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Phytonutrient-dense ingredients subjected to heat during conventional drying processes undergo a reduction in quality, including, but not limited to, nutrient degradation, oxidation, and sensory characteristics. This symposium will introduce novel drying processes which are being examined for their use in drying nutrient-sensitive ingredients. Foods which are particularly rich in phytonutrients include fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, strawberries, oranges, carrots, beets, and spinach. Phytonutrients, or phytochemicals found in such foods, include carotenoids, ellagic acid, flavonoids, resveratrol, phytoestrogens, and more. Many of these compounds act as antioxidants and are physiologically beneficial. Due to the perishability of most produce there is a demand for a longer shelf-life and also for more convenient ways to consume fruits and vegetables. Dehydrating these whole foods renders them shelf-stable, lighter, and easier to eat on-the-go. Traditional drying methods use heat which may degrade these sensitive nutrients, potentially decreasing the benefits that may be reaped from consuming such products.

However, Radiant Zone Drying, Ultrasonic Processing, and Vacuum Microwave drying have been identified as novel drying processes that efficiently preserve sensitive nutrients resulting in higher nutritional and sensory quality when compared to more traditional methods. These novel dehydration methods quickly dehydrate foods without destroying nutrients, are cost effective, and most importantly, result in a higher quality product. Foods can be dried as whole or as pieces, or into powders, and can be consumed as is or incorporated into other products. Furthermore, these processes provide an opportunity to produce high quality, lower cost ingredients that can be used in the development of new products and in the improvements of existing one.

This symposium will first introduce Infidri, or Radiant Zone Drying, including an overview of the process, applications for the technology, current research on microbial lethality, and data on vitamin retention. Next, an overview of Vacuum Microwave drying and its benefits will be examined, including its ability to produce high quality, lower cost ingredients at a reduced volume and weight that can be used in the development of commercial products and military rations. Following this will be a presentation on ultra sound-assisted drying methods, including a related quality retention study which demonstrates its ability to remarkably improve texture, drying time, and rehydration. Lastly, a case study will be presented which will showcase how novel dehydrated products have been used in the development of a shelf-stable beverage, which will include results from storage studies, sensory evaluation, and nutrient retention.
Clean labeling has become one of the buzzwords in the food industry in recent times. Consumers are demanding natural and fresh foods more than ever, and a clean label often indicates the wholesomeness of food products containing natural ingredients. This demand has resulted in explosive growth in the natural and organic sector. By 2020, the sales of the organic and natural sector are expected to reach 14% of total sales. Major companies have committed to limit artificial ingredients in their products. The majority of those ingredients have been in use as preservatives, and therefore their removal poses a looming question for achieving the required shelf life. Food spoilage and the threat of contamination from various foodborne pathogens are problems that need attention. Even though reformulating food products with the inclusion of natural preservatives is one of the ways to achieve the clean label target, often this approach becomes difficult due to the sensory changes resulting from the addition of those natural preservatives. Food packaging can act as a final intervention step to prevent contamination, and the latest developments in active packaging technologies promise to effectively reduce the need for food additives and preservatives without compromising a product’s shelf life or freshness, as well as lead to opportunities for clean labeling.

Active packaging technologies include physical, chemical, or biological activities which change the interactions between a package, product, and/or headspace of the package to achieve a desired food quality characteristic. Active packaging systems can be broadly classified into active releasing systems (release of antimicrobials, CO2, antioxidants, flavors, ethylene), active scavenging systems (oxygen, CO2, moisture, ethylene, odor), modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), and modifications of packaging polymers (coatings, surface modifications, barrier layers) to obtain the desirable properties.

In this session, the speakers will cover the latest developments and challenges in the area of active packaging, specifically, the use of antimicrobial polymers to control microbial growth; the synthesis of non-migrating, chelating active packaging films which enable removal of the synthetic additives and help in reducing oxidative food spoilage; extending the shelf life of food by reducing the effects of oxidation and moisture through the use of oxygen scavengers and desiccants; and the use of MAP in effecting clean labeling initiatives.

This is symposium is sponsored by the Food Science and Technology Honorary Society Phi Tau Sigma.
The production of meat products to address consumer concerns with phosphates and conventional antimicrobials has necessitated a search for alternatives that balance regulatory requirements with FSMA, food safety, and quality, while addressing consumers’ desire for recognizable and short-list labels. An overview of phosphate functions and alternatives, in addition to a discussion on clean-label antimicrobials and the hurdles to successful implementation, will be provided. The latest research and the regulatory status of clean-label ingredients will be shared. Practical applications and realistic expectations will be reviewed in order to improve the chances for success when formulating with clean-label antimicrobial ingredients.

Finally, a roadmap for the use of High Pressure Processing in meat products to address market and consumer demands will be discussed.
Food Disruption Challenge: A global pitch contest and a program nurturing (or featuring) future food-focused entrepreneurs. The contest winner will be presented with the "The Food Disruptor of the Year" award. This challenge will focus on growing and supporting the startup community of food focused founders as well as investors and mentors. The information session will highlight the vision, mission and the process regarding the pitch contest. If you are interested in applying for this contest or interested in being a mentor or a judge, please come to this session for more information.