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Posts Tagged ‘Hot Topic’

Differentiating Trends and Fads—and Why It Matters

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Taylor WallaceFour food industry experts put their heads together to provide an IFT16 audience with some new insights into the critically important task of differentiating trends from fads in a Tuesday morning Hot Topic session titled “Crickets, GMOs, Gluten-Free … Separating Food Fads From Food Trends.” The panelists included Jonathan Baugher, manager of scientific affairs for Blue Mountain Flavors,

Scott Riefler, vice-president of sales for TIC Gums, Mark Hughes, president of Anderson Partners Food Ingredient Marketing, and Taylor Wallace, principal consultant of the Think Healthy Group.

The panelists began by defining the two terms. “When I think of a fad, I think of fad diets,” said Wallace. “I feel that a trend is more scientifically substantiated … whereas a fad is very grass roots driven.” Hughes said that time frame is key differentiator: Trends are long-term, and fads are short-term and generally unsustainable. “At the beginning, they’re very similar and hard to differentiate,” Riefler acknowledged.

For ingredient companies like TIC Gums, staying on top of trends is a business imperative, Riefler emphasized. “For us, when the bell rings, we have to be there,” he said. “We’ve already missed the opportunity if we wait to see what the CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies are doing. “

From the topic of trends, the conversation moved to megatrends—mainstream, broadly based trends that play a major role in shaping consumer behavior. “The biggest trend is health and wellness and Americans’ interest in healthy diets,” said Hughes. From a manufacturing side, that currently falls largely under the clean label umbrella, Hughes continued. In a subsequent discussion of megatrends, Hughes also cited convenience and sustainability. Perceived wholesomeness is another important megatrend, according to Baugher, and Wallace added transparency to the list of megatrends.

Looking at flavors and taste, globalization has been a major trend driver, Wallace noted. Riefler threw sensory into the megatrend mix. “If you look into what is going on in the restaurant industry, that often is a good indicator,” he said. Trendsetting chefs are focusing heavily on the sensory aspects of food, including texture and presentation, he pointed out, noting that “right now, texture is king.”

The panelists devoted considerable attention to the topic of social media and its role in driving trends within the food industry. “We’re seeing the emergence of a whole other level of social media in which ingredient companies are talking to their customers,” said Hughes. “It’s really emerging as a communication platform in the b-to-b (business-to-business) area. B-to-b social media and digital communication are great ways for companies to stay in touch with their customers.”

Email is falling by the wayside as a business communication tool, Riefler noted, while instant messaging, Twitter, and Facebook are on the rise. Companies that don’t pay attention to messages received via social media will miss out, he emphasized. Anderson added that he’s seeing a move away from face-to-face contact, including lunch and dinner meetings.

In addition to the b-to-b component, social media matters as a mechanism for listening to the customer.

Hughes pointed out that in the era before social media, companies spoke to their customers, but the customers typically didn’t talk back. With the rise of social media, that’s changed, and it’s now a two-way conversation. “Social media has accelerated the ability for a small company to start a conversation,” added Baugher. Wallace singled out Chobani as an example of a company that has done an excellent job of tapping into social media as a vehicle for gleaning insight into the wants and needs of consumers and using that information to shape product development.

Hughes reminded those in attendance of the importance of adopting a global perspective in matters of business analysis. “There’s a very big world out there, and we’re a very small part of it,” he said. Marketers and product developers seeking to keep their fingers on the pulse of trends should “look at the entire planet,” he advised, noting that it’s critical to stay abreast of trends in the developing world.

Hot Topic Sessions

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Want to stay up to speed on some of the most current topics related to food technology, food science research, and future trends, often while gaining a global perspective? If so, then Hot Topics sessions are for you. 2016 hot topics include high pressure processing, current innovations in food quality and safety, designing emotion into food products to create long-term consumer appeal, clean label, and the latest developments in industry trends and fads. The hot topic sessions for IFT16 are:

  • Session 015: Clean Labels
    Sunday, July 17; 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
    Room N427bc
  • Session 031: Advances in High Pressure Processing for Healthier Foods
    Sunday, July 17; 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
    Room N427bc
  • Session 074: Current Innovations in Food Quality and Safety
    Monday, July 18; 2:15 – 3:45 p.m.
    Room N427bc
  • Session 087: Crickets, GMOs, Gluten-Free … Separating Food Fads from Food Trends
    Tuesday, July 19; 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
    Room N427bc

Need to Know Info About Foreign Supplier Verification Regulations

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Session 63
Monday, July 13; 10–11:30 a.m.
Room N427bc

Ensuring the safety of imported food is a priority in today’s global food industry, and that is the objective of the Foreign Supplier Verification Program, initiated as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

TomatoesUnder the terms of the proposed rule for the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP), food importers will be required to manage food safety risks by identifying the types of hazards associated with their foods and having a prevention program in place to meet the safety standards of specific foods. In this Hot Topic Session, experts from industry and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will address issues related to FSVP compliance, an area of high interest to those who play a role in managing food industry supply chains.

Introduced last year, Hot Topic Sessions provide a forum for IFT annual event attendees to stay informed and exchange thoughts on high-priority food industry events and issues. With the FSVP rule set to be published this fall, it certainly qualifies as a hot topic.

