Blog: A taste of IFE

Catherine Sleep | 15 March 2005

Yesterday I had my first taste of IFE, the International Food and Drink Exhibition in London. With more than 1,350 exhibitors from over 40 countries, there was plenty to see, and plenty of foods to sample. The current popular trends of health and convenience were in evidence, with many new better-for-you products on show, as well as convenience foods such as ready prepared vegetables. But despite current healthy eating trends, there was still plenty of room for indulgence, with some wonderful chocolates and pastries on offer.

Besides some delicious olives, cheeses, biscuits, Thai curry, mushroom risotto, marinated artichokes and low-carb ice cream, I also had my first taste of alfalfa sprouts. Much championed by TV’s healthy eating guru Gillian McKeith, alfalfa sprouts, together with other sprouted seeds such as broccoli and radish, are believed to be full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids. Broccoli sprouts, for example, are thought to have 50 times the anti-cancer compound (sulforaphane) found in mature broccoli. I’ve been wondering what they taste like ever since hearing them mentioned on Channel 4’s You Are What You Eat, but visiting the Good4U Food Company’s stand at IFE was the first opportunity I’d had to taste them. And I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. In appearance and texture they are similar to cress, and as such can be added to food such as sandwiches, stir fries, salads and soups. I for one hope to see them in supermarkets soon.

Overall, I was impressed with the size and organisation of IFE, as well as the diversity of products on show. It was also great to meet so many other food industry people and taste so many excellent foods!


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