Neil Mermelstein

Neil H. Mermelstein

The Institute of Food Technologists’ 2004 Annual Meeting + Food Expo®, held in Las Vegas, Nev., on July 12–16, attracted 19,536 attendees [1], nearly as much as in Chicago last year (Chicago draws the highest attendance of any city we use). This year’s event, with the theme Building Strong Futures, featured many technical presentations, exhibits, meetings, short courses, and social events. Here are some highlights.

Annual Meeting + Food Expo photos throughout this issue by Oscar/Einzig

Opening Events
Opening Session & Welcome Reception
IFT President Ann Hollingsworth [2] welcomed the approximately 3,000 attendees at the Opening Session on Monday night. Referring to this year’s theme, Building Strong Futures, she said that “All our efforts, in terms of strategy, organization, finance, and programs, are aimed at Building Strong Futures— for ourselves, our successors, and everyone who eats,” she said. “And we’re succeeding!”

She detailed this year’s accomplishments, among them: Congress used IFT’s Expert Report on emerging microbiological food safety issues, evidence that IFT’s efforts in Washington, D.C., are paying off. Through the IFT Foundation, IFT joined the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition. By supplying scientific expertise, IFT will “now be able to make yet another major contribution toward improving the nutrition of our world,” she said.

Joel Barker presented the keynote address (see sidebar on p. 32), then Hollingsworth presented IFT’s immediate Past President Mark McLellan [3] with a plaque commemorating his service to the organization. IFT’s next President Herbert Stone [4] received a copy of Roberts’ Rules of Order and a gavel donated by the IFT Student Association. Stone then introduced IFT’s newly elected President for 2006-07, Margaret Lawson.

IFT’s Executive Vice President Barbara Byrd Keenan [5] announced that Yuan Longping of the China National Hybrid Rice Research and Development Center and Monty Jones of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa have been named the winners of the 2004 World Food Prize. A video presentation highlighted their being honored for breakthroughs in rice breeding that increased grain outputs in China and Africa (see p. 10). The choice of the IFT Annual Meeting as a forum for announcing the winners is “a paramount example of the prestige and esteem in which IFT is held around the world,” Keenan said.

This year’s Opening Session was streamlined. Instead of presenting background and reasons for their being honored, this year’s 15 Achievement Award winners and 18 newly elected Fellows were briefly introduced as a group while their names scrolled across the screens. Instead, they were honored by a new Hall of Honor and a new President’s Award Banquet (see the October issue for bios of the winners and Fellows).

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Immediately following the Opening Session, IFT’s four Presidents—from left in [6], President Ann Hollingsworth, President-Elect Herbert Stone, President-Elect II Margaret Lawson, and Past President Mark McLellan—posed with Executive Vice President Barbara Byrd Keenan for a photo, while Opening Session attendees visited with friends and colleagues at the Welcome Reception [7], which featured refreshments, a band, and an Elvis impersonator.

New to this year’s Annual Meeting was the IFT Hall of Honor [8] in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Designed to feature the best of the society’s membership, it provided descriptions of IFT awards, photographs of this year’s IFT Achievement Award winners and Fellows, a list of this year’s Section and Division Outstanding Members, and lists of past award winners.

Meetings and Social Events
At the newly established President’s Awards Banquet [9], President Ann Hollingsworth [10] and Awards Committee Chair Aurora Saulo [11] took turns introducing the honorees and acknowledging their contributions. Larry Beuchat [12] of the U. of Georgia received the 2004 Nicholas Appert Award, IFT’s highest honor, which recognizes an individual for preeminence in and contributions to the field of food technology.

At its meeting, the IFT Council [13-15] approved streamlining the process for electing the President-Elect and the Membership Representatives to the Executive Committee and approved a $50 dues increase to $165 per year.

At the IFT Foundation Board meeting [16], IFT Foundation Chair John Ruff, at left in [17], presented a strategic plan for the IFT Foundation that has four areas: support for IFT programs; global initiatives; consumer education; and research initiatives. (Note: photos 16 through 27 are on page 28.)

At the Executive Committee meeting [18], President Hollingsworth, President-Elect Stone, and IFT’s Vice President of Finance & Administration Michael Cernauskas looked on as John Ruff reviewed the Foundation’s strategic plan [19]. Among other things, the Executive Committee approved the budget for 2004–05 and directed the IFT staff to investigate electronic election technologies and to help the Annual Meeting Technical Presentations Committee and the Committee on Divisions review the system for symposia selection.

