The Weekly: September 12, 2012

Top Stories: 22% of U.S. children were food insecure last year; Drought may cause U.S. families to spend more on food in 2013; PepsiCo names Abdalla President

September 12, 2012

IFT Top Stories

22% of U.S. children were food insecure last year
According to a new U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA ERS) report, 10% of American households were not able to provide their children with “adequate, nutritious” food at times during 2011. This translates into more than 16.6 million children—or 22% of all American kids—who lived in households that could not adequately feed them.

However, food insecurity rates for children and Americans overall remained virtually unchanged from 2010 statistics, despite fears that U.S. poverty could rise to levels not seen since the 1960s. Nearly 15% of U.S. households were food insecure in 2011 (meaning they “had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources,” according to the report). In 2010, the percentage of food-insecure households stood at 14.5%.

According to the report, 57% of “food-insecure households in the survey reported that in the previous month, they had participated in one or more of the three largest federal food and nutrition assistance programs,” including the school lunch program and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (once known as the “food stamps” program).

Report

Drought may cause U.S. families to spend more on food in 2013
The Food Institute reports that food inflation, including the impact of the severe drought in the Midwest, will cost a family of four $351.12 more in food spending in 2013 than in 2012—approximately $6.75 a week. Food-at-home spending will increase about $4.00 a week, and away-from-home spending by about $2.50, according to The Food Institute. These figures are only slightly more than the 2.5–3.5% increase projected by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) for all of this year.

The cost is calculated using the USDA’s latest food price projections for 2013, which indicate prices for food-at-home will increase as much as 4.0% next year, with food away-from-home prices projected to rise as much as 3.5%.

A breakdown by food category shows most of the increase in food-at-home purchases will be experienced at meat counters, where annual costs are seen rising about $44 next year for a family of four, and about $30 for a two-person household, according to The Food Institute's estimates. Beef costs would account for nearly one-third of that increase.

Fresh produce prices will add another $23.44 to a family’s grocery bill next year, but processed fruit and vegetable expenditures should go up only about $11, The Food Institute projects. Canners and freezers may take note of this opportunity to promote their products.

For those eating away-from-home, two-person households will be spending an average $86.73 more next year, with a family of four spending an additional $125.

Press release

PepsiCo names Abdalla President
PepsiCo Inc. has announced some personnel changes, effective immediately. John Compton, PepsiCo’s current President, has chosen to depart PepsiCo to become CEO of Pilot Flying J Oil Corp. The company has named Zein Abdalla, formerly PepsiCo Europe CEO, to succeed Compton as President. In addition, PepsiCo’s current executive Enderson Guimaraes has been named CEO of PepsiCo Europe, succeeding Abdalla.

“We have drawn from our strong and seasoned cadre of business leaders in appointing Zein Abdalla as President,” said Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo Chairman and CEO. “Zein has demonstrated outstanding business and operational results as the leader of our European sector. During his tenure, the division grew revenues from $7 billion to $14 billion; he led the transformation of the European portfolio, shifting it towards the higher-growth markets in the region; and along the way, he also helped PepsiCo become the largest food and beverage company in Russia.”

In his new role as President, Abdalla will oversee PepsiCo’s global category groups (Global Beverages, Global Snacks, and Global Nutrition), Global Operations (IT, Global Procurement, Supply Chain, and Productivity), Global Marketing Services, and Corporate Strategy. Working with the geographic business units, Abdalla’s team will drive innovation and brand building, while significantly reducing the overall cost structure of the company.

Enderson Guimaraes will replace Abdalla as CEO of PepsiCo Europe. Prior to joining PepsiCo in 2011, Guimaraes served as Executive Vice President of Electrolux and CEO of its major appliances business for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

Press release

IFT Research Briefs

Metabolic engineer synthesizes key breast milk ingredient
A University of Illinois microbial engineer has synthesized a sugar in human milk that may protect babies from pathogens. According to the study, published in Microbial Cell Factories, this is important because 2-fucosyllactose (2FL) has not been added to infant formula beause cof the expense.

