September 23, 2015

The International Dairy Foods Association announced the winners of the IDFA Innovations Awards at the International Dairy Show last week in Chicago. The winners were Coperion K-Tron, Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc., Berry Plastics Corporation, FOSS, HP Hood Sacramento and Glanbia Foods.

One winner was selected in each of five categories – food safety, ingredients/flavorings/seasonings/additives, packaging, processing and sustainability – and attendees voted during the show to select the winner of the Attendee Choice Award.

“The winners of the IDFA Innovations Awards are responsible for crucial developments in technology and innovative products and services that keep this industry on the cutting-edge,” said Robin Cornelison, trade show director at IDFA. “We are proud to highlight the creativity of these six winning companies that are leading the way for the industry in 2015.”

2015 Winners

Coperion and Coperion K-Tron received the Food Safety Innovation Award for its CIP design WYK Diverter Valve. This patent-pending design incorporates an innovative retractable rotor assembly and is completely designed in accordance with European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG) guidelines. This design permits for complete purging of all product residues after the automatic cleaning process. The valve is the first and only one available on the market.

Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc. received the Ingredient/Flavoring/Seasoning/Additive Innovation Award for its PEEPS® Milk. The collaboration between Prairie Farms and PEEPS® brought spring to life in the dairy department with coast-to-coast customer requests, national media attention from hundreds of outlets and an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The eco-friendly quart paperboard carton graphics are colorful and feature PEEPS® shapes along with fun recipes on the side panels.

Berry Plastics Corporation received the Packaging Innovation Awards for its ICONIC™ printing technology. Berry Plastics is the first in the world to print flexographic decoration on non-round containers with ICONIC™ printing. The technique delivers softer edges and better highlights on images, and its opaque ink prevents changes in the color of the artwork. In some cases, ICONIC™ can reduce decoration costs for non-round containers by 10 to 30 percent.]

The Processing Innovation Award was given to FOSS for its MilkoStream™ FT. It is the world’s first commercial application of Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) technology for in-line analysis of milk. The MilkoStream™ FT gives a clear picture of fluctuating milk quality by testing milk directly in the process pipe, reducing process variation by at least 20 percent and saving dairy plants approximately $130,000 per year.

HP Hood Sacramento earned the Sustainability Innovation Award for its California partnership with CleanWorld, a local technology company. In January 2013, Hood began to divert product waste, approximately 35 tons per week, from its Sacramento, Calif., aseptic and ESL manufacturing facility to CleanWorld’s Sacramento-area biodigester.The biodigester combines this waste with food waste from dozens of local restaurants and retailers, which converts it into valuable products for their urban and agricultural neighbors. The partnership reduced greenhouse emissions by 3,276 metric tons annually,which is equivalent to taking 8,497 cars off the road annually.

Glanbia Foods took home the Attendee Choice Award for its Blue J Cheese. To solve texture difficulties and significantly broaden the use of blue cheese in food applications, Glanbia created this American style blue cheese that can be sliced, shredded or chunked, resulting in a flexible ingredient that can be used in wide variety of applications such as burgers and pizzas. Blue J cheese delivers an affordable blue cheese option to the wholesale and retail markets.

Each of the winning entries exemplified substantial achievements in price or performance, significant advancement in a technology or its application, or innovative design. To be eligible for an award, the products or services must have been introduced to the market after November 2013.

Posters featuring the submissions were on display in the exhibit hall at the International Dairy Show. Award winners will be featured in an upcoming edition of Dairy Foods magazine, which co-sponsors the awards with IDFA. 

The IDFA Innovations Awards will return at ProFood Tech, a new event focusing on processing technologies serving the food and beverage industry, April 4-6, 2016 at McCormick Place, Chicago.

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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies within a $125-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's nearly 200 dairy processing members run nearly 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States.