content tagged as Symposium

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Clean labeling has become one of the buzzwords in the food industry in recent times. Consumers are demanding natural and fresh foods more than ever, and a clean label often indicates the wholesomeness of food products containing natural ingredients. This demand has resulted in explosive growth in the natural and organic sector. By 2020, the sales of the organic and natural sector are expected to reach 14% of total sales. Major companies have committed to limit artificial ingredients in their products. The majority of those ingredients have been in use as preservatives, and therefore their removal poses a looming question for achieving the required shelf life. Food spoilage and the threat of contamination from various foodborne pathogens are problems that need attention. Even though reformulating food products with the inclusion of natural preservatives is one of the ways to achieve the clean label target, often this approach becomes difficult due to the sensory changes resulting from the addition of those natural preservatives. Food packaging can act as a final intervention step to prevent contamination, and the latest developments in active packaging technologies promise to effectively reduce the need for food additives and preservatives without compromising a product’s shelf life or freshness, as well as lead to opportunities for clean labeling.

Active packaging technologies include physical, chemical, or biological activities which change the interactions between a package, product, and/or headspace of the package to achieve a desired food quality characteristic. Active packaging systems can be broadly classified into active releasing systems (release of antimicrobials, CO2, antioxidants, flavors, ethylene), active scavenging systems (oxygen, CO2, moisture, ethylene, odor), modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), and modifications of packaging polymers (coatings, surface modifications, barrier layers) to obtain the desirable properties.

In this session, the speakers will cover the latest developments and challenges in the area of active packaging, specifically, the use of antimicrobial polymers to control microbial growth; the synthesis of non-migrating, chelating active packaging films which enable removal of the synthetic additives and help in reducing oxidative food spoilage; extending the shelf life of food by reducing the effects of oxidation and moisture through the use of oxygen scavengers and desiccants; and the use of MAP in effecting clean labeling initiatives.

This is symposium is sponsored by the Food Science and Technology Honorary Society Phi Tau Sigma.
Obesity is one of the biggest drivers of preventable chronic diseases and healthcare costs in the United States. The total direct and indirect costs of obesity-related health conditions range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year. Therefore, it is necessary to develop effective strategies that promote weight loss and improve diabetic control. Diet, calorie restriction, and exercise are the most popular anti-obesity interventions, and diets enriched in protein or fiber are effective in promoting satiety in short-term human studies. However, in the long-term, the weight loss resulting from consumption of either high protein or high fiber diet is often transient (~ 1 year) followed by gradual weight regain and little is known about the underlying mechanisms by which weight loss and metabolic improvements are achieved. Through the session, the speakers will provide insight on how dietary protein and carbohydrate affect metabolic health. The speakers will present the latest data from their own research and will review the current science on how differences in protein and carbohydrate consumption affect appetite, metabolism, and energy expenditure. Further, they will also provide knowledge on combinations of dietary protein and carbohydrates can target different components of the body’s homeostatic network to regulate energy balance. This knowledge will aid in developing novel functional food/nutraceutical products that can treat obesity and its related metabolic abnormalities.
The presence of allergens in food presents a significant health hazard for some consumers and an economic burden for industry. New food ingredients that contain proteins must be thoroughly tested for allergenic potential and foods that contain even traces of new or known allergens must be properly labeled. Although many believe that any dose of an allergen is hazardous, there may be threshold levels under which allergic reactions will not occur, allowing for safe levels of allergen exposure to be determined. Food allergen recalls can be reduced through improved industry awareness and preventative controls. Attendees of this session will learn how to properly test a food ingredient for the potential to cause allergenicity, label products containing allergens, determine when an allergen should be reported, and prevent recalls.
An important aspect to many food and non-food products is aftertaste or after-feel, the lingering sensory sensations perceived after the product is swallowed, expectorated, applied, or used. Over the past several years, this important area of sensory science has received more attention in the scientific literature, as well as by those in product development, as professionals are appreciating its relevance and influence on consumer acceptance and product usage. In addition, several scientific studies have sought to understand the influence of product composition on the perception of aftertaste, a topic that is of interest to product developers. Even though this topic has great industry application, a session at IFT has not been organized around sensory aftertaste/feel for a number of years.

