First Choice Ingredients (FCI) was founded by Jim Pekar in 1994. Pekar started FCI because he saw a need in the industry for a dairy company that was both nimble and highly technical. As FCI has grown massively over the past 22 years and earned a position as one of the most highly respected dairy manufacturing companies in the US (and secured some of the smartest, most experienced scientists in this segment), they have always maintained a blue collar Wisconsin persona.
Soy and wheat are two of the FDA's 8 Major Allergens. Over the past several years, the Food & Beverage industry has been heavily focused on addressing soy and wheat allergens—due to the market growth of soy-based dairy products and awareness of gluten-intolerance.
Replacing dairy and egg in allergen-free products can be a food scientist's most challenging project. There are numerous hurdles and very little high quality resources to help achieve egg and/or dairy replacement projects.