“We know these oligosaccharides play a vital role in developing a breast-fed baby’s gut microbiota and in strengthening their immunity. 2FL is the most abundant HMO [human milk oligosaccharide] in breast milk,” said Michael Miller, University of Illinois Professor of Food Microbiology.

To learn more about the HMO’s function, Miller would like to do research with 2FL in newborn piglets, an excellent model for the human infant. Unfortunately, 1 mg of 2FL costs $100, meaning a single study would require $1 million for the HMO alone, he said. However, Yong-Su Jin, Professor in the Univ. of Illinois’ Institute for Genomic Biology, believed he could synthesize this oligosaccharide found in breast milk using a strain of E. coli engineered for that purpose.

The researchers were able to engineer an HMO that can be produced inexpensively and quickly: 1 g of 2FL per L of E. coli broth. That means it’s possible to produce 2FL in the lab, making Miller’s piglet research feasible.

E. coli makes a starting material for 2FL as part of its normal metabolism, and that suggested to us that it was possible to use E. coli to produce 2FL,” said Jin. “The trick is to get the E. coli cells to increase their production of the starting material (GDP-fucose), which we did by overexpressing the pre-existing biosynthetic pathway. Then we had to give it the ability to transfer GDP-fucose to lactose. We solved that problem by inserting a gene from another organism.”

The next step was developing an E. coli mutant that can assimilate lactose. “Because the engineered mutant cannot use the lactose for its own growth, it instead uses lactose to make great quantities of 2FL, the HMO that many researchers want to study,” said Jin.

Now, Miller will be able to begin a study investigating the role of 2FL in infant nutrition and eventually make recommendations about whether it should be added to infant formula.

Abstract

Beverage-only restaurant occasions increase foodservice traffic
As consumers manage restaurant checks by cutting back on beverages and ordering only food at main meals, restaurant chains are driving incremental beverage-only occasions at other times during the day through the introduction of new beverages and beverage marketing efforts, according to The NPD Group, a market research company. For the year ending June 2012, total restaurant visits were flat whereas visits that included both food and beverage declined by 2%, reports NPD’s CREST foodservice market research.

Consumers ordering beverages without food represent an increasing percentage of restaurant traffic and the occasions occur throughout the day, according to NPD’s Expanded Beverage Service, which tracks all beverage foodservice occasions. The new foodservice beverage research finds that beverage-only foodservice occasions steadily increase during the morning, peak between 1–3 p.m., and then gradually taper off through the late afternoon and evening hours. Shakes, smoothies, slushy drinks, coffee, and bottled water are among the beverages more likely to be consumed at a restaurant occasion that doesn’t include food.

“Consumers are responding to new beverage introductions and the aggressive promotion of beverages, and as a result ‘beverage-only’ has become a significant growth opportunity for the foodservice industry,” said Kyle Olund, Director, Foodservice Product Development at NPD. “There is, however, a complexity to beverage-only foodservice occasions and it’s important for foodservice operators and manufacturers to have a full understanding of the foodservice beverage landscape in order to capitalize on this growing and changing market.”

Press release

Older overweight children may consume fewer calories than their healthy weight peers
A study published in Pediatrics shows that younger children who are overweight or obese consume more calories per day than their healthy weight peers. However, older overweight children may actually consume fewer calories than their healthy weight peers.

In the study, the researchers examined dietary reports from 12,648 children ages 2–17 years old that were collected from 2001 to 2008 as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). They categorized the weight status based on weight-for-length percentile in children less than 2 years old, or body mass index (BMI) percentile for children between 2 and 17, and performed statistical analyses to examine the interactions of age and weight category on calorie intake.