Susan Harlander [20] announced at the Leadership Forum for Section and Division chairs [21], that a new volunteer liaison position has been established to create a communications link between the IFT Foundation and the Sections and Divisions. New York Section Chair Jozef Kokini [22] participated in the discussion.

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At the President’s Forum, Past President Bob Smith [23] described to Daniel Fung [24] and other IFT Fellows and 50-year members the IFT Foundation strategic plan, the relationship between IFT and the IFT Foundation, and the need for support of the IFT Foundation.

At the New Officers Workshop for new Section and Division officers [25 and 26], incoming Section and Division officers received an explanation of, among other things, how Sections and Divisions fit into the IFT structure. Breakout sessions were held for officers, councilors, and newsletter and Web editors.

More than 150 chief food officials attended the Partnership for Growth meeting (see pp. 34-35).

The International Lounge was busy as usual [27]. Attendees conducted business, as well as visited socially.

At a new Past Presidents Dinner, past presidents of IFT got together to reminisce. Shown from left in [28-29] are Richard Hall, Jack Francis, John Litchfield, Bruce Stillings, and Mary Wagner. Afterward, the past presidents posed for a formal photo [30] with the current “Three Presidents,” Executive Vice President Barbara Byrd Keenan, and her predecessor Daniel E. Weber.

Technical Program
The Technical Program [31-42], which began on Tuesday morning and continued through noon on Friday, featured 1,948 presentations on all aspects of food science and technology and its related disciplines. There were 71 symposia with 419 papers, 24 oral technical sessions with 225 papers, 51 poster sessions with 1,221 papers (63% of the total presentations), 3 Hot Topic sessions with 13 presentations, 8 forums with 44 presentations, 5 Division Lectures, 3 New Products & Technologies sessions with 26 presentations, and 4 video theater sessions. The presentation by J.T. Hembach of Toxicology & Pharamacology, Inc., on a new way to protect food from microbial growth was rated the best of the New Products & Technologies presentations.

Six two-day and two one-day continuing education programs were presented on the Sunday and Monday preceding the Annual Meeting. The topics included Nutrition and Weight Management; Lipid Oxidation and Antioxidants; Latest Ideas for Measurements for Sensory and Consumer Testing; Evolving Product Development: Activities Beyond the Bench; Process Control for the Food Industry; Becoming Part of the Strategic Business Team; Winning Direct Marketing Campaigns; and Liability and Foodborne Illness: Understanding the Law Can Protect Your Business. Some of these programs may be repeated throughout the year.

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This year’s Food Expo featured 926 companies exhibiting in 1,983 booths, for a total of 209,500 sq ft of active exhibition space; 100 of the companies exhibited at Food Expo for the first time this year.

Photos taken at the Food Expo can be seen throughout this issue of Food Technology.

Food Expo featured five special pavilions: A Culinary Challenge Pavilion cosponsored by IFT and the Research Chefs Association (see pp. 66-73); a New Product Development Pavilion cosponsored by IFT and Mintel (see pp. 74-78); a Food Ingredients (Fi) International Pavilion featuring exhibitors from outside the U.S.; a Healthy Foods Pavilion; and an FAS International Buyers Lounge [50-53]. More than 80 foreign buyers attended the Buyers Lounge as a result of outreach efforts by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and the Mid-America International Agri-Trade Council. They came from at least eight countries in South America and Asia to purchase exhibitors’ products or build relationships.

At the Site Selection Meeting [54], 542 companies contracted for 200,300 sq ft of exhibit space for next year’s Food Expo in New Orleans.

After Food Expo closed at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, exhibitors donated 6,575 lb of product to America’s Second Harvest hunger-relief organization. That brings the total donated from Food Expo exhibitors over the past seven years to 100,425 lb. The following companies donated products: Archer Daniels Midland, Asahi Food & Healthcare, Ltd., Barry Callebaut USA, Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Border Foods, Inc., Bunge Oils, Cargill, David Michael & Co., Inc., Florida Crystals Food Corp., Fortitech Inc., GTC Nutrition Co., Innova/A Griffith Laboratories Co., Itochu Corp., Kellogg/Keebler Food Ingredients, Kemin Foods, Kraft Food Ingredients Corp., Land O’ Lakes, Inc., MGP Ingredients, Inc., Moody Dunbar, Inc., Morton Salt, Organic Valley, Purac America, Inc., QA Products, Inc., Remel Inc., Schreiber Foods, Inc., Specialty Minerals, Inc., and Sweetener Solutions, LLC. Freeman Companies and Sullivan Transfer donated their time and labor to collect and transfer the food items donated.

