Feed your future
June 2-5, 2019 | New Orleans, LA

content tagged as Food Safety & Defense

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Educating the Future Food Scientists Capable of Facing Evolving Regulatory and Technological Challenges in the Global Food Industry

When: Tuesday, 07/17/2018 through Tuesday, 07/17/2018, 12:30 PM - 02:00 PM

Where: McCormick Place - S501ABCD

Over the last 25 years, the food industry faced a great deal of change in food science and technology, culture, policy, and politics and has been truly “global” in its scope and impact. Also, the emergence of new foodborne hazards, along with consumer habits, preferences, and demand for convenience, nutrition, and safety of food and ingredients have resulted in increased need for understanding and navigating changing the regulatory landscape by food industry professionals. While the academic institutions have kept pace with technical training in food science and technology, the industry is experiencing a dire shortage of prospective employees: we need food scientists, technologists, and even production workers who can function adequately in changing the regulatory and technological climate. This symposium is designed to examine the current academic preparation for food science and technology graduates and discuss associated challenges and opportunities for the food industry. This symposium is sponsored by Phi Tau Sigma, the honor society of food science and technology.
Next Generation Sequencing Metagenomics Approaches to Probe the Microbiome Throughout the Beef Chain: From Fundamentals to Applications

When: Tuesday, 07/17/2018 through Tuesday, 07/17/2018, 12:30 PM - 02:00 PM

Where: McCormick Place - S404D

This session will explore novel findings and methods used to study the microbial ecology of meat production, specifically, the microbiome during multiple segments of meat production. This includes considerations of pathogenic bacteria, microbial resistance, and spoilage bacteria. Studies of the microbiome are possible due to recent collections of large amounts of microbial sequencing data. This sequencing data may be used for bioinformatic tools to analyze and interpret data to identify and quantify bacterial species. There are, however, several considerations related with sampling and interpretation of this data. In addition to sharing recent results in this area. Speakers will provide background about this emerging approach and the important parameters that must be considered around producing and interpreting microbial ecological data.
Shedding Light on Food Safety, Quality, and Nutrition: Opportunities and Challenges With Light-Based Technologies

When: Wednesday, 07/18/2018 through Wednesday, 07/18/2018, 08:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Where: McCormick Place - N426C

The CDC estimates that every year, there are 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths in the United States due to consumption of foods contaminated with pathogens. Therefore, it is necessary to process foods to effectively inactivate these microorganisms to render food safe. Various preservation technologies have been developed and adopted successfully to eliminate or reduce microbial contamination of the food. However, conventional treatments are very highly energy intensive with high capital and operational costs. Most often these processes also result in deterioration of food quality. Therefore, there is a need for alternative processing methods that are simple, cost-effective, have high inactivation efficiencies and yield minimal quality changes. Emerging technologies such as UV light, pulsed light and LED light processing show great promise since they can inactivate the pathogenic microorganisms while preserving the quality of foods.

This session will focus on recent advances in the light-based technologies for microbial decontamination. There has been an increased interest in the applications of light-based technologies such as UV light, pulsed light and LED light for inactivating microorganisms. Typically, these technologies operate in the UV, visible and near-infrared light range. Studies have shown that these technologies can effectively inactivate myriad microorganisms. However, there are several challenges associated with these technologies. The identified speakers are experts in the light-based technologies. They will shed light on the applications and challenges of these technologies. Due to the increased interest in these technologies, a symposium on this topic is highly warranted.

This session is sponsored by Phi Tau Sigma, the honor society of food science and technology.
New Advancements in Botulinum Neurotoxin Detection Methods: From the Mouse Bioassay to Mass Spectrometry