“For many children, obesity may begin by eating more in early childhood. Then as they get older, they continue to be obese without eating any more than their healthy weight peers,” said Asheley Cockrell Skinner, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina and lead author of the study. “One reason this makes sense is because we know overweight children are less active than healthy weight kids. Additionally, this is in line with other research that obesity is not a simple matter of overweight people eating more—the body is complex in how it reacts to amount of food eaten and amount of activity.”

These results also suggest that different strategies may be needed to help children in both age groups reach a healthy weight. “It makes sense for early childhood interventions to focus specifically on caloric intake, while for those in later childhood or adolescence the focus should instead be on increasing physical activity, since overweight children tend to be less active,” said Skinner.

Abstract

Ice cream, frozen novelty sales on the rise
According to recent Mintel research, in 2011, the ice cream and frozen novelty market emerged from two years of struggling sales and posted a 4.1% increase from the previous year (retail sales of $10.7 billion) and is poised for continued growth of another 4% in 2012.

“Aside from the flavor of frozen treats, price is the key factor in a consumer’s decision on what to purchase,” said John N. Frank, Mintel Food & Drink Analyst. “Price is more important than brand, quality, and health information, which makes it difficult for brands to break away from a price promotion strategy, but does give private label products a major opportunity for growth.”

When buying ice cream or other frozen novelties, 94% of people say they base their decision on flavor, while 83% look at price, and 72% look for a sale or promotion. When it comes to brand loyalty, slightly more than two-thirds (68%) of respondents make their selections based on brand alone.

According to Frank, new product development will play a large role in the continued success of the ice cream market in the coming years. New flavor profiles and ingredients, better-for-you (BFY) products, and new packaging concepts will be instrumental in its success.

The popularity of Greek yogurt spilling over into the ice cream and frozen novelty market could be one reason that total U.S. retail sales of frozen yogurt were up 9.7% from 2011–12. It demonstrates the highest growth percentage of the four ice cream and frozen novelty segments. Not surprisingly, reduced fat (38%), reduced sugar (38%), and reduced calorie (36%) are the most important claims consumers are looking for on the packaging of their favorite frozen treat. However, gluten-free and dairy-free products are rapidly growing in popularity with 14% and 15% of Mintel respondents saying they are “very or somewhat important” to them, respectively.

Container, or serving size, is important to 69% of survey respondents who buy frozen treats, and especially so among those ages 18–24 (74%) who are the most likely to eat it away from the home directly after purchasing it from the grocery or convenience store. Portion control containers would also fare well with those concerned with “low-in” claims.

Press release

APRE receives funding from USPB to support potato research
The Alliance for Potato Research and Education (APRE) will receive additional funding from the United States Potato Board (USPB) to support nutrition science research and education on the white potato in all forms.

USPB, a founding member of APRE, will increase its funding to $1 million for each of the next two years to advance the not-for-profit organization’s scientific research and education initiatives. APRE is dedicated to expanding and translating research into science-based policy and education initiatives on the role of all forms of the potato in a well-balanced diet.

“APRE is very pleased to receive the additional funding from USPB,” said Maureen Storey, APRE President and CEO. “This financial support provides the opportunity to increase
APRE’s scientific base, which is our foundation, as well as our education initiatives to help explain the important role of the white potato in all forms, whether baked, boiled, mashed, roasted, or fried, in a healthy and balanced diet for all ages.”

Press release (pdf)

Rapid Detection of Pesticide Residues in Fruit Juice Without Sample Extraction Using UPLC®-MS/MS
A fast screening method utilizing a simple "dilute-and-shoot” approach for multi-residue analysis of pesticides in fruit juice. Rapid QuEChERS sample preparation reduces time to result and improves laboratory efficiency. Download application note.
www.waters.com

IFT Company News

Kraft to buy out Morocco cookie maker
According to Reuters, Kraft Foods will pay 1.31 billion dirhams ($151 million) to take full control of Morocco’s top cookie maker, Bimo, from local investment holding National Investment Co. (SNI), controlled by the country’s royal family. SNI said it had signed an agreement for the sale of its 50% stake in Bimo to double Kraft Foods’ stake in the company to 100%.

