Product Developers Converge For Innovation at IFT

This year’s show covers health-promoting ingredients

The largest annual food science forum and exposition will be on display at the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo, July 28 to Aug. 1 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. This summer, more than 23,000 food scientists, suppliers and marketers from around the globe will attend the convention, looking for the driving forces behind the latest innovations and information affecting consumers, growers, processors, regulators and researchers. Experts from industry, government agencies and research institutions will provide insight in hundreds of presentations covering topics ranging from new products to nutrition and from food defense to bird flu.
Approximately 1,000 companies with more than 250,000 square feet of exhibition space will present their latest innovations for making food more fun, functional, nutritious, appealing and accessible to all. Special pavilions on the show floor will include the Healthy Food Ingredients Pavilion, Food Safety & Quality Pavilion, Organic Food Ingredients Pavilion, and the International Pavilion.
Innovation focus
For the first time, food expo exhibitors this year had the chance to compete in the 2007 IFT Food Expo Innovation awards. Commercial products, technologies, ingredients, instrumentation, equipment or services that have been introduced since Jan. 1, 2006, and are exhibiting at the show are eligible to enter. Winning entries will be announced and awarded prior to the opening of the exhibit floor at the 2007 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo.
On Sunday, July 29, and Monday, July 30, a New Products & Technologies Forum — separate from the traditional New Products & Technologies sessions — will provide attendees with an opportunity to see the newest product innovations in action. The top six abstracts from the more than 100 submitted will be presented in the new forum on the Food Expo floor. In these interactive 30-minute presentations, attendees will learn about the latest technologies in greater depth, and have the opportunity to sample products being prepared.
The Food Expo will open with a keynote address on Sunday, July 25, from Jason Jennings, best-selling author of It's Not The Big That Eat the Small — It’s The Fast That Eat the Slow. Jennings will share his insights into the ways in which leading organizations of all sizes are keeping the spirit of innovation alive.
“Senior Executives Cut the Fat on Industry’s Approach to Health, Wellness and Foods” will be the topic of the General Session on Monday, July 30. Senior industry executives representing leading global food companies will speak on issues pertaining to this year’s theme of health, wellness and food, and will address the opportunities and challenges of making health and wellness products work in the market, and ultimately grow business. Additionally, through their comments, panelists will address the five major elements of this year’s theme: Product Development, Innovation, International and U.S. Approaches, Health-Promoting Ingredients, and Foods and Regulations.
On Tuesday, July 31, four of the world’s leading trend/product tracking experts and regulatory experts will convene center stage at this year’s annual meeting in “Food Technology Presents: Where Do We Go From Here? The Experts Speak Out!” They will discuss future directions and provide insights into future food and beverage opportunities and regulatory issues facing the food industry in North America and abroad.
With health and wellness now the No. 1 driver of the global food industry, Barbara Katz, president of HealthFocus, will kick off the session with HealthFocus’s 2007 survey highlights on changing consumers’ health, nutrition and wellness attitudes, behaviors and concerns. She will provide insights into marketing to today’s generational markets, prioritize key issues and identify emerging opportunities.
LuAnn Williams, senior analyst at Innova Market Insights, will identify the trends and product categories that have staying power and the products, packaging and positionings that can translate across borders.
Joe Pawlak, vice president of Technomic Inc., will focus on the macro trends underlying away-from-home food choices and concerns, up-and-coming industry issues and future directions for the restaurant and foodservice industries.
One of the developers of the U.S. nutrition labeling system and other key food regulations, Peter Barton Hutt will provide his expert insights into where food regulations and issues are headed in the United States and abroad.
For those interested in further developing general business and management skills, IFT will be offering Professional Develop-ment sessions that address topics such as: “How to Negotiate with Vendors and Suppliers,” “The Essentials of Communicating with Diplomacy and Professionalism,” “Conflict Resolution and Confrontation Management Skills,” “Excelling as a Highly Effective Team Leader” and “Retirement.”
Scientific Programs
IFT’s Scientific Program brings together almost 200 educational sessions and more than 1,400 presentations, each led by experts in their respective fields. At this year’s event, participants will learn about the latest developments and research in food science, discover new products and technologies, and have the opportunity to exchange ideas with colleagues. Here is a sampling of the programming that will be offered this year.
Research & Product Development
• Evidence-based Product Development
• Putting Science to Work in Shaping Product Quality for Dietary Supplements and Functional Foods
• Innovative Commercial Applications in Nutrition Utilizing Emerging Science and Technology

Quality Assurance
• Delivery System for Nutraceuticals
• Antioxidants in Food Preservation and in Health Promotion
• Control of Antibiotic Resistant Pathogens in the Food Supply

• Sustainability Considerations in the Food Industry
• Primer on Nanoscale Science for Food
• Additive Petitions For New Food Packaging?

• Vendor Qualification: Streamlining Information Exchange between Raw Material Vendors and Manufacturers
• The Transition to Next Generation Oils in Food Processing and Food Service
• Taking Safety and Quality Systems into the 21st Century: Developing Systematic Thinking on How to Do Process Audits

Academia & Education
• Impact on Illness: Recent Learning on Safe Food Handling
• Meeting the Learning Outcome Assessment Expectation for IFT Program Re-approval
• Processing for Commercial Sterility

• Research/Development and Food Chemistry Roles in response to Crisis Events
• Will Eliminating Trans Fats in the Food Supply Result in Improving the Health of Consumers?
• Asian Health (Functional) Foods: New Proposed Simplified Approval Procedures and R&D Trends

Sales & Marketing
• Technologies and Ingredients for Delivering
• Health and Wellness
• The Changing Face of Organic Consumers

IFT Schedule at a Glance
Sunday, July 29
9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Keynote Session
11:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Food Expo
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Scientific Sessions
2:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Poster Sessions
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Scientific Sessions

Monday, July 30
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Scientific Sessions
8:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Theme General Session
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Poster Sessions
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Scientific Sessions
11:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Food Expo
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Scientific Sessions
2:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Poster Sessions
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Scientific Sessions

Tuesday, July 31
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Scientific Sessions
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. EXPERT PANEL
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Poster Sessions
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Scientific Sessions
11:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Food Expo
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Scientific Sessions
2:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Poster Sessions
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Scientific Sessions