Thousands of the world’s top food science and technology professionals will converge at the 2010 International Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago, July 18-20. Attendees will discover new products and technologies, learn about the latest ingredient advancements, identify the hottest trends, hone their skills and form new business relationships.

This year, the Food Processing Suppliers Association’s Process Expo will co-locate with IFT’s Annual Meeting & Food Expo. These two events will bring together the “who’s who” of food science, food technology and food manufacturing at one venue. Attendees will find opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of the interrelated stages involved in the successful delivery of food products, collaborate and exchange valuable insights, efficiently build new team and supplier relationships and enhance their skills.

New Scientific Program
IFT’s Annual Meeting Scientific Program brings together more than 100 education sessions and approximately 1,500 poster presentations, each led by experts in their respective fields of food science and technology. Attendees will learn about applications of the latest research and discover new products and technologies.

IFT’s new Scientific Program will be organized around key focus areas within the industry and based on core foundation sciences. The new track structure was designed to focus on topics of greatest interest and importance to food science professionals, the organization says.

Key Focus Area Programs:
• Food Safety & Defense

• Food, Health & Nutrition

• Emerging Technologies & Ingredient Innovations

• Food Processing & Packaging

• Product Development

• Sustainability

• Public Policy, Food Laws & Regulations

• Education and Professional Development

Core Science Program Tracks:

• Food Chemistry

• Food Microbiology

• Food Engineering

• Sensory Science

This year, the Scientific Program is offering more educational opportunities with Sunrise Sessions from 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m. on Sunday and 7:15 a.m.-8:15 a.m. on Tuesday. Attendees will have the opportunity to take advantage of seven overview sessions that include topics such as nanoscience, risk assessment of food allergies, fundamentals of sustainability and product development 101.

IFT also will feature virtual posters that let attendees efficiently search for pertinent research by keyword, category and author, when it is most convenient for them. The virtual poster system will tell attendees when the live presentation will take place so they can interact with the author. After the meeting, full, paid conference attendees will continue to have access to the tool.

In response to the interest expressed at the 2009 Annual Meeting, IFT is expanding its intellectual property offerings this year as well. To complement the Intellectual Property Exchange (IPEx) forum, which connects innovators and those actively seeking innovative solutions, IFT will offer a session focused on intellectual property management for scientists involved in development of new ingredients, products, processes and packaging on Sunday, July 18. This session brings together legal, corporate and university perspectives on topics such as managing litigation as well as identifying and offering technologies for licensing.

General Sessions
The IFT Food Expo will open with a keynote session titled “Drive — What the Science of Motivation Can Teach You About High Performance” on Sunday, July 18. Daniel Pink, best-selling author of the book “A Whole New Mind,” uses four decades of behavioral research to reveal why the traditional approach to high performance backfires on most organizations.

In this session, Pink will demonstrate how many common organizational incentives often go wrong and can reduce both creativity and satisfaction on the job. People who do what they do because of enjoyment of the task itself routinely outperform those who are motivated by external rewards. With examples from cutting-edge companies and intriguing experiments from around the world, attendees will learn the three keys of intrinsically motivated high performers — and how organizations can create contexts that tap our deepest motivations to produce the highest results.

Five of IFT’s 12 Scientific Program tracks also will highlight a 90-minute general session of broad interest to attendees. On Sunday, July 18, the Emerging Technologies & Ingredient Innovations Scientific Program track will offer “Creating Positive Environments for Technology Innovation: What Works and What Doesn’t?,” the Product Development track will feature “An Essential Market Update for Product Development in Today’s Challenging Economic Environment,” and the Food Safety & Defense track will conduct “Food Safety in an Emerging Regulatory Environment: Impact on Food Industry and the Consumer.” On Monday, July 19, the Sustainability track will present “Making Sense of Sustainability: What Consumers Really Think.” The Food Processing & Packaging track will conduct “Communicating the Contributions of Processed Foods and Addressing Public Perceptions” on Tuesday, July 20.

Specialty Pavilions and Tours

Thousand of people gather at the IFT Food Expo every year to see the more than 800 food ingredient, equipment and packaging suppliers. Each year at the Food Expo, pavilions provide IFT exhibitors a forum to showcase similar products and services under one roof. Attendees can go to one location to find the latest product information for a particular aspect of the food industry or visit educational forums and presentations that focus on trends, tastings and the global marketplace. The pavilions include: Sustainability, Healthy Food Ingredients, Organic Food Ingredients, Food Safety & Quality, Global New Products presented by Mintel and Taste the Trend presented by Innova.

The Food Expo also offers Trend & Solution Tours. The self-guided tours connect attendees with companies on the Expo floor that provide solutions to these issues. Tours can be taken at the attendees convenience. This year’s tours include Taste Modification, Ingredients for Functional Foods, Reducing Formulation Costs and Weight Management. An additional tour, Food Safety, extends across both the IFT Food Expo and Process Expo floors. Print guides for all tours will be located at the entrances to the Food Expo.

IFT also will be presenting the winners of the IFT Food Expo Innovation Award on Sunday, July 18, in The Special Events Pavilion on the Expo Floor. The IFT Food Expo Innovation Awards are open to exhibiting companies at the 2010 IFT Food Expo with a product, technology, ingredient, instrumentation, equipment or service that has been commercially introduced since Jan. 1, 2009. New applications of existing products/services also are eligible. Winners will have the opportunity to discuss their entry in a 10 to 15 minute oral presentation. BI

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