When: Wednesday, 07/18/2018 through Wednesday, 07/18/2018, 01:15 PM - 02:45 PM

Where: McCormick Place - S404D

Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins continue to be a threat to the global food supply through natural and possibly intentional routes of contamination. Rapid, sensitive, and specific detection of the most potent neurotoxin known, botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), is of vital concern to prevent cases of the neuroparalytic disease (botulism). The mouse bioassay is considered the gold standard assay because it a positive result in the test requires all four steps of intoxication, internalization by the host through the small intestine, trafficking of the toxin to the target cell via the blood and lymphatic system, translocation into the target neuronal cell and finally, catalytic activity of the toxin's light chain on SNARE proteins to prevent the release of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction. Disadvantages to the mouse bioassay include the ethical concerns of using laboratory animals, the expensive cost, and the time to receive a positive result, which can take up to 4 days for a positive. Functional based assays (e. g. endopeptidase mass spectrometry, cell based and Förster resonance energy transfer) are specific and rely on the biological activity of the botulinum neurotoxin. Immunological and other in vitro assays, such as enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (e. g. DIG-ELISA) cannot discern between active and inactive toxins. This symposium will discuss the current assays used to detect botulinum neurotoxins in food and clinical samples, address their advantages and disadvantages, and highlight the most rapid, sensitive, and specific assays that are being widely adopted to replace existing toxin detection and/or screening methods.
Whole Genome Sequencing: Overview and Role in Food Safety Systems

When: Wednesday, 07/18/2018 through Wednesday, 07/18/2018, 08:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Where: McCormick Place - S404D

In recent years, whole genome sequencing has emerged as a powerful food safety tool. The unprecedented resolution of whole genome sequencing allows for highly improved characterization and subtyping of microorganisms over methods such as pulsed field gel electrophoresis. This in turn has helped to improve epidemiological investigations of foodborne illnesses by more quickly and accurately linking clinical isolate whole genome sequence subtypes with those of food and environmental isolates. By providing this faster and more accurate link, foodborne illness outbreaks can be resolved in much more timely manner, which therefore helps reduce the number of foodborne illness cases. Consequently, whole genome sequencing has been adopted as a key tool in the repertoire of regulatory and public health agencies such as the FDA, USDA, and CDC for resolution of foodborne illness outbreak investigations and other applications such as monitoring of antimicrobial resistance.

Yet, although these agencies have begun to use whole genome sequencing in these ways, there is still a need for policy development surrounding the technology. As a result, the use of whole genome sequencing in the food industry has been limited. There are many different applications of the technology that would greatly improve food safety management from different areas of the food industry. For instance, whole genome sequencing can be used to identify possible harborage of a bacterium in a food processing facility. It can also be used to tie together isolates that were involved in a beef slaughter "event day." Other uses of next generation sequencing technology that are not directly applied to whole genome sequencing, such as 16S metagenomics, are also important for investigating sources of spoilage and determining the types of microorganisms present at different stages of the process. Yet, due to uncertainty around the regulatory perspective of the use of the technology, the food industry has been reluctant to widely adopt it as a tool in their food safety management systems.

This symposium will discuss an overview of the current technology that is available for performing whole genome sequencing and the current uses of whole genome sequencing by third party laboratories. This will then be followed up by presentations from the meat and produce industries where the use of whole genome sequencing by the members of these industries will be discussed, along with the concerns that still remain for these industries from a regulatory standpoint. Lastly, the session will be rounded out by a presentation on the legal and regulatory concerns on the use of whole genome sequencing, including information on the current landscape of policy development with regard to the technology.
Advances and Implementation in Ultraviolet Light Technology in Beverage, Dairy, and Grain Applications

When: Tuesday, 07/17/2018 through Tuesday, 07/17/2018, 02:15 PM - 03:45 PM

Where: McCormick Place - S404A

Ultraviolet (UV) light has been used for decades for disinfecting water, and is broadly applied in Europe and North America. But until recently it has not been adopted for opaque fluids such as liquid foods and beverages. Recently, successful application in juice treatment has demonstrated the feasibility of UV for treating these fluids, and UV technology has started to emerge as a promising non-thermal preservation processes for other beverages. As a non-thermal, non-chemical disinfection technology, UV is anticipated to have minimal effects on product quality, flavor, and nutritive content. UV treatment is effective against food and water borne pathogens, spoilage microflora, spores, and can control pathogen levels to comply with regulatory requirements. The challenge remains that the range of optical and other properties of beverages is extremely broad. Also, each disinfection process may have different microbiological targets, meaning that each UV process has to be developed individually using specific system designs. In each application, three factors must be assessed: the treatment level required for the necessary reduction in target pathogen levels; the impact on product quality; and the regulatory requirements.

