IFT announces leadership nominees
The Institute of Food Technologist’s Nominations and Elections Committee announces the 2008 IFT slate of candidates for President-Elect, board members, and nominees for the Nominations and Elections Committee.

The nominees for President-Elect are Roger Clemens and Marianne Gillette. The nominees for board members are Colin Dennis, Bill Franke, Russ Flowers, Bob Gallatin, Guy Johnson, Conrad Rebello, Julie Ruder, and Justin Shimek. The nominees to serve as members of the Nominations and Elections Committee include Ellen Bradley, Eric Decker, Maryanne Drake, Dallas Hoover, and Scott Lineback. One member is elected for President-Elect, four members are elected for members of the Board of Directors and three members will be elected for positions on the Nominations and Elections Committee.

In October 2007, the IFT Board of Directors approved the 45-day petition cycle beginning on the date of electronic member notification of the candidates listing in early January. Members have 45 days to submit petitions for President-Elect, Board of Directors, and candidates for position on the Nominations and Elections Committee. Deadline for receipt of all petitions is the week of February 20, 2008.

The IFT online national leadership election will held from March 10 to April 10, 2008.

For more information, contact Heather Lang, staff liaison to the Nominations and Elections Committee at [email protected].

Midwest IFT offers R&D insights
Experts in the areas of ingredient development and nutrition research shared their knowledge last November at the 26th Annual Midwest IFT Event sponsored by the Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Chicago IFT Sections.

The event, formerly the Midwest Food Processing Conference, addressed the development and use of healthful ingredients in foods and beverages and how these ingredients can be used to solve product development challenges.

One health issue on the minds of many product developers is obesity. Sylvia Rowe, President of SR Strategy LLC and IFT Distinguished Lecturer, mentioned that while the food industry has made some changes to help consumers make better food choices, more needs to be done, particularly in the area of creating an environment that is conducive to choosing more healthful foods. One opportunity, she said, is the continued exploration of foods for their protective health benefits, what are known as functional foods.

Another health issue of concern is diabetes, and many developers have formulated foods with artificial sweeteners and sugar alternatives so that diabetics can enjoy many of their favorite foods and beverages. Diabetics must also monitor the amounts of carbohydrates that they consume. Choosing the best carbohydrates for use in foods and beverages continues to be difficult for product developers, said Joanne Slavin, a professor in the Dept. of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota.

Dan Thompson from Eurofins Genescan spoke about the analytical methods for detecting low levels of gluten in ingredients. This information is quite important as many more companies are developing foods that are gluten free for people who have an intolerance to gluten such as those who suffer from celiac disease.

One ingredient that has arguably received the most attention regarding potential problems from consuming too much of it is sodium. Over the years, food companies around the world have developed and released to the marketplace hundreds of food and beverage products that have been reformulated to contain less sodium, many containing salt substitutes. One problem, though, is that some of the substitutes—the ones that contain potassium—impart an aftertaste. Two representatives from Wixon Inc., Mariano Gascon, Vice President of Research and Development, and Kim Holman, Director of Marketing, discussed how product developers have addressed this.

The afternoon was dedicated to presentations from the participants in the RCA–Chicagoland Culinology® Challenge. Under the overall guidance of Mark Schaefer, Director of Product Innovation, Northwestern Foods Inc., each of four teams consisting of a food technologist, a chef, and at least one food science student developed a product that was lower in sodium, fat, and/or gluten. Samples of grilled Mediterranean flatbread pizza, Cheddar and broccoli soup with bread, pineapple fried rice with beef, and gluten-free almond cherry bars were available for conference attendees to try.

Visit www.ift.org or read Food Technology magazine later this year for information about the 27th Annual Midwest IFT Event.

IFT to hold Strategic Leadership Forum
IFT will hold its 2008 Strategic Leadership Forum on March 27-29, 2008, in Chicago, Ill.

This year’s event is designed to provide learning and input opportunities to IFT emerging leaders—those IFT members who have exhibited outstanding future leadership potential but have not yet served in a formal leadership capacity. However, all interested members may attend.

The forum will feature personal and professional development sessions as well as sessions about global trends that will affect IFT and the food science and technology community. Participants will also be briefed on current and future IFT initiatives and have the opportunity to engage in conversations about IFT membership value and issues affecting IFT in the future.

IFT, CIFST co-host Successful Food Summit
More than 500 food professionals from seven countries attended the IFT-CIFST Food Summit in China—Better Living Through Food Science, Food Safety, and Food Standards in Hangzhou, China.

Sponsored by IFT and the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology, the November 2007 event featured speakers on global sourcing, global harmonization of food laws and regulations, and the current food safety issues facing the Chinese government, citizens, and food industry. The event also featured keynote addresses from Michael M. Landa, Deputy Director for Regulatory Affairs, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, and Edward Scarborough, Former U.S. CODEX Manager.

“The event was the most successful yet,” said IFT Executive Vice President Barbara Byrd Keenan. “It is a continued demonstration of how we can work toward our strategic goal of global citizen and partner, contribute to the dialogue about global food safety and address the needs of food professionals from around the world.”

This is the fourth such event co-hosted by IFT and CIFST as part of IFT’s continued efforts to increase the exchange of knowledge between food professionals across the globe. Earlier in 2007, IFT hosted a delegation of CIFST members at the 2007 Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Chicago, Ill. IFT looks forward to additional opportunities to further collaborate with CIFST.

IFT would like to thank both the Food Summit Advisory Committee, chaired by Herbert Stone, as well as summit sponsors General Mills, Kraft, Tragon, and Coca-Cola Co., for their generous support of this event. To view the summit agenda, please visit www.foodsummit.cn.

Call for scholarships
The deadlines to apply for IFT undergraduate and graduate scholarships are approaching. Companies in the food industry, organizations, IFT Divisions, IFT Sections, and the IFT Foundation sponsor the scholarships.

Applications for the 2008–09 academic year must be turned in to the student’s department head by February 1, 2008 (graduate, senior, and junior students), February 15, 2008 (freshman students), and March 1, 2008 (sophomore students). Applications and instructions can be obtained at www.ift.org under “Education.”

For more information, contact Elizabeth J. Plummer, Manager of Foundation Development, at 312-782-8424 or [email protected].