Student Activities
Many Student Association activities took place during the IFT Annual Meeting + Food Expo.

The Student Chapter Presidents & Champions Training Seminar [55-57] gave current and incoming student chapter officers insights into Student Association activities, as well as the opportunity to interact with and learn from fellow chapter officers. The program also featured presentations on recruitment by Arnie Sair [57], networking by Ann Hollingsworth, professional development by Suzanne Nielsen, and employment by Moira McGrath.

On Wednesday morning, early risers gathered outside the Las Vegas Convention Center to participate in the IFT Student Association’s 4th Annual Fun Run/Walk [58]—a 5-K run or 1-mile walk. Among the male runners, Devin Rose [59] came in first, with a time of 18 minutes and 19 seconds, Wes Shadow came in second at 18:27; and Aram Sloan came in third at 19:34. Among the female runners, Mareike Ressing [60] came in first at 18:50; Sarah Muhlbradt came in second at 20:27; and Ann Kolonna came in third at 20:29. Each of these finalists received a plaque.

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Winners were also named in age categories and for the top fundraiser. Jaime Rudolf of the U. of California, Davis, received a round-trip airline ticket as the top fundraiser. Plaques were awarded to the first-, second-, and third-place runners in men’s and women’s categories, and certificates to the first-place man and woman finishing in each of the age divisions.

David Michael & Co., Inc. was a Gold Level sponsor of this year’s event for the fourth year in a row. General Mills, the Chicago Section of IFT, and Harry Levine and Louise Slade were Silver Level sponsors. ConAgra Foods Inc., Hershey Foods Corp., Kraft Foods, and the Southern California Section of IFT were Bronze Level sponsors. Other repeat sponsors were General Mills, Hershey Foods, and Kraft.

The Fun Run/Walk grossed more than $20,000 for the IFT Foundation to use for scholarships and fellowships. Serena Schlake of the U. of California, Davis, was the Student Association Chair for this year’s Fun Run/Walk.

The Student Association Mixer, sponsored by PepsiCo, included student chapter tabletop displays, product samples and gifts from sponsoring companies, and the opportunity for the Students to visit with IFT staff and officers.

A new activity this year was a SpeedNetworking Session [61-63], similar to speed dating, with each student spending 5–10 minutes with an industry representative, then moving down the line to the next one. The sessions were designed to be free of the stress of a formal interview setting. Rob Shewfelt [62] explained the rules for the session.

At the Welcome Assembly following the Mixer, the IFTSA leaders were introduced, awards were presented, and the College Bowl Competition was held (see p. 42). Afterward, the Student Association Executive Committee posed for a photo [64].

Competitions & Awards
Winners of some of the Division paper competitions were announced at the annual breakfast meeting of Phi Tau Sigma on Friday morning. Here are the winners of those competitions and other Student Association competitions:

Product Development Competition
Rutgers U
. won this year’s IFT Student Association Product Development Competition for its development of Grab-n-Go Greens, a brightly colored mixture of fresh vegetables rolled sushi-style in crisp romaine lettuce leaves, then wrapped in a thin edible film that has an intriguing smooth texture and is hearty in flavor and sturdy for easy handling. Before rolling, the vegetables and lettuce are misted with olive oil containing “ranch” seasonings for salad-dressed flavor. Shown from left in front [65] are team members Sonali Shirke, Elizabeth White, Yumin You, Noe Obinata, Rebecca Dengrove, and Amelie Hayte. Shown from left in back are Yochonan Miller, Tom Nack, Stelios Viazis, and Kiran Vyakaranam.

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Ohio State U. came in second for its development of a2z, bite-sized pretzels in the shape of one-inch letters and numbers made with freeze-dried pineapple and orange. Lightly salted and mildly sweet, they deliver a unique taste compared to ordinary pretzels. This snack is a healthy alternative to greasy potato chips or cookies. The alphanumeric shape of the snack fits easily in a child’s hand and makes learning the alphabet, counting, spelling, and mathematics fun. Shown from left in [66] are team members Vijaykrishna Sivaramakrishna, Jennifer Ahn-Jarvis, Robin Rosselot, Julie Jenkins, Corunda Pruitt, Monica Valdez, and Majory Renita.

