IFT Media Update—Wellness 14 Edition

March 26, 2014

To:        Reporters, Editors, Producers and Bloggers
From:    IFT Media Relations

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) March Media Update-Wellness 14 edition features information from IFT Wellness 14 and IFT news.


Stephanie Callahan—Media Relations Specialist, scallahan@ift.org

Follow us on Twitter: @IFTMedia @IFTFoodieFacts

Following is a compilation of information and videos from Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Wellness 14 conference, March 20 and 21, at the Westin River North in Chicago, IL. This two-day event offered unique insights into the science, development, and marketing of healthier snack foods. Three unique tracks were offered on sodium reduction, protein enhancement, and sugar reduction. Presentations and speaker interviews are available upon request. Please attribute content to the Institute of Food Technologists Wellness 14 conference.

General Sessions

Opening General Session: The Loud, Confused Enemies of Processed Food

The IFT Wellness 14 conference opened with an impassioned presentation by David Freedman, contributing editor to the Atlantic, about changing the conversation around processed food. In his opening session in front of 300 attendees, Freedman encouraged conference attendees and scientists to create narrative about their work and products that resonate with consumers. Although many may think the facts and the science are boring, he recommended not giving up the fight.

Watch the video: http://bcove.me/gw8bv34i

General Session: Know Your Food Science History and Overcome Your Public Trust Issues

Trevor Butterworth, Editor-at-Large, STATS.org, explained at the IFT Wellness 14 conference how food scientists can make food technology exciting and show the positive impact of the profession. However, it will be necessary for a new kind of journalism that combines traditional reporting with the energy of new media. Butterworth emphasized that everything about how we live is related to how easy and cheap it is to access food, and for centuries food enabled people to work more and live longer.

Watch the video: http://bcove.me/vmrto704

Sodium Reduction Track Sessions

Sodium Reduction: Consumer Behavior, Product Activity

Consumers are taking simple steps to reduce their sodium intake but are often confused by how much sodium is already in their daily diets, said Stephanie Pauk, Global Food Science Analyst, Mintel, in her session “Sodium Reduction: Consumer Behavior, Product Activity,” at IFT Wellness 14 conference. Sea salt has become the new substitute for many consumers who perceive the sodium contents are lower when in some products, they are actually similar, while other female consumers are experimenting with infused oils, Himalayan salts, spices, herbs and seasonings as salt substitutes. Pauk’s research indicates consumers who are more health conscious, particularly older adults with health concerns, are more likely to review nutritional labels to reduce their sodium. Ironically, Pauk recognized that less than 4 percent of the products launched over the last seven years promoted a low sodium claim.

Full presentation available to media upon request

Lowering Sodium in Cheese: Challenges and Solutions
With more than 300 types of cheeses on the market, each cheese is composed of varying levels of sodium essential to preserve the flavor, texture, quality and shelf life of cheese but also to prevent bacteria and ensure food safety, according to Nigel Kirtley, VP, RD&Q, Kraft Foods and Bill Graves, SVP, Product Research, Dairy Research Institute, who spoke at IFT Wellness 14 conference in a session on “Lowering Sodium in Cheese: Challenges and Solutions.” Kirtley and Graves shared preliminary research from their Cheese & Sodium Task Force, a partnership of 25 cheesemakers, retailers, suppliers and government agencies, conducting two studies measuring sodium levels and examining the opportunities to reduce those levels without impacting flavor and consumer satisfaction. The Taskforce plans to finalize their findings by late 2015.

Full presentation available to media upon request

Acceptability of Low Sodium Foods

Nuala Bobowski, Postdoctoral Fellow, Monell Chemical Senses Center spelled out the complex challenges involved in eliminating salt in her presentation titled “Acceptability of Low Sodium Foods: What We Know and Where We're Headed,” at the IFT Wellness 14 conference. Data presented dealt with studies that showed acceptability of reduced sodium in food requires a long term decrease in sodium in the foods the subject is tasting using a specific tolerance threshold. Other diets that focus on eliminating fats and sugar are challenging but there seems to be something unique about the psychology of salt that makes it more difficult for someone to electively give it up. During her presentation, Nuala emphasized that there is no “one size fits all” strategy for achieving acceptance of low sodium foods or successfully changing an individual’s diet.

Full presentation available to media upon request

Protein Enhancement Track Sessions

Protein Enhanced Foods and Beverages: Consumer Health Fad or Legitimate Science-based Products?

Protein enhanced foods such as yogurt are not only attractive to consumers but to scientists looking for ways to offer more energy and satiety in their products, according to Chad Cook, scientist, Biofortis Clinical Research in his session, “Protein Enhanced Foods and Beverages: Consumer Health Fad or Legitimate Science-based Products,” at IFT Wellness 14 conference. He cited various scientific studies that suggests high protein diets lead to weight loss and improved satiety. He also said that the type of protein also plays a role. The use of such proteins as Casein, Soya, Whey, Whey-GMP, Alphalac, Gelatin and Gelatin with TRP did have significant impact.

Full presentation available to media upon request

There is a Protein for That: Selecting Proteins for Taste and Efficacy

During her conference session, “There is a protein for that: Selecting proteins for taste and efficacy,” at the IFT Wellness 14 conference, Kantha Shelke of Corvus Blue recommended that food scientists partner with culinary teams to learn the tricks of blending various compounds to enhance taste, texture, color and consumer satiety. She highlighted new and emerging products featuring collagen to such cost effective and allergen-free proteins as peas and potatoes, often used by Olympians. Shelke shared the success of algal proteins as egg protein replacements in some cooking sectors to companies who print chocolate and meat for consumption, not unlike beef jerky. Insect proteins including ground shrimp and crickets to mosquito and ant eggs have become popular culinary ingredients used by cutting-edge molecular restaurants.

Full presentation available to media upon request

Heart Healthy Product Development Competition

Food Science Student Team from Rutgers Wins Heart-Healthy Product Development Competition

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and CanolaInfo recently announced the winner of the Heart-Healthy Product Development Competition at the Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) Wellness 14 held in Chicago, Ill. The winning student team from the food science program at Rutgers University developed Heartmony, a snack harmonizing the crunchiness of crackers with the creaminess of a dip.

Read the full press release here
Watch the video: http://bcove.me/enej6p5i

Food Facts Video

Functional Foods and Nutrition Science

IFT Spokesperson, Cathy Adams Hutt explains in the following video what a functional food is and how functional foods can contribute to a nutritional diet. By definition, a functional food is a typical food that has specific nutrients added to it like vitamins and minerals, to serve a specific purpose. Functional foods can have both naturally occurring ingredients and those that are added to either boost a specific nutrient, or nutrients that aren’t naturally present added.

Watch the video and view the full fact sheet here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QNUWHzQ78Q

IFT News

Registration Now Open for IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo 2014 in New Orleans

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), a nonprofit scientific society for professionals engaged in the science of food, food technology, and related areas in industry, academia, and government, recently announced that registration for the annual (IFT) Meeting and Food Expo 2014 in New Orleans, June 21-24 is now officially open.

Read the full press release

Registration is complementary for credentialed media. Please contact Stephanie Callahan at scallahan@ift.org

Contact Us

Emily Behn

Media Relations Specialist

Phone 312-604-0273
Fax 312.596.5673
Email: ebehn@ift.org