IFT Media Update IFT Media Update

December 22, 2010

The following news briefs are from the Institute of Food Technologists® (IFT), a nonprofit scientific society with 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, Food Technology magazine and Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. The monthly media update also includes information on science and policy and IFT events.

For additional information, or for access to full studies, call 1-800-IFT-FOOD or Mindy Weinstein at 312-604-0231, mweinstein@ift.org.


Now that the food safety legislation has finally passed, IFT will be hosting a special forum to discuss its implications for the food industry.  The forum will take place in Washington, D.C., on January 7 at 10:00 a.m. EST at the offices of K&L Gates, LLP, 1601 K Street, N.W. It will also be available live via webcast for those who wish to participate remotely.

Participants will learn about the critical implications of this legislation for both their organizations and the food industry as a whole. The event will focus on product tracing, performance standards, third-party certification, and preventive control plans, and will feature experts David Acheson, Managing Director, Leavitt Partners; John W. Bode, Principal, OFW Law; Robert E. Brackett, Vice President and Director of the National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST) at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT); and Anthony T. Pavel, Junior Partner, K&L Gates. Presentations will include:

  • "How Did We Get Here, What Prompted Legislation, Overview of Key Changes"
  •  "So How Will the New Legislation Impact Your Traceability Requirements"
  • "Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors"
  •  "Food GMP's v. 2010 - New Controls, Testing, and Other Requirements"

Registration is complimentary for credentialed media.  Please contact Mindy Weinstein at mweinstein@ift.org, 312-604-0231 to register.

Industry News

Food Science Challenge: Translating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to Bring About Real Behavior Change
An early-view article in the Journal of Food Science summarizes the results of two expert roundtable discussions held in Chicago and Washington, D.C. in early October 2010 addressing ways to implement the forthcoming Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). IFT, along with the American Dietetic Association (ADA), International Food Information Council (IFIC), and International Life Sciences Institute North America (ILSI) participated. An overarching theme of the discussion was the need for "practicality." These findings will be important as the DGAs are released to kick off the new year. Consensus findings from the Journal of Food Science article include the following:

  • There is a critical need for a coordinated strategic plan with the active involvement of all sectors, including industry, academia, public health professionals, and government, to achieve effective implementation of the DGA.
  • Both goals -- modification of the food supply and more impactful communication strategies -- are critical to achieving desired public health outcomes.
  • In order for the DGA to have its maximum impact on public health, new approaches need to be employed, such as setting strategic priorities, realistic public health objectives, and placing greater emphasis on practical solutions (for example, food product renovations to achieve incrementally changed dietary behavior).
  • Behavioral science needs to be brought to bear on the challenges.
  • Dietary messages need to be positive, very simple, few in number, and targeted to subpopulations, both to inform and motivate consumers.
  • Messages need to take account of sociocultural factors, consumer habits, and the realities of today's lifestyles.

At the time of this mailing, the article has not yet posted to JFS but is scheduled to post within the next 24-48 hours. To receive the full article, contact Mindy Weinstein at 312-604-0231, mweinstein@ift.org

The Lowdown on Low-Income Consumers
The number of lower-income households, defined as those with less than $35,000, is projected to grow from 42 million in 2010 to 51 million in 2020. A trend article from the latest Food Technology magazine reports that lower-income households are driving the growth in many categories such as salty snacks, natural cheese, yogurt, fresh bread/rolls and coffee.  The article points out key statistics about the growing number of low-income households: 

  • Eating healthy is very important to 76 percent of those who live in low-income households.
  • Low-income consumers are estimated to generate $115 billion in incremental consumer packaged goods spending over the next decade.
  • More than half of lower-income households are preparing even more meals at home than they did in 2009.
  • Nine in 10 households with incomes less than $25,000 make a home-cooked meal 3+ times per week and six in 10 low-income households are eating away from home less in 2010 than in 2009.
  • Despite financial constraints, consumers in 71 percent of lower-income households like to try new food products.

