The Weekly: May 17, 2017

May 17, 2017

IFT Top Stories

GM mustard moves closer to approval in India
According to Science magazine, India’s top biotechnology regulator has declared a transgenic mustard plant “safe for consumption.” Moving the plant into farmers’ fields is now a political decision in the hands of India’s environment minister, who may wait until the Supreme Court of India resolves several long-pending related cases.

The GM mustard has been under development for almost a decade. A report assessing the plant’s risks was released a year ago, drawing more than 750 comments that were reviewed by the Ministry of Environment’s Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC). The report concluded the mustard was safe and nutritious, and GEAC chair Amita Prasad in New Delhi said the commission unanimously agreed on May 11 to recommend allowing farmers to plant the crop for the next four years. The final decision will be made by Environment Minister Anil Dave.

If approved, Dhara Mustard Hybrid-11 (DMH-11) will be the second GM plant—but the first food crop—to reach India’s farmers. In 2004, India allowed commercial cultivation of GM cotton and it now accounts for more than 90% of the nation’s harvest.

Science article

European grocer Lidl to open first U.S. stores
Lidl, a retailer with 10,000 stores in 27 countries throughout Europe, has announced it will open its first stores in 20 locations in the United States on June 15. The first stores will open in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. By next summer, Lidl plans to open up to 100 stores across the East Coast, creating a total of 5,000 U.S. jobs.

Lidl will offer a simple and efficient approach to grocery shopping, claiming that shoppers will be able to get top quality goods and groceries at up to 50% less than other U.S. supermarkets. In addition, the newly built 20,000-sq-ft stores will feature only six aisles, a bakery at the entrance, and a variety of organic, gluten-free, and sustainable items. About 90% of the groceries available at Lidl will be exclusive brand products.

“We are excited to open our first stores in the United States in a few short weeks,” said Brendan Proctor, president and CEO of Lidl US. “Lidl is grocery shopping refreshed, retooled, and rethought to make life better for all our customers … When customers shop at Lidl, they will experience less complexity, lower prices, better choices, and greater confidence.”

Press release

IFT Research Briefs

Extrusion may improve extractability of dietary fiber in bran
Wheat bran and rye bran are mostly used as animal feed today, but their high content of dietary fiber and bioactive components are beneficial to human health. However, bran mainly contains unextractable dietary fiber and deteriorates the sensory properties of products. A study published in the Journal of Food Science suggests that processing bran products by extrusion may increase the extractability of dietary fiber and increase their sensory qualities.

The researchers extruded wheat bran and rye bran at different levels of moisture content, screw speed, and temperature to find the optimal setting for increased extractability of dietary fiber and positive sensory properties. The main dietary fiber component found in wheat bran and rye bran is arabinoxylan, with a content of 22%–30% of dry matter for wheat bran and 18%–25% of dry matter for rye bran. For wheat, the other main dietary fiber components are cellulose (9%–12%), Klason lignin (3%–5%), fructan (3%–4%), and β-glucan (2%–3%). For rye, they are fructan (5%–7%), cellulose (4%–6%), β-glucan (4%–5%), and Klason lignin.

The researchers found that extrusion of wheat bran and rye bran increased the extractability of dietary fiber, especially arabinoxylan. This increase may improve the nutritional properties of the bran, such as fermentability. The optimal extrusion conditions for increasing the extractability of dietary fiber were 24% water in wheat or 30% water in rye, a screw speed of 400 rpm, and a temperature of 130°C. The increased extractability of dietary fiber and arabinoxylan, in combination with maintained content of β-glucan, minimal effect on molecular weight, and a slight increase in extractability, makes extrusion a suitable process for increasing the use of bran for many different food products.