Presented by: Sharon Maryl; Jennifer McEntire, Grocery Manufacturers Association; and Roger Lawrence, McCormick & Co.

Hot Topic: Child Nutrition

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Child Nutrition and its Impact on Health Outcomes & Implications
Session 110
Tuesday, July 14; 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Room N427bc

A new focus is on childhood nutrition and the thought is to address the most pressing challenges/developments in product development targeting nutrition for children. What is the latest in research and novel applications, ingredients, formulation, etc. with regards to nutritional products for children? One other critical topic initially on the list to consider for 2015 was lipids and their role in brain function, consider addressing (cognitive development) as well in this topic? Progress on what is being done e.g. research, industry initiatives. Some companies are developing programs/products to address new needs. Pressure on restaurants to provide nutritional menu items for children; manufacturing challenges/changes to formulas to provide healthy choices.

Presented by: Susan Carlson, Kansas State University; Lynda O’Neill, Nestle Nutrition; and Heather Eicher-Miller, Purdue University

Hot Topic: Impact of Processed Foods on Gut Microbiota

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

What Conventional Toxicology Doesn’t Tell You: The Impact of Processed Foods on Gut Microbiota, Inflammation, and Metabolic Disease
Session 92
Monday, July 13; 2:15–3:15 p.m.
Room N427bc

Based on research by Andrew Gewirtz, this session will explore the hypothesis that artificial preservatives used in many processed foods may increase the risk of inflammatory bowel diseases and metabolic disorders. In a study done in mice, chemicals known as emulsifiers were found to alter the make-up of bacteria in the colon—the first time that these additives have been shown to affect health directly. About 15 different emulsifiers are commonly used in processed Western foods for purposes such as smoothing the texture of ice cream and preventing mayonnaise from separating. Regulatory agencies such as the FDA rule that emulsifiers are “generally regarded as safe,” because there is no evidence that they increase the risk of cancer or have toxic effects in mammals.

But when immunologist Andrew Gewirtz and his colleagues fed common emulsifiers carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate-80 to mice, they found evidence that the chemicals affected the animals’ health. Although their diet was not otherwise changed, healthy mice whose water contained the chemicals became obese and developed metabolic problems such as glucose intolerance. In mice genetically engineered to be prone to inflammatory gut diseases, emulsifiers also seemed to increase the severity and frequency with which the animals developed inflammatory bowel disease.

Presented by: Andrew Gewirtz, Georgia State University


Hot Topic: Global Regulations, Import Issues

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Global Regulations and Import Issues: How is the Food Industry Preparing for the Foreign Supplier Verification Program Implementation?
Session 63
Monday, July 13; 10:00–11:30 a.m.
Room N427bc

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Foreign Supply Verification Program (FSVP) is designed to ensure that imported food is produced in a manner consistent with U.S. Standards and importers of food from foreign suppliers will be responsible for the safety of the food they bring into the market. Food importers will be, for the first time, required to manage food safety risks by identifying the types of hazards associated with their foods having a prevention program in place to meet the safety standards of specific foods.

In the globalized food industry with complex supply chain the proposed regulations have raised much concern around compliance and issues companies face with multinational brands and working through different regulations around the world. In this Hot Topic session, speakers from industry and the FDA will present various perspectives on issues and challenges posed for food imports, specifically the proposed FSVP regulations.

Presented by: Sharon Maryl, FDA; Jennifer McEntire, Grocery Manufacturers Association; and Roger Lawrence, McCormick

Hot Topic: Transparency in the Food Industry

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Transparency in the Food Industry: Keeping Consumers Informed
Session 44
Sunday, July 12; 1:30–3:00 p.m.
Room N427bc

Transparency is a growing concern among consumers ranging from food safety to health and nutrition and everything in between. A second component to this topic is advocating/communicating for science. This will be a panel discussion with representatives from industry, government, IFT media/communications talking about how to address concerns of consumers and how to communicate in a way that will help people understand products, food science, food safety etc.

Presented by: Christina Tyler, McDonalds; Matthew Teegarden, IFTSA, Ohio State University; and Frank Yiannas, Walmart

Hot Topic: Processing for Low-Moisture Foods

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Validation of Pasteurization Processes for Low-Moisture Foods
Session 16
Sunday, July 12; 8:30–10:00 a.m.
Room N427bc

With the enactment of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), food manufacturers are required to implement preventative controls for potential food safety hazards. The proposed rule on preventive controls for human foods, when finalized, will require manufacturers to validate the efficacy of their pasteurization processes for inactivation of pathogenic bacteria of concern. Due to the unique survival characteristics and the increased heat resistance of pathogenic microorganisms such as Salmonella in low-moisture environments, additional considerations are needed when developing procedures to validate pasteurization processes.

Specific standards regarding how such a process validation should be conducted have not yet been established, but advances have been made in identifying key parameters important for validation of low-moisture pasteurization processes. This symposium will highlight these advances and will provide an overview of the regulatory requirements and expectations for process validation, highlight critical factors affecting pathogen resistance to lethal treatments, discuss key considerations for designing, preparing, and conducting a low-moisture pasteurization validation, and showcase how process validation can be conducted in commercial settings.

Presented by: Mickey Parish, FDA; Robert Brackett, Institute for Food Safety and Health, Illinois Institute of Technology; and Kumar Mallikarjunan, Virginia Tech

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