The Weekly: January 4, 2012

Top Stories: Foodborne illness costs $77 billion annually; USDA launches online nutrition SuperTracker; The revamped Weekly newsletter

January 4, 2012

IFT Top Stories

Foodborne illness costs $77 billion annually
According to a study published in the Journal of Food Protection, foodborne illness poses a $77.7 billion economic burden in the United States annually.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently revised its estimates for the annual number of foodborne illnesses; 48 million Americans suffer from domestically acquired foodborne illness associated with 31 identified pathogens and a broad category of unspecified agents. The researchers conducted the study to provide improved and updated estimates of the cost of foodborne illness by adding a replication of the 2011 CDC model to existing cost-of-illness models.

The study utilizes two models to estimate total health-related costs. The basic cost-of-illness model includes economic estimates for medical costs, productivity losses, and illness-related death. Using this basic model, the researchers estimate the total annual cost is $51 billion.

The enhanced model “replaces the productivity loss estimates with a more inclusive pain, suffering, and functional disability measure based on monetized quality-adjusted life year estimates,” according to the study. Using this enhanced model, the researchers estimate the total annual cost is $77.7 billion.

The resulting aggregated annual cost of illness was $77.7 billion and $51.0 billion for the enhanced and basic models, respectively. The new estimate is lower than the $152 billion figure, which was calculated in 2010. However, the number does not include costs to the food industry, including reduced consumer confidence, recall losses, or litigation, nor does it included the cost to public health agencies, local, state, and federal, that respond to illnesses and outbreaks.

Abstract

IFT Top Stories USDA launches online nutrition SuperTracker
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has released the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s (USDA) new nutrition SuperTracker. The SuperTrackeris a comprehensive resource available at ChooseMyPlate.gov designed to assist individuals as they make changes in their life to reduce their risk of chronic disease and maintain a healthy weight.

Release of this new web tool comes as the USDA highlights the second in a series of themed consumer messages supporting the MyPlate icon—“Enjoy Your Food, But Eat Less”—that the USDA is promoting the next three months in conjunction with more than 5,000 organizations participating in the MyPlate Nutrition Communicators Network.

“Overcoming the health and nutrition challenges we face as a nation is critical and the SuperTrackerprovides consumers with an assortment of tools to do just that,” said Vilsack. “This easy-to-use website will help Americans at all stages of life improve their overall health as they input dietary and physical activity choices into the tool.”

Consumers can access the free SuperTracker tool at anytime and can choose a variety of features to support nutrition and physical activity goals. SuperTrackeroffers consumers the ability to

  • Personalize recommendations for what and how much to eat and amount of physical activity.
  • Track foods and physical activity from an expanded database of foods and physical activities.
  • Customize features such as goal setting, virtual coaching, weight tracking, and journaling.
  • Measure progress with comprehensive reports ranging from a simple meal summary to in-depth analysis of food groups and nutrient intake over time.
  • Operationalize the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines.
  • Support family and friends by adding their individual profiles.

Press release

SuperTracker

The revamped Weekly newsletter
As you may have noticed, the IFT Weekly newsletter has a new look and feel for the new year. As we continually strive to bring you the latest and greatest content, we realize this may not always just be in print. We are investing time and energy into offering more multimedia content, including video and audio. In the future, this will include one-on-one audio interviews with industry experts on the hot topics affecting the food industry from IFT’s ePerspective blog.

In addition to multimedia content, the new design allows the opportunity to make the newsletter much more visually interesting by incorporating images for our top stories. As always, the Weekly’s goal is to be your #1 resource for information on the food industry, so if you see something you like or don’t like, please let us know so we can continue to meet your needs. All feedback can be sent to Kelly Hensel, Digital Media Editor, at khensel@ift.org or 312-604-0211.

IFT Research Briefs

Consuming fruits, veggies may not be enough to prevent weight gain
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that solely consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables may not be enough to prevent weight gain.

The researchers examined the diet and weight information collected from 373,803 adults from 10 European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. Over five years, the study participants, ages 25–70, gained about one pound per year, on average. Among men, weight gain generally dipped somewhat as their fruit and vegetable intake rose. But that link disappeared when the researchers accounted for other factors, like the men’s daily calories, exercise habits, and education levels.

