Submitted by the International Dairy Foods Association
For the third consecutive year, Perry's Ice Cream took top honors in two of the three categories judged last week at the International Dairy Foods Association's Innovative Ice Cream Flavor Contest. Wells Enterprises, the maker of Blue Bunny ice cream and novelties, took home the third award. The competition, which showcases the creativity of U.S. ice cream and frozen dessert makers, is part of IDFA’s annual Ice Cream Technology Conference.
"Complex dessert flavors like raspberry cheesecake, pineapple upside-down cake, sweet potato pecan pie and white chocolate blackberry torte were popular again this year, and even jelly donut joined the mix,” said Cary Frye, IDFA vice president for regulatory and scientific affairs. “We also tasted sweet and salty products with salted caramel and brown butter cashew, as well as two that featured the comfort-food flavor of popcorn blended in a frozen dessert. This contest, as always, is a great way to spot new trends and highlight the industry's creativity."
Honors for the most innovative ice cream flavor went to Tropical Neapolitan, a fruity combination of mango, coconut and pineapple, entered by Perry’s Ice Cream. Movie Time, Perry's popcorn-flavored ice cream with sea salt caramel swirls and caramel truffles, won most innovative prototype flavor. Wells Enterprises took home the most innovative novelty award for its Yoplait™ Greek Frozen Yogurt Honey Caramel bar, a Greek frozen yogurt with a honey caramel swirl.
The contest, sponsored by Dairy Foods magazine, is a popular session at the annual conference. There were 24 total entries, making it a record field for the second year in a row. Conference participants served as the judges.
More than 135 dairy professionals participated in this year's Ice Cream Technology Conference, which took place March 12-13 at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Chocolate Academy and Mystery Basket
IDFA added several new sessions to this year's agenda, including a “Chocolate Academy” and a “Mystery Basket” challenge. In the two-part “Chocolate Academy,” attendees learned the fundamentals of chocolate and chocolate compounds with a focus on formulation and applications that inspire best practices and troubleshooting for ice cream and novelties. Laurent Besin, a Master Chef and Barry Callebaut’s technical services and applications manager, was the featured speaker for these sessions, which included tastings of top food trends brought to life in six bite-size ice cream and chocolate treats.
In the “Ice Cream Flavor Mystery Basket” session, attendees formed teams to develop prototype ice cream products using ingredients representing the latest culinary trends. The trends were identified by three flavor supplier creators – Kerry Ingredients, Star Kay White and Sensient Flavors.
Each team had to select at least two unique ingredients from the Mystery Basket to include in their creation along with one basic ingredient. The Mystery Basket ingredients were bacon toffee, Chicago (caramel and cheese) mix popcorn, cardamom caramel, pear base, chile lime peanut brittle and black sesame brittle.
The teams created a total of nine new ice cream products. Kerry Ingredient’s Green Team won the grand prize for “Open Sesame,” a delicate caramel cardamom ice cream, swirled with ribbons of bright strawberry and crisp black sesame brittle.
The judges for the Mystery Basket tastings included Zack Gross, owner and head chef of Z Grille; and Mark Heimann, executive chef of Marchand’s Renaissance Vinoy. They selected the winners based on creativity, marketability and taste.
Attendees also received updates on class action lawsuits affecting food labeling, the changing children's food environment, the challenge of making Greek frozen yogurt products and new technologies that will enhance product development and innovations.
The Ice Cream Technology Conference is the only meeting that focuses specifically on frozen dessert research, technology, new market trends, food safety, labeling and marketing opportunities.
IDFA would like to thank the sponsors of the 2013 Ice Cream Technology Conference for their generous support. They are Denali Ingredients, LLC; DuPont Nutrition and Health; Dairy Foods; Fruit Crown Products Corporation; Mettler-Toledo Safeline; Randolph Associates, Inc.; and Tree Top, Inc.