Read the full article:

Thinking Outside of the Box of Chocolates
Chocolate tastes great and is a versatile ingredient in so many different food and beverage products.  Now, many marketers and researchers are positioning chocolate as a food with potential health benefits as well.  As sales of chocolate rise, manufacturers are using everything from varying amounts of cocoa to adding ingredients like creamy, flavored centers and nuts, seeds and other crunchy ingredients when developing new products.  A feature article in Food Technology magazine examines the state of the growing chocolate manufacturing industry.  Here are some of the key takeaways from the article:

  • According to a survey from the National Confectioners Association (NCA), healthier confectionery products will be the next big trend.
  • In 2009, U.S. retail chocolate confections sales set a new record when they reached $17.3 billion, an increase of 2.8 percent from 2008.
  • In a recent trend report from the NCA, predictions include that the use of chocolate, cocoa, and chocolate flavor as an ingredient in main course and appetizers will increase. 
  • The premium chocolate category, which includes themes like exotic flavors and unusual ingredient inclusions are driving sales in 2010. 
  • Whether chocolate is used in sweet or in savory applications, it is increasingly popular.  The combined total of chocolate-flavored product launched globally in 2009 was 20,135, up from 13,493 in 2008.

Read the full article: http://www.ift.org/food-technology/past-issues/2010/december/features/thinking-outside-the-box-of-chocolates.aspx?page=viewall

Tipping the Scales Toward Healthy Weight Loss
As we approach the start of 2011, many people will try to make changes in lifestyles, weight loss being one of them.  Weight management ingredients focus on fat burning and promoting satiety, ideally helping the consumer to eat less.  This article in Food Technology magazine takes a closer look at some of these ingredients in the categories of fiber, proteins, botanicals and carbohydrates. 

Read the full article:

Simulating Digestion
Various attempts have been made over the past several decades to simulate the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract.  Increasing interest in designing functional foods has stimulated food scientists to find out what artificial GI tract systems had been developed thus far.  This article in Food Technology magazine looks at three examples that can be used to study some of the changes in food elements that occur during digestion and the influence of physiological conditions on foods and their nutrient release.

Read the full article: http://www.ift.org/food-technology/past-issues/2010/december/columns/food-safety-and-quality.aspx

Does Being Small Mean Less Food Safety Risk?
In a new ePerspective article, IFT member and food safety consultant, Catherine Adams Hutt weights in on the need for food safety regulation for manufacturers of all sizes, big and small.

Read the full article: http://foodtecheperspective.wordpress.com/

Consumer News

Trying to Keep Diabetes Under Control
How do you eat to beat diabetes? Ingredients such as sweeteners, resistant starch, whole grains and proteins can help manage blood glucose levels, promote weight loss and ultimately control a condition that is reaching epidemic proportions. About 285 million people worldwide had diabetes in 2010, and that number could swell to as many as 438 million by 2030. This Food Technology magazine article looks at several ingredients that can improve blood sugar control, reduce weight gain and ideally minimize long-term complications.  Here are some tips on diabetic friendly ingredients:

  • Sweeteners: Today there are a variety of sweeteners available that can help reduce the amount of sugar and calories without compromising its sweetness and functionality.  Stevia, Erythritol (Erysta), Sucralose (Splenda) and Isomaltulose (Palatinose) are all great sugar alternatives for those with diabetes.
  • Resistant Starch/Fiber:  With its ability to lower glycemic and insulin response and also to sustain energy release, this carbohydrate may offer therapeutic effects for individuals with diabetes.  A resistant starch from high-amylose corn, Hi-maize offers a lower rise in blood sugar, digestion resistant maltodextrin, Fibersol-2 can help lower blood glucose after meals, and oat beta glucan fiber, OatVantage can help preserve healthy blood sugar levels after eating.
  • Nuts:  Nuts are high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat and other nutrients that may improve glucose and insulin stability.  Walnuts have been proven to increase endothelial function, which can help decrease cardiovascular risk, while almonds can decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
  • Flours:  Noodles made with yam flour, called No-Oodle offers a noodle with zero calories, fats, sugar, gluten or starch.  Flour can also be developed from pulses or legumes, such as peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas.  These flours have a low glycemic index and can lower blood glucose levels.  Whole grain flours are low-glycemic carbohydrates and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. 
  • Fruits:  Blueberries have properties that can help to improve factors that lead to pre-diabetes and also provide dietary fiber and natural sweetness to food. 
  • Additional options: Yogurt, popcorn and whole-grain pizza or pastas are other diabetic-friendly foods.
Read the full article:

IFT News

Save the Date: Wellness11 March, 23-24, 2011, InterContinental Chicago O'Hare
Make your plans now to attend IFT's annual Wellness Conference. From applied science, to consumer research, to innovations in product development and regulations, Wellness 11 sessions will focus on the most rapidly growing areas associated with healthful foods.

To view the full program, visit

Registration is complimentary for credentialed media. Contact Emily Schleier, eschleier@ift.org, 312-604-0273 to register.


Contact Us

Emily Behn

Public Relations Manager

Phone 312-604-0273
Email: ebehn@ift.org