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Official 2012 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo Wrap Up

BY: Kelly Hensel
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IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo®
June 25–28, Las Vegas, Nev.

Food professionals from all over the globe gathered in Las Vegas for the IFT 2012 Annual Meeting & Food Expo® June 26–28, 2012, to make this year’s event a huge success. Attracting over 18,000 registrants from all 50 states and nearly 80 countries, this year’s event featured 1,066 exhibitors, which is an 8% increase from last year. The number of international exhibitors was 358. Over 100 educational sessions and 1,000+ poster sessions provided information on the latest developments and trends in food science.

Obviously, one person can’t make it to everything that the meeting had to offer in just four short days. IFT Live—the official electronic show daily—offers the chance for you to see what you may have missed. This year, IFT Live contains 100+ articles from the event, written by the Food Technology magazine staff. Not only does IFT Live offer articles covering the show, it also includes a photo gallery and videos taken at the show.

In this newsletter—the official wrap up of the show—you will find in-depth coverage of the sessions, award winners, products from the expo, and much more. Visit IFT Live.

Casimir Akoh Receives Appert Award
Casimir C. Akoh, Distinguished Professor, Dept. of Food Science & Technology, University of Georgia, was honored as the recipient of the 2012 Nicholas Appert Award on Monday, June 25, at the Awards Celebration. Roger Clemens, IFT President, presented Akoh with the award, which is IFT’s highest honor and is given annually to an IFT member for preeminence in and contributions to the field of food science and technology. The award includes a $5,000 honorarium and a plaque from IFT. Also honored Monday night were the 15 food professionals named 2012 IFT Fellows.

Here’s a look at some of the other awards and competition winners announced at the 2012 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo®:

Food Expo Innovation Awards
Phi Tau Sigma Awards Top Students in Division Posters
IFTSA Competition Winners
Healthy School Meals Come to Fruition
Poppy Award Winners Announced

Starbucks’ Schultz Urges Business Authenticity, Transparency, and Humanity
Despite the economic challenges facing the nation—and the world—business operators can prevail by staying authentic and transparent and managing their companies through a “lens of humanity,” said IFT Keynote Speaker Howard Schultz, Starbucks president, chairman & chief executive officer. Speaking to an attentive crowd at Tuesday morning’s, June 26, Keynote Session in the convention center, Schultz reflected on the essential principles that have guided the company he took public 20 years ago.

Howard Schultz wasn’t the only presitigous guest that spoke at this year’s IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo. Speakers also included IFT’s Beacon Lecturers: Jose Saavedra, Nestlé Nutrition and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Mehmood Khan, M.D., CEO, Global Nutrition Group, and Chief Scientific Officer of PepsiCo. Here’s a look at what they shared with IFT attendees:

PepsiCo’s Khan Challenges Conventional R&D Wisdom
Healthy Beginnings Lead to Healthy Lives

Fun Run is a Sure Bet for Attendees
Las Vegas never sleeps … well, the 600+ registrants who got up first thing Wednesday morning, June 27, for the 12th Annual Fun Run and Walk may not have gotten much sleep, but it was for a good cause. And even Elvis showed up to support the effort (look for him in the video). In total, sponsorships garnered over $81,000, once again a record high for Feeding Tomorrow scholarships. More than 15 student and corporate teams were among the participants. As in previous years, Bruce Ferree, California Natural Products, again raised the most money for a single person. Just for participating, all runners received a race t-shirt.

IFT Food Expo Provides an Array of Themes
Over the years, the IFT Food Expo has set the stage for a variety of exciting food and beverage prototypes that attendees can sample. This year, Food Technology Senior Editor Donald Pszczola noted that with casinos ranging from Treasure Island to Circus Circus, from the Venetian to Paris, Las Vegas is a city of themes. In a short distance, you can visit the duplication of various settings from around the world. It is quite appropriate then that many exhibitors at the IFT Food Expo showcased their own distinctive and exciting themes. Ingredient exhibitors use prototypes not only to capture the local atmosphere, but also to demonstrate, in a number of creative ways, how their ingredients can address trends in flavor, texture, functionality, and better-for-you formulating.

Here’s a look at some of Don’s other product development takeaways from the IFT Food Expo.
Celebrating 100 Years
ADM Spotlights Line of Transparent Isolated Soy Protein
The Next Steps in the Evolution of Sweetener Strategies
Going Wild in Vegas
Rediscovering Texture
Salt-Reduction Strategies ‘Mushroom’

Establishing the Taste for Nutrition
Before their second birthday, many children have begun to develop preferences for processed carbohydrates, in the form of added sugars and sugar-sweetened beverages, and sodium. As a consequence, scientific evidence shows that susceptibility for hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and obesity are rooted early in life. Several factors conspire to predispose children to consume diets that may lead to obesity, but namely, children’s taste preferences are innate and driven by evolution and environment. During the session “Flavor Perception, Satiety, and Nutrition: Implications Throughout the Life Cycle” on Thursday afternoon, June 28, speakers explained the science behind taste perception, flavor preferences, satiety, and nutrition.

With the industry highly focused on making food healthier, many of the 100+ scientific sessions offered at the IFT Annual Meeting addressed health and wellness. Here’s a look at just some of these sessions.

Wellness Takes on a New Meaning for Consumers Delivering Appropriate Levels of Micronutrients in Food
Anthocyanins: Not Just a Colorful Facade
Endothelial Function as a New Target for Health Claims
Specialized Nutrition for Targeted Audiences