Aseptia Technologies, Corbion, Ecolab and Parabel all were named Innovation Award winners at the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting and food expo, taking place in Chicago, July 11-14.

A panel of nine judges representing industry, academia and government, and with expertise in R.&D., processing, packaging and food safety chose the four companies out of a pool of 47 qualified entries. Criteria used in the judging included degree of innovation, technical advancement, benefits to food manufacturers and consumers as well as scientific merit.

“Now in its ninth year, the Food Expo Innovation Awards program is a showcase for amazing advancements in our profession,” said Colin Dennis, I.F.T. president-elect. “Exclusive to companies exhibiting at the IFT15 Food Expo, these awards honor outstanding innovation in products, ingredients, technologies, instrumentation, equipment, and services that were commercially introduced since Jan. 1, 2014.”

Aseptia Technologies, Raleigh, N.C., earned an Innovation Award for its AseptiWave Modular Advanced Thermal Processing Systems, which use microwave-assisted advanced thermal processing to deliver superior product quality for aseptically packaged foods and beverages. AseptiWave is a family of advanced thermal processing systems that is scalable from a pilot plant to intermediate and high production industrial throughput levels.

Corbion, which has a U.S. office in Lenexa, Kas., was honored for its Ultra Fresh Premium Advantage Enzyme Blend, which extends the shelf life, freshness, taste and flavor of bread while enabling the reduction of some ingredients, such as added sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and yeast. The bio-based enzyme’s ability to extend shelf life seven or more days may enable bakeries to expand distribution to new geographies or potentially expand to new outlets such as convenience, drug and dollar stores. In the consumer’s pantry, the extra shelf life may translate to reduced waste.

Ecolab, St. Paul, Minn., was honored for its DrySan Duo Two-Step, No-Rinse Cleaner and Sanitizer, which is designed for dry and low-moisture processing environments. The product reduces cleaning time by eliminating the use of rinse water between cleaning and sanitizing. Plant trials using DrySan Duo showed an average 30 percent reduction in total cleaning time compared to traditional wet cleaning methods. The trials also demonstrated equivalent performance to traditional wet cleaning utilizing aerobic plate count and Enterobacteriacea test methods.

Parabel, Melbourne, Fla., received a 2015 I.F.T. Food Expo Innovation Award for its LENTEIN Plant Protein, which is derived from water lentils. The highly digestible protein has an amino acid profile comparable to whey protein and is claimed to be higher in essential amino acids and branched chain amino acids than any other plant protein. The product contains 65 to 70 percent concentrated high-quality plant protein and omega-3 fatty acids, is high in carotenoids, and rich in antioxidants. It is highly dispersible and has excellent foaming attributes. Applications include beverages, chips, crackers, and bars.