Among overweight women, those who said they ate the most vegetables tended to gain more weight over the next five years. That, the researchers speculate, could be because some of those women were on weight-loss diets that encourage eating a lot of vegetables. Many people who go on special diets notoriously see their weight yo-yo over time.

The only group for whom higher fruit and vegetable intake was linked to less weight gain was for people who quit smoking during the study period. The researchers speculate that healthy eating habits may help prevent the weight gain that many smokers experience when they try to kick the habit.

The researchers concluded that higher baseline fruit and vegetable intakes, while maintaining total energy intakes constant, did not substantially influence midterm weight change overall but could help to reduce risk of weight gain in persons who stop smoking. The current findings do point to the importance of overall lifestyle in maintaining weight as one ages.

Abstract

U.S. restaurant performance index hits 5-month high
Driven by positive same-store sales and an increasingly optimistic outlook among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) rose to its highest level in five months in November 2011.

The RPI—a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry—stood at 100.6 in November, up 0.6% from October. In addition, November represented the second time in the last three months that the RPI stood above 100, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.

“The November increase in the Restaurant Performance Index was fueled by broad-based gains in both the current situation and forward-looking indicators,” said Hudson Riehle, Senior Vice President of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “Restaurant operators reported their strongest net positive same-store sales results in more than four years, while customer traffic levels also grew in November.”

The RPI consists of two components—the Current Situation Index (measuring current trends) and the Expectations Index (measuring restaurant operators’ six-month outlook)—and tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry.

The Current Situation Index stood at 100.2 in November—up 0.8% from October’s level of 99.5. November marked the second time in the last three months that the Current Situation Index stood above 100, which signifies expansion in the current situation indicators. The Expectations Index stood at 100.9 in November—up 0.4% from October and the third consecutive monthly gain. November also marked the third consecutive month that the Expectations Index stood above 100, which represents a positive outlook among restaurant operators for business conditions in the months ahead.

Press release

Starch intake may influence risk for breast cancer recurrence
Research presented at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium shows that increased starch intake may lead to a greater risk for breast cancer recurrence. Researchers conducted a subset analysis of 2,651 women who participated in the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) Dietary Intervention Trial, a plant-based intervention trial that enrolled about 3,088 survivors of breast cancer. WHEL researchers studied breast cancer recurrence and followed the participants for an average of seven years. The subset analysis involved an examination of how changes in carbohydrate intake influenced breast cancer recurrence.

The researchers obtained carbohydrate intake information from multiple 24-hr dietary recalls at baseline and at one year. In an annual phone interview, participants reported everything they had eaten during the last 24 hrs.

At baseline, carbohydrate intake was 233 g per day. Results showed that women whose cancer recurred had a mean increase in carbohydrate intake of 2.3 g per day during the first year, while women whose cancer did not recur reported a mean decrease of 2.7 g per day during the first year.

Starches were particularly important, according to the researchers. Changes in starch intake accounted for 48% of the change in carbohydrate intake. Mean change in starch intake during the first year was -4.1 g per day among women whose cancer recurred versus -8.7 g per day among women whose cancer did not recur.

When change in starch intake during one year was grouped into quartiles of change, the rate of an additional breast cancer event was 9.7% among women who decreased their starch intake the most during one year, compared with an event rate of 14.2% among women who increased their starch intake the most during one year. The change in starch intake was independent of dietary changes that happened in the intervention arm.

After stratifying patients by tumor grade, the researchers found that the increased risk was limited to women with lower-grade tumors. These results indicate a need for more research on dietary recommendations that consider limited starch intake among women with breast cancer.

Press release (pdf)

Diet patterns may reduce Alzheimer’s risk
A study published in Neurology shows that people with diets high in several vitamins or in omega 3 fatty acids may reduce their risk of having the brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Those with diets high in omega 3 fatty acids and in vitamins C, D, E, and B also had higher scores on mental thinking tests than people with diets low in those nutrients. These omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D are primarily found in fish. The B vitamins and antioxidants C and E are primarily found in fruits and vegetables.

The study involved 104 people with an average age of 87 and very few risk factors for memory and thinking problems. Blood tests were used to determine the levels of various nutrients present in the blood of each participant. All of the participants also took tests of their memory and thinking skills. A total of 42 of the participants had MRI scans to measure their brain volume. Overall, the participants had good nutritional status, but 7% were deficient in vitamin B-12 and 25% were deficient in vitamin D.