The U. of California, Davis came in third for its development of Xoco, a cocoa beverage based on the drink consumed by the Aztecs. Besides water, the main components are a naturally processed cocoa and orange-blossom honey. The rich brown beverage is slightly astringent due to a high concentration of flavonoids. The moderate addition of orange-blossom honey contributes a soft, sweet taste, while also delivering a delightful floral nose. Shown from left in [67] are Rachel Rothman, Brent Anderson, Michelle Danyluk, Valerie Mercier, Wendy Maduff, Sachiyo Iida, Daniel Voit, Gretl Winter, Alex Chassy, and Bob Ward. Not shown are Arnab Sarkar, Mike Gabel, and Serena Schlake.

Other finalists were Michigan State U. for Chickasta, Michigan State U. for Chickasta, a microwavable frozen entrée that fuses chicken meat and wheat protein to form a savory pasta, also including a medley of fresh frozen vegetables and separately portioned sauce; North Carolina State U. for MacnCheese Grabbers, a hand-held version of macaroni and cheese—crispy on the outside and moist and cheesy on the inside—made by extruding creamy macaroni and cheese into a strand that is clear-coat battered and fried; and the U. of Wisconsin, Madison, for VegeByte, a crunchy seasoned vegetable bar made from crisp freeze-dried vegetables, cereals, and cheese and available in Ranch, Italian Herbs, and Salsa flavors, with each bar providing one serving of vegetables without the hassle of preparation and cooking.

The competition is cosponsored by the IFT Student Association and Masterfoods USA Masterfoods USA provided travel grants of $1,000 for each of the finalist teams and awarded $4,000, $2,500, and $1,000 to the first-, second-, and third-place winners, respectively. The Student Association awarded a plaque to the first-place team. Krista Kay Schneider of Purdue U. was the competition chair.

Chapter of the Year Competition
The Rutgers U. student chapter was named IFT’s Student Association Chapter of the Year for the fifth time in nine years. The award is given to the student chapter that has the most active participation at local and national levels. Frequent award winner North Carolina State U. took second place, and the U. of California-Davis took third place. The Mississippi State U. chapter was named Most Improved Chapter. Chithra Panchapakesan of Rutgers U. was the competition chair. Rutgers received a plaque and $1,000 from General Mills. NCSU and UC-Davis received certificates and $500 and $250, respectively.

Shown in [68] is Rutgers U. Student Chapter representative Didem Icoz.

Shown from left in front in [69] are Mississppi State representatives Tina Kaewplang, Wes Schilling, Jelena Stojanovic, Aleksandar Todorovic, and Michael Hattaway. Shown from left in back are Carrie Swoope, Ashley Pollard, Eric Steer, and Neil Bogart.

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College Bowl Competition
The U. of Minnesota
team beat the U. of California, Davis team in the final round of the 20th Annual Intercollegiate Food Science and Technology College Bowl Competition [70-72].

Shown from left in [71] are the U. of Minnesota team members Rohit Kapoor, Avik Mukherjee, Deja Hendrickson, and Alyssa Bakke (not shown is Deena Strohman).

Shown from left in [72] are the U. of California, Davis team members Robert Ward, Gretl Winter, Michelle Danyluk, Sivan Wilensky, and Katherine Meyers.

The other competing teams were Oklahoma State U. (Alissa Barrett, Ramakanth Jonnala, Dharmendra Bangalore, Chern Lin Koh, Michael Eisenmenger, Pelin Koz, and Dimple Kundiyana);

Rutgers U. (Meredith Neilland, Kiran Vyakaranam, Shiby Paul, Yumin You, and Marc Tuazon); U. of Georgia (Sudeep Jain, Ben Williams, Raghunandan Kandala, Julia Zielke, and Kortney Karnok); and U. of Wisconsin-Madison (Anupama Dattatreya, Sandhya Sridhar, Ritu Mishra, Deirdre Titel, and Marcell Salonga).

