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Wrap Up: 2014 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo

BY: Kelly Hensel
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Thanks to our special sponsor:

IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo®
June 21–24, New Orleans, LA
Food professionals from all over the globe gathered in New Orleans for the IFT 2014 Annual Meeting & Food Expo® June 21–24, 2014, to make this year’s event a huge success. Attracting more than 16,400 registrants, this year’s event featured 1,120 exhibitors. More than 100 educational sessions and 1,000+ poster sessions provided information on the latest developments and trends in food science.

Obviously, one person can’t make it to everything that the meeting had to offer in just four short days. IFT Live—the official electronic show daily—offers the chance for you to see what you may have missed. This year, IFT Live contains 90+ articles from the event, written by the Food Technology magazine editorial staff. Not only does IFT Live offer articles covering the show, it also includes a photo gallery and videos taken at the show.

In this newsletter—the official wrap up of the show—you will find in-depth coverage of the sessions, award winners, products from the expo, and much more.

Food Expo Trend Videos
In addition to the plethora of articles covering the scientific sessions, meeting events, and competitions, Food Technology editors conducted live video coverage of the IFT Food Expo floor. These videos highlight five key trends identified as having a major impact on the food industry. They are: protein, spicy heat, natural colors, fats & oils, and clean label. For each trend, we found exhibitors that were highlighting the trend with their ingredients and prototypes. From BBQ Crunch Bar to Corn Maque Choux, visit the Food Expo floor virtually with these videos:

C. Patrick Dunne Receives Appert Award
C. Patrick Dunne, Ph.D., Retired Senior Advisor in Advanced Processing and Nutritional Biochemistry for the Dept. of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate at the U.S. Army Research Center, was honored as the recipient of the 2014 Nicholas Appert Award on Saturday, June 21, at the Awards Celebration. Janet Collins, IFT President, presented Dunne with the award, which is IFT’s highest honor and is given annually to an IFT member for preeminence in and contributions to the field of food science and technology. The award includes a $5,000 honorarium and a plaque from IFT. In addition to presenting Dunne with the Nicholas Appert Award, IFT recognized 15 other achievements on at the Awards Celebration.

Here’s a look at some of the other honorees and award winners announced at the 2014 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo®:

Keynoter Offers Food for Thought on Waste, Hunger, Obesity
To solve the complex and enormously challenging issues of hunger, obesity, and food waste, members of the food industry must reframe their thinking about all three, IFT keynote presenter Doug Rauch, former President of the Trader Joe’s retail chain, told the Opening General Session audience on June 22. Large numbers of U.S. consumers are both obese and hungry, and it’s critical for food scientists to apply their abilities to addressing this apparently contradictory situation, said Rauch. He noted that one in six Americans is food insecure and many of these consumers are “the working poor”—people who frequently opt for food that is inexpensive but low in nutritional value.

Doug Rauch wasn’t the only presitigous guest that spoke at this year’s IFT Annual Meeting. Speakers also included IFT’s Beacon Lecturers: Hod Lipson, Professor of Engineering at Cornell University, and Jane Karuku, President of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). In addition, as part of IFT’s FutureFood 2050 program, Josh Schonwald, awarding-winning author, and Academy-Award-nominated director Scott Hamilton Kennedy talked about the documentary they are working on to bring the voice of food scientists to the world. Here’s a look at what they shared with attendees:

IFTSA Student Competition Winners
From whimsical product names to well-conceived formulations, student food scientists were once again showing they’ve got what it takes to compete in the real world of food and beverage product development. Student product development competitions are a highlight of the IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo® with three different contests: Product Development Competition, sponsored by Mars; Developing Solutions for Developing Countries Competition; and Disney–IFTSA Nutritious Foods for Kids.

In addition to the product development competitions, students take part in many other activites, such as the College Bowl, Undergraduate Research Paper Competition, and Mixer and Chapter of the Year Display. See what the students were up to at this year’s Annual Meeting:

Life Is Like a Box of Bugs
Because of the deleterious effect animal agriculture has on the water supply and other natural reserves, new food sources must be considered. The practice of growing and consuming animals for protein is not sustainable. So what’s the alternative? Insects. During the session “Real Pioneers: Experience with Insect Ingredients, Processing, Products, and Marketing,” speakers discussed the virtues and necessity of adding insects to the Western diet. Pat Crowley of Chapul Inc. said that insects are extremely nutritious and, in some cases, more nutritious than animal protein sources.

With the industry highly focused on sustainablity, making food healthier, and cleaner labels many of the 100+ scientific sessions offered at the 2014 IFT Annual Meeting addressed these concerns. Here’s a look at just some of these sessions:

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