Chicago hosts the IFT 10 Annual Meeting + Food Expo from July 17 to 20, the largest annual food science forum and exposition in the world.

Chicago hosts the IFT 10 Annual Meeting + Food Expo from July 17 to 20, the largest annual food science forum and exposition in the world. Carrying the tagline of “The Best of Food Thinking 2010,” the show, which is at McCormick Place South, will be visited by thousands of food scientists, suppliers, marketers and others who gather annually to exchange thoughts, ideas and recent innovations.

Join other food scientists at the IFT Awards Celebration on Saturday, July 17, starting at 5:30 p.m., to honor recipients of the prestigious IFT Achievement Awards and newly elected IFT Fellows. This is your opportunity to congratulate your colleagues for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the field of food science and technology. During the celebration, IFT President Marianne Gillette will recap the past year’s IFT accomplishments and introduce the incoming IFT President and President-Elect. Following the awards ceremony is a networking reception where attendees can connect with old friends and meet new ones while enjoying Chicago-style cuisine and entertainment.

This year’s keynote speaker is Daniel Pink, best-selling author of the book A Whole New Mind. In this provocative and entertaining kick-off session on Sunday morning starting at 8:45, Pink will demonstrate how many common organizational incentives often go wrong - and can reduce both creativity and satisfaction on the job. With examples from cutting-edge companies and intriguing experiments around the world, attendees will learn the three key ingredients of intrinsically motivated high performers, and how organizations can create contexts that tap their employees’ deepest motivations to produce the highest results. Pink’s thinking is reshaping how organizations operate and how individuals navigate their careers.

All IFT members are invited to the annual IFT Town Hall Meeting, which takes place this year on Sunday (4 to 5:30 p.m.). Attendees will have the chance to learn more about IFT’s current programs and services and to ask questions of members of the Board of Directors.

The forum

This year’s food science forum is organized around key focus areas within the industry, and based on core sciences that provide the foundation for all things related to food science. The new track structure was designed to meet food professionals’ needs by focusing on topic areas of great interest and importance. It also simplifies the program’s structure to make it easier for you to find your sessions.

The program involves experts from private and public companies (manufacturers and suppliers), government agencies and research institutions. They provide insight on a range of topics during more than 1,000 presentations. Topics range from new health and safety benefits and product innovations to the latest consumer favorites, fears and trends.

The key focus area program tracks are Food Safety & Defense; Food, Health & Nutrition; Emerging Technologies & Ingredient Innovations; Food Processing & Packaging; Product Development; Sustainability, Public Policy, Food Laws & Regulations; and Education and Professional Development.  The core science program tracks are: Food Chemistry, Food Microbiology, Food Engineering and Sensory Science. Dairy Foods suggests attending:

• Symposium 55: Innovations in refrigeration and freezing of dairy products (Sunday, 1:30 to 3 p.m., room S504cd)

• Symposium 101: Probiotics: Insights and health applications (Monday, 8:30 to 10 a.m., room S401ab)

• General Session 111: Making sense of sustainability: What consumers really think (Monday, 10:30am to noon, room S402ab)

And don’t forget the Dairy Foods Division Business Meeting and Reception on Monday from 3 to 5 p.m. in room S403ab. All division members are invited to attend.

The expo

Chicago is definitely food ingredient suppliers’ kind of town. Whenever this annual meeting gathers in the Windy City, exhibitor attendance is at its highest. This year expect more than 800 suppliers of food ingredients, equipment and packaging supplies. They will be spotlighting the next hot trend or the newest ingredients, all under one roof.

To get a glimpse of what some suppliers will be featuring, check out the IFT booth previews starting on page 54.

Take a break from your busy schedule and support the future of food science on both Sunday and Monday from 3:00 to 5:00pm. The IFT Foundation will host “Taste for Science” Receptions on the expo floor. During each reception, cash bars serving beer, wine and soft drinks will be available. A percentage of the proceeds will go to the IFT Foundation to help fund programs that help develop the next generation of food scientists.  A number of exhibitors will participate in the reception by serving appetizers and food samples during these times.

And don’t forget, while in Chicago, make it your kind of town. Located in the heart of the United States, many consider Chicago to be America’s greatest city. It’s the combination of “all things Chicago” that attracts visitors from around the world...critically acclaimed restaurants, world-famous museums, revolutionary architecture, professional sports teams, shopping, nightlife, lake shore recreation and much, much more. From the bustling “Magnificent Mile” to the beaches along Lake Michigan, Chicago’s diversity makes the city an irresistible destination. Enjoy it!