General Mills, Inc. provided $1,000 travel grants for each finalist team, as well as an award of $1,000 to the winning team and $750 to the runnerup. The competition chair was Mike Gabel of the U. of California, Davis.

Undergraduate Research Paper Competition
1st place, Chris Duncan, U. of Florida; 2nd place, Dewi Purnamasari, Louisiana State U.; 3rd place, Mark Jarrard, Jr., U. of Tennessee. The competition was sponsored by the IFT Student Association, Phi Tau Sigma, and E.&J. Gallo Winery. E.& J. Gallo Winery provided a $300 travel grant to each finalist and $500, $350, and $250, to the first-, second-, and third-place winners, respectively. Shown from left in [73] are Duncan; Purnamasari; Jarrard; Mary Patterson, U. of Alaska-Fairbanks (honorable mention); Matthew Stasiewicz, Michigan State U. (honorable mention); Josh Whatley, Louisiana State U. (honorable mention); Taylor Wallace, U. of Kentucky (competition chair), and Mary Wagner (E.&J. Gallo Winery representative).

Graduate Research Paper Competition
1st place, Gillian Folkes, U. of Florida; 2nd place, Elly Soeryapranata, Washington State U.; 3rd place, Balasubrahmanyam Kottapalli, North Dakota State U. Runnerups were Thirunavukkarasu Annamalai, U. of Connecticut; Srikanth Reedy Geedipalli, Cornell U.; and Wei Zhang, U. of Wisconsin-Madison. The competition was sponsored by the IFT Student Association, Procter & Gamble Co., and Phi Tau Sigma. Procter & Gamble provided a $500 travel grant to each finalist and $1,000, $750, $500, to the first-, second-, and third-place winners, respectively. Shown from left in [74] are Folkes, Soeryapranata, Kottapalli, Zhang, Annamalai, Christine Quinlan Ebeling, Michigan State U. (competition chair); and Jaime Rudolf (IFT Student Association chair).

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Aquatic Food Products Division Competition
1st place, Peng Zhou, Cornell U.; 2nd place, Kristina S. Garner, U. of Florida; 3rd place, Nineveh Ludlow, U. of Florida. Shown from left in [75] are Zhou, Garner, and Donald E. Kramer, U. of Alaska (competition chair).

Biotechnology Division Poster Competition
Winners, Tri Duong, North Carolina State U.; Suparna Mitra, Oklahoma State U., and Wei Qin, Penn State U. Shown from left in [76] are Qin, Duong, Mitra, and Felix H. Barron, Clemson U. (competition chair).

Carbohydrate Division Competition
1st place, Didem Z. Icoz, Rutgers U.; 2nd place D. Nilufer, Istanbul Technical U. Competition chair was Koushik Seetharaman, Penn State U.

Dairy Foods Division (Manfred Kroger) Competitions
1st place, Jeffrey Resch, N.C. State U.; 2nd place, Andres Ardisson-Koral, Cornell U.; 3rd place, Shantanu Agarwal, Washington State U. Shown from left in [77] are Ardisson-Koral; Agarwal; Xiaoming Liu (runnerup), Washington State U.; Kristen Dangaran (runnerup), U. of California-Davis; and Stephanie Clark, Washington State U. (competition chair). Poster:1st place, Lynn Choi, Purdue U.; 2nd place, Monica Valdez, Ohio State U.; 3rd place, Janine Beucler, North Carolina State U.

Food Chemistry Division Poster Competition
1st place, Priyadarshini Gadgil, Kansas State U.; 2nd place, Florence Urakpa, U. of Manitoba; 3rd place, Rongmin Huang, Ohio State U. Competition chair was Jeffrey N. Morgan, Environmental Protection Agency.

Food Engineering Division Competition
Winners Srikanth Geedipalli, Cornell U., and Daniel C. Voit, U. of California-Davis. Shown from left in [78] are Geedipalli, Ashim Datta, Cornell U. (advising professor), and Hongda Chen, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (competition chair). Shown from left in [79] are Voit, R. Paul Singh, U. of California, Davis (advising professor), and Chen.

Food Microbiology Division Competitions
John C. Ayres Poster Competition:
1st place, Rachel Wright, Oklahoma State U; 2nd place, Sylvia Gaysinsky, U. of Tennessee; 3rd place, K.P. Burris, U. of Tennessee. Z. John Ordal Oral Competition: 1st place, Gerry Schamberger, U. of Minnesota; 2nd place, Stephenie L. Drake, North Carolina State U.; 3rd place, Erin M. Horton, Ohio State U. Competitions chair was Peter Muriana, Oklahoma State U.

