CHICAGO – The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), a nonprofit scientific institute committed to advancing the science of food and its application across the global food system, celebrated three companies as part of the IFT-ASCOTA Food Industry Innovation Award at the 6th International Congress of Food Science and Technology in San Jose, Costa Rica. Presented for the first time, this award honors the meaningful product development work by R&D teams within the food industry in Costa Rica.
“The applicants for the IFT-ASCOTA Food Industry Innovation Award were evaluated by an independent panel of judges and the winners proved their innovations to not only be unique, but also meaningful for the food industry and consumers,” said Christie Tarantino-Dean, IFT CEO. “IFT is pleased to honor three submissions that address key issues that include packaging waste and enhanced nutrition while also benefitting consumers.”
Vegetales Fresquita S.A. won the award for their submission on the implementation of a circular business model in processed salads. Vegetales Fresquita S.A. developed and implemented a circular business model, starting with the development of a 100 percent compostable packaging based on PLA for processed salads. They then developed a packaging collection program with a national supermarket chain to take used packages back to the company's facilities. The used packages are converted into organic fertilizer through a compost technique and organic waste from the company. This material is then delivered back to the producers of vegetables and other raw materials. Vegetales Fresquita estimates that the implementation of this concept in its production chain will eliminate about 1,000,000 plastic bags in 2020 and increase sales in supermarkets within the program by more than 20 percent.
Dos Pinos received an honorable mention for their milk product that is high in protein. Using in-house ultrafiltration technology, Dos Pinos introduced a lactose-free, skim milk product that contains 12 grams of protein per serving, compared to 8 grams of protein per serving in regular milk.
Fifco received an honorable mention for their product Imperial Ultra, which is a beer with an alcohol content of 4 percent and 85Kcal/350 ml bottle. This product reduces the calories and carbohydrates that are normally found in mainstream light beers.
The International Congress of Food Science and Technology is organized by the University of Costa Rica, the National Center of Food Science and Technology, and the Costa Rican Association of Food Technology every four years.