Abstract

Modified soybeans may yield more in future climate conditions
By 2050, we will need to feed 2 billion more people on less land. Meanwhile, carbon dioxide levels are predicted to hit 600 parts per million—a 50% increase over today’s levels—and 2050 temperatures are expected to frequently match the top 5% hottest days from 1950–1979. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Botany suggests that genetically engineered soybeans may yield more when subjected to both increased temperature and carbon dioxide levels in 2050’s predicted climatic conditions. However, the researchers found little to no difference between the modified and unmodified crops grown in either increased temperature, increased carbon dioxide, or today’s climate conditions.

Researchers conducted a three-year field study at SoyFACE (Soybean Free Air Concentration Enrichment—a U.S. facility that emulates future atmospheric conditions to understand the impact on Midwestern crops. The results suggest that we can harness genetic changes to help offset the detrimental effects of rising temperature.

“Our climate system and atmosphere are not changing in isolation from other factors—there are actually multiple facets,” said Carl Bernacchi, an associate professor of plant biology at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois. “The effect of carbon dioxide in and of itself seems to be very generalized, but neglects the complexity of adding temperature into the mix. This research is one step in the right direction towards trying to figure out a way of mitigating those temperature-related yield losses that will likely occur even with rising carbon dioxide concentrations.”

Study

Reduced gluten diet may increase heart attack risk for non-celiacs
A study of more than 100,000 men and women suggests that dietary gluten is not associated with heart disease risk in people without celiac disease. The findings also suggest that limiting whole grains as part of a low-gluten diet may increase the risk of heart disease in people who do not have celiac disease. The study, led by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, was published in the BMJ.

“Popular diet books, based on anecdotal and circumstantial evidence, have pushed the notion that a low-gluten diet is healthy for everyone,” said lead author Benjamin Lebwohl, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at CUMC, director of clinical research in the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, and gastroenterologist at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. “Our findings show that gluten restriction has no benefit, at least in terms of heart health, for people without celiac disease. In fact, it may cause some harm if they follow a low-gluten diet that is particularly low in whole grains, because those grains appear to have a protective effect against heart disease.”

To assess the effects of a low-gluten diet on heart health, the researchers analyzed diet and coronary heart disease data on 65,000 women in the Nurses Health Study and 45,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, excluding anyone who had been diagnosed with celiac disease. Each participant filled out detailed diet questionnaires every four years, from 1986 to 2010. The participants were divided into five levels of estimated gluten consumption.

The researchers found that there was no association between gluten intake and risk of coronary heart disease, defined as fatal or non-fatal heart attacks. “Even those with the lowest amount of gluten consumption experienced the same rate of heart disease as those who were consuming the most gluten,” said senior investigator Andrew Chan, gastroenterologist and chief of the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit in the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Gastroenterology and associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School. “Based on our data, recommending a low-gluten diet solely for the promotion of hearth health does not appear warranted.”

In subsequent studies, the researchers plan to look at the effect of gluten intake on other health outcomes, including cancer and autoimmune disease.

Study

Improving the absorption, bioavailability of curcumin
Curcuma longa L. (Zingiberaceae), known as turmeric, has been used in the traditional medicine in China and India for centuries. Turmeric consists of natural bioactive hydrophobic polyphenols called curcuminoids of which curcumin is the main component derived from the rhizome of the herb. The optimal health benefits of curcumin are limited by its low solubility in water and corresponding poor intestinal absorption. Cyclodextrins have been widely used in pharmaceutical and nutritional formulations to form an inclusion complex on a molecular basis with lipophilic compounds thereby improving aqueous solubility, dispersibility, and absorption. A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition examines the bioavailability of a new γ-cyclodextrin curcumin formulation (CW8).

Twelve healthy human volunteers participated in a double-blinded, cross-over study. The plasma concentrations of the individual curcuminoids that are present in turmeric (namely curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin) were determined at baseline and at various intervals after oral administration over a 12-hr period. The new CW8 formulation was compared to a standardized unformulated curcumin extract (StdC) and two commercially available formulations with purported increased bioavailability: a curcumin phytosome formulation (CSL) and a formulation of curcumin with essential oils of turmeric extracted from the rhizome (CEO).

