IFT heads west next month for the 2009 Annual Meeting & Food Expo® June 6–9 in Anaheim, Calif., a sunny, visitor-friendly destination within the United States’ most agriculturally abundant state. California leads the U.S. in cash crops, producing 400 commodities and about half of all U.S-grown fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
The theme for this year’s Annual Meeting scientific program is “Food Science from Producer to Consumer,” a topic that is every bit as rich and diverse as California’s agriculture industry. With nearly 200 educational sessions and more than 2,000 presentations, the breadth and depth of the Scientific Program is unparalleled in the food industry.
Then there’s the Food Expo. More than 800 exhibitors—the industry’s largest collection of ingredient, instrument, equipment, and packaging suppliers—will be found within the exhibit halls at the Anaheim Convention Center.
IFT is also thinking big when it comes to this year’s keynote and general sessions. Recognizing that 2009 has been a watershed year for the U.S.—and world—economy, program organizers have responded with speakers and sessions that will hone in on food industry ramifications of the global economic meltdown.
So what’s new on the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo menu of events and activities? Quite a bit, actually. Here’s a sampling.
• IPEx. An intellectual property exchange event scheduled for Sunday, June 7, this session will provide a forum for connecting holders of intellectual property (IP) rights, such as patents, with those who are looking to purchase or license IP or are seeking new business opportunities. The IPEx event will include posters and tabletop displays and informal networking.
• Trend Tours. Self-guided Trend Tours will make their debut at this year’s Food Expo. Selected exhibitors whose products or services fall within the framework of four key trends will be highlighted on Trend Tour guides available at the entrances to the Food Expo. Trend Tour themes include flavor and color innovation; ingredients for functional foods; naturally sourced ingredients; and weight management.
• Innovative Program Scheduling. Notably this year, programming organizers have made a concerted effort to reduce the number of competing programs and events, so avoiding schedule conflicts will be easier than in the past. For the first time, the Scientific Program will get under way prior to the Keynote Session on Sunday. Also, to provide early risers with bonus educational opportunities, Sunrise Sessions have been added to the schedule on Sunday, June 7, and Tuesday, June 9, from 7–8 a.m. Topics for these overview sessions will include “Nanoscale Science for Food: A Primer,” “Risk Assessment for Food Allergens,” “DNA Techniques for Food Pathogens,” and “What Is NRI (National Research Initiative) Panel Looking for in Your Proposal?”
• New Competitions for Students. Two brand new competitions will allow students to demonstrate their product development prowess. (More information on these competitions can be found in the Student Association Activities section of this article that begins on page 40.)
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Knowledge-Building Short Courses
Opportunities to gain in-depth knowledge on relevant scientific topics begin even before the Annual Meeting & Food Expo officially gets started. IFT’s always-popular Pre-Annual Meeting Short Courses will be held Friday, June 5, and Saturday, June 6, at the Anaheim Marriott. Nine courses—including five new offerings and four returning favorites—are scheduled. All feature focused, practically oriented education taught by industry experts.
One of the time-honored traditions of the Annual Meeting & Food Expo is the Awards Celebration in which IFT honors outstanding accomplishments in all areas of food science and technology.
This year’s roster of honorees includes 14 IFT Achievement Award laureates and 21 newly elected Fellows. The Awards Celebration will be held from 5:30–6:45 p.m. Saturday at the convention center.
During the festivities, IFT President Sheri Schellhaass will recap the year’s IFT activities and introduce incoming IFT President Marianne Gillette and President-Elect Bob Gravani. A Networking Reception immediately following the presentation will serve up California cuisine and provide attendees with an ideal opportunity to mingle with one another and congratulate this year’s honorees.
Keynoters to Keep It Current
"What’s Next? The Current Economy and the Future of Food” is the timely topic for this year’s keynote session from 10–11:45 a.m. on Sunday. Economic experts Todd Buchholz and Jeffrey Allen Rosensweig will offer provocative commentary on the theme and answer questions about economic and policy issues affecting the food industry.