Study author Gene Bowman, Oregon Health & Science University in Portland and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, said that the nutrient biomarkers in the blood accounted for a significant amount of the variation in both brain volume and thinking and memory scores. For the thinking and memory scores, the nutrient biomarkers accounted for 17% of the variation in the scores. Other factors such as age, number of years of education, and high blood pressure accounted for 46% of the variation. For brain volume, the nutrient biomarkers accounted for 37% of the variation.

In another finding, the study showed that people with diets high in trans fats were more likely to have brain shrinkage and lower scores on the thinking and memory tests than people with diets low in trans fats.

“These results need to be confirmed, but obviously it is very exciting to think that people could potentially stop their brains from shrinking and keep them sharp by adjusting their diet,” Bowman said.

Press release

Abstract

IFT Company News

Sara Lee acquires Tea Forté
Sara Lee Corp. has acquired Tea Forté, a Massachusetts-based leader in the ultra-premium tea category, for an undisclosed sum. With this acquisition, Sara Lee strengthens its expertise and presence in the fast-growing segment of luxury teas. Tea Forté posted revenues of $12 million in 2011.

“Acquiring Tea Forté fits perfectly into our strategy to spin off ‘CoffeeTeaCo’ as a pure-play coffee and tea company poised for strong growth,” said Jan Bennink, Executive Chairman of the Board, Sara Lee Corp.

CoffeeTeaCo will retain the current management team of Tea Forté to run the business independently before integrating it into its international coffee and tea operations.

Press release

Plantbottle Coca-Cola partners with biotech firms for PlantBottle
The Coca-Cola Co. has announced multi-million dollar partnership agreements with three biotechnology companies to accelerate development of the first commercial solutions for next-generation PlantBottle packaging made 100% from plant-based materials.

This effort to commercialize a plastic bottle made entirely from plants builds on the company’s introduction and roll-out of its first generation PlantBottle package, which was the first ever recyclable PET beverage bottle made partially from plants. Since introduced in 2009, the company has already distributed more than 10 billion PlantBottle packages in 20 countries worldwide.

Agreements with Virent, Gevo, and Avantium—industry leaders in developing plant-based alternatives to materials traditionally made from fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources—were signed following an in-depth two-year analysis of different technologies by The Coca-Cola Co.’s R&D team and technical advisory board.

“While the technology to make bio-based materials in a lab has been available for years, we believe Virent, Gevo, and Avantium are companies that possess technologies that have high potential for creating them on a global commercial scale within the next few years,” said Rick Frazier, Vice President, Commercial Product Supply, The Coca-Cola Co. “This is a significant R&D investment in packaging innovation and is the next step toward our vision of creating all of our plastic packaging from responsibly sourced plant-based materials.”

Agreements with these three companies will help The Coca-Cola Co. support its long-term commitments through sustainable practices in sourcing and packaging supply. While Virent, Gevo, and Avantium will follow their own route to make bio-based materials, all materials will be developed in line with company and industry recycling requirements.

It is estimated the use of PlantBottle packaging in the first two years alone has helped save the equivalent annual emissions of more than 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Coca-Cola will continue to make investments in PlantBottle technology and aims to use PlantBottle packaging for the company’s entire virgin PET supply by 2020.

Press release

Naturex acquires Pektowin
Naturex, manufacturer of specialty plant-based natural ingredients, has reached an agreement with the Polish Industrial Development Agency to acquire 100% of the capital of Zpow Pektowin SA (Pektowin), a Polish company specializing in the production of apple and citrus pectins, fruit and vegetable juice concentrates, and the preparation of processed food products.

Pektowin benefits from a high-capacity industrial tool dedicated to the production of apple and citrus pectins and located at the heart of one of the major region of raw materials used for the production of apple pectins. Naturex is one of the seven manufacturers of pectins worldwide, with its plant located in Bischofszell, Switzerland. Integrating Pektowin within its scope will enable Naturex to strengthen its manufacturing base in pectins and also benefit from a significant scalability in order to best meet customer needs.

The acquisition of Pektowin also represents an opportunity for Naturex to gain a new production capacity in the field of juice concentrates. Pektowin is one of the main Polish producers of fruit (mainly apples) and vegetable (especially red beets and black radishes) juice concentrates, and produces more than 6,000 tons of concentrates each year. This will enable Naturex to broaden its product range to fruit and vegetable juice concentrates in order to supply its factories in Switzerland to make fruit and vegetable powders, and to feed its new range of food colors.