In October, Kraft will split into two companies, one focused on cookies and candy in overseas markets and one focused on North American grocery. Kraft said the takeover of Bimo was part of its strategy to grow in developing markets.

Unlisted Bimo controls close to 13% of Morocco’s cookie sales, a market share that has been dwindling in recent years due mostly to growing local competition and the effects of free trade deals, mostly with the European Union and Turkey. SNI said Bimo, founded in 1981 and which currently has two production units and 1,400 employees, had sales worth 831 million dirhams in 2011.

Reuters article

Savoury Systems named to list of fastest growing private companies
Savoury Systems International (SSI), a leader in the savory enhancement industry, has been named to the 2012 Inc. magazine’s 500/5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies List for the third time. Inc’s 500/5000 list is an exclusive ranking of the United States’ fastest-growing private companies, as a result of the company’s revenue growth over a three-year period.

Each year, Inc. releases its 500/5000 list, which ranks the fastest-growing, private companies in the United States. The list ranks companies by overall revenue growth over a three-year period and has become the hallmark of entrepreneurial success. Savoury Systems ranked 3,369 overall with a 57% business growth between 2009 and 2011 and a ranking of 100 in the food and beverage category.

“Savoury Systems has seen impressive growth over the last year, and we’ve put considerable focus on investing in our customers,” said Dave Adams, Founder and President of SSI. “Our warehouse expansion, product line additions, and finally our placement on Inc.’s 500/5000 list all demonstrate our commitment to constantly improve customer service and passion for providing best-in-industry selection to the savory flavors sector.”

Press release

McDonald’s USA to add calorie counts to menu boards
McDonald’s USA President Jan Fields has announced that this month the company will list calorie information on restaurant and drive-thru menus nationwide to further inform and help customers and employees make nutrition-minded choices.

“At McDonald’s, we recognize customers want to know more about the nutrition content of the food and beverages they order,” said Fields. “As a company that has provided nutrition information for more than 30 years, we are pleased to add to the ways we make nutrition information available to our customers and employees.”

In addition, McDonald’s has revealed plans to test foods that would increase the number of wholesome choices on its menu. The menu items being explored for 2013 include more recommended food groups. Among the additions being tested:

  • More seasonal fruit and vegetables options, such as blueberries and cucumbers, during peak seasons.
  • Additional produce side options and grilled chicken choices for Happy Meals.
  • The McWrap, inspired by McDonald’s Europe, features fresh vegetables and is available in three flavors—Chicken & Bacon, Sweet Chili Chicken, and Chicken & Ranch—starting at 350 calories.
  • New breakfast choices, including an egg-white breakfast sandwich on an English muffin made with 8 g of whole grain.

Press release

Teasdale Quality Foods acquires Hoopeston Foods
Teasdale Quality Foods Inc., a manufacturer of Hispanic foods and the largest producer and marketer of canned hominy and beans in California, has acquired Hoopeston Foods Inc., a producer of conventional and organic canned dried beans in the Midwestern United States. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Teasdale is a portfolio company of a private equity fund affiliated with Palladium Equity Partners L.L.C., a private investment firm with a special focus on investments in the U.S. Hispanic marketplace. Founded in 1995 in Hoopeston, Ill., Hoopeston manufactures shelf-stable conventional, organic, Hispanic, ethnic, and kosher bean products across the U.S. The company provides contract manufacturing services for national and regional consumer brands, and supplies private label and store branded products. Its customers include contract manufacturers, grocery retailers, wholesalers, and the U.S. government.

“This is an excellent strategic fit for Teasdale,” said Alberto Bandera, CEO of Teasdale. “Teasdale will now have high-quality food manufacturing plants in California and Illinois, along with a diverse breadth of branded and private label products, enabling us to meet the growing needs of our customer base.”