Buchholz is an award winning economist, author of the book Market Shock: 9 Economic and Social Upheavals That Will Shake Our Financial Future, and former White House Economic Policy Director. Rosensweig is Director of the Global Perspectives Program and Professor of International Business and Finance at the Goizueta Business School, Emory University, as well as a media commentator and author.
The Keynote Session will be moderated by Mary Wagner, General Manager, Chief Technology Officer, Mars Symbioscience, and Jean Kinsey, Professor and Director of The Food Industry Center in the Dept. of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota.
Winners of IFT’s Food Expo Innovation Awards competition will be announced at the Keynote session, which is sponsored by SweetSurprise.com.
Scientific Program Crosses Many Disciplines
IFT has long been recognized as the leading advocate for food science research, and each year the Annual Meeting’s Scientific Program plays a major role in cementing that reputation. This year will be no exception. Food science and technology experts from around the globe will gather in Anaheim to share their expertise.
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Formats for the educational sessions include symposia, workshops, panel discussions, and roundtables. Thirty-three sessions were selected by IFT’s Theme Champion Team to be included as part of this year’s theme programming.
“The IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo is unique in bringing together many sectors involved in foods to address all aspects—from safety, nutrition, and quality to ingredients and their function to legal/regulatory issues,” says Jenny Scott, Chair of the Annual Meeting Scientific Advisory Panel. “The program offers, in addition to sector-specific scientific programming, a multidisciplinary approach to foods, allowing the cross-fertilization of ideas and a synergy that can only come when a diverse group addresses cross-cutting issues.
“Based on input from the membership, there is now more focus on enhancing the quality of the science presented through revitalizing the poster sessions, highlighting Division lectures, reducing concurrent and duplicative sessions, and organizing sessions around themes and key issues,” continues Scott, who is Vice President of Science Policy, Food Protection of the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
To help attendees organize their schedules and choose from among the varied programming options, Scientific Program sessions are categorized into the following program tracks: Science Fundamentals, Applied Science, Transformative Research, New Products and Technologies, Student Programming, and Professional and Business Development. Transformative Research is a new track that will showcase sound science and preeminent research and then illustrate how technology based on science fundamentals can be applied to solve problems and develop innovative, safe, and practical applications.
Posters Go Virtual
Poster presentations have always been a pillar of the Scientific Program. In Anaheim, the experience will be better than ever thanks to a new virtual poster system that allows Annual Meeting attendees to efficiently search for pertinent research by keyword, category, and author. The system will allow the user to determine when the live presentation will take place during the meeting, and, after the event, full, paid conference attendees will have continued access to this valuable search tool.
During the annual meeting, an enhanced poster area will include a lounge, virtual poster kiosks, and concessions.
More Noteworthy Sessions
• Hybrid Sessions. Another special feature of this year’s Scientific Program comes in the form of two hybrid oral-poster sessions, one on food packaging and another on food science education. This streamlined session format is comprised of five-minute presentations of select technical research papers followed by time for poster viewing and interacting directly with the presenters.
• Achievement Awards Session. From 10:30 a.m.–noon on Monday, a new oral session will provide attendees with the chance to glean new insights as several of this year’s Achievement Award winners share their expertise.
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• JFS Sessions. Two Journal of Food Science–sponsored sessions will provide an update on the latest research on nanoscale science. “Emerging Research: Nanoscale Food Science, Engineering, and Technology” is scheduled for 8:15–9:45 a.m. on Sunday, and “Encapsulation and Delivery of Bioactive Compounds Using Novel Nanostructures” is slated for 8:30–10 a.m. on Monday. Presenters for these new sessions were recruited specifically for Annual Meeting attendees by the Journal of Food Science Nanoscale Food Science, Engineering, and Technology Section Editorial Board.
