Building Strong Futures
Annual food technology show focuses on the best of food science.
New to the show this year is a Monday-through-Friday format. In addition, IFT has separated the banquet recognizing the 2004 IFT Achievement Award recipients/IFT Fellows from the Opening Session, “in response to member requests.” To acknowledge current and past award winners and publicize its awards and recognitions, IFT will be making a “Hall of Honor” available for viewing at the convention center throughout the meeting.
The Opening Session, to be held on Monday, July 12 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., will feature Joel A. Barker as the keynote speaker. Also known as “the Paradigm Man,” Barker popularized the concept of paradigm shifts in relation to profound change, stressing the importance of vision in driving change throughout an organization. His latest book, co-authored with Scott Erickson, discusses the role TechnecologiesTM — technologies organized into technological ecosystems — play in shaping the long-term future of our planet. Titled “Five Regions of the Future,” the book is to be published in January 2005.
The technical program includes more than 100 symposia, oral presentations, poster sessions, and forums tackling topics ranging from emerging trends in hurdle technologies to the potential impact of the revised Food Guide Pyramid on the food industry. An IFT Student Association (IFTSA) product development competition also is on the technical program agenda.
This year’s “Hot Topics” presentations are aligned with the theme: “Keeping the Food Industry Competitive.” Specific topics in-clude “Expanding Margins, not Waistlines,” which examines the role food manufacturers can play in mitigating the obesity problem by pursuing it from a business perspective; “Changing the Odds,” which looks at how the food industry is evolving and the macro factors that are altering its competitive landscape; and “When Mad Cow Comes Home,” which covers the status of the recent BSE occurrence in the United States and discusses the approaches employed to resolve this challenge.
More than 800 exhibitors will be on hand to show off the latest food ingredients and technologies during the Food Expo portion of the show.
New to the exhibit floor this year is the IFT/Research Chefs Association (RCA) New Product Development Pavilion, which will showcase the intermingled disciplines of food science and “Culinology” — a term used to describe the fusion of culinary art and science. For three days, chefs from the retail and restaurant market segments will work side by side with food technologists at the interactive pavilion to create new culinary dishes that boast “popular and trend-setting ingredients.”
Analysts from Mintel’s Global New Products Database will host “Global New Product Trends & Tasting Presentations” on the show floor. The presentations will focus on the themes of health and wellness ingredients trends, ethnic flavor trends, and convenience and packaging trends. Mintel also will be offering more than 50 “outstanding” new products from the Americas, Asia, and Europe for attendees to sample.
This year’s show also will include an International Buyer’s Lounge with more than 70 sponsored buyers. The Foreign Agricultural Service will be available to help link up exhibitors with buyers for one-on-one meetings, as well as to assist with coordination with state regional trade groups and state departments of agriculture.
A number of activities await IFTSA members, including a Welcome Mixer, a Welcome Assembly, the 20th Annual Intercollegiate Food Science and Technology College Bowl Competi-tion, and more.