The researchers found that CW8 showed the highest plasma concentrations of curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and total curcuminoids, whereas CSL administration resulted in the highest levels of bisdemethoxycurcumin. CW8 showed significantly increased relative bioavailability of total curcuminoids in comparison with the unformulated StdC. The researchers concluded that the “data presented suggest that γ-cyclodextrin curcumin formulation (CW8) significantly improves the absorption of curcuminoids in healthy humans.”

Study

Commission urges transdisciplinary approach to food security issues
One of the greatest challenges facing humanity today is how to sustainably feed an expanding population while improving food and nutrition security for all. At an event in Washington, D.C., on May 16, members of the Challenge of Change Commission unveiled their much-anticipated report and action plan, which centers on harnessing the vast academic, research, and leadership capabilities of public research universities to address the interdisciplinary challenges of food and nutrition security.

The Challenge of Change Commission, which the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) convened with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, began with the understanding that public research universities—with their broad academic, research, and community expertise and experience—were uniquely positioned to address the complex and diverse challenges of food and nutrition insecurity. It is comprised of 34 prominent university, government, non-governmental organizations, and business leaders. In addition to the Commission members, more than 100 individuals from universities, the public and private sector, and non-governmental organizations were engaged in the project as members of interdisciplinary working groups or expert advisers. Similarly, more than 75 organizations were invited to provide comment and feedback throughout the process.

The Commission report defines seven challenges for solving global food and nutrition insecurity and details the steps that public research universities, along with partners, must take to address them:

  1. Increase yields, profitability, and environmental sustainability simultaneously.
  2. Develop the varieties and breeds needed for sustainable food systems.
  3. Decrease food loss and waste through more efficient distribution systems.
  4. Create and share resources that serve all populations.
  5. Ensure inclusive and equitable food systems.
  6. Address the dual burdens of undernutrition and obesity to ensure full human potential.
  7. Ensure a safe and secure food supply that protects and improves public health.

After spending a year identifying these challenges and pathways to achieving them, the Commission has released its findings and recommendations. With complex systems, the need for transdisciplinary science, and community engagement in mind, the Commission report lays a new foundation for action and recommends the following four steps:

  1. APLU Action: The Commission recommends APLU and its members further develop recommendations for reducing institutional barriers to transdisciplinary research. The Commission recommends APLU, in close coordination with its members, develop and undertake advocacy efforts in support of this report, including making funding recommendations, as appropriate.
  2. U.S. “Whole-of-Government” Action: A whole-of-government effort would encourage multiple federal departments and public agencies to work across their portfolios to achieve a significant goal. Such an approach would help focus existing resources and should allocate new resources, given the critical importance of domestic and global food security. An explicit goal of the whole-of-government approach—in collaboration with the university community and stakeholders, including the private sector—must be to mobilize private-sector and foundation resources to address the challenges.
  3. Mexican, Canadian, and U.S. Government Joint Action: The Commission recommends the Canadian and Mexican governments work, as appropriate, with their universities and research entities to advance the recommendations of this report in their respective countries. A substantial amount of current research in the region is bilateral, but more trilaterally funded competitive grants, which would require involvement from universities in each of the three countries, would provide even greater impact.
  4. Public Research University Action: In addition to work already being undertaken, public universities and their partners are encouraged to identify challenges and related activities in the report that they might undertake. As universities work on the challenges, it will be important to partner with public and private entities in agriculture, public health, nutrition, healthcare, and beyond.

Report

Featured Links

IFT Company News

Nestlé inaugurates factory in Dubai
Nestlé has inaugurated its new Al-Maha factory in Dubai, producing Nescafé coffee and Maggi cooking aids for the local and regional market. Now operating at full capacity, the site employs 340 people from 20 countries. The Al-Maha factory is Nestlé’s 18th production site in the Middle East, with an investment of CHF 145 million (approximately $147.6 million).