• Professional and Business Development Sessions. A variety of sessions designed to sharpen business skills are available to Annual Meeting attendees as a complement to the Scientific Program. Topics to be addressed include open innovation, success in the global marketplace, nutraceutical/functional food regulations, and more. IFT partners with SkillPath to offer professional development programming on the following topics: “Fundamentals of Successful Project Management,” “How to Become a Better Communicator,” and “Excelling as a Manager or Supervisor.”
Seven divisions have invited prominent professionals to present cutting-edge research topics. A breakout of divisions, speakers, topics, and times is as follows:
• Food Microbiology Division, William H. Sperber, Global Ambassador for Food Protection, Cargill Inc., “Rethinking and Reinforcing Global Food Protection” at 10:30 a.m. Monday
• Aquatic Foods Division, Colin Barrow, Professor and Chair of Biotechnology, Deakin University, “Global R&D Trends in Marine Nutraceuticals” at 1:30 p.m. Monday
• Food Chemistry Division, Cameron Faustman, Professor, University of Connecticut, “Fundamental and Applied Aspects of Interactions of Proteins/Peptides With Other Biomolecules” at 1:30 p.m. Monday
• Food Engineering Division, Andy Rao, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University, “Oral Food Nanotechnology” at 1:30 p.m. Monday
• Nonthermal Processing Division, Don Bowden, Owner, Fresherized Foods, “High-Pressure Processing—Commercial Success Through Perseverance and Innovation” at 1:30 p.m. Monday
• Biotechnology Division, David A. Mills, University of California-Davis, “Modulation of the Human and Animal Gut Microbiota by Dietary Intervention” at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday
• International Division, Colin Dennis, Campden & Chorleywood Food Research, “Technologies of the Future” at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday
Free Download Offered
In a special offer this year, IFT is supplying full, paid Annual Meeting & Food Expo registrants with a voucher to download one recorded Scientific Program session free of charge. The MP3 file will include both the audio and the visual presentations associated with that session. Alternatively, the voucher may be used to receive $29.95 off the purchase price of the complete Scientific Program recording set, which includes all available scientific sessions.
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Theme General Session
The theme general session from 8:30–10 a.m. Monday will feature senior food industry executives from PepsiCo, Unilever, Costco, and Cargill, who will share their insights on food manufacturing, retailing, and ingredients. Panelists will participate in a discussion on the theme, “Responsive Strategies to Changing Consumer Demands and Business Climate.”
Noel Anderson, Vice President World Wide Technical Insights, PepsiCo Inc., will serve as moderator. Panelists will include Stephan Habif, Vice President R&D North America, Unilever; Christine Summers, Director of Food Safety and Quality Assurance, Costco Wholesale; and Chris Mallett, Corporate Vice President R&D, Cargill Inc.
The Theme General Session and select themed educational programming are sponsored by Cognis Nutrition & Health.
Food Technology Presents Trend Panel
Certainly the economic downturn has affected most consumers’ lives, and members of this year’s Food Technology Presents Trend Panel session, slated for 8:30–10 a.m. Tuesday, will dissect the ways in which it is playing out in terms of shopping and purchase behaviors. Food Technology Editor-in-Chief Bob Swientek will moderate this timely session titled “The New Value Equation.” Panelists include Barbara Katz, President, HealthFocus International; Ron Paul, President, Technomic; and A. Elizabeth Sloan, President, Sloan Trends Inc. The Food Technology Presents session is sponsored by DSM.
Exploring the Expo
Navigating the aisles of the IFT Food Expo is a great way to find your way to solutions for sticky product-development dilemmas, get a handle on industry trends, and—above all—receive a close-up view of new products and technologies from suppliers of everything from sweeteners to software. Expo hours are noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday. Here’s a preview of some of the highlights of this year’s Expo.
• Food Expo Innovation Awards. These annual awards recognize ingenuity and achievement by exhibitors. Products, technologies, ingredients, instrumentation, equipment, or services that were commercially introduced since January 1, 2008, were eligible for the awards competition. New applications of existing products/services commercially introduced since January 1, 2008, also were eligible.
This year, for the first time, select Innovation Award winners will discuss their entries in 10–15 minute oral presentations. The presentations will take place beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Special Events Theater on the Expo floor.
