In the 36 months since the states of Colorado and Washington permitted the sale of recreational cannabis edibles to adults in a regulated market, the edibles segment surprised many with unexpected growth. An estimated 2,500 cannabis infused packaged food products have been launched with current sales estimated at $269 million. The over 50% growth rate of this segment is uncontemplated and is creating challenges for state legislators, the nascent edibles industry, and food science.
Brief, informal surveys, and commentaries from IFT members as well as members of the industry place IFT in the position to be a source of thought leadership in the core areas of food science:
• Consumer Testing/Product Development – Early, limited surveys challenge any existing stereotype for cannabis edibles consumers. The average consumer is over 38 years old, professional , and may select their edible products for well-being, pain relief, or anxiety reduction. Consumers appear to apply a self-care paradigm, mirroring the earlier motivations found in functional foods.
• Food Chemistry – Edibles manufacturers have few resources of information on ingredient interactions with psychoactive (THC), or non-psychoactive (CBD, CBG) cannabis components. Manufacturers can assay for content, yet have little scientific guidance on the edible’s stability or effects.
• QA and Controls – The cost and nature of THC and other extracts create unique unit-operations challenges. Batch volumes are extremely small with validation complicated by high testing costs and unclear tolerances.
• Food Safety – Cannabis extracts require almost complete traceability and process controls to assure safety from contaminants. The finished edibles products may obligate the development of new preservation methods. The area is wanting a consensus resource on best practices.
• Regulatory – State-by-state legalization efforts require the respective legislatures to recreate edibles rules and regulations from zero. State legislators lack expertise since food safety and labeling has been federally administered for over 100 years. Complicating the issues is the fact that legal edibles manufacturers have no national scientific organization to advocate for best practices.
The IFT17 cannabis edibles informal session is intended as an initial discussion area with no pre-set objective. The session however, should:
1. Serve as a meeting area for interested professionals
2. Be the starting point for working and expert groups, if determined to move forward
3. Maintain focus on IFT Promises and Values: serving as a convener of people and ideas to be a source of influence and thought leadership.
The sudden creation and rapid scale-up of a cannabis edibles product segment has caught many of our institutions unprepared. The IFT community is well positioned to serve as an advocate for a science-based approach to this new area.
The generated reactive components of plasma have high diffusivity and are able to access the entire food surface rapidly. The application of cold plasma has a high antimicrobial efficiency, and also acts against bacterial spores at temperatures below 70°C, which allows the potential extension of the shelf life of food and increases food quality as well as reducing storage losses. Aside from microbial inactivation, cold plasma can likewise be used for the tailored modification of surface properties. As research progresses, cold plasma could be applied to many food products that are dry, fresh, solid, or liquid, and has a negligible impact on their matrix. However, cold plasma also has some limitations and faces challenges; for example, in high-fat foods the reactive oxygen components of plasma could lead to possible oxidative reactions.
In this session we will highlight the current state of cold plasma technology in the food industry. The speakers selected for this symposium (one from industry, two from academia) will share their experience and knowledge of a wide variety of cold plasma generation systems for microbial inactivation and their effects on various food matrices. Presenters will also discuss future research needs and plausible applications in the food industry.
*NOTE: This Short Course begins on Friday, 6/23/17 at 1:00 PM. 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: $865
Student Members: $350
All rates to increase $100 after May 12, 2017.
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.