The environmental performance of the factory will contribute to the company’s ambition to strive for zero impact in its operations by 2030. The plant recycles 100% of waste from products and raw materials, reaching zero waste to landfill in that area and helping fulfil the company’s commitment to send zero waste for disposal by 2020. The site also saves energy, with 100% LED lighting and insulation technology that reduce the need for air conditioning. There are water saving mechanisms in place and plans to install solar power generation.

Press release

Chobani announces second food incubator class
Greek yogurt maker Chobani is launching the second class of its Chobani Food Incubator program and opened a call for applications through June 4, 2017.

“We’re searching for entrepreneurs who are passionate about getting more natural, more accessible, and more creative foods out there and who are driven by a purpose and mission to make the world better,” says Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, who created the incubator in 2016.

Entrepreneurs chosen to participate in the program receive a $25,000 grant as well as all travel and hotel expenses. Participants also gain access to Chobani teams, executives, and experts and networking opportunities with incubator peers, among other benefits. The class will run from September 2017 to December 2017, based out of a dedicated space at Chobani’s sales and marketing offices in New York.

Press release

Ingredion manufacturing facilities win safety awards
Ingredion, a global provider of ingredient solutions to diversified industries, has announced that four of its U.S. manufacturing facilities have been recognized by the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) for achievements in workplace safety. Two facilities, in Bedford Park, Ill, and in Indianapolis, Ind., received the Incident Rate Excellence Award, the association’s highest award for safety achievement. It recognizes plants that have achieved a superior level of safety performance, with a total recordable incident rate of 1.0 or less, plus no employee lost workday cases and no workplace fatalities during 2016.

The Zero Lost Workdays award was received by Ingredion manufacturing facilities in Stockton, Calif., and Winston-Salem, N.C. This award acknowledges facilities with no employee lost workday cases and no workplace fatalities during 2016.

“Employee safety is a top priority at Ingredion and one of our core values. Each of the employees at our award-winning facilities played an integral role in earning this recognition,” said Mark Madsen, Ingredion’s vice president of North American manufacturing. “Our teams’ dedication to safety excellence is a reflection of Ingredion’s company-wide leadership in workplace safety. We will continue our vigilance and progress in our safety programs.”

Ingredion

Dannon successfully reduces sugar, fat to meet PHA commitments
Dannon has announced that it has met, and in some cases surpassed, its commitment to the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) by improving the nutrient profile and nutrient density of its products, and investing more than $3 million in nutrition research and education. For its commitments, Dannon exceeded the sugar and fat reduction and improved nutrient density goals for its overall portfolio, while meeting the target of reducing total sugar in all of its children’s products. These changes were made since the beginning of the three-year commitment period in July 2013.

Dannon achieved these goals by reformulating some of its most popular products like Danimals Smoothies and by introducing new ones like its Oikos Triple Zero Greek nonfat yogurt—containing zero added sugars, zero artificial sweeteners, and zero fat per serving. “We’re pleased to say that Dannon achieved its goals while maintaining the great taste of our products and contributing to our market share growth during the reporting period,” said Sergio Fuster, president of DanoneWave’s yogurt portfolio in the United States.

Dannon committed to a 10% improvement in nutrient density across its portfolio by increasing key nutrients such as protein, fiber, and vitamin D, and by decreasing total sugar and fat. At the end of year three, the company has slightly surpassed its goal with an overall nutrition density improvement of 10.06%. Dannon’s expanded product portfolio, including the launches of nutrient-dense products like Activia Fruit Fusion, Oikos Triple Zero, Light & Fit Greek Mousse, and Yogurt Drinks were key contributors to this progress.

Dannon also committed to reducing the amount of fat across its portfolio, so that 75% of its products in volume sold would be nonfat or low-fat. At the end of year three, Dannon exceeded that goal as 87% of its products are now nonfat or low-fat. That’s up from 83% one year ago.

