Hot Topic Sessions

NEW! Hot Topic sessions presented as part of the 2014 Annual Meeting Scientific Program  address critical issues and challenges in the food industry, and feature cutting-edge technology and science research, as well as insights into future trends and innovations. These sessions offer global perspectives and insight into the future of food science. Topics include GMOs, case studies of safety of food ingredients such as Azodicarbonomide, perspectives on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), obesity, and innovative technology.

Azodicarbonamide: A Case Study of Perceptions of the Safety of Food Ingredients
Sunday, June 22, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Room 293-294

Azodicarbonamide is a dough improver approved in the US for use in bread at 45 ppm. While FDA regards the ingredient as safe, other organizations, notable CSPI, call attention to the carcinogenic compounds formed during baking and campaign for it to be banned. However despite their best efforts, azodicarbonamide has remained in wide use. This all changed, on February 4th when a food blogger, Vana Hari, “The Food Babe”, launched an campaign against the use of azodicarbonamide by the fast food chain Subway. She called attention to the fact azodicarbonamide was found in yoga mats as well as bread, she contrasted the use of a synthetic chemical to the Subway “Eat Fresh” brand and she referred to some toxicological studies of the compound as a bulk chemical. By most standards her campaign was much less scientifically grounded than that of CSPI but much more effective.

By February 6, 2014, over 70,000 people had signed her petition and Subway had given way and taken steps to remove the ingredient. In this session we will use the azodicarbonamide story to talk about how different actors in the food system consider risk and why some campaigns are effective and others are not.

Presented by: Greg Noonan, FDA; Lisa Lefferts, CSPI; Linda Eatherton, Ketchum

Perspectives on the GMO Debate
Monday, June 23, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
Room 293-294

GM crops have been a large part of the US diet for many years, and are accepted as safe by almost all scientific bodies yet they remain controversial. Chefs and food companies proudly use “GM-free” as a feature in their products and the campaigns to ban or force labeling of GM are gathering force. In this session two people who have spent many years in the debate will reflect what GM means to consumers and what their concerns says about our food system. John Ruff is a past-president of IFT after retiring from many years with Kraft and Josh Schonwald is a Chicago-based journalist who has written widely on GM and other food technologies.

Presented by: Josh Schonwald, Author, Journalist; John Ruff, Immediate Past IFT President

The Food Industry, International, and Consumer Perspectives on FSMA
Monday, June 23, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Room 293-294

How is the food industry preparing to comply with the new rules proposed under the Food Safety Modernization Act? This panel of top level experts will discuss their approaches to preparing for the new proposed rules. Panelists represent various sectors of the food industry and will speak to industry, government, consumer and international perspectives with regards to the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Presented by: Kurt Diebel, Ph.D, Heinz North America; Robert Brackett, Illinois Institute of Technology; Christine Bruhn, Ph.D., CFS, University of California Davis; Cory Bryant, Ph.D., CFS, FDA-CFSAN; Thea Emmerling, Minister Counselor, Delegation of the European Union

Innovative Multi-Hurdle Technology Concepts: A Key to Bacterial Spore Control
Monday, June 23, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Room 395

Successful innovation requires maintaining the steady progression from research in the pilot plant and laboratory to the commercial marketplace to meet consumer demand for delicious, wholesome, fresh-like, safe foods. In general, interest in nonthermal processing as innovative technologies for food preservation is growing at an unprecedented rate worldwide. Following an introductory presentation by a world-leading bacterial spore expert on basic mechanisms of bacterial spores (including landmark findings for the interactions of individual bacterial spores with high pressure), additional speakers will present their breakthrough research in terms of novel hurdles combination to inactivate or control bacterial spores in shelf-stable foods. Food companies endeavor to meet consumer needs and gain competitive advantage through differentiation and generate competitive advantage, the use of nonthermal technologies may help differentiation be realized through higher nutritional profiles, functional and natural properties, or simply appealing taste. As conventional production and sterilization processes relying mainly on heat, low water activity or low pH-values to control bacterial spores ensure microbiological safety but can degrade taste and nutritional properties of foods due to overprocessing, the solutions presented herein focus on innovative physical aspects of the multi-hurdle technology MHT concept, such as mechanical, electromagnetical, chemical, and combined thermal processes. These solutions need to be combined with physico-chemical hurdles to assure additive or synergistic effects to enable spore inactivation or inhibition for the production of high-quality, safe, more fresh-like foods for consumers to enjoy.

Presented by: Peter Setlow, University of Connecticut Health Center; Christopher Doona, US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC); Kai Reineke, Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam-Bornim e.V.; Erika Georget, German Institute of Food Technologies.