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The new federal regulations coming out of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) require that all companies producing food (not currently under regulatory-required HACCP) have a written Food Safety Plan as well as a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) to create, implement and oversee that Food Safety Plan. This two-and-a-half-day short course will satisfy both requirements to comply with the Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls for Human Foods rule. You will gain the knowledge needed to create a Food Safety Plan and meet the FDA’s training requirement to become your company’s PCQI. The course provides advice from industry professionals, hands-on group activity sessions and documentation to help you develop and implement a preventive controls Food Safety Plan. Medium-sized companies will need to be in compliance with the preventive controls rules by the Fall of 2017. Get started now to ensure that you are ready!

Designed by the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA), this is the FDA recognized course for training food and beverage industry professionals seeking to become PCQI.


IFT Members: $965
Non-Members: $1,150
Student Members: $450
Course registration includes continental breakfast, lunch, afternoon beverages, training workbook, and certificate designating you as a PCQI upon successful completion of the exam at the end of the course.
Today, six in 10 of U.S. citizens 15 to 70 years old are cutting back on meat-based products/ingredients, while an additional 17% claim to have totally or largely eliminated them from their diets. Evidence suggests that the move to a more plant-focused diet, and a greater reliance on plant-based proteins in meeting protein needs, is a long-term lifestyle decision that will continues to grow

A unique aspect of this trend is that it is broad, spanning multiple demographic groups, categories, and consumer needs. Scientific literature also supports the healthfulness of more plant-centered dietary patterns, and today’s dietary guidelines are including advice to encourage consumer consumption of more plant foods. This symposium will focus on three main aspects of the trend supporting the future growth of plant-based foods and beverages, with a specific focus on protein: the changing consumer landscape and demand for protein; the state of nutrition science supporting consumption; and the challenges food scientists face when formulating foods designed to be high in protein, and plant based.

Based on new data from a 2016 Health Focus International consumer survey, the first speaker will offer actionable insights into what is driving consumers toward more plant-based diets. This session will explore market growth drivers and profile key consumer groups who are actively seeking plant-based foods, and proteins

The second session of this symposium will focus on the scientific evidence supporting the healthfulness of more plant-centric diets, and its role in reducing cardiometabolic disease risk. While animal foods currently supply the majority of protein in the US diet, nuts, seeds, and legumes are being recommended as sources of plant protein that have been shown to improve multiple cardiometabolic risk factors. Despite advances in pharmacological and surgical management, cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the number one cause of death worldwide. Consumption of plant foods is associated with lower risk of CVD and Type 2 diabetes. Dietary patterns that emphasize plant foods are recognized in the most recent 2015 Dietary Guidelines.

The third speaker will review food formulation approaches in developing plant-based foods that are high in protein, great tasting, and affordable. Today, food formulators have many plant protein options, but many provide challenges from a taste, functionality and availability perspective. They also differ in key nutritional characteristics that can impact choice and formulation approaches. This session will explore the tradeoffs, sensory challenges, and strategies for developing high-protein foods across a variety of categories, including meat alternatives, snacks, and beverages. It will offer practical insight on strategies food formulators can apply to meet consumers’ health, wellness, and sustainability expectations, while also delivering on taste, texture, and affordability. Analyses of products developed, including sensory evaluation, will be shared as well as key insights from work investigating attributes of products formulated with blends of different plant-based proteins.

This session will conclude with a panel discussion exploring the future of the plant-based trend, including consumer trends, science, and evolving protein technology, and implications for supply-chain development that will shape this trend going forward.
The idea of producing meat using cell culture in a controlled and sterile environment, rather than from slaughtered animals has been discussed for decades. However, the technology to make this vision a reality has only recently come to fruition. Clean meat, or cell-cultured meat, has the ability to address all of the most pressing concerns about conventional animal agriculture, including land use, water consumption, food safety, antibiotic overuse, and animal welfare concerns. In this session, we will discuss the developments that have occurred along the entire pathway to commercialization – from translation between various related fields of academic research to launching start-ups to defining the regulatory landscape for this new category of food products.

Our speakers include a prominent academic researcher, the CEO of the leading U.S. clean meat company, and a food law policy expert – thus spanning the development of this emerging industry from basic research to regulatory approval. The session will be opened by Dr. Liz Specht, senior scientist with the Good Food Institute, to introduce the concept of clean meat, as this will be a novel topic for many members of the audience, and to put each speaker’s role in the development of this technology in context. She will also moderate the discussion following the speakers’ talks, in which audience members will be invited to engage in discussion with all members of the panel.

David Kaplan, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor and Director of the Bioengineering and Biotechnology Center at Tufts University, and is a renowned researcher in tissue, biomedical, and chemical engineering. He is currently advising a Ph.D. student conducting research directed towards cell cultured meat development, and will discuss the potential for translating advances in other academic areas towards accelerating the development of clean meat.

