CHICAGO — Four companies were awarded Innovation Awards from the Institute of Food Technologists. The honors were handed out July 14 during the I.F.T.’s annual meeting and food expo. Among the honorees were Glanbia Nutritionals, NIZO food research, PerkinElmer and Tate & Lyle.

Click here for a slideshow recap of the Institute of Food Technologists' annual meeting and food expo 2013.

Glanbia Nutritionals, Fitchburg, Wis., earned an Innovation Award for the development of its Optisol 3000 egg replacement ingredient system. Optisol 3000 uses a combination of whey protein concentrate and milled flax to replace eggs without compromising sensory, textural or quality characteristics of baked foods.

“We’re excited that OptiSol 3000 won an I.F.T. Innovation Award this year,” said Loren Ward, director of research and development for Glanbia Nutritionals. “Optisol 3000 is a novel egg replacement solution that addresses a key market need. Food manufacturers will find that it's cost effective, price stable, and it helps maintain the sensory profile of products. It also meets consumer desires for high quality protein, flax fiber and omega-3s.”

NIZO food research, Ede, The Netherlands, was honored for its acoustic tribology sensory technology. The process records and analyzes the sound of rubbing of the tongue against the food, and may be used to predict the sensory effects of food innovations. Attributes that may be measured include creaminess and astringency.

The AxION DSA/TOF mass spectrometry system earned PerkinElmer, Waltham, Mass., an I.F.T. Innovation Award. The system eliminates the sample prep steps and allows for the analysis of food samples in matter of seconds. It may be used to measure for food adulteration, contamination and characterization.

Tate & Lyle, Decatur, Ill., was selected as an I.F.T. Innovation Award winner for the development of its SODA-LO sodium reduction technology. The patent pending ingredient technology allows for the reduction of sodium content by approximately 25% to 50% in a variety of food applications without sacrificing taste. The technology turns salt crystals into hollow crystalline microspheres. The smaller crystals allow for the delivery of a salty taste by maximizing surface area relative to volume.

A panel of nine judges from industry, academia, and government with expertise in research and development, processing and packaging technology, and food safety selected the four companies and their innovations from 60 qualified entries. Judging criteria included degree of innovation, technical advancement, benefits to food manufacturers and consumers, and scientific merit.