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June 20, 2018
Chicago Welcomes Back IFT18
Zhana Veleska

We’re looking forward to the Institute of Food Technology (IFT) show, which returns to McCormick Place this year. Unbelievably, 2018 marks the 79th year of bringing food technologists and scientists together to share wisdom and seek solutions to myriad food issues and challenges around the world.

With over 1,200 exhibitors, 100+ sessions and more than 23,000 attendees, mid-July will be a busy time in Chicago. The show runs July 15-18. CBD is excited to support Blue Diamond Almonds Global Ingredients Division and Matsutani Chemical Industry Co. at the IFT18, both showcasing important new initiatives.


As the world’s leading almond grower and processor, Blue Diamond has been busy innovating new products and adding capacity with state-of-the art manufacturing facilities. At IFT, they’ll highlight their recently introduced, food grade almond oil and almond flour in addition to the many traditional forms of almonds for which they are famous.

Show goers will also enjoy new flavor profiles, now available in the recently introduced line of Blue Diamond Crafted Gourmet Almonds. Samplings and demos are scheduled throughout the day.


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Matsutani will again feature their breakthrough rare sugar product, Astraea® Allulose, developed in partnership with Kagawa University in Japan. Astraea is a plant-oriented, zero-calorie sweetener with proven physiological benefits.

Astraea’s recommended applications are diverse – from beverages to confections, dairy, bakery and even as a table top granular sweetener. Sampling will include both a beverage and a chocolate application.

Matsutani will have their own R&D experts at IFT, as well as several rare sugar scientists from Kagawa University. The team of experts will explore the potential health benefits for D-allulose and rare sugars during the education session, Physiological Functions of D-Allulose: Current Findings and Future Research of Physiological Benefits from 1:15 – 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18.


A major theme running through the 2017 show was “clean label.” Cannabis edibles and plant-based proteins were trending, as were discussions on topics like insects (food, not pests) and outer space as potentially another place to grow food.

Where are we a year later? Looking at the sessions, it seems that environmental considerations of how we grow, process, package and consume our food will be front and center. On the morning of 7/16, Dennis Dimick of National Geographic magazine will present photographs from around the globe and explore the impact of human ingenuity and the Earth’s ability to sustain it. Later that day, Tamar Haspel of the Washington Post leads a panel discussion of how well-intentioned consumer demands are often in conflict with their healthy and eco-friendly intent.

On 7/17, the IFTNEXT Food Disruption ChallengeTM, hosted by Daymond John of Shark Tank features six start-ups doing a fast-pitch for a cash prize. The audience will also get a chance to vote for a People’s Choice winner. Four of the six start-ups offer some spin on sustainability, from vertical farming ideas to using by-products in inventive ways. We hope to see you there!

What booth or event are you most excited to see at IFT18? Tweet @cbdmarketing and let us know!