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Food Packaging Division Poster Competition
1st place, Young-Teck Kim, Clemson U.; 2nd place, Joey N. Talbert, Cornell U.; 3rd place, Vicki Cheuk-Hang Wan, U. of Illinois. Competition chair was Jung Hoon Han, U. of Manitoba.

Fruit and Vegetable Products Division Competition
1st place, Romina Pedreschi, Texas A&M U.; 2nd place, Thanyaporn Siriwoharn, Oregon State U.; 3rd place, Kristi Crowe, U. of Maine. Shown from left in [80] are Siriwoharn, Crowe, and Alfred Bushway, U. of Maine (competition chair).

International Division (George F. Stewart) Competition
1st place, Yang Meng, McGill U.; 2nd place, Parthiban Mutukumarasamy, U. of Manitoba; 3rd place, Hsiu-Wen Hsu, National Chi-Nan U. Copetition chair was Gustavo V. Barbosa- Cánovas, Washington State U.

Muscle Foods Division Competition
1st place, Hilary Sepe, U. of Connecticut; 2nd place, Todd Wills, Oklahoma State U.; 3rd place, Rui Xiong, U. of Arkansas. Shown from left in [81] are Sepe, Wills, and Christine Quinlan Ebeling, Michigan State U. (competition chair).

Nonthermal Processing Division Competition
Winners, Alejo Giron, Oregon State U.; Gillian Folkes, U. of Florida; and Sarah Woodling, Cornell U. Shown from left in [82]are Giron, Folkes, Woodling, and Thomas Shellhammer, Oregon State U. (competition chair).

Nutrition Division (Mark L. Bieber) Competition
1st place, Susanne Mertens-Talcott, U. of Florida; 2nd place, Jie Sun, Cornell U.; 3rd place, Jackquelyn Jones, Alabama A&M U. Shown from left in [83] are Mertens-Talcott; Sun; Jones; Chang-Shu Liu (honorable mention), Cornell U.; and Susan Berkow, SEB Associates (competition chair).

Product Development Division Poster Competition
1st place, Ashley Bond, Louisiana State U.; 2nd place, Noemi Pavon, Louisiana State U.; 3rd place, Young-Uk Lee, Chonnam National U. Shown from left in [84] are Bond and Ajay Bhaskar, Frito-Lay, Inc. (competition chair).

Sensory Evaluation Division (Rose Marie Pangborn) Competition
1st place, Chow Ming Lee, U. of Georgia; 2nd place, Amanda Hubbard, Ohio State U.; 3rd place, Rui Xiong, U. of Arkansas. Shown from left in [85] are Lee and Louise Campbell, Senomyx, Inc. (competition chair).

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Toxicology and Safety Evaluation Poster Competition
1st place, Joanne Lasrado, Purdue U.; 2nd place, Hsiao-Wei Wen (Cathy), Cornell U. Competition chair was Carl Winter, U. of California, Davis. Shown from left in [86] are Lasrado, Wen, and Bernadene Magnuson (Division chair).

Student Achievement Awards
At the Welcome Assembly on Wednesday evening, the Student Association honored 28 student chapter members who made outstanding contributions to the success of their chapter. The awards, sponsored by Campbell Soup Co. and coordinated by Student Association Membership Chair Ethny Stewart of the U. of California-Davis, consist of a plaque and cash applicable to the student’s Annual Meeting registration.

Shown from left in front in [87] are Karen Killinger Mann, Texas Tech U.; Jennifer Miner, U. of Guelph; Didem Z. Icoz, Rutgers U.; Carolyn Rasmussen, U. of Illinois; Ashley Lardizabal, U. of Nebraska; Christie Goerlitz, Ohio State U., Shari Baxter, U. of Tennessee; Richelle Beverly, Louisiana State U.; Carrie L. Swoope, Mississippi State U.; and Lauren Gross, Oregon State U. Shown from left in back are Taylor Wallace, U. of Kentucky; Clint Stevenson, U. of Idaho; Rajesh Potineni, Penn State U.; Bradley J. Wright, North Carolina State U.; Mark Corey, U. of Maine; David del Pozo-Insfran, U. of Florida; and Devin Rose, Brigham Young U. Not pictured are Latonia Polk, U. of Delaware; Mike Gabel, U. of California-Davis; Vanessa E. Teter, Virginia Tech U.; Jennifer Brown, California State U.; Amber Scherer, U. of Missouri; Kerri Harris, Michigan State U.; Wadette H. Bradford, Alabama A&M U.; Nora Watson, U. of Arkansas; Nicole Castrale, Purdue U.; Anna Walsh, U. of Wisconsin-Madison; and Tinyee Hoang, Washington State U.

