04/27/2012 06:29 EDT | Updated 04/27/2012 06:29 EDT

Food Innovations 2012: SIAL Selects 10 Canadian Finalists (PHOTOS)


For those of us who get excited every time the food industry announces a new product, the 10 food and drink finalists in SIAL Canada's Trends and Innovations Contest are certainly reasons to start getting giddy.

From maple syrup balls to olive oil in spray bottles, the contest, currently in its fifth year, saw more than 60 companies submit 100 products, with 10 finalists narrowed down this week. The grand jury was led by BSA Food Ingredients in Montreal.

Food trends are a perpetually favourite topic, and fresh-off-the-shelf products give both professionals and your everyday cook a chance to experiment in the kitchen. Earlier this week, a Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association survey revealed chefs' favourite ingredients and practices, like the use quality salt, gluten-free products, and mini desserts. Others have forecasted inhalable energy and hybrid crops as the up-and-comers in 2012.

The panel of judges at the contest, which included designers, publishers and a "sensory evaluation specialist," based their decisions on products that had market appeal, creativity and natural ingredients. The winner will be announced May 9.

Hungry yet? Check out the 10 finalists:

10 Finalists Of The Trends And Innovations Contest