As part of its commitment, Dannon pledged to reduce the amount of total sugar to 23 grams or less per 6-oz serving in 100% of products for children and 70% of the company’s products overall by the end of the three-year period. Dannon has reached its goal for children’s products and 78% of its volume of products now sold contain 23 grams or less per 6-oz serving, surpassing the original goal.

Finally, Dannon committed to invest $3 million in nutrition education and research focused on healthy eating habits over the course of the three years. With more than $3.3 million invested, Dannon has developed, fostered, and grown important education programs.

Press release

Rabobank launches venture capital fund for food, agri companies
Rabobank, a financial services provider, is launching the Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund, which is part of Rabo Private Equity. The fund plans to invest in high-potential, early-stage food and agriculture companies in Western Europe and in the United States. One of the objectives the bank envisions to achieve through this fund is the promotion of innovation in the food and agri space.

“The fund focuses on companies that are in support of Rabobank’s Banking for Food strategy. This strategy focuses on contributing to food security in the context of a rapidly growing world population, changing demographics and consumption patterns, and an increasingly complex food system,” said Lizette Sint, global head of Rabo Private Equity.

The fund’s investments will consist of more than just financial support. Rabobank will be a close investment partner and provide companies it selects full access to the bank’s food and agri experts and networks in order to build value together.

Press release

Coca-Cola exec joins Beyond Meat as chief growth officer
Beyond Meat, maker of plant-based meat substitutes, has hired Charles J. Muth as its chief growth officer, responsible for driving distribution and growth of Beyond Meat’s products. Muth joins Beyond Meat from Coca-Cola, where he led the creation of the Coca-Cola Co.’s Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB) sales organization to nurture a portfolio of entrepreneurial brands during his tenure as senior vice president of sales. He achieved revenue growth for the division of more than 200% from 2014 to 2016, representing a significant percent of Coca-Cola’s North America growth during that period.

In his new position, which is effective May 30, Muth will be responsible for driving distribution and growth of Beyond Meat products at retail and foodservice. “I’m thrilled to be joining Beyond Meat at this exciting time in their expansion,” said Muth. “The brand’s mission and purpose promises an amazing opportunity to effect positive change in the way the world eats and I look forward to playing a role in helping accelerate its growth.”

Muth earned a BS degree in marketing and management from Montclair State University and an MBA in finance from Fairleigh Dickenson University.

Press release

Jain Farm Fresh promotes Vaillancourt to director of sales North America
Jain Farm Fresh Foods has announced the promotion of Pamela R. Vaillancourt to director of sales, North America for Cascade Specialties, a producer of dehydrated onion, and White Oak Frozen Foods. Jain Farm Fresh is a processor, manufacturer, and distributor of dehydrated onion and vegetable products, aseptic fruit purees, concentrates, clarified juices, IQF (individually quick frozen), and frozen products.

In her new role, Vaillancourt will be responsible for sales of both the White Oak Frozen Foods line of reduced moisture ready-to-eat roasted and conventional vegetables and the line of dehydrated low bacteria onion products produced by Cascade Specialties. Vaillancourts’ prior experiences include account manager for White Oak and Cascade, industrial technical sales of food ingredients, business development for clients utilizing consumer and sensory research, product development, regulatory services, and quality control, as well as managerial roles in quality assurance and product development for the foodservice sector.

She received her BS in food science and technology from Washington State University and an MS in food science from the University of Washington. Vaillancourt is a professional member of IFT and has served as a board member of the association. She was awarded the honor of IFT Fellow in 2009.

Press release

IFT Regulatory News

Perdue announces new undersecretary for trade post
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the creation of an undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs position in the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) as part of a structural reorganization that elevates rural development as a department priority.

“Food is a noble thing to trade. This nation has a great story to tell and we’ve got producers here that produce more than we can consume,” says Secretary Perdue. “Our people in American agriculture have shown they can grow it, and we’re here to sell it in markets all around the world.”