After the awards were announced, Phi Tau Sigma officers posed for a photo. Shown from left in [88] are Louise Wicker, outgoing Phi Tau Sigma President; Mario DeFigueiredo, incoming President; Mary Wagner, E.& J. Gallo Winery representative and IFT Treasurer; and Juan Silva, Phi Tau Sigma Executive Secretary.

About $7,000 in donations were received at the IFT Foundation booth [89] to fund IFT Expert Reports, scholarships, IFT Student Association Resources, and continuing education resources. A drawing was held on Wednesday and Thursday, and the first-, second-, and third-place winners each day received $100, $50, and $25, respectively. The winners were Gene L. Hong of Brewster Dairy, Inc. and Robyn Reynolds Jones of FDA, first place; Sohail M. Yousaf of the U. of Putsam Malaysia and Rodolphe Barrangou of Cary, N.C., second place; and Minh C. Hgo of Kentwood, Mich., and Parthiban Muthukumarasamy of the U. of Manitoba, third place.

In addition to the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo Program and Exhibit Directory and the Book of Abstracts, attendees received the IFT Today newspaper each day as they entered the Convention Center [90]. The 28-page newspaper included news and articles prepared by the IFT publications staff and other contributors. Attendees also checked out the June Annual Meeting + Food Expo Preview issue of Food Technology[91].

See You Next year in the “Big Easy”
IFT will return to New Orleans, La., in 2005 [92]. The IFT Annual Meeting + Food Expo will be held on Saturday, July 16, through Wednesday, July 20.

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Keynoter Barker Sees Food Technology Evolution

Futurist Joel A. Barker [43], keynote speaker at the Opening Session, sees technologies—including food technology—regionalizing into complex ecosystems. Barker dubbed these technological regions “technEcologies” and identified five, each named for their technology’s purpose and dominant use.

Each technEcology must solve common problems, he said, but does so in substantially different ways, creating paradigm shifts the food industry will need to work within. Each views the roles of science and technology differently.

For example, with Super TechnEcology, science and technology, given time and money, can solve all problems. Examples of food technology developed with this operating rule in mind include genetically modified organisms and artificial sweeteners. Super Tech dominated most of the 20th century.

Limits TechnEcologists believe that science and technology bring short-term advantages but long-term damage, Barker contends. Thus, we have developed energy-efficient and preservation technologies.

Local TechnEcology, which aims to “properly scale” technology, has produced organic farming; Nature TechnEcology views Mother Nature as the ultimate problem solver and results in technology such as herb extracts to fight Escherichia coli; and Human TechnEcology uses science to improve innate human technology, such as accessing the benefits of mother’s milk.

To build a better and safer future, food technologists need to temper the development of technology with an exploration of its first-, second-, and third-order implications, Barker said.

No longer can humans afford to just wait for “unintended consequences” to show up. Their cost has become too great.

—Therese Stahl

Chief Food Officials Explore Industry Opportunities and Challenges
For the seventh year in a row, the Institute of Food Technologists held a special session for chief food research and policy officials in government, industry, and academia on July 13 during the 2004 IFT Annual Meeting + Food Expo® in Las Vegas, Nev. More than 150 invited chief food officials attended the session, making it the most successful meeting for this group to date.

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The “Partnership for Growth” [44-49] session was moderated by Hamed Faridi [44], Vice President of Research & Development at McCormick & Co. and Chair of IFT’s Chief Food Officials Committee. Ann Hollingsworth, IFT President and President of Better Built Foods welcomed the attendees and shared IFT’s core purpose and strategic plan with the group. She also gave an overview of IFT’s most recent activities and accomplishments.

