The Israel-based firm specializes in soy isolates, functional soy protein concentrates and textured soy concentrates. It says that the focus of new developments to be unveiled next week will be on traditional meat, poultry, fish, vegetarian and health and well-being applications. Previously its focus has been on meats. North America represents 50 per cent of the global market for specialty soy proteins, and offers an important growth opportunity and a challenge which Solbar is prepared to meet, the company said. It has established a logistics office in Chicago, in recognition of the importance of the supply chain to success in the US. Soy heavyweights Solae and ADM, both of which are based in the US, currently dominate the $2.5bn market for soy proteins, followed by Israel's Solbar. The proteins have found use in meat extension, meat and dairy alternatives, nutritional foods, and supplements. Brenner said: "We are now in a position to be a supplier to major food companies. We think we will be a significant number three player in specialty proteins." In the US, Solbar's products meet strict requirements under USDA-FNS regulations for Alternate Protein Products (APP), National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Summer Food Service Program, and Child and Adult Care Food Program. Solbar suffered a turbulent couple of years following its IPO in 2004, caused in part by poor quality batches of soybeans. But the tables were turned following a restructuring program, a shift from Brazilian sourced soybeans to US, and more recently in May a group of investors acquired a 51 per cent stake in the share capital of Solbar. The share takeover helped improve both the financial position and balance sheet for the firm. In a recent interview Solbar's Gary Brenner said: "In 2006 the market and our customers have been good to us. We have regained market share in almost every market." The IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo, which starts next week, will see 23,000 food science and industry professionals discuss a wide range of issues including delivery systems for nutraceuticals, evidence-based product development, as well as looking at health and nutrition around the globe.