Grinding it Out at IFT

Grinding it Out at IFT

Published: JULY 11, 2012

As posted on

Delivering the keynote address at The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) annual trade show last week in Las Vegas, Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz related how Starbucks endured and eventually mitigated the effects of its recent troubles. Having taken an 8-year hiatus from the company he founded, Schultz returned to Starbucks in 2008 to help lead it through the economic downturn which had hit the hitherto rapidly expanding chain particularly hard.

According to Schultz, the company survived this stretch by keeping true to the values and principles upon which it had been founded. Expanding on the message, Schultz explained that companies can prevail and even succeed amidst the still-difficult economic conditions by doing as Starbucks did, operating with transparency and authentically.

Refreshingly, the attendees and exhibitors at this year’s IFT were as authentic and transparent as ever. Green technologies, although more typically associated with packaging suppliers, are also an important driving force in the ingredient supply industry.

One such exemplar of green ingredient sourcing is Blue Marble Biomaterials which produces natural flavors and fragrances using waste materials such as spent coffee grounds, beer mash, and forestry products. The company spins the straw of these waste products into ingredient gold using proprietary polyculture fermentation technology, AGATE, short for Acid, Gas, and Ammonia Targeted Extraction. This technology employs various kinds of bacteria in a production chain to breakdown the plant material and, in doing so, create extracts and oils such as lavender, cinnamon, pine, and roasted coffee.

Full Post »