Thus, the overall objective of this session is to educate attendees on the importance of aftertaste/feel and the sensory considerations associated with measuring this perception. Our moderator, Dr. Stella Salisu, will introduce the area of aftertaste/afterfeel and present the three speakers in the session. Our first speaker, Dr. Zata Vickers, will introduce the fundamentals surrounding aftertaste/afterfeel, including its perception and importance in consumer product choice and acceptance. She will also describe methodological considerations when measuring aftertaste/feel, including minimizing carryover between samples. The next speaker, Dr. Carolyn Ross, will talk about the application of research methods for the study of aftertaste in various foods and beverages. Using a wide variety of specific examples including wine, seafood, and gum, she will describe specific studies, including methodologies used to measure aftertaste in different systems and the importance of aftertaste in the acceptance of these different products. She will also present how changing the composition of the food can influence aftertaste perception. Our last speaker will be Ms. Lee Stapleton. Using several examples in the area of personal-care products and her extensive experience in this area, Ms. Stapleton will present the area of afterfeel, including the development of appropriate sensory terms to describe these sensations and the consumer reaction to different aspects of afterfeel. After our last speaker, Dr. Salisu, our moderator, will summarize the session and open up the microphones for questions.
This session will address food waste analysis, give a roadmap of priority waste reduction solutions, highlight developments relating to food donation and food recovery, stress the importance of measuring food loss and waste, and give participants insight into tools and standards for measurement.
This session addresses the growing attention on traditional Korean fermented foods such as kimchi and fermented soy products due to their various health benefits. As a growing body of scientific evidence on the health functionalities of Korean foods is published in scientific journals and distributed through the public media, it is timely to open a focused Korean food session in IFT. This session will cover historical and cultural backgrounds, characteristics, and the most up-to-date scientific data on the health functionalities of Korean fermented foods. All the speakers are distinguished experts who have been dedicated to academic research on Korean traditional foods for many years. The first two speakers will talk about cultural and historical backgrounds and characteristics of and science behind traditional Korean foods. Dr. Cherl-Ho Lee, the IFT Fellow and the chairman of the Korea Food Security Research Foundation, will be presenting the geographical and environmental background of the appearance of primitive pottery culture in the Korea Strait region and its influence on the development of fermentation technology and dietary culture in Northeast Asia, especially Korea. Dr. Dae Young Kwon of the Korea Food Research Institute (KFRI) will be presenting on the unique and diverse nature of the K-diet (Korean diet) developed in relation to the cultural history of Korean food. He will also discuss the health benefits of traditional Korean foods from the viewpoint of modern life science and biotechnology. Next, two speakers will focus on the health functionalities of two most important Korean fermented foods, kimchi and doenjang (fermented soybean paste). Dr. Kun-Young Park of Cha University, Korea, will be present on anti-obesity and anti-cancer effects of these foods. A reduction of body weight and suppression of adipogenesis while promoting β-oxidation-based lipolysis in a high-fat-diet-induced in vivo obesity model will be intensively discussed. Also, anti-cancer activity in an AOM/DSS-induced colon cancer model and an H. pylori-induced gastric cancer model will be talked about. Dr. Hak-Jong Choi of the World Institute of Kimchi, Korea, will be invited to talk about how probiotics isolated from kimchi can influence the gut microbiota of a high-fat-diet-induced in vivo obesity model. Improvement of the overall structure of the HFD-disrupted gut microbiota after administration of two selected kimchi probiotics, Pediococcus inopinatus WIKIM27 and Lactobacillus sakei WIKIM31 and its correlation with obesity-related parameters will be discussed. The potential use of kimchi probiotics for therapeutic purposes in treating obesity will also be discussed. This session will recruit many participants who are interested in healthy Korean foods developed through the nation’s long history.
The biosensors industry is now worth billions of US dollars, with applications mostly in the biomedical field. The use of biosensors as emerging technologies could revolutionize the study and detection of foodborne pathogens, toxins, allergens, contaminants, and biomarkers for food quality. The development of biosensors will further serve the food industry, agricultural sector, regulatory community, and public health. Even though the biosensor research field attracts the attention of national initiatives across the world and tens of thousands of papers have been published in the area, very few of these biosensor technologies actually translate from research labs to real-life applications, in particular for food systems applications. This symposium will feature some recent and significant advances in the field of biosensing and its applications to food safety, food quality, and food processing and agriculture, as well as other biological systems. Presentations will provide insightful scientific and engineering analysis of advanced biosensor systems and propose future research directions. The speakers will address current innovations and challenges in biosensing technology and discuss strategies and current efforts to translate current research to real-life applications. To maximize the attendance and impact of this symposium, presenters have been carefully chosen for their diverse expertise on biosensing technologies, including real-time portable and disposable biosensors for the detection of infectious pathogens using nanotechnology approaches, new methods for pre-concentration and detection of infectious pathogens in food matrices using magnetic and gold-functionalized nanoparticles, novel antimicrobial agents to control antibiotic resistant bacterial, optical-based nanobiosensor designs to detect and discriminate neurotoxins in food, and sensors and high-throughput screening technologies for measuring multiple pathogens, spoilage microorganisms, and biomarkers of contamination in food and agricultural products.
The food industry faces unprecedented challenges over the foreseeable future, not the least of which will be to feed and nourish 8.5 billion people by 2030 and perhaps as many as 10 billion by 2050! In order to meet this formidable challenge, the food industry must undergo a 21st century revolution, much like the agricultural revolution of the 18th century. Mankind must nearly double food output over the next 30 years, but also produce enough nutritious food, notably protein, and dietary energy for the world’s population in a sustainable manner. Food and nutrition security will exist when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food. Thus, the term “security” has greater plurality than simple access to enough food to fill the stomach. The term also encompasses agricultural, environmental, nutritional, microbiological, social, behavioral, economic, demographic and geo-political aspects. As the agro-food industry goes through a 21st century revolution, it must develop strategies that address these aspects of food and nutrition security.