• Mintel Pavilion. Not only will Mintel be showcasing new products from around the globe in its pavilion at the Expo, but experts from the research company will be on hand to discuss hot global trends in packaged foods, drinks, and foodservice.
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• Innova Pavilion. For insights into trends driving the food and beverage market now and in the years ahead, stop in at Innova’s “Taste the Trend” pavilion. More than 25 presentations on hot topics—with a special focus on health and wellness, coming ingredients, and health claims—are planned.
• Specialty Pavilions. Special reserved areas on the Expo floor will group together exhibitors that have a similar focus, promoting the concept of one-stop shopping for Expo attendees. This year’s pavilions include Food Safety & Quality, Healthy Food Ingredients, Organic Food Ingredients, Sustainability, and International.
• IFT/RCA Culinology Presentation. A panel of leading research and development professionals will share their secrets for maintaining an “artisan sensibility”—old world charm, traditions, and craftsmanship—throughout the product development and manufacturing process. Panel participants Andrew Hunter of Culinary Craft, Samir Amin of Two Chefs on a Roll, and Judy Lindsey of Product Dynamics will share their experiences in industry segments including consulting, manufacturing, and foodservice. Lauren Shimek, Food Science Innovator, IDEO, will moderate the discussion and encourage questions from the audience.
• Taste for Science Receptions. These receptions hosted by the IFT Foundation will be held from 3–5 p.m. Sunday and Monday in both the poster session area and on the Expo floor. A cash bar will serve beer, wine, and soft drinks, with a portion of the proceeds going to the IFT Foundation. Participating exhibitors will add a tasty touch to the receptions by serving appetizers and food samples.
Student Association Activities
Many members of the IFT Student Association (IFTSA) already have begun to play an active role in the organization, and, as always, students will find that the Annual Meeting & Food Expo offers them a variety of events and programs targeted specifically to their needs and interests. Three competitions, including two that are brand new, will challenge students to hone their product-development skills. Here’s a look at some of what’s ahead for Anaheim.
• Developing Solutions for Developing Countries Competition. This is a new competition, sponsored in part by General Mills, in which student teams worked to create products and processes capable of improving the quality of life for people in developing nations. This year’s theme is “Using Food Science and Technology to Solve Health-Based Issues.” Six teams (three of which are international) will vie for top honors in the competition finals on Monday morning.
• Disney - IFTSA Product Development Competition. IFTSA and Disney Consumer Products Inc. have challenged student members to create healthy snacks for kids in this new event themed “Nutritious Foods for Kids.” The six teams chosen as finalists will participate in a final competition on Monday afternoon in the Special Events Pavilion on the Expo floor.
• IFTSA Product Development Competition. Sponsored by Mars Inc., this competition encourages participants to put the skills they’ve been cultivating in campus classrooms and labs to work in real-world applications. Each of the participating schools’ teams developed a new food idea and carried the concept through marketing and production, much like a commercial product development team, in preparation for the final competition during the Annual Meeting.
Winners of these and the preceding two competitions will be announced on Monday evening at the IFTSA Welcome Assembly.
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• IFTSA Mixer and Welcome Assembly. This popular event, held on Monday evening at the Hilton Anaheim, allows students to enjoy refreshments, socialize, and view the Chapter of the Year displays. PepsiCo sponsors the Mixer and Chapter of the Year Competition. The mixer will be followed by the Student Association Welcome Assembly. During the assembly, sponsored by Campbell’s, winners of the three product development competitions, the Chapter of the Year competition, Fun Run race, and Excellence in Leadership Award program will be announced.
• College Bowl Competition. Competitive instincts will once again be on display during the 25th Annual Intercollegiate Food Science and Technology College Bowl Competition, sponsored in part by PepsiCo and Nestlé Purina. Eight regional finalists will compete in the competition finals, which will follow the Welcome Assembly on Monday evening.