The reorganization is intended to place agencies in a more logical order; under the existing structure, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), which deals with overseas markets, and the Farm Service Agency (FSA), which handles domestic issues, were housed under one mission area, along with the Risk Management Agency (RMA). Situating the FAS under the new undersecretary for trade allows staff to sharpen their focus on foreign markets.

Additionally, a new undersecretary will be selected for a newly named Farm Production and Conservation mission area, which is to focus on domestic agricultural issues. Under this plan, the Rural Development agencies will report directly to the secretary of agriculture, and the undersecretary for natural resources and environment will retain supervision of the U.S. Forest Service. A reduction in USDA workforce is not part of the reorganization plan.

Press release

Bumble Bee to pay $25 million in price-fixing case
According to Reuters, Bumble Bee Foods has agreed to plead guilty to one count of fixing the prices of canned tuna sold in the United States and to pay a criminal fine of $25 million. The canned tuna market in the United States has long been dominated by three companies: Thai Union’s Chicken of the Sea, Bumble Bee, and StarKist.

In its complaint, the U.S. Justice Department said that executives from Bumble Bee and unnamed other companies held “discussions and attended meetings” from 2011 to 2013 “to fix, raise, and maintain the prices of packaged seafood.” Two Bumble Bee executives agreed to plead guilty in December in connection with the price fixing.

Reuters article

FDA withdraws draft guidance on using fruit, veggie juice as color additives
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is withdrawing a 2016 draft guidance on the use of fruit juice and vegetable juice as color additives based on public comments that raised substantive technical concerns. The concerns include that the guidance promoted practices that may be inconsistent with current industry practices intended to enhance food safety.

Historically, the FDA has responded to industry questions on the use of vegetable juices and fruit juices as color additives on a case-by-case basis. Color additives used in food must be approved for use by the FDA. The FDA has authorized the use of juice from certain fruit and vegetables (21 CFR 73.250 and 21 CFR 73.260, respectively) as color additives in food. The draft guidance was developed to assist industry understanding whether plant-derived color additives meet the specifications in these regulations or require separate approval as color additives.

Although the FDA is withdrawing this draft guidance, the regulations authorizing certain plant-derived color additives remain in place and the agency will continue to respond on a case-by-case basis to industry questions on these topics. In addition, the FDA intends to continue evaluating information submitted to its docket and consulting with stakeholders in considering next steps.

Like all color additives in packaged foods, fruit juice and vegetable juice color additives must be declared in the ingredient label statement and must be safe under intended conditions of use. Fruit juice and vegetable juice when used as color additives in food may be declared as “artificial color,” “artificial color added,” or “color added,” or by an equally informative term that makes clear that a color additive has been used in the food, such as “colored with fruit juice” or “vegetable juice color.”

Press release

GAO recommends USDA evaluate response to avian flu outbreaks
In 2014 and 2016, two outbreaks of avian influenza led to the deaths of millions of poultry in 15 U.S. states and prompted emergency spending to control the disease. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to review global and domestic data on the effects of avian influenza and U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) reports and corrective action data associated with its responses to the recent outbreaks, and interview federal officials and stakeholders from state agencies and the poultry industry. Upon completion of its analyses, the GAO has released a report in which it examines:

  • How outbreaks of avian influenza have affected human health, animal health, and the U.S. economy.
  • The extent to which the USDA has taken actions to address any lessons learned from its responses to the outbreaks in 2014 and 2016, and how it plans to evaluate the actions’ effectiveness.
  • Ongoing challenges and associated issues, if any, federal agencies face in their efforts to mitigate the potential harmful effects of avian influenza.

The report found that the effect of avian influenza on the health of other animal species varies. Swine are susceptible to both avian and human influenza viruses that, if mixed, could create a new virus to which humans are vulnerable. An outbreak can also have significant economic consequences; for example, the economic impacts of the 2014 outbreak in the United States have been estimated to range from $1.0 to $3.3 billion.

