut milks, are be­com­ing very pop­u­lar,” Purcell said.

Cof­fee and tea

“We’re see­ing a lot of in­no­va­tion, es­pe­cially in the re­frig­er­ated and ready to drink va­ri­eties. They’ve been up 114% be­tween 2014 and 2016,” Purcell said.

Sunup uses un­roasted green cof­fee beans in a bot­tle drink, of­fer­ing tea-style flavour with a full caf­feine kick.

Afineur claims to have cus­tomised the nat­u­ral fer­men­ta­tion process to elim­i­nate the un­de­sir­able char­ac­ter­is­tics of cof­fee and en­hance the good­ness. The resulting cof­fee is less bit­ter and eas­ier to di­gest, Purcell said.

Savoury, spicy con­fec­tions

Choco­late went pep­pery a while ago. Now the ar­ti­sans are hav­ing fun with other fla­vors.

“Spices, they’re go­ing to a new level in con­fec­tions,” Purcell said.

One com­pany, Rumi Spice, was founded by a group of US mil­i­tary vet­er­ans who source saf­fron from sus­tain­able farms in Afghanistan for its Saf­fron Gems, gummy bite-sized treats with saf­fron threads. vis­i­ble in the rich, golden candy.

MilkBoy choco­lates from Switzer­land has bars of 60% ca­cao in­fused with pine tree oil. – AP

—AP

Zumo Gaz­pa­cho – nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents with pu­ri­fied sea wa­ter – at the Sum­mer Fancy Food Show.

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