“This new acquisition is perfectly in line with our growth strategy in complementary markets with a broadened product portfolio, a strengthened production capacity as well as an additional industrial know-how,” said Jacques Dikansky, President and CEO of Naturex. “We are confident in our ability to integrate Pektowin within Naturex Group, enhancing its industrial tools and products to our international customers thanks to the dynamism of our global sales network and our technical and scientific expertise.”

Press release

Batory Foods acquires Mac & Massey
Batory Foods Inc., a U.S. distributor of food and fine ingredients, has acquired Atlanta, Ga.-based ingredient broker/distributor Mac & Massey LLC, the $90 million holding company for Massey Fair, Mac Source, and Mulligan Sales. This acquisition marks the largest in Batory Foods’ 33-year history.

“By merging Mac & Massey with Batory Foods, we have significantly expanded the sales and distribution coverage we can provide our suppliers,” said Ron Friedman, Vice President, Batory Foods Inc. “With added distribution centers around the United States, Batory becomes the only national ingredient distribution company that focuses entirely on food and fine ingredients.”

Massey Fair, a subsidiary of Mac & Massey LLC, has long been the leading ingredients supplier in the Southeast, a region that Batory Foods had just begun to penetrate. While the two teams are being integrated over the next 12 months, both companies will continue offering the personal service that their customers have come to appreciate.

Press release

Caravan Ingredients’ facilities receive superior food safety ratings
Caravan Ingredients Inc. scored seven Superior ratings from AIB (American Institute of Baking) International, while two facilities also obtained British Retail Consortium (BRC) certification; both entities are globally recognized for their food safety and quality certification programs.

During seven GMP audits recently conducted at manufacturing and distribution facilities located in Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and New Jersey, Caravan Ingredients received a Recognition of High Achievement—Superior. The comprehensive, globally recognized GMP Inspection evaluates within five inspection categories. According to AIB International, scoring high on this audit shows that a supplier complies with food safety regulations and is committed to providing safe, high quality food products to consumers.

Additionally, Caravan Ingredients has committed to obtaining British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standard certification as part of the company’s quality initiative. The BRC Global Standard for food safety was the first standard to be recognized as meeting the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmark and focuses on standardization of quality, safety, and operational criteria. This year, two locations in New Jersey obtained BRC certification. Three sites are scheduled to complete BRC certification in early 2012.

Caravan Ingredients

ASABE elects Keener to Board of Trustees
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) has elected Kevin M. Keener to its Board of Trustees. Keener is Director of Purdue University’s Food Processing Environmental Assistance Center, leads the Food Technology Development Laboratory in the Department of Food Science, and co-leads the Food Entrepreneurial Development Program at Purdue. Keener provides assistance to food companies in food safety, technology development, and process efficiency.

A 23-year member of ASABE, Keener received two of the Society’s major awards: the Nolan Mitchell Young Extension Worker award and the IAFIS-FPEI Emerging Food Engineer award. He has served on numerous ASABE governance and technical committees.

Keener is one of four ASABE members elected in 2011 to the Board of Trustees. During his two-year term of office, he will lend his leadership and expertise to the governance of all Society operations, reviewing and guiding its mission, policies, services, and needs, and helping to ensure that adequate resources for Society activities are secured and appropriately allocated.

Keener is also a member of the Institute of Food Technologists.

ASABE

IFT Regulatory News

CDC clears infant formula in babies’ deaths
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), four cases of infants sickened by a rare bacteria sometimes linked to powdered formula, including two who died, are not related and parents can continue using the products to feed their babies. Both the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tested various types of powdered infant formula and distilled water, known as nursing water, and found no cases of contamination by Cronobacter sakazakii.

Four babies were sickened by the bacteria that are found naturally in the environment and in plants such as wheat and rice. C. sakazakii also has been traced to dried milk and powdered formula.

The death of the baby from Missouri prompted Wal-Mart and several other national retailers to pull Enfamil Newborn formula, which the baby had consumed before getting sick, from 3,000 stores until the batches could be tested for contamination. Those tests came back negative, CDC announced Dec. 30.