Faridi moderated the first session of the meeting, “Update of Key and Emerging Issues Facing the Food Industry.” John W. Bode of the law firm of Olsson, Frank, and Weeda then provided an update on “The Current Legislative Scene.” Bode, a former Assistant Secretary for Food and Consumer Services with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and a long-time IFT consultant, summarized the political climate and congressional activities with regard to several hot topic areas, including bioterrorism, food liability reform, food allergens, child nutrition, appropriations, and country-of-origin labeling. He said that the political agenda is responsive to events, and currently this is dominated by security concerns. The presidential and congressional elections this year will strongly influence the agenda in food-related areas next year, he said.

Eric Hentges [46], Executive Director of USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, provided an update on the U.S. Dietary Guidelines and Food Guide Pyramid revisions, which are expected to be released in 2005. He explained that the Dietary Guidelines are extremely important because they form federal nutrition policy, guide nutrition education programs, provide dietary advice to consumers, and serve as a vehicle to speak with one voice, set research agendas, and frame public debate.

The second session, “Obesity and Food Product Development,” was addressed by four experts. Donald Layman, Professor of Nutrition, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, assessed whether or not there is a scientific basis for differences in food composition contributing to weight gain, excess body fat, and loss of muscle mass. He discussed whether consuming a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate diet would result in the same weight loss as an equal-calorie, low-fat diet, and included the role of protein in his discussion. He also addressed issues of food quality and quantity for carbohydrates, proteins, and fat in nutrition guidelines for adults.

Paul Rozin, Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, addressed many factors involved in answering why consumers make food choices. He reviewed known reasons for the acquisition of food preferences and avoidances; and considered the role of variety and environmental factors in controlling food choice. Interestingly, he compared the differences in food choice between France and the United States related to portion size, eating time, eating sociality, freshness and taste, and degree of snacking.

Brock Leach, Senior Vice President, New Growth Platforms and Chief Innovation Officer for PepsiCo, described activities and initiatives the food industry is involved with to address the obesity issue. He discussed various factors such as reformulation of foods, food packaging, portion sizes, marketing, and others. He addressed key factors controlled by industry that influence how much people eat, and provided a future outlook for the food industry.

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Martin Hahn, Partner at the law firm of Hogan and Hartson, LLP, addressed potential legal implications of obesity on the food industry. He focused on the possible addictive nature of certain foods that might be argued in legal proceedings, as well as charges being brought or contemplated against food companies, such as false advertising, extra-large portions, refined foods, etc. He briefly reviewed the similarities as well as some of the salient differences between previous tobacco litigation and some of the pursuits pertaining to the food industry.

IFT’s Executive Vice President, Barbara Byrd Keenan, introduced the keynote speaker, Lester Crawford [49], Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. He addressed FDA’s foremost projects in the food arena, including modernizing the good manufacturing practices and reducing the uncertainties surrounding the introduction of new health care and food products; confronting the obesity epidemic and the threat of bioterrorism; reforming FDA’s inspections policies; improving the labeling of prescription drugs; and resolving the drug importation issue. He said that FDA has succeeded in meeting the deadlines for the preparatory work mandated by the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, passed for protection against potential terrorist attacks on food.

FDA’s main job last year, he said, was to develop the four major rules for implementing the law’s requirements for the registration of food facilities; prior notice of imported food shipments; record-keeping; and administrative detention. These four measures constitute the bulk of the protections written into the act, and today they are in force. Crawford stressed the importance of realizing that the threat of bioterrorism won’t ever go away. He discussed another crucial area, overweight and obesity and gave accolades to IFT for providing a productive forum on the issue of obesity.

Crawford also discussed the activities and accomplishments of the Obesity Working Group. In March, the group published a report that provides a comprehensive and insightful overview of the obesity problem and of the ideas to overcome it. The report examined known and unknown factors for the causes of obesity, means of weight management, and the effectiveness of nutrition-related programs. The epidemic of obesity needs to be addressed in a comprehensive way, he said, and research is key to obtaining results.

Crawford concluded by sharing with the audience that food technologists have an important role in FDA’s mission to reduce and manage the risks affecting the health of the public, and thereby advance the vitality of the nation.

Herbert Stone, President-Elect of IFT and President of Tragon Corp., provided closing remarks to wrap up the successful Partnership for Growth meeting.

—Jennifer MacAulay, IFT Staff Scientist

About the Author

IFT Fellow
Editor Emeritus of Food Technology
[email protected]
Neil Mermelstein