Press release

Hershey to acquire remaining shares of the Godrej Hershey
The Hershey Co. has reached an agreement to acquire the 49% stake in Godrej Hershey Ltd. that it does not own, primarily from Godrej Industries Ltd. and another minority shareholder. Including the assumption of about $47.6 million in debt, which is already consolidated by Hershey as the majority shareholder, the company will own the Maha Lacto and Nutrine candy brands and the Jumpin and Sofit beverage brands as well as the related manufacturing facilities. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter and the new entity will transition to use the name Hershey India as it becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hershey Co.

“India is a key focus market for The Hershey Co.,” said J.P. Bilbrey, President and CEO, The Hershey Co. “We have a great deal of respect for Godrej. Our partnership provided us with insights and an understanding of the consumers and customers in India. Confectionery and beverage category growth in India is solid and we’re excited about our opportunities. We’ll make the necessary investments in India to accelerate growth, leveraging our core strengths and business model.”

The transaction gives Hershey an opportunity to integrate Godrej Hershey into the company’s global business platform and leverage corporate resources across the chocolate and sweets and refreshment strategic business units. Over time, Hershey’s goal is to evolve into a faster growing India market leader in the food and beverage space.

Press release

Quaker Oats, IHOP partner on new oatmeal varieties
IHOP, an American breakfast restaurant, has announced a new partnership with The Quaker Oats Co. resulting in the creation of a proprietary blend of oatmeal, and the first jointly developed breakfast item between the two brands. This partnership also marks the first time The Quaker Oats Co. has ever partnered to create a branded item specifically for the family dining restaurant segment. IHOP has added a choice of oatmeal varieties made with Quaker Oats, including Super Fruit & Nut Oatmeal, Super Fruit Oatmeal, and Banana & Brown Sugar Oatmeal to its menu.

“Partnering with IHOP, a brand that gets as excited about breakfast as we do, is a natural fit for Quaker,” said Kristina Mangelsdorf, Chief Marketing Officer, PepsiCo Food Service. “For more than 130 years Quaker has been nourishing healthy families with delicious, whole grain foods and we’re excited to continue to innovate and expand the ways in which we serve oatmeal lovers.”

Press release

IFT Regulatory News

Corn refiners counter sue the Sugar Association
Several of the nation’s leading corn refiners have countersued the Sugar Association for “deceiving consumers into believing that processed sugar is safer and more healthful than high fructose corn syrup.” The counterclaims were filed on behalf of Archer Daniels Midland Co., Cargill Inc., Ingredion Inc., and Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas Inc. in U.S. District Court Central District of California.

The Sugar Association has made numerous “false and misleading representations that processed sugar is different from high fructose corn syrup in ways that are beneficial to consumers’ health,” the counterclaim states. The counterclaim also states that “…vilifying one kind of added sugar will not reduce Americans’ waistlines. Reducing all added sugars, and reducing caloric intake in general, will … The Sugar Association has worked to perpetuate the myth that high fructose corn syrup uniquely contributes to obesity and other health problems, preying on consumers’ food fears and diverting attention away from the real issue—that Americans should reduce their consumption of all added sugars and calories in general.”

The counterclaim cites several leading medical and scientific experts, as well as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), which has concluded “High fructose corn syrup … is nutritionally equivalent to sucrose [table sugar]. Once absorbed into the blood stream, the two sweeteners are indistinguishable.”

The counterclaim is part of the corn refining industry’s response to an April 2011 lawsuit brought by The Sugar Association when CRA attempted to rebrand HFCS as “corn sugar.” In previous statements, CRA has characterized The Sugar Association’s lawsuit as part of a “silencing campaign” and has said the group is “trying to censor our efforts to communicate the simplest and most meaningful fact about high fructose corn syrup: It’s a form of sugar, and consumers should reduce their intake of all added sugars.”

