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The first time I visited Food Ingredients China (FIC) in Shanghai I was blown away by not only the size of the show but also the sights, sounds and diversity of the exhibitors—particularly the local Chinese flavor and fragrance companies. In comparison to FIC, the annual expo of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) or Food Ingredients Europe are quiet affairs; walking the narrow aisles of FIC reminded me of the Great Wall, with hundreds of people trying to make headway all at the same time. Yet, below this apparent confusion lies a level of business activity that should not be underestimated. This is serious business and many of these companies are gaining experience and expertise. Some of them will eventually become very effective competitors in the global flavor and fragrance market.
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