In this symposium, internationally renowned experts from industry and research organizations will explore (i) protein needs for a burgeoning global population and the role of emerging tools from biology and information technology; (ii) malnutrition and the need for new dietary strategies to ensure adequate protein intake throughout life; and (iii) product innovations for humanitarian food assistance intervention in the quest for food and nutrition security.

Organized by Dr. Geoffrey Smithers, Global Outreach Coordinator – International Division; and Dr. Ratna Mukherjea, Leadership Group – Protein Division.
Discrimination testing continues to be an important method for decision-making within the industry. Many companies have a historical basis upon which to guide product development and maintenance using discrimination test methods. As shown by a recent survey of the sensory and consumer research community at large, many have strong interests in gathering and establishing expertise and capabilities for discrimination research including understanding which methods are best for their business/situation, managing risk when designing discrimination tests, practical design aspects, the how’s and why’s of detection theory, Thurstonian models and d-prime, how to compare different methods, how different products or categories impact discrimination test design, and more. Researchers now have many discrimination tools available to help guide decision-making for their organizations and want current insights and strategies on how best to apply the methods available.

This session will provide a review of the basic fundamentals of discrimination testing, cover advanced methods and models, and will also include new, evolving discrimination methods for users to consider.
Sugar reduction is a global trend, and several countries are not only educating consumers about their sugar consumption patterns but also responding with regulations on sugar in foods. In 2016, the United States of America’s added-sugars section on the Nutrition Facts label, the United Kingdom’s soft-drinks industry levy, and South Africa’s proposal for the taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages are a few examples of such responses. Partial or complete replacement of nutritive sweeteners from food and beverages is a need of the hour; this cannot be realized without understanding the major functionality of these ingredients – sweet taste. Learning the mechanisms behind ingredients’ unique capability of eliciting sweet taste can open new avenues in innovation, help researchers identify alternatives, and achieve sugar reduction.

Chemosensory research is advancing with each decade and sweet tasting compounds are constantly subjected to investigation. The transduction of seet taste through T1R2 and T1R3 receptors is well known and the possible secondary metabolic pathway is recently published. The understanding of these taste mechanisms has paved a new way for innovation. New sweetener boosters are identified and allosteric effect between boosters and sweet taste receptors is confirmed. Taking a cue from olfaction influence of volatiles on taste, the research has also progressed into establishing the role of several aromatic volatile compounds in sweetness enhancement. These technologies are constantly evolving, and helping food and beverage formulators move towards sugar reduction targets. This session will focus on the introduction to sweet tasting mechanisms, contribution of aromatic volatiles to sweetness, and achieving sugar reduction using these tools.