UV treatment may also be applied to destroy pathogens and chemical contaminants on solid surfaces, and UV is often used in laboratories to inactivate pathogens in fume hoods. Recently UV has been considered for treating surface toxins on grains, but in this application there are significant challenges in ensuring uniform treatment of an opaque, irregular object. In spite of this, recent research has shown promising results in this application, achieving significant reductions in mycotoxins on the surface of grain. Ultraviolet (UVC) light at 253.7 nm has shown promise as a non-ionizing postharvest strategy for the reduction of fungal and mycotoxin loads on both artificial and grain surfaces. Since the challenges of implementing UV are both theoretical and practical, this symposium has been designed as a collaboration between academic, government research, and UV industry experts. This symposium will briefly introduce the fundamental principles of UVC light germicidal effects and present approaches for evaluation of product and process parameters in applications of this technology for liquid foods and solid surfaces.

The first focused presentation will address the commercialization of UVC light application for non-thermal pasteurization of water in the dairy industry and requirements for regulatory compliance with the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance that governs the production of Class A dairy products. The second presentation will discuss UVC disinfection for beverages with low UV transmittance, focusing on juices. The effect of fluid optical properties on achieving required log reduction of food-borne pathogens will be discussed, and inactivation of relevant pathogens will be demonstrated. The third presentation will discuss the application of UV treatment for grain, in order to destroy mycotoxins on the food surface. The presenter will discuss results of a feasibility study of UVC light application to reduce fungal growth and mycotoxin loads on the surface of stored corn and wheat, and detail the challenges of UV treatment of UV treatment of irregular shapes.
How Does the Sanitary Transport of Human and Animal Food Impact Our Supply Chain?

When: Tuesday, 07/17/2018 through Tuesday, 07/17/2018, 02:15 PM - 03:45 PM

Where: McCormick Place - S404D

The final rule on the Sanitary Transport of Human & Food was issued in April of 2016. The implementation of this rule has had some far reaching implications as it has been rolled out into the industry. The FDA web site states: “This rule is one of the seven foundational rules that were proposed in 2013 in order to create a modern risk-based framework for food safety. The goal of this rule is to prevent practices during transportation that create food safety risks.” The new Sanitary Transport Rule has added a fair amount of complexity into the way we do business. This panel discussion will give insight into how audit organizations (GFSI), manufacturing companies (Coca-Cola), suppliers (Ingredion), and carriers (Carry Transit) have put programs and processes in place to make sure they are in compliance with this rule. Each person will provide a brief overview of how their groups or company have addressed implementation and then allow time for the audience to ask the group questions in a panel format.
Food Fraud: Addressing New Standards and Current Challenges

When: Wednesday, 07/18/2018 through Wednesday, 07/18/2018, 01:15 PM - 02:45 PM

Where: McCormick Place - N427ABC

Food fraud or economically motivated adulteration (EMA) is defined as the intentional misrepresentation of the identity or contents of a food ingredient or product for economic gain. It has been estimated that up to 10% of the food supply is affected by fraud, with some of the major targets being dairy ingredients, seafood products, meat and poultry products, olive oil, spices, coffee and tea, and honey. Food fraud can have significant impacts in areas such as food safety, consumer confidence, food quality, brand integrity and business revenue. In order to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act Final Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food and new food standards established by the Global Food Safety Initiative, the food industry must be prepared to develop food fraud mitigation plans for susceptible food products. The United States Pharmacopeia and other organizations have developed a number of resources to assist the food industry in developing these mitigation plans. This session will begin with a presentation on the topic of food fraud and its effects on the food industry. The current regulatory requirements and standards related to food fraud will be discussed, with a focus on the Food Safety Modernization Act and the Global Food Safety Initiative. The presentation will also provide information on how to comply with these requirements, including currently available resources. The final two presenters will address examples of specific food commodities that are particularly vulnerable to food fraud: seafood, coffee, and tea. These presentations will examine the specific issues affecting these commodities that make them vulnerable to fraud; the food safety and food quality effects of fraud; commonly used methods for detection of fraud; and how organizations are working to address fraud within these commodities. This symposium will also bring together USP, the leading provider of ingredient standards and Eurofins, the global leader in authenticity testing, to address provide a comprehensive review of the state of food fraud mitigation strategies. Introducing the topic of food fraud, giving background on incidents of food fraud, provide examples on the various types of food fraud and provide guidance on resources which are available to develop a food fraud program. Describing the expectations and requirements from customers through the Global Food Safety Initiative recognized standards, including the documentation requirements for vulnerability assessments and mitigation strategies. We will also review the current capabilities of authenticity testing in detail, including specific analysis types for different products and recommendations on testing strategy for a mitigation plan involving testing.
Whole Genome Sequencing: An Industry Perspective

