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Health and Nutrition Sessions


The health and nutrition topical sessions will be anchored by a provocative panel discussion setting the stage for a series of thought-provoking presentations, discussions, and fireside chats taking a closer look at how science, technology, and research can help to solve important health and nutrition issues impacting the sustainability of our global food supply and our planet.

Featured Panel with Live Q&A

Striving for the Equitable Distribution of Nutrition
Tuesday, July 14, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. CT

In 30 years, the possibility of going to sleep hungry at night is a reality that the majority of the world’s population could face. This panel and supporting sessions series will explore and discuss of how to solve today’s issues of nutrition scarcity, and what tangible outcomes we need to embrace. Panel to include a live Q & A session.

Panelists include:

  • Moderator Corby Kummer, Editor, IDEAS Magazine and director of Food and Society Program at the Aspen Institute, senior editor, The Atlantic
  • Mario Ferruzzi, David H. Murdock Distinguished Professor at North Carolina State University
  • Corinna Hawkes, Professor of Food Policy at City, University of London
  • Chiara Cecchini, CEO & Cou-Founder at Future Food Institute

Full Session Program

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  • On-demand Sessions

    Can I Say That? Mitigating Risks from Claims in Labeling and Advertising
    Food manufacturers strive to stay current and create product claims that resonate within the evolving values of consumers. However, popular label claims often are not clearly defined in law or in consumer expectations. To avoid regulatory action, avoid litigation, and maintain consumer trust companies must learn how to navigate through this risky environment. This navigation often begins with a strategy for determining the ideal level of claims. Tools for analyzing consumer interpretations of attribute claims will help manufacturers ensure customers' expectations are met while conveying accurate, transparent information. This analysis also provides evidential support of attribute label claims. Development of a team approach combined with an evolving in-house strategy can ensure the continued distribution of accurate and truthful claims to consumers. Finally, building trust with consumers can also mitigate the risk of loss of consumer confidence. 

    Fireside Chat: Advances in Rare Sugars; Taste/Flavor Attributes, Functionality and Processing of Allulose and Tagatose for Reduced Sugar Foods and Beverages 
    This fireside chat is an interactive session aimed to answer any questions you may have in selecting and formulating with tagatose and allulose in your sugar reduction applications. Our expert guests will provide insights into formulation challenges in replacing sugar and how tagatose and allulose will assist product developers in developing the best tasting reduced-sugar food and beverages. Bring your challenges and take-home solutions.  

    Feeding the Gut: Food Structure and the Microbiota
    This session will explore this emerging area of how we could potentially manipulate the microbiota through rational use of food processing. The symposium will feature presentations introducing the role of diet on the microbiota functionality, followed by presentations describing the latest research on the role of food structure and physical chemistry on microbiota composition and functionality, and finally some future perspectives on how the food industry could develop foods designed specifically to improve microbiota functionality. The main goal of the session is to demonstrate that not only is diet important for a healthy microbiome, but that how the food is processed and structured matters as well. 

    Food and Nutrition Innovation Through Synthetic Biology
    In this session, four speakers who have been involved in developing and facilitating synthetic biological innovations in food and nutrition will give presentations including an overview of synthetic biological approaches in food innovation, microbial metabolic engineering to produce food ingredients, plant genome engineering to minimize anti-nutritional metabolites, and venture capital funding to foster startup companies seeking synthetic biological innovations. After these presentations, a panel discussion to explore potential limitations and solutions will be facilitated.

    Going Keto: Discovering the What, the Who, and the How of the Keto Friendly Diet
    The session will start by offering a registered dietitian's nutrition perspective on the keto diet. The keto diet has been used to manage a range of medical conditions, and more recently it has gained attention as a popular diet. The next section will review the latest in consumer and product trends for this lifestyle diet with legs. With consumers seeking more personalized solutions for their nutrition needs, lifestyle diets such as keto present an interesting opportunity for the industry. The final segments will provide strategies, tools and tips relative to fats, proteins and sugar replacers that are key to achieving great tasting products in keeping with requirements of this dietary regimen. Reformulating products to meet keto dietary guidelines can pose numerous challenges for the food scientist. 

    Impact of Diet-Microbiota Interactions on Human Health
    In this session we will evaluate the interactions between dietary compounds and the gut microbial community and its potential significant impact on human health. We’ll also discuss the importance of understanding this interaction for further develop nutraceuticals and functional foods.

    Neurodegeneration by Diverse Environmental and Physical Stressors: Protection by Structurally Diverse Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods
    The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that about 50 million people suffer from dementia, with one new case every three seconds, and predicts that with increasing social and economic impact and lack of curative treatment, this number will rise to 150 million by 2050. The introductory theme will discuss the noxious effects of diverse factors including advancing age, stress, diverse environmental pollutants, and chronic inflammatory responses in the brain vicinity causing an array of cognitive decline. The mechanistic synopsis will be exhibited. The next lecture will correlate mitochondrial oxygenation and its potential decline and dysfunction leading to an array of motor neuron diseases and discuss the potential protective abilities of functional foods. The third speaker will discuss the array of ocular neurodegenerative disorders leading to retinal detachments and vision loss and demonstrate the protective roles of nutraceuticals. The fourth speaker will discuss the neuroprotective abilities of different phytopharmaceuticals.

    Nutrient Dense Foods: Policy, Public Health Implications, and Food Innovations
    In this symposium, we will review different methods for defining the nutrient density of a food and highlight the importance of considering food groups in this definition; two current examples of nutrient density that are relevant to nutrition policy and regulation including the ongoing update to FDA's definition of the 'healthy' nutrient content claim and the upcoming 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans; and the application of nutrient density to food product innovation and reformulation for food manufacturers.

    Nutrient Profiling: From the Global Landscape to the Evidence Base  
    This symposium will review emerging regulations and global applications of nutrient profiling with a look at the evidence base for efficacy of nutrient profiling to change consumer behavior. The session will also explore the potential for unintended consequences of nutrient profiling/front of pack labeling and address the question of whether existing approaches oversimplify the relationship between the foods we eat and human health. 

    Plant-Based Protein: A Marketing Dilemma
    Using data generated from several surveys, including a recent 2018 survey of Canadians, the market trends for consumer beliefs and purchase intent when it comes to meat consumption versus plant-based protein consumption will be shared. Additionally, market trends from an industry perspective will be evaluated. Furthermore, speakers will discuss the challenges in marketing plant-based protein versