IFT Media Update

November 12, 2009

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

The following news briefs are from the Institute of Food Technologists® (IFT®), a nonprofit scientific society with more than 18,000 individual members working in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government.  The briefs are derived from the Journal of Food Science and Food Technology magazine.  The monthly media update also includes information on science and policy and IFT events.

For additional information contact 1-800-IFT-FOOD or Jeannie Houchins, MA, RD, jhouchins@ift.org, 312-604-0231. 

FDA Releases New IFT Report on Product Tracing in Food Systems
Study Provides Recommendations to Improve Product Tracing

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) today delivered to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a new technical study that recommends guidelines to establish a comprehensive product tracing system to track the movement of food products effectively from farm to point of sale or service.

The report concludes that setting clear objectives for those in the food supply chain is the most appropriate approach to effective product tracing. Principally the system should be simple, user friendly and globally accepted, as well as have the ability to leverage existing industry systems.

To view the report in its entirety please visit http://www.ift.org/traceability/.

NOTE: This report will be available in the January 2010 issue of Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.

Food Technology

New Ways to Achieve Weight Loss

The battle of the bulge continues. Nearly eight in 10 consumers are trying to lose or maintain weight, according to the 2009 Food & Health Survey from the International Food Information Council (IFIC). Two-thirds of food shoppers in the 2008 Shopping for Health survey from the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) reported that their food purchase decisions were influenced by weight. Clearly, foods and beverages positioned to promote weight loss represent an important market target for product developers.

Read the full article: http://members.ift.org/NR/rdonlyres/A0098DF7-0BFD-4B6B-B55E-0E5B8EC70F6E/0/1109trends.pdf

Communicating the Net Benefits of Seafood Consumption

Seafood is the most important dietary source of the functionally essential omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is required for normal brain development and heart health. Consequently, seafood intake during pregnancy and lactation should be encouraged to provide for optimal fetal and neonatal development. In an effort to limit exposure to mercury, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued guidance to pregnant and lactating women and small children. The result of this advice was that consumers became unsure of the benefits, were confused about the risks of consuming seafood during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and reduced their consumption of seafood.

Recently, a paradigm shift has occurred, starting with the release of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) 2006 report titled “Seafood Choices: Balancing Benefits and Risks.” The report stated, “A better way is needed to characterize the risks combined with the benefits analysis.” In response to the IOM report and to emerging science published subsequent to release of the advice, the FDA released a peer-reviewed draft report in January 2009 on the net effect of eating fish on brain development and heart health.

Read the full article: http://members.ift.org/NR/rdonlyres/C61D97B2-3905-459D-843B-636995D4A0B5/0/1109feat_seafood.pdf

Unleashing the Power of Umami

Umami, the fifth basic taste, is igniting interest within the ingredient and culinary worlds. It’s been hailed as savory, delicious, dimensional, and mouth-watering. Food product developers call umami a “back pocket” ingredient—one that supplies the missing link in formulations or recipes. Inventive chefs and product developers are devising new applications for this time-tested food formulation tool, which amplifies flavor, aids in sodium reduction, promotes satiety, and more.

Read the full article: http://members.ift.org/NR/rdonlyres/C77095FF-1BCF-4B48-8A00-06551DD664D0/0/1109feat_umami.pdf

Metabolic Syndrome and Genetics

The incidence of Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) has increased dramatically over the past decade, and research has shown that some prevalent forms of MetS have at least one specific genetic component. Multiple gene targets must be involved in the pathogenesis and progression of this disease, and their identification would enable evaluation for genetic susceptibility to MetS.

Read the full article: http://members.ift.org/NR/rdonlyres/565285C9-7E36-46FA-A52A-2A08DBF67DD0/0/1109fmh.pdf

Paperboard Package Recycling: A Success Story

Paperboard Package Recycling: A Success Story An impressive 57percent of all paperboard packaging is recycled back into more paperboard packaging, the highest ratio in history of any package material—and the proportion is increasing. Paper and paperboard comprise the largest single-category food packaging materials in our country or the world. Despite all the best efforts by plastic, metal, and glass suppliers, paper and paperboard represent three-fourths of all package materials that are recycled or in any way recovered, and that warrants accolades for this great industry group.

Read the full article: http://members.ift.org/NR/rdonlyres/80DE38A8-D3C4-4374-BF9E-4B847D8755D8/0/1109pkg.pdf

Have You Seen ePerspective?

In a new ePerspective article, Catherine Donnelly, PhD, of the University of Vermont discusses the raw milk debate: http://foodtecheperspective.wordpress.com

Knowledge and Learning

Food Science for the Non-Food Scientist

Learn the basic principles of food science and equip yourself with an enhanced understanding of the role of food science in the development of food products. Gain a better understanding of the importance of food safety, basic regulatory issues and food science trends.

Credentialed media receive complimentary registration. Visit http://www.ift.org/cms/?pid=1001977 for more information or contact Jeannie Houchins, MA, RD, jhouchins@ift.org, 312-604-0231 to register.

About IFT

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) exists to advance the science of food. Our long-range vision is to ensure a safe and abundant food supply contributing to healthier people everywhere. Founded in 1939, IFT is a nonprofit scientific society with 18,000 individual members working in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government. IFT champions the use of sound science across the food value chain through knowledge sharing, education, and advocacy, encouraging the exchange of information, providing both formal and informal educational opportunities, and furthering the advancement of the profession. IFT has offices in Chicago, Illinois, and Washington, D.C. For additional information, please visit ift.org.

© 2009 Institute of Food Technologists