Dairy processors will be heading south this summer for IFT’s Annual Meeting + Food Expo, which runs June 22 to 24 in New Orleans, with short courses and receptions to start on June 21. Seen as one of the most important trade shows of the year for professionals involved in food science and technology, the show is expected to feature over 900 exhibiting companies. More than 100 educational sessions and 1,000 poster presentations will provide information on the latest developments and trends.

Processors scouting the 220,000-square-foot show floor can expect to see, touch, taste and experience the latest in products, the hottest tools and learn about new cutting-edge techniques. The three-day event is packed with educational sessions led by industry experts covering hot topic areas, including product development, food safety, food health and nutrition, sustainability, and food processing and packaging. (For some must-see sessions of interest to dairy processors check out the sidebar to the right.)

The Annual Meeting Scientific Program is IFT’s most comprehensive education program. This year’s program has something for food professionals in almost every sector and at all levels of experience. Key focus area program tracks are: food safety and defense; food, health and nutrition; food processing and packaging; product development and ingredient innovations; sustainability; and public policy, food laws and regulations. Other educational topics include emerging trends, new applications and commodities.

New to the program this year are Hot Topics. These topic sessions presented as part of the Scientific Program are designed to address cutting-edge technology and science research, as well as future trends and innovations. The sessions offer global perspectives and insight into the future of food science. Some of the hot topics for dairy processors to check out are: GMO’s; The Food Industry, International, and Consumer Perspectives on FSMA; and Azodicarbonamide: A Case Study of Perceptions of the Safety of Food Ingredients.

This year’s keynote session is Sunday, June 22, featuring the keynote speaker Doug Rauch, the former president of Trader Joe’s. He will share his thoughts and perspective on what the future holds for feeding the world.  Beacon lecturers for the expo are Jane Karuku, the president of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) who will also speak June 22 about the challenges and potential solutions to the critical issue of global food security; and Hod Lipson, a professor of engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and a co-author of the recent book, “Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing.” He will be speaking Monday, June 23 about what the future holds for 3D printing technology.

The awards celebration, which honors recipients of the IFT Achievement Awards and the newly elected IFT Fellows, will be held Saturday, June 21 at 5:30 p.m.  Also taking place this year is Diamonds & Donations, IFT’s 75th Anniversary Celebration. It will be held on Sunday, June 22 at 9 p.m. Proceeds from this event support the programs of Feeding Tomorrow, all designed to encourage development of the next generation of food scientists who will help to feed the world’s growing population. Tickets to this event are tax deductible.

The exhibit hours are Sunday and Monday, June 22 and 23, noon to 5 p.m., and Tuesday, June 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For exhibitor and attendee information, travel arrangements, directions and registration links, visit www.am-fe.ift.org.

Get connected — digitally

IFT’s Taste the Expo program makes it easy for attendees to locate exhibitors who are providing samples on the expo floor. Locate the products being sampled by using the event mobile app. Attendees can also watch IFT Live each day for highlights of the products being sampled. The mobile app can also be used to organize your time, get real-time alerts, and connect with colleagues and customers using the “Friends” feature. To find out more information and download the mobile app, go to www.am-fe.ift.org.

Must-See Educational Sessions

  • Dairy Foods Division: Food Chemistry Posters; Sunday, June 22, 3 p.m.
  • Dairy Foods Division: Sensory Science Posters; Sunday, June 22, 3 p.m.
  • Dairy Foods Division: Food, Health & Nutrition Posters; Monday, June 23, 11 a.m.
  • Dairy Foods Division: Food Microbiology Posters; Monday, June 23, 2:30 p.m.
  • Dairy Foods Division: Food Processing & Packaging Posters; Monday, June 23, 2:30 p.m.
  • How Dairy Companies Are Reducing Food Waste by Innovation in Extended Shelf Life Processing and Packaging Technology; Monday, June 23, 11 a.m.
  • Novel and Emerging Technologies for Dairy Foods Processing; Tuesday, June 24, 8:30 a.m.
  • Understanding Functionality and Formulation Challenges in Processed and Imitation Cheese; Tuesday, June 24, 8:30 a.m.
  •  Innovations in Nonthermal Processing of Dairy Foods; Tuesday, June 24, 1:15 p.m.