Powdered infant formula is not sterile, and experts have said there are not adequate methods to completely remove or kill all bacteria that might creep into formula before or during production. CDC laboratory tests of samples provided by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services found Cronobacter bacteria in an opened container of infant formula, an opened bottle of nursery water, and prepared infant formula, but it is unclear how the contamination occurred.

Press release

New FCC standards proposed for probiotic food ingredients
With strong consumer interest in probiotics—and new manufacturer innovations for incorporating these ingredients into a broader array of food products—new standards to help ensure the quality of probiotic food ingredients are being proposed for public review and comment. The draft standards, which will be included in the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC), offer comprehensive information that is essential when utilizing probiotics as food ingredients, including testing to confirm the identity upon which probiotic product safety and health claims are based. Published by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), FCC is an international compendium of quality specifications for food ingredients.

Essential quality specifications such as identification and enumeration (microbe count), as well as intended uses in food, safety, regulatory status, and purity of probiotics and other microbial food cultures, are included in the new FCC Appendix, titled Microbial Food Cultures Including Probiotics. These specifications are available in the latest FCC Forum, the free-access, online vehicle through which proposed FCC standards are published for public review and comment.

Proper identification with probiotics is important because safety studies are most often based on the genus/species or strain level, so it is critical that manufacturers know exactly which microorganism they are incorporating into their food product to ensure safety. Identification also is important in supporting purported health claims. Given that many different strains of microorganisms are cultured and have been tested and used in foods, any supporting studies for justifying health claims are at the specific strain level. For any claimed health benefit, manufacturers should be able to confirm that what they are using in a probiotic food product is indeed the strain tested. Enumeration is similarly important because any claimed health effects supported by study trial data would also be specific to the level of intake.

“Testing for identity is difficult with probiotics, and this is a key area where public standards provided in the Food Chemicals Codex can be of significant value across the food, nutritional, and consumer products industries,” said Praveen Tyle, USP’s Chief Science Officer. “These are standards that all parties can use. With more manufacturers incorporating probiotics in products beyond yogurts based on rising consumer interest, scrutiny of health claims will grow, as will global sourcing of ingredients. We believe additional measures for determining identity and overall quality will be useful in protecting consumers and manufacturers alike.”

Interested parties are invited to provide feedback on the proposed standards during the public comment period, which closes March 31, 2012. The FCC Forum is accessible at www.usp.org/fcc/.

Press release (pdf)

Green Valley Food Corp. expands recall due to possible L. monocytogenes risk
Green Valley Food Corp. is recalling approximately 35,159 cases of a variety of sprout products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Random samples tested positive for L. monocytogenes.

Any customer who received any of the products from Dec. 7, 2011 to Jan. 1, 2012 are affected in this recall and/or if the items have a use by date ranging from Dec. 22, 2011 to Jan. 7, 2012. The original recall was initiated on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24, 2011. The products recalled include various types of sprouts, sunflower greens, wheat grass, snow pea shoots, and salad blends. The sprouts affected in this recall were distributed via truck deliveries to all customers in Texas.

To date, there have been no confirmed illnesses.

Press release

Green Cedar Dairy recalls cheese due to possible Listeria contamination
Green Cedar Dairy, Dearborn, Mich., announces the recall of All Natural Ackawi Cheese and All Natural Chives Cheese with a sell by date up to July 1, 2012, because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The Michigan Department of Community Health and the Wayne County Public Health Department are investigating two recent cases of human listeriosis that may have had exposure to Green Cedar Dairy products. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Laboratory identified L. monocytogenes in samples of All Natural Chives Cheese that were collected from Green Cedar Dairy.

The recalled items are all labeled as Green Cedar Dairy products, All Natural Ackawi and All Natural Chives Cheese. The product is sold in approximately 12–14 oz-squares vacuum sealed in clear plastic packages with a sell by date up to July 1, 2012. The sell by date is marked on a label on the back of the product.

Press release

European Commission authorizes arachidonic acid-rich oil as a novel food
Cargill’s arachidonic acid-rich oil (ARA) has been authorized as a novel food (NF) by the European Commission for use in infant formula and follow-on formula (formula for older children) under Commission Directive 2006/141/EC, commonly known as the infant formula directive. Cargill officially received the European Commission’s letter of authorization on Dec. 19, 2011. This action represents the second approval for Cargill’s ARA granted by a major food regulatory jurisdiction, the first being the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) letter of Feb. 16, 2011.