CRA press release

N.Y. company recalls ricotta due to possible L. monocytogenes risk
Forever Cheese Inc. is recalling all Ricotta Salata Frescolina brand, Forever Cheese lot #T9425 and/or production code 441202, from one specific production date due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The cheese was sold to distributors for retailers and restaurants in Calif., Colo., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Mass., Md., Maine, Mont., N.J., N.M., N.Y., Ohio, Ore., Pa., Va., and Wash. between June 20 and August 9, 2012. Products were sold to supermarkets, restaurants, and wholesale distributors.

The cheese in question is Ricotta Salata brand Frescolina from one production date coded 441202 on the original wheel. There have been 14 reported illnesses in 11 states which may be related to this.

The potential for contamination was noted after illness was reported in connection with eating cheese. Each and every distributor and retailer are being contacted in an effort to recall any and all remaining product in the marketplace.

Press release

USP granted observer status by Codex Alimentarius Commission
Joining an international community dedicated to protecting the health of consumers and ensuring fair practices in the food trade, the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) has been granted observer status by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. In this capacity, USP will provide expert information, advice, and guidance to the Commission, along with other international governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The Commission was established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1963. Today, it has more than 180 members, and more than 200 inter-governmental and international non-governmental organizations are accredited as observers. The Commission’s main work is the development of international food standards, guidelines, and codes of practice. The Commission also promotes the coordination of all food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non-governmental organizations.

“The increasingly globalized food industry, the associated supply chain complexities, consumer interest in new, complex ingredients with purported health and nutritional benefits, economic pressures to keep food costs low—all call for strong international standards,” said Roger L. Williams, CEO for USP. “USP’s mission and work in the area of food standards align closely with those of the Commission, and we are honored to now serve in an accredited NGO capacity. Food ingredients, which represent a key component of the food supply, are particularly important and remain our focus.”

Through its Food Chemicals Codex (FCC), USP develops internationally-used standards for the identity, quality, and purity of food ingredients including colorings, flavorings, emulsifiers, nutrients, preservatives, and processing aids. Building on nearly 200 years of standards-setting expertise in the areas of pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, and excipients, USP began establishing food ingredient standards in 2006, when it acquired FCC from the Institute of Medicine.

Press release

FDA accepts acrylamide-preventing yeast as GRAS
Functional Technologies Corp. has announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the company’s Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) Notice that was submitted in February 2012 for its acrylamide-preventing yeast strains. In its GRAS submission, Functional Technologies provided experimental data to support its claim that the company’s proprietary acrylamide-preventing yeast should be generally recognized as safe.

“Acrylamide mitigation is an ongoing challenge for many food and beverage products. The introduction of this proprietary yeast offers a unique approach for reducing acrylamide and will help food and beverage manufacturers with the challenge,” said Carlos Barroso, member of Functional Technologies’ Advisory Board.

Press release

Original GRAS submission (pdf)

USDA’s SuperTracker diet planning, tracking tool reaches 1 M users
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s (USDA) SuperTracker diet planning and tracking tool has reached one million registered users. SuperTracker is a resource to help individuals make healthy lifestyle choices to improve their dietary pattern, maintain a healthy weight, track their level of physical activity, and reduce their risk of chronic disease.

SuperTracker allows Americans to build a healthier diet based on individual needs and personal preferences,” said Vilsack. “Overcoming the health and nutrition challenges we face as a nation is critical. I am thrilled that so many people, particularly young people, are taking advantage of this resource to improve their overall health and well-being.”

Built and maintained by USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), SuperTracker is free to use and available at ChooseMyPlate.gov. CNPP continues to update SuperTracker’s features based on user feedback, including:

  • Updated food and physical activity databases that allow users to track foods and activities as accurately as possible.
  • An enhancement to allow users to set a personal calorie goal using the “My Top 5 Goals” feature.
  • Additional capabilities planned for release in 2013.

SuperTracker was unveiled in December 2011 as a complement to the new MyPlate icon and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. SuperTracker incorporates both the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines and helps Americans put them into practice in their day to day activities.

