Newsletter No. 35

Louisiana Gulf Coast Section IFT

Institute of Food Technologists

November 2000

FT Scientific Lecturer


The Future of Nutraceuticals

Looking at the current conditions in the market place, one sees a demand for convenient, high quality, and healthy products. Some factors driving this demand are cost, an aging population, highly health conscious consumers, and customer dissatisfaction with the medical establishment. Health foods, botanicals, functional foods, and nutraceuticals certainly fit the bill for satisfying this market demand. The growth (20% or greater) of this industry in the past three years has created a sense of urgency to bring quality control and science to back the claims and to eliminate the perception of folkloric practices among producers and consumers alike. However well intended, these practical issues are posing strong challenges to the scientific, industrial, regulatory, and policy making communities, while technology and research are playing "catch-up" to the popular demand. This talk will address some of the research challenges in these areas, using cancer and cardiovascular disease as examples for nutraceutical product development.

Dr. Ghai obtained her Ph.D. from India in Biochemistry, followed by post-doctoral research in Biochemical Pharmacology at SUNY Buffalo. She obtained her M.B.A. from Rutgers University, New Jersey. Dr. Ghai has held research, teaching or administrative positions at SUNY Buffalo, New York; University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama; CIBA Pharmaceuticals, Summit, New Jersey; and Center for Advanced Food Technology, Cook College, Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey. She is experienced in pharmaceutical marketing and sales, allowing her to integrate business and research by bridging the gap between the two communities. She is a member of the New Jersey Association of Biomedical Research, an elected member of ASPET and listed in American Men and Women of Science.

Meeting November 9 -

Tour Bunge Grain Elevator and IFT Lecture


The IFT Louisiana Gulf Coast Section will meet at the Bunge Corporation's grain elevators and processing facility in Destrehan on November 9th. Participants will tour facilities used for storage, handling and shipping grains and their oil extracts. This includes the grain elevators, loading and unloading facilities, barges, railroad cars, etc. Attendeees will also observe soybean processing for oil extracting and milling, as well as the grain inspection and testing facilities.

A seminar presented by IFT Scientific Lecturer, Dr. Geetha Ghai, will follow at Saia's Oaks Plantation in Destrehan. The topic of the presentation is, "The Future of Nutraceutical Science." Dr. Ghai is Assistant Director, Center for Advanced Technology, Cook College, Rutgers, the University of New Jersey. Her presentation will address factors driving demand for health foods, botanicals, functional foods, and nutraceuticals. This is the fastest growing food industry sector. The industry now has a value of over $65 billion, with an annual growth rate of over 11%. Her talk will address research challenges (in vivo and in vitro) in these areas, using cancer and cardiovascular diseases as examples for nutraceutical industry development.

Registration: $21.00 before November 6; $23.50 after November 6. Students $10.50.


3:00 - 4:30 pm Bunge Grain Elevator

5:00 - 5:30 pm Social Hour at Saia's Oaks Plantation

5:30 - 6:300 pm Dinner at Saia's Oaks Plantation

6:30 pm Presentation, The Future of Nutraceutical Science




Please reserve __________dinners Total enclosed:___________

Choice of Chicken Maison ____________ or Veal Parmigiana__________

$21.00 before Nov. 6; $23.50 after Nov. 6; students $10.50

Deadline for registration is Nov. 6.

Return with payment to Sola Lamikanra, 1100 Robert E. Lee Blvd.,

New Orleans, LA 70124 (Phone: 504-286-4278; Fax: 504-286-4419)

You can also e-mail your registration to:

Saia's Oaks Plantation

Avenue of Oaks

Destrehan, LA 70047


Dinner includes:

Soup du Jour

House Salad

Entree of your choice

Hot bread and butter

Bread pudding

with rum sauce

Iced tea and coffee

Entrees: (choose one)

Veal Parmigiana

Lightly dipped veal, pan fried and topped with red sauce and melted cheese with sphaghetti and red sauce.

Chicken Maison

Chicken breast topped with seafood dressing and a light cream sauce with buttered broccoli.

Louisiana Food Industry Featured in Magazine

The Louisiana food industry was featured in the April 2000 issue of Food Processing. It described the $200 million expansion of the Millennium Port. The South Louisiana-River region is served by five ports, including the Port of New Orleans, the only deep-water port served by six major trunk rail lines. A recent $215 million upgrade to the Port of New Orleans is the single largest capital improvement project in U.S. port history. One of the benefits of the New Orleans location is its proximity to the Latin American market, with which the port has handled more than $15 billion/year in trade in recent years.

According to the article, new construction and expansions completed last year, or scheduled to be completed in 2001 will total more than $50 million in investment for the region. Expansions alone have created more than 500 jobs.

Part of the recent surge in food company expansions was attributed to the increase in demand for ethnic/regional cuisine across the country. New endeavors by bayou-based chefs and mainstream acceptance of products like etoufee, red beans and rice and Cajun spices have risen in popularity across the country.

Among the expansions scheduled to be finished in 2000 are Four Star Meat Co., Magic Seasoning Blends, Zapps Potato Chips, and the Folger Coffee Co. Scheduled for completion in 2001 are expansions or new construction at Diversified Foods & Seasonings, Inc., Crescent City Creole Cooking, Inc., and Zatarain's.

Check out the article by Rachel Laudan in the August 2000 issue of Scientific American (pp 76-81), entitled "Birth of the Modern Diet." It is a very interesting review of how the diet has changed since the 12th century. The modern diet arose around 1650. Prior to that the diet was quite different from what it is today.