IFT’s 2015 Food Expo gives attendees a first-hand look at the latest trends, the newest products and the most recent innovations driving food science. Processors can expect to see, touch, taste and experience the latest products. Last year, more than 16,500 people from 85 countries registered for the event that took place in New Orleans. This year, over 23,000 food science and technology professionals from more than 90 countries are expected to participate. The expo kicks off Saturday, July 11, with highlights that include the IFT awards celebration and welcome reception, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., hosted by Chicago’s Field Museum.

The expo will feature over 80 educational sessions and 1,000 poster presentations with information on the latest developments and trends. (See the sidebar for some must-see sessions of interest to dairy processors.) More than 1,200 companies are expected to exhibit. The sessions are divided into focus areas, including:

  • Food, Health & Nutrition
  • Food Processing & Packaging
  • Food Chemistry
  • Food Safety & Defense
  • Food Engineering
  • Product Development & Ingredient Innovations
  • Sustainability

To make it easier for attendees to search and plan what sessions to check out, IFT’s Session Planner now allows people to search by content specific to their job role and specific keywords, or search using the open text box feature to find specific presenters and/or session titles.

Other general session highlights

  • CEO Panel: Is Big Food, Bad Food? CEO’s Alan D. Wilson, McCormick Company, and Javed Ahmed, Tate & Lyle, discuss questions that impact the global food system.
  • Women in Food Science Business Panel. The changing roles of women in the food industry and a celebration of the accomplishments of women in food science. Featured panelists include representatives from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Land O’Lakes and Fresca Foods.
  • Futurist and author Mike Walsh will share emerging trends and technologies, as well as shifts in consumer behavior, and how these changes could impact the food industry.
  • FutureFood 2050: The Art of Producing a Science-Based Documentary. Attendees can learn about the making of IFT’s new documentary film, “Food Evolution,” from Oscar-nominated director Scott Hamilton Kennedy, and get an insider’s preview of the film prior to its release.

What’s new?

A new experiential exhibit called The Protein Experience lets participants physically follow the path food takes through the human body. The experience will feature and dimensionalize the latest research on how protein-based foods are transformed upon entering the body and how they break down.  It is a full sensory experience that allows participants to see, touch, taste, smell and explore elements of next generation food trends that will impact the food industry. This exhibit will have four zones:

  • Zone 1 – Mastication and the Sensory Experience
  • Zone 2 – The Stomach Experience
  • Zone 3 – The Intestines Experience
  • Zone 4 – How will Science Inform Innovation through Wellness

The expo features several specialty pavilions. Some that are of interest to processors include the Beverage Pavilion, Food Safety & Quality Pavilion, Healthy Food Ingredient Pavilion, Organic Pavilion, and Innova Market Insights “Taste the Trend” Pavilion.

Visitors to IFT’s Innovation Booth will find interactive resources and meet-and-greets, including recent The Amazing Race winners, “Sweet Scientists” Amy and Maya, and a book signing from futurist Mike Walsh. Attendees can also sample a variety of futuristic food and explore more IFT resources. The special exhibit Cooking Up Science will feature live cooking demonstrations presented by celebrated industry chefs, including the Food Network’s Iron Chef Marc Forgione.

The IFT mobile app is available for visitors looking for convenient tools and more resources to help plan their onsite experiences. Show attendees can also join the new IFT15 Group on IFT Connect to access a community of food professionals that can give suggestions on how to make the most of the show.  To learn more about the mobile app, and for more exhibitor and attendee information, travel arrangements, directions and registration links, visit www.am-fe.ift.org

Must-See Educational Sessions/Lectures

Advances in Dairy Processing With an Eye Towards Improving Sustainability

Sunday, July 12, 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.


Sugar Reduction in Beverages: Challenges, Solutions, and Evaluation Techniques for Reduced Sugar/Zero Calorie Beverages

Sunday, July 12, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.


Adding Value to Food and Nutrition Through Probiotics: Present Status and Future Perspective

Sunday, July 12, 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.


Formulating for Clean Label Products: Regulatory, Market Drivers, and Ingredient Selection Options for the Product Developer

Monday, July 13, 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.


Challenges and Opportunities in a Growing Cheese Products Market

Monday, July 13, 12:30 pm - 2 p.m.


Protein Functionality and Process Interactions: A Cross-Source Investigation for Best Practices

Monday, July 13, 12:30 pm - 2 p.m.


New Process Innovations Leading to Enhanced Dairy Protein Performance and Creation of New Products and Textures

Monday, July 13, 2:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.


Featured Lecture

Mark L. Heiman, Ph.D., vice president and chief science officer for MicroBiome Therapeutics will discuss his research into the way food and food ingredients modulate the GI microbiome.

Monday, July 13, 4 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.


Translating Protein Science: New Insights on the Importance and Power of Protein

Tuesday, July 14, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.


Gut Microbial Ecology Affecting Health: Probiotics and Prebiotics

Tuesday, July 14, 1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.


Heavy Metal Contamination in Food: Health Hazards and Detoxification Strategies

Tuesday, July 14, 1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.