When: Wednesday, 07/18/2018 through Wednesday, 07/18/2018, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Where: McCormick Place - S404D

As WGS becomes more prevalent in surveillance and regulatory compliance operations, and foodborne illness attribution, there are, however, several areas of continued debate surrounding the use of WGS-based tools. These include but are not limited to standardizing methodologies to determine similarity; appropriateness of retrospective linking of illnesses, establishing insanitary manufacturing conditions; and continued need for reliance on epidemiological and consumption evidence. The session will include a panel of speakers representing academia, government, and industry who will share their technical and regulatory perspectives, and the real-world opportunities and challenges related to the growth of WGS in food safety applications.

This panel will discuss the application of a highly advanced and promising tool in our food production system and consider science and risk-based regulatory approaches and policies to drive public health objectives.
Utilizing Blockchain for Improved Traceability Panel Discussion

When: Wednesday, 07/18/2018 through Wednesday, 07/18/2018, 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM

Where: McCormick Place - IFTNEXT Stage

Technology is changing at a revolutionary pace. Think about how the commoditization of the internet changed the retail and banking sectors. A similar trend is being observed in the world of food traceability. It’s not just that we are collecting more data about our global food system but we are getting smarter about how we leverage technology to get smarter about utilizing the data we collect. Data collected for traceability is helping anticipate issues in food quality and respond more effectively to issues in food safety. IFT’s Global Food Traceability Center has studied and evaluated several novel traceability technologies that show potential, from the use of whole genome sequencing to trace foodborne outbreak pathogens and contamination sources to the use of synthetic DNAs sprayed on packaging to prevent temperature abuse. Lessons learned from other industries can help accelerate the rate of adoption of traceability best practices such as RX360 in the pharmaceutical sector or electronic patient records in the healthcare sector. One exciting technology that is promising the potential to bring our food safety systems into the 21st century is blockchain based on lessons learned from the financial sector.

Blockchain is a transformative technology that could finally enable the traceability and the transparency that the industry has been working toward. This holistic view of information could enable better execution in the supply chain itself to drive improved food safety, better sustainability, reduction of waste and other key benefits. Blockchain isn't a silver bullet, but its unique characteristics as a trusted, shared system of record allow us to solve both the underlying technology problem and the fundamental social problem that have hampered previous efforts. With blockchain we can improve how we digitize and distribute all of the information on the food ecosystem. In addition, we can provide the trust that allows entities to actually participate. By enabling the participation of the entire ecosystem with the creation of a trusted record of the food system, the food ecosystem will be transparent and traceable, and in a way that supports the business interests.

The food system has been changing since the dawn of time, but never more rapidly or dramatically as it has the potential to do so today. Whether we live in Shenzhen, Santiago, Sheffield, or Chicago, we can choose to buy local or enjoy the best products from the best producers anywhere in the world without regard for the season. We go online and get whatever we want to be delivered directly to our door or local store. While this modern food system has resulted in more choice, affordability, and convenience, in some instances, it also has resulted in consumers being far removed from where food comes from and how it’s been produced. As a result, there is a need for even greater collaboration regarding food traceability and transparency solution. Blockchain, as new and emerging technologies, have the potential to enable a new era of end-to-end transparency in the global food system that will further promote responsible actions and behaviors.