The Institute of Food
Technologists will hold its Annual Meeting and IFT Food Expo, the largest
annual scientific forum and food technology expo in the world, July 16-20
in New Orleans.
The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center will host
approximately 20,000 food scientists, technologists, suppliers, marketers
and others to discuss the latest innovations and technology affecting
consumers, growers, processors, regulators and researchers.
One thousand experts will provide their insight during
more than 100 technical sessions over a range of topics from food safety to
new processing methods to the nutritional aspects of new food products. And
the IFT Food Expo will feature nearly 800 exhibitors over 250,000 square
feet of exhibition space to present the latest ingredients and product
Top of mind
Kicking off the convention will be keynote speaker
Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, a bestseller that has become a tool to help organizations
understand trends. Gladwell’s new book, Blink:
The Power of Thinking Without Thinking,
analyzes intuition and the possibility of improving instincts for better
The show will include two Hot Topic sessions:
“Top Five Fear Factors” and “Food Science to the
Rescue.” During the Fear Factors session on Monday, July 18, industry
leaders will discuss and share case studies on volatile influences that
have the potential to affect the food and beverage business such as fuel
costs, product recalls, food security and terrorism threats.
The second Hot Topic, “Food Science to the
Rescue,” to be held the following day, will explore methods to apply
food science solutions to public health problems such as obesity. The
session will cover ways food scientists, the government and academia can
work together to establish clear nutrition recommendations.
The IFT Food Expo will feature several special-topic
pavilions such as the Healthy Food Ingredients Pavilion and the Product
Development Pavilion. Healthy Foods will give attendees an opportunity to
talk with suppliers of nutraceuticals, functional foods, organic foods and
natural foods while the IFT/RCA Product Development Pavilion is a
partnership between IFT and the Research Chefs Association. They will
present a unique, interactive experience with collaborative presentations
of “culinary innovation.”
Also in the area of new products will be the New
Product Showcase Presentations that will be located on a stage on the Expo
floor. The showcase will include educational forums on global new food
product trends, emerging flavor trends and overall taste trends.
Presentations will include samples and tastings of products. Of particular
interest will be the impact of healthy formulation/marketing and
There also will be two New Products Showcase pavilions
on the Food Expo floor will feature market research on new food product
trends, including global trends.
New to Food Expo this year will be "Taste the
Trend" presentations, displaying a series of 12 poster sessions and
more than 200 international products. Sponsored by Innova, the pavilion
also will feature six video presentations focusing on food for seniors,
healthy options, ethnic trends, and beverages of the future.
State of the industry
The new Food Pyramid and nutrition guidelines from the
U.S. Department of Agriculture have industry and consumer press abuzz, and
on July 19 IFT will hold its first State of the Food Industry event to
discuss the changes. Food industry leaders will discuss how manufacturers
are adapting their product development strategies to the new Dietary
Guidelines for Americans, and they will delve into the challenges of
reformulating and processing more nutritious foods while delivering safe
and appetizing foods for Americans who are increasingly focused on
achieving wellness through the food they eat.
A number of the more than 100 technical programs at
the IFT show will feature topics of interest to beverage manufacturers,
including “Innovation in Functional Ingredients;” “The
Dawn of RFID: What Have We Learned and Where Are We Going?;”
“The Role of Sensory in New Product Innovation;” “Citrus
and Flavors;” “The Marketing Function: Why Should I
Care?;” “Fermented Foods and Beverages;” “The
Glycemic Concept: The Next Wave in Nutrition?;” “Foodservice
Industry: Solutions to American’s Obesity Problems?;”
“The Fiber Conundrum: Fiber Requirements and the New Fiber
Definitions;” and “Organic Foods are Huge in Retail: Why Not in
Non-technical programs at the show will include
“How to Select & Taste Wine Like an Expert,” led by Patrick
Dodd, certified wine instructor and director of
education and hospitality at E&J Gallo Winery. “Improving Your
Project Management Skills: The Basics for Success” will be presented
by the American Management Association, and “How Much Is Enough?
Think You’ll Live to be 100?” will walk attendees through
financial planning for retirement.
On July 20, the International Food Safety &
Quality Conference will provide a forum for industry representatives, academia, and government to focus on food
safety and quality with special emphasis on global food production. The
luncheon speaker will be Robert Tauxe of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Separate registration is required for this event. BI
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