Uma Valeti, MD – a cardiologist by training – is the co-founder of Memphis Meats, which launched in 2015 and within months had produced its first cell cultured meatball. Uma will address the opportunities this field exhibits for entrepreneurial endeavors, the challenges he has faced in launching one of the very first clean meat companies, and an update of the rapid progress Memphis Meats has made in the last year.

Nicole Negowetti, JD, is a food policy expert and former law professor, and she currently serves as Policy Director for the Good Food Institute. She will provide insight on the regulatory roadmap that these new products will have to navigate – addressing questions of jurisdiction, labeling, and food safety – as well as discuss issues of transparency and consumer acceptability.
The symposium will identify, describe, and discuss the latest advances in microwave equipment design and the development of new and emerging applications for this versatile technology.

The processing aim of microwave technologies has generally been for replacing conventional thermal processing applications such as pasteurization, sterilization, and drying of food and non-food items. In food applications the main focus is on maintaining inherent product quality by the volumetric heating and reduction of treatment time. However, the inherent problem of uneven heating has remained a major hurdle that limited the industrial uptake of this technology. Recent research and development in microwave equipment and process design has demonstrated the possibility of circumventing the problems commonly associated with microwave processing, leading to more cost-effective and efficient use of the technology for heating intact fruit and vegetables for insect disinfestation, pasteurization of fruit snacks, and heat treatment of pumpable products.

Microwave design, process performance, optimization, and scale-up of the MW technology will be discussed by internationally renowned experts from research organizations and academia. The symposium is being organized by Dr. Kai Knoerzer (CSIRO), Dr. Mala Gamage (CSIRO), and Emeritus Professor N Y Tran (consultant).
If a new technology is introduced, the proponents will claim to revolutionize the food production and/or to provide more nutritious food. Whereas critics may raise concerns that the technology poses great risks to human health and the environment. However, the industry races ahead bringing applications to market and government agencies have difficulty regulating this novel technology or ingredient. This sounds familiar, but the new technology is not genetic engineering, but nanotechnology, a new food ingredient or product claim. In relation to nanotechnology many concerns have been identified that also characterize public concerns about GM (genetically modified) food including a lack of transparency. This lack of transparency is also often criticized by consumers and especially by consumer advice centers when it comes to clean product labelling. Moreover, based on current surveys only 34% of consumers agree that food companies are transparent about how food is produced, what kind of ingredients are used, and how this is communicated on the package. This session is hence designed to address the aforementioned issues, to present potential solutions, and also to inform the industry and consumer about related and recent regulation in these areas.

The symposium includes the following focus topics: (i) nanomaterials in the food sector; (ii) the challenge of positioning a naturally derived ingredient in today’s regulatory landscape; and (iii) integrated food production as tool for consumer transparency.

The symposium is being organized and moderated by Myriam Loeffler (Chair International Division; University of Hohenheim; Stuttgart, Germany) and Dr. Kai Reineke (Member at Large International Division; GNT, Germany)
This session will focus on the topics on newly developed technologies for controlled delivery of functional ingredients specifically targeting gastrointestinal (GI) health. More than 60 million Americans suffer from the issues related to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, costing about $142 billion per year. Research areas related to GI health have recently been garnering a lot of attention, evidenced by the creation of a funding program within the USDA NIFA foundational programs dedicated to the improvement of GI health: Function and Efficacy of Nutrients. Controlled delivery of functional ingredients to targeted locations in the GI tract is critical in maximizing the benefit of the bioactive ingredient. In this symposium, two technical approaches will be presented as a mode for controlled delivery: (1) innovative microencapsulation specifically targeting GI health and (2) structural design of food for controlled delivery of bioactive compounds for GI health.

Although microencapsulation and structural design of food have been widely used in many applications for food, there is a scarcity of research on targeted delivery for GI health. Thus, audiences from academia and industry will benefit from this focused symposium targeting GI health.
Bacterial antibiotic resistance has emerged to one of the top health challenges facing the 21st century. Antibiotics are used for maintaining health and productivity in food animals, and for treating diseases in animals and humans. However, mounting evidence suggests that imprudent use of antibiotics could lead to the emergence of resistant organisms posing significant problems to the food supply. In addition to bacterial resistance, some antibiotics such as carbadox can cause health problems in humans, including cancer, if their residues are present in the food. Although the US National Residue Program for Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products reported minimal violations for the presence of antibiotics in the food supply in the recent years (given the number of samples tested), reports, although scanty, indicate that there is the likelihood that these compounds end up in animal products. Given the impact of antibiotics on human health through resistance and residues, this joint symposium by the IFT Muscle Foods and Food Microbiology divisions aims to deliberate on some of the sensitive questions on the issue, and discuss the role of scientists, federal agencies, veterinarians, and industry professionals to reduce the impact of antibiotics on human health. The speakers will present and discuss the food safety, epidemiology, therapeutics, and livestock production perspectives. The selected speakers are experts on the topic and have contributed significantly to the understanding of antibiotic resistant bacteria and residues in seafood and animal-derived foods.