Image courtesy of Ardent Mills
The annual Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Meeting & Food Expo takes place July 15-18 in Chicago. Among the more than 20,000 food professionals in attendance at this year’s event are the professionals at the Ardent Mills Mobile Innovation Center (MIC), which showcases a growing portfolio of grain innovations.

The premiere flour-milling and ingredient company looks to highlight what's next in a new era of grain, including innovative formats such as Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) and Crisps, ancient and heirloom grains, its new line of pulses, Sustagrain Barley, Ardent Mills Great Plains Quinoa, Ultragrain Whole Wheat Flour, mixes and blends, and organic flours and grains.

 Ardent Mills' culinary team is on hand to serve delicious and creative grain-based dishes from the MIC, which includes a full kitchen and baking center. A three-day sampling menu will showcase how spelt, pulses, North American grown quinoa, IGF grains, crisps, and other grain innovations can be incorporated into simple, delicious, and wholesome foods.

Among those innovative grain-based menu samples are:

  • Build Your Own Bowl Stations – Build-a-Breakfast Bowl with IQF grains and a variety of breakfast toppings. In the afternoon, build an IQF grain bowl featuring tipped with various flavors, including fajita chicken, Korean BBQ, or globally inspired curries.
  • Quinoa Falafel – Made with IQF Great Plains Quinoa and IQF Red Quinoa and served with tzatziki sauce.
  • Chilaquiles – Featuring White Sonora Flour, IQF Red Quinoa, and IQF Great Plains Quinoa and served with sour cream and green onions.

Finally, Ardent Mills is introducing The Annex by Ardent Mills. This is a team of experts dedicated to bringing a broad portfolio of plant and specialty grain innovations to the industry.

“Our goal is to complement and leverage the capabilities of Ardent Mills by innovating with ancient and heirloom grains, pulses, and new product formats,” says Shrene White, general manager of The Annex. “We are in this space to provide diversity to the family farms we work with and to support innovation and cultivate ideas to help build our customers' businesses, in fresh or packaged prepared foods, snacks, sides, bakery, beverage, and more.”