The USDA identified 15 areas with lessons learned from its responses to the 2014 and 2016 outbreaks of avian influenza and 308 associated corrective actions. The USDA has identified as completed about 70% of the 308 corrective actions to address all of the lessons learned. However, the agency has not evaluated the extent to which completed corrective actions—such as encouraging states to form depopulation teams—have helped resolve the problems identified, and it does not have plans for doing so. Therefore, the GAO has recommended that the USDA develop a plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the corrective actions it has taken.

Report

U.S., China reach trade deal for beef and chicken
The United States and China agreed to expand trade in beef and chicken by mid-July as part of trade talks that began last month, according to Reuters. In the agreement, China will allow U.S. imports of beef no later than July 16, and the United States will issue a proposed rule to allow Chinese cooked poultry to enter U.S. markets. The talks also covered credit rating scores and guidelines for card-payment services.

“We believe that Sino-U.S. economic cooperation is the trend of the times. ... We will continue to move forward,” Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao told a Beijing media briefing.

Some commerce experts have their doubts. “Past foot-dragging means we won’t celebrate until these promises are executed,” said Ker Gibbs, the chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

China is the top export market for U.S. agriculture products, with the total value of exports rising by more than 1,100% since 2000 to $21.4 billion in 2016. China had conditionally lifted its import ban on American beef last year, which was imposed in 2003 after bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, was reported in Washington state.

Reuters article

IFT IFT & Meeting News

Take advantage of IFT17 hotel rates
Early registration discounts for IFT17 may be closed but we still have special hotel rates! IFT has secured room blocks and discounted rates at The LINQ, Harrah’s, and the Venetian/Palazzo. Register today to secure your housing preference at the lowest rate! Spaces are limited.

Congratulations new Certified Food Scientists!
Please join us in congratulating the latest group of professionals to become Certified Food Scientists! View the list here. They will join other recently certified professionals in being honored and recognized for their achievement at IFT17. Interested in joining this esteemed group? Attend one of the CFS informational opportunities at IFT17, including the Info Session in the CFS Lounge on Tuesday, June 27, 1:30–2:30 p.m. Learn more and apply today.

Pre-IFT17 Short Courses
June 23–25 | Las Vegas, NV

Choose from nine upcoming courses being held at IFT17 in Las Vegas. Courses include the popular Clean Label Product Innovation, Certified Food Scientist (CFS) Prep Course, and Preventive Controls for Human Food. IFT Short Courses have limited seating, and some courses are almost sold out. Learn more and register today.

Webcast: Natural Emulsifiers: Identifying and Characterizing Alternatives to Synthetic Ingredients in Food Emulsion
May 22 | 11:00 a.m.–noon (CT)

Organized by IFT ’s Food Chemistry Division, this webcast examines the basic and applied aspects of utilizing natural emulsifiers, such as proteins, polysaccharides, phospholipids, and biosurfactants in foods. It provides information on the key molecular characteristics of natural emulsifiers that facilitate the formation and stability of food emulsions. Learn more and register today.

Flash Sale! IFT online courses on sale May 18-19
Save 25% when you register for IFT online courses, including the popular Food Science for Non-Food Scientist course. Buy May 18-19 and save 25% per IFT online course. The online CFS Preparatory Course is a great way to get your career on track by becoming a Certified Food Scientist in 2017! Use discount code: FLASH25 
Learn more and register for online courses.

You can still get fit and support the food scientists of tomorrow
Have you signed up for the 2017 Fun Run + Fitness? If not, there’s still time! By participating in the new virtual race fundraiser for Feeding Tomorrow, the foundation of the Institute of Food Technologists, you’ll be supporting the next generation of professionals in the science of food and helping to ensure a safe, abundant, and nutritious global food supply. Whether you choose to run, walk, bike, hike, yoga, swim, or activity, get fit virtually and support future food scientists. You can also participate in the Team Challenge! Create a team, recruit members, and you can support a student scholarship (travel or academic) Learn more and sign up today for the 2017 Fun Run + Fitness.

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