Food Technology Presents: Wellness 09, March 25-26

March 9, 2009



Food Technology Presents: Wellness 09, March 25-26
Two-day conference helps food professionals develop new products and learn what makes consumers tick.

CHICAGO — Consumers want foods and beverages that meet their nutrition and health needs, while meeting the demands of their taste buds and wallets. But how does a food professional reach today’s sophisticated and savvy consumer? Food Technology Presents: Wellness 09: At the Forefront of Food and Health, March 25-26 in Chicago, addresses today’s food product development challenges with scientific credibility, market insight, and consumer trend information relating to health and wellness.

Highlights of Wellness 09 include:

Wednesday, March 25

Consumer Health State of Affairs (Keynote Address)
What are the current health and nutrition issues facing today’s consumer? This keynote address provides an overview, with special emphasis on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) findings on global nutrition guidelines based on epidemiological data. Listen to a lively presentation on the state of diet-related diseases, and the role food can play in addressing nutritional deficiencies.

Superfruits: Defining the Future by Defining the Term
“Superfruits” could be a boon to consumer health. But just what is a “superfruit?” The question has no definitive answer, from a scientific or consumer standpoint. Marketing messages shape the definition of a “superfruit” in order to drive sales, but is “superfruit” little more than a code word for fad? This panel session will provide insight on the health claims, labeling and the associated legal ramifications of the “superfruit.”

Panelists Discuss the Health Benefits of the Newest Sweeteners
The health benefits of low-calorie sweeteners have generated debate since the introduction of saccharin more than 100 years ago. Do the health benefits outweigh the perceived risks? Panelists will discuss the challenge of developing low and reduced calorie products with great taste, the newest low-calorie sweeteners such as Stevia, and what it takes to have a new sweetener approved or Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Can the Combination of Food Science and Nutrition Accomplish the Impossible?
It’s a powerful collaboration when food science and nutrition team up to provide practical and innovative solutions to current consumer dietary recommendations. This panel session will examine past successes and future challenges on how food science and nutrition can work together through product innovation and education. Panelists will also discuss the small changes consumer education initiative, supported by the Joint Task Force on Food and Nutrition Science (Institute of Food Technologists, American Society for Nutrition, and the International Food Information Council), which encourages consumers to make small changes in diet and physical activity to improve health.

How Consumer Values Affect Food Choices
Consumers known as Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) are an attractive group for manufacturers and marketers of natural and organic foods and beverages. The presentation will offer insight into LOHAS consumers, how to reach them, and how key product trends for this market, such as organic and natural, are changing and developing.

Thursday, March 26

Functional Foods Enhanced for the Prevention of Cognitive Decline in the Boomer Generation
It is estimated that more than 10 million Baby Boomers will develop Alzheimer’s in their lifetime. This panel will share market data concerning the current and projected size of the cognitive decline market, discuss the latest clinical studies around DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid, and present ways this brain health-boosting ingredient can be formulated into foods.

Trends and Opportunities in the Allergen-Free Market: Looking Ahead
This session will address FDA and USDA regulations and policies relating to gluten-free and other allergen-free products. The session will discuss the steps of processing from sourcing the ingredients, to good manufacturing practices including cross-contamination and ingredient sourcing, to shipping the end product so that it’s safe for consumers.

Consumers Multitask, So Why Shouldn’t Their Foods? Product Innovation that Delivers Against Today’s Consumer Mindset and Lifestyle
Many foods play multiple roles in regard to what they can do for consumer health. These “multitasking” foods present opportunities for food manufacturers, especially in terms of motivating product developers and marketers to identify and deliver novel product applications. This panel discussion will provide insight on how to inform consumers about the multiple health benefits – such as fighting obesity or diabetes -- in foods they already enjoy eating.

Nutrition that Sells
How will consumers know when a product has the nutrition they're looking for? Panelists will highlight some of the hot issues in the food environment that every food developer and marketer needs to know.

For more information about Wellness 09 or to learn more about any of the sessions listed, contact Jeannie Houchins, MA, RD, 312-604-0231,


Founded in 1939, the Institute of Food Technologists is a nonprofit scientific society with more than 20,000 individual members working in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government. IFT serves as a conduit for multidisciplinary science thought leadership, championing the use of sound science through knowledge sharing, education, and advocacy.