The International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT) convened in San Antonio, April 28-30 for BevTech 2014. Each day of the 61st annual meeting of the ISBT featured a keynote speaker, educational presentations from industry experts, and targeted presentations from three of the ISBT’s nine technical committees.

Following a business meeting and address from ISBT President Sally Potter, Stuart Pape of the law and lobbying firm Patton Boggs LLP, Washington, D.C., kicked off the first full day of BevTech with a keynote presentation titled “Beverages in the cross hairs: Insights on FDA’s proposed update of the Nutrition Facts Panel and the attack on ‘free sugars,’” highlighting how new Nutrition Facts Panel standards are affecting the beverage industry.

In line with the technical committees’ Monday themes of packaging, sanitation and micro, and beverage and ingredient research and development (R&D), speakers including Patrick George of Plano, Texas-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group; Emilia Rico of BCN Research Laboratories Inc., Rockford, Tenn.; and Larissa Goble of Givaudan Flavors Corp., Cincinnati, delivered presentations centered on PET packaging case studies, spoilage of heat-processed beverages, and novel emulsifiers, respectively.

After a technical committee preview earlier in the day, attendees were ready to hear the afternoon technical committee presentations that were most relevant to their businesses. The Packaging technical subcommittee focused on specialized subjects including the Caps On environmental initiative, shelf-life testing, and crystallinity in the PET manufacturing process; the Sanitation subcommittee featured presentations about beverage filter sanitation, seal integrity, biofilm, and the Food Safety Modernization Act; and the Beverage & Ingredient R&D subcommittee discussed certified and caramel colors, mineral fortification, coffee, texture solutions for reduced-sugar beverages, and preservatives.

On Tuesday, John Standish of the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recycling (APR), Washington, D.C., opened with his keynote presentation “Sustainability Initiatives and How APR is Leading the Recycling Efforts and Programs.” The rest of the morning focused on other cutting-edge initiatives and industry trends, including novel aluminum container graphic arts; new techniques in low-pressure gas sampling; and gluten allergen regulations in the United States, Canada and Europe, while the afternoon was dominated by technical meetings of the Beverage Gases, Beverage Operations and Processing, and Sweetener subcommittees.

The last day of BevTech 2014 opened with a keynote address from Joe Doss of the International Bottled Water Association, Alexandria, Va., who discussed the current state of the bottled water industry. During the morning sessions, various presenters discussed sweetener and sanitation-related topics, while the Retail and Marketing Equipment, Quality, and Water Quality and Treatment subcommittees wrapped up the last day of the conference with their technical meetings.

BevTech 2015 will take place April 27-29, 2015, in Savannah, Ga.