This year’s Scientific Programming will include four Hot Topic sessions—curated, scientific sessions focused on impactful, current trends and issues facing the science of food. They are:
From Water to Wine: How the Future of Water is Impacting our World
Monday, June 26 | 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Water is becoming a limited resource. Increasing difficulty in finding sources of safe drinking water and water resources for farming is changing water from a commodity to a valuable need. With nearly a billion people in developing countries who struggle with access to safe water, water is a need most people in developed countries take for granted. These speakers will talk about water, how it is being used conservatively in farming with the Ogallala Aquifer, and how it’s being recycled in the production of wine from the University of California, Davis’ new Sustainable Wine and Food Processing Center.
Jill Brigham, executive director of the UC Davis’ Sustainable Wine & Food Processing Center
Charles Rice, distinguished professor in soil microbiology, Kansas State University
Understanding How the Evolving Microbiome Can Be Impacted by Foods to Support a Healthy Lifestyle
Tuesday, June 27 | 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Have you been hearing more about the microbiome in recent years? Interest in dietary factors that affect the microbiome continue to increase. The dietary supplements industry has recognized this and have positioned products that deliver prebiotics and probiotics as solutions at the forefront of the trend. However, many consumers seek foods that deliver a similar effect. The focus on foods that can have an impact on the microbiome and, subsequently, our health, has experienced a recent surge with consumer interest growing rapidly.
This session will provide the latest update from the research investigating the potential impact of dietary components on immune, digestive, and emerging areas of health research that have been connected to the gut microbiome. In addition, this session will address current consumer interest and understanding of this complicated topic, providing additional insights for tailored messages to targeted consumer segments.
Hannah Holscher, assistant professor of nutrition, Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Megan Meyer, associate director of science communication, International Food Information Council (IFIC)
Rosa Sanchez, group manager, Beverage Application Group, DuPont Nutrition & Health
Big Opportunities for Big Data in the Food Industry
Tuesday, June 27 | 2:00–3:30 p.m.
Big data is the new global caproate buzzword, and refers to large volume of data sets that are complex, unstructured or multi-structured, and are generated from a variety of sources such as digital processes, mobile devices, social media exchanges, and device sensors. Volume, variety, velocity, variability, and veracity are some of the most important characteristics that describe big data. Processing and “mining” big data has the potential to generate actionable new information that can facilitate faster and improved decision making, insights discovery, and process optimization.
What can the food industry do to harness the vast potential of big data? This session will act as a primer for understanding multiple facets of big data such as the sources, characteristics, and processing technologies, and how big data could be used as a tool for predictive analytics in the food industry. The focus of the session will be on specific areas within the food industry where big data approaches can be applied such as food safety, agriculture, consumer insights, and marketing. This session will also explore some of the big data-related challenges and the future of big data in the food industry.
Jenny Zegler, trends analyst, Mintel
Parag Chitnis, deputy director, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
Mark Kunitomi, postdoctoral researcher, IBM
Tanuj Motwani, senior product development scientist, North America R&D, Mead Johnson Nutrition
Farming in the Future
Wednesday, June 28 | 8:30–10:00 a.m.
Speakers & Presentations:
Scott Nichols—Why and how increased population and demographic changes challenge our food future
George Lockwood—Aquaculture: Wil it rise to its potential to feed the world?
Oscar Monje—Space farming: Challenges and opportunities
Christopher J. Doona