Sidebar: Fiber: A Focus for Many Exhibitors

Most Americans consume only about half the amount of fiber recommended by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which based it calculations on fiber’s ability to protect against heart disease. Other benefits  include fiber’s contribution to maintaining basic gastrointestinal health by functioning as a laxative (fiber’s longest-known wellness benefit), as well as immune system support, regulation of normal blood sugar and blood lipid levels, weight management, satiety, bone health, mineral absorption and cancer prevention.

Many medical and nutritional authorities believe IOM’s calculations are too low, and they are working towards raising the recommendations. Further, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (the soon-to-be-released 2010 version will likely be the same) recommends that people “choose fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains often.” Unfortunately, data does not indicate that Americans are choosing foods that are inherent sources of fiber as often as recommended.  What good are recommendations if Americans do not consume foods that are natural sources of fiber?

“As consumers become increasingly aware of the health benefits of fiber, and begin looking beyond fruits, vegetables and whole grains for fiber content, most experts expect the demand for new, safe and effective fiber ingredients from non-traditional food and non-food sources to continue to grow, along with convenient delivery systems, such as dairy foods,” says Don Montuori, director of publishing,, Rockland, Md., publisher of the hot-off-the presses report Fiber Food Ingredients in the U.S.

All dairy foods marketers should be exploring the opportunities in fortifying their offerings with fiber. There’s no doubt that the fiber food ingredients market is booming and has become a very competitive business. It is important to understand the options, and make the best decision when choosing a fiber ingredient. IFT is the perfect place to explore your options.

Two symposia can assist with your efforts:

• Session 102:  The brave new world of fiber: New functional applications, simplified measurement, labeling and health (Monday, 8:30 to 10:00am, room S401cd)

• Session 114: Understanding dietary fiber: Source, definitions and impact on food quality and health implications (Monday, 10:30am to noon, room S503ab)

According to Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, “Role of Fiber in Cardiovascular Diseases: A Review” (Volume 9, 2010), the ideal fiber food ingredient should meet the following requirements:

• Have no nutritionally objectionable components;
• Be as concentrated as possible so that minimum amounts can have a maximum physiological effect;
• Be bland in taste, color, texture and odor;
• Have a balanced composition (insoluble and soluble fractions) and adequate amounts of associated bioactive compounds;
• Have a good shelf life that does not adversely affect that of the food to be formulated;
• Be compatible with food processing;
• Have the right, positive image in the eyes of the consumer with regard to source, wholesomeness, etc.;
• Have the expected physiological effects; and
• Be reasonable in price.

Sidebar: U.S. Dairy Ingredients Take Center Stage

Helping food and beverage manufacturers discover new ways to use dairy ingredients in a wide range of product applications is the focus of the U.S. Ingredients program in booth 4223. Recent research will be available to demonstrate how U.S. dairy ingredients can contribute to improved taste, functionality and nutritional benefits that meet consumer demands.

Valuable information on innovation resources and skilled researchers will be available to discuss ways dairy ingredients can help solve many of today’s formulation challenges, including those encountered by dairy foods formulators. A number of dairy product prototypes will be available for sampling, including:

• Soothing smoothie: a creamy, milk-based whey protein smoothie that is an excellent source of protein and calcium.
• Cheesy pizza veggie dip: a nutritious and versatile cheese designed to entice kids to eat their vegetables.
• Frozen nutrition snack: a novel frozen treat containing protein and calcium to enjoy on a warm summer day.

As part of a global ingredient focus, the U.S. Ingredients program, formerly managed by Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), Rosemont, Ill., now operates under the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), Arlington, Va. For more information about the resources provided by the U.S. Ingredients program, or to learn the latest information on dairy-related research and information, visit

Sidebar: Dairy Council of California Sponsors Session

The Dairy Council of California is sponsoring a must-see session entitled: Dietary Fat and Heart Disease - Time for a Paradigm Shift?  This session runs on Monday, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in Room S403ab.

With our understanding of the effect of dietary fat on heart disease having evolved considerably during the past 30 years, new research shows that type of fat is much more important than total fat in determining heart disease risk. In fact, many other factors play important roles, including physical activity, body weight, blood pressure and consuming adequate omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. As a result, the diet-heart disease paradigm is shifting.

This session will provide a historical overview of dietary fat and its perceived association with heart disease, summarize the new research and provide industry professionals guidance as to what to expect in the future. Attendees will benefit by gaining a current and futuristic perspective on the consumer’s knowledge, attitudes and beliefs around dietary fat so that they can better gauge demand for amounts and types of fat in products, and plan appropriate and targeted educational, marketing and promotional efforts.