The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Immediate Past President John Ruff presented at the third meeting of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) on March 14 at the National Institutes of Health. Ruff’s presentation titled “The Contributions of Food Science to Help Americans Achieve the Dietary Guidelines - Future Opportunities and Challenges” addressed how food scientists and technologists strive to help Americans achieve the dietary guidelines recommendations to improve human health.
Ruff was asked to address questions regarding implications related to past/current/anticipated changes to food formulations, specifically sodium, added sugars, and various fatty acids. During the webcast, Ruff explained that food processing evolved from the need to preserve food, to improve nutritional and other desirable qualities, and for better consumer health and wellness. Ruff also highlighted that the food industry’s past efforts have been successful in reducing calories, sodium, sugars, saturated fats, and trans fats from a food while also increasing dietary fiber, and other micronutrients of concern. In the future, he noted that food science and technology will continue to be instrumental in working with nutrition science to:
- Improve health and wellness
- Enhance nutritional quality of food
- Provide an efficient nutrient delivery system
- Improve digestibility, bioavailability, and palatability of foods
- Improve food safety and quality
- Develop technologies/processes to produce foods more sustainably
- Reduce post-harvest losses
- Increase shelf-life of foods
- Improve transportability of foods
Ruff’s main takeaway was that it may be productive to educate consumers on the nutrient contributions of various foods so they can make informed choices based on available food options rather than recommend limiting processed foods in their diets.
Click here for the presentation (PDF)
Recording of the webcasts will be available at http://videocast.nih.gov/default.asp. For additional information on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, please visit http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/.