Press release

IFT IFT & Meeting News

Ruff defends benefits of processed foods
Speaking at a Chicago Section IFT dinner meeting on September 10, IFT President John Ruff discussed the evolution of food processing, misconceptions surrounding processed foods and the role that food scientists play, and what IFT is doing to dispel those fallacies.

Since man first discovered fire and used it to cook food, we have been processing foods, declared Ruff. Ancient Greeks transformed perishable and unpalatable products into bread, olive oil, and wine. The Industrial Revolution displaced manual labor and established the mass production of many goods, including food. This has led to an overabundance of food in some parts of the world, noted Ruff.

Many consumers have concerns about our food supply and food safety, but our food supply is safer today than it has ever been, said Ruff. He referenced an International Food Information Council study, which showed that 48% of consumers rate processed foods as “unfavorable” and only 18% give it a “favorable” mark. Consumers who view themselves as knowledgeable about food tend to have more negative views about processed foods. Ruff also highlighted research that showed while many consumers are avoiding sugars/carbohydrates (51%), fats/oils/cholesterol (32%), and salt/sodium (20%), only 1% are avoiding processed/refined foods. “Thus, we have a dichotomy but also an opportunity to make the case for processed foods,” said Ruff.

Ruff pointed to research and also played a video of a consumer panel at IFT’s Wellness 11 conference that address the benefits of processed foods, such as convenience, taste, shelf life, quality, and affordability. He also referenced a recent study that shows that consumers get a significant portion of their daily intake of nutrients from processed foods.

According to Ruff, by 2050, there will be an additional 2 to 3 billion people to feed. Reducing post-harvest losses, which amount to up to 50% in some regions of the world, through food processing and technology can help to feed a growing population. “If we don’t make the case for food processing, it just won’t be our profession [food scientists], the whole world will suffer,” declared Ruff.

Ruff highlighted several new IFT programs that have been produced to counter misperceptions about processed foods. These include a white paper entitled Feeding the World Today and Tomorrow, published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, which provided an evolution of food science and its role in food safety, nutrition, sustainability, and feeding a planet of 9 billion people in the future. Ruff played IFT’s World Without Food Science video, which shows a supermarket of empty shelves and limited, poor quality food, reflecting what the food supply would be like if food science did not exist.

“Processed foods have become synonymous with poor nutrition, which just isn’t true,” said Ruff. He challenged the audience to correct those misconceptions when the opportunity arises by using IFT materials at www.worldwithoutfoodscience.org and www.iftfoodfacts.org.

Feeding the World Today and Tomorrow: The Importance of Food Science and Technology article

World Without Food Science public education campaign

Food Facts

Feb. 27–28, 2013
Wellness 13: New dates announced
To accommodate schedules for the greatest majority of food professionals and to avoid a conflict with the celebration of Passover, Wellness 13 has been moved Feb. 27–28, 2013, at the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare, in Rosemont, Ill. This event will once again deliver leading practices and supporting products to help you develop and market healthful foods in line with consumer expectations. Mark your calendars for this event and bookmark the Wellness Web site. Registration opens Nov. 1, 2012.

Sept. 17: 12:00–1:00 p.m. CT
Free webcast: Differentiating Your Product with Probiotics
Learn how you can differentiate your product from the competition by formulating with probiotics. understand how the composition of a probiotic affects a product and how probiotic strains differentiate themselves through their ability, or inability, to survive extreme manufacturing processes. You will also explore the digestive and immune health benefits of probiotics, and how these benefits may differentiate your product from the competition. This webcast takes place next week so register today .

Sept. 28: 1:00–2:30 p.m. CST
Free webcast: Attract and Retain Top Talent with IFT Resources
Find out how IFT programs and services can help your company stay competitive in today's job market. Through this webcast, you will hear exciting updates on new recruiting solutions offered through our Career Center, and examine different ways to enhance your staff’s professional capacity and competency. You will also learn about IFT’s new Certified Food Scientist (CFS) program, and how it will help your employees gain a competitive edge. Register today.

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