ARA, an omega-6 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA), is a natural component of human mother’s milk. It is considered important to infant brain and vision development when supplemented in infant formula along with the omega-3 LCPUFA, docosahexaenoic-rich oil (DHA) at an approximate ARA:DHA ratio of 2:1. Both substances are currently used in virtually all infant formulas sold worldwide.

“Cargill is pleased that we now have the opportunity to help our European customers develop premium infant formulas using Cargill’s ARA,” said David Henstrom, Vice President, Cargill Health & Nutrition. “This approval is the culmination of a series of regulatory efforts that, coupled with our increased capacity, now enables us to fulfill the needs of our infant formula customers in Europe.”

Press release

Food safety agencies to hold public meeting on foodborne illness attribution
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have announced a public meeting to discuss federal efforts to enhance food safety strategies through the improved use and characterization of foodborne illness source attribution. The meeting will be held in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 31, 2012.

The purpose of the daylong meeting will be to discuss federal approaches to food source attribution and outline efforts to develop harmonized food source attribution fractions to inform food safety strategies. The meeting also will be used to review a draft Strategic Plan developed by the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC), which was formed this year to increase collaboration on analytic projects.

Due to limited space, persons wishing to attend are encouraged to register in advance. Advance registration closes on Jan. 25, 2012. Electronic registration can be completed online at www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/meetings_&_events. The deadline to register to make public comments during the meeting is Jan. 9, 2012.

Press release

IFT IFT & Meeting News

Nominate a member of Congress for the Congressional Support for Science Award
Each year IFT honors two members of Congress for their contributions to science-based food policy with the Congressional Support for Science Award. This award helps to elevate the role of science in policy development, as well as enhance IFT’s role as the leading scientific and professional source of information related to food science and technology. Visit ift.org for more information on IFT's Congressional Support for Science Award and to nominate a member of Congress. Nominations are due January 20, 2012.

2012 Annual Meeting Scientific Program deadline is this Friday
The deadline to submit a Technical Research Paper (TRP) Abstract and/or New Products & Technologies (NPT) Abstract for the Scientific Program is this Friday, Jan. 6, 2012. Review IFT’s submission guidelines to see where your insights and innovations best fit, and then submit today.

Webcast: Intersection of Food, Policy and Profitability
Designed for marketing and product development professionals, this live, interactive webcast taking place Jan. 10 will explore the interdependency between food policy, science, and product development. Through practical insights and business drivers presented by key policymakers, it will outline the needs and challenges facing consumers, government, food organizations, and academia, and will identify areas of commonality versus conflict in food production across all sectors. Register today.

Online course: Incorporating Food Safety in Product Development
Understand where food safety fits into product development and start integrating food safety measures at the onset of production in this online course running from Jan. 26–Feb. 23. Through five course modules, participants will explore the key issues around food safety, including how to identify food safety hazards and control measures, implement food safety practices, and consider consumer concerns about food safety. Register now.

Food Science & Innovation Conference
Designed for the region’s food professionals, this inaugural event, taking place Feb. 27–29 and brought to you by IFT & ALACCTA, drives discussion around the latest research, scientific perspectives, and concerns in the global food industry. Add-on, pre-conference Short Courses also will be offered, including: Creating a Successful Product Tracing Initiative for Your Company, Food Additives, Fundamentals of Risk Analysis, and a Leadership Workshop for Students & Young Professionals. Register today.

Short course: Sensory Evaluation: Current Developments and Applications
If you are a professional in product development, R&D, or an otherwise sensory science role, this two-day instructor-led Short Course, taking place March 26–27 just prior to Wellness 12, is designed for you. By participating in this course, you will gather the tools needed to manage resources and information to meet product development deadlines. Specifically, you will learn current sensory analysis procedures, understand qualitative and quantitative methods, identify industry-recommended practices for qualifying subjects for sensory analytical tests, and more. Register today for greatest savings.

Wellness 12: March 28–29
Get a preview of the Top 10 Functional Food Trends State-of-the Industry report through the Wellness 12 opening General Session. The session will provide you with a preview of these trends, supporting data, and report rationale. This, topped with more than 20 focused sessions and informal discussions with other industry professionals involved in bringing healthy foods to market, makes Wellness 12 your go-to event for the latest product development advances in the healthful foods arena. Check out the agenda with additional tracks and sessions, before registering today.

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