• Undergraduate Research Paper Competition. Finalists in the Undergraduate Research Paper Competition will present their papers on Tuesday morning. Winners will be announced at the Phi Tau Sigma Awards Reception on Tuesday evening at the Anaheim Convention Center.
• Educational Opportunity. IFTSA is sponsoring what is sure to be a provocative session titled “Everyday Ethics for the Food Scientist: Ethics in Food Science Research, Education, and the Workplace” from 1:30–3 p.m. on Sunday in the Anaheim Convention Center.
• Professional Development Oral Sessions. These special sessions held from 4–5:30 p.m. on Sunday and Monday in the convention center are designed for student poster presenters who are interested in refining their oral presentation skills. A panel of food science and technology professionals will act as judges and provide written feedback to participating students.
• Student Association Party. This informal event will bring students together to network and have fun on Tuesday evening at Tortilla Jo’s in Downtown Disney.
Town Hall Meeting
IFT’s annual Town Hall Meeting will take place from 4–5:30 p.m. Sunday at the convention center. It is sure to be an excellent opportunity to hear updates on IFT’s current and future initiatives, ask questions of the IFT Board of Directors, and connect with other IFT members from around the world.
New Professionals Mixer
This social event beginning at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Anaheim Marriott’s Degrees Wine and Patio Bar is geared specifically to those who are new to the profession. Those who attend will have the opportunity to connect with old friends and network with new ones, all while enjoying the atmosphere and ambiance of Orange County.
Legacy Planning Session
The IFT Foundation Legacy Circle will sponsor a session on “Estate Planning” from 3:30–5:30 p.m. on Monday, June 8, at the convention center. Attendees will hear from two experts on the topic and glean insights into how to provide security for heirs, increase the impact of charitable donations, and leave a meaningful and lasting legacy.
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Making Career Connections
The IFT Employment Bureau promises to be a busy destination on-site in the convention center as job seekers and prospective employers come together for pre-scheduled, face-to-face interviews Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.
Back this year is the IFT Career Fair on Saturday afternoon. It’s an ideal opportunity for those on the lookout for employment opportunities to network and talk informally with representatives of leading food industry organizations. Appointments are not required for the Career Fair.
Real-World Learning Opportunities
During the course of the Annual Meeting & Food Expo, IFT will provide some engaging, real-world learning opportunities via a series of technical field trips to area food and beverage operations. Destinations for this year’s field trips include Golden State Foods, Sterigenics, Peryam & Kroll Research Corp., and Callaway Vineyard & Winery.
All field trips will depart from and return to the shuttle bus area of the convention center.
More to Come
Ready for more in-depth information on selected technical sessions, papers, and Food Expo exhibits? Food Technology editors have mapped it all out on the pages that follow.
You’ll also find a full list of Food Expo exhibitors and their booth numbers, plus the Scientific Program as of press time. The complete Scientific Program,abstracts, and exhibitor descriptions are available online at www.ift.org/IFT09.
From social interaction to scientific exploration, there’s a lot on the table at IFT’s 2009 Annual Meeting & Food Expo, and our goal is to prepare you to sample as much as possible. We’re looking forward to seeing you in Anaheim.
Mary Ellen Kuhn is Managing Editor of Food Technology magazine (m[email protected]).
Five Fast Facts About California Agriculture
• California’s cash farm receipts in 2007 (the most recent year for which U.S. Dept. of Agriculture data is available) totaled $36.6 billion.
• The Golden State produced 22% of the milk in the United States in 2007, with most of it used to make cheese and butter.
• The state accounted for 17.6% of national receipts for crops and 7.8% of U.S. revenue for livestock and livestock products in 2007.
• California is the sole U.S. producer (99% or more) of almonds, artichokes, figs, grapes for raisins, olives, Clingstone peaches, persimmons, dried plums, pomegranates, and walnuts.
• There are 81,500 farms, which occupy 25.4 million acres in California. The average farm size is 312 acres.
Source: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
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On the Run for the Foundation
Fitness and fundraising will come together very early on Monday morning, June 8, outside the Anaheim Convention Center when the IFT Student Association/IFT Foundation Fun Run gets under way at 6:30 a.m.
All proceeds from the ninth annual 5K run/one-mile walk will fund IFT Foundation undergraduate and graduate scholarships. Prizes will be awarded in a variety of categories, and all Fun Run participants will receive a t-shirt.
For more information on the Fun Run, contact Anna Proctor at [email protected].
Last year's Fun Run raised more than $50,000 in support of scholarship.
On-site, Annual Meeting & Food Expo staffers will be using Twitter (twitter/IFT09) to gather questions from the audience during the Keynote Session. Flickr (flickr/IFT) will be used to allow participants to upload their photos from the meeting as part of IFT09 Live, the new electronic show daily.
If you are not already on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr, be sure to join these social networking sites and search for the Institute of Food Technologists or IFT.
SUNDAY, JUNE 7
Time; Company; Presentation Title
1 p.m.; Gelita; “Fortigel—The Next Generation of Joint Health”
2 p.m.; Pharmachem; “Process Solutions for Ingredient and Product Challenges”
3 p.m.; Corn Products Intl.; “Sweeteners, Starches, Health, and Wellness”
4 p.m.; Monsanto Co.; “Edible Oil and Vegetable Innovation for Improved Nutrition”
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MONDAY, JUNE 8
Time; Company; Presentation Title
Noon; American Egg Board; “The Power of Protein—Macronutrient Composition of Breakfast and Weight Loss”
1 p.m.; Novozymes; “Enzymes: Helping Today and Rethinking Tomorrow”
2 p.m.; Multisorb; “Active Protection for Technologies Natural Products”
3 p.m.; NuVal; “Power in Numbers: Turning Complex Science Into Simple Guidance for Consumers”
TUESDAY, JUNE 9
Noon; Thermo Scientific; “Methods and Technologies Can Help Provide Safe Food With a Bottom Line in Mind”
1 p.m.; Purac America; “Natural Preservation: Fact, Trend, or Fiction?”
In a program similar to last year’s in New Orleans, those interested in volunteering are invited to sign up for a four-hour shift. Volunteers will have the opportunity to assist at the food bank with inspecting and sorting donated food, cleaning fresh produce, labeling products, repacking bulk products, and more. Volunteer time slots at the food bank will be available 8 a.m.–noon and 12:30–4:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 6, and 8 a.m.–noon on Wednesday, June 10.
While it’s true that Anaheim and Orange County are affluent areas, the population there is not immune to the problems of poverty and hunger, and the situation has worsened as a result of the economic recession. The number of people seeking assistance in recent months has increased 30–40% vs a year ago, reports Audra Aucoin, Development Supervisor for Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. The food bank currently serves more than 250,000 at-risk Orange County residents each month.
You can sign up to make a contribution or volunteer with IFT Cares in Anaheim when you register for the Annual Meeting & Food Expo. If you’ve already registered but would like to get involved, simply log back on to the Web site (www.ift.org/IFT09) and select “Purchase Tickets Only” or send an e-mail to [email protected].
The 1,100-acre Anaheim Resort District, which surrounds the convention center, boasts palm tree–lined boulevards, convenient pedestrian access to hotels and other facilities, and upgraded directional signage. Located within the Resort District, the year-old Anaheim GardenWalk Mall is an outdoor retail complex that includes a movie theater, shops, and restaurants, all within easy walking distance of the convention center and area hotels.
But back to the wonderful world of Disney. Annual Meeting & Food Expo attendees and their guests may obtain special tickets and savings by visiting http://www.disneyconventionear.com/IFT.
The IFT International Food Nanoscience Conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 6, at the Hilton Anaheim Hotel. The theme for this year’s conference is “Nanoscale Science and Technology of Food—From the Lab to the Table.”
The IFT Global Food Safety & Quality Conference will take place on Wednesday, June 10, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., also at the Hilton Anaheim Hotel. Its theme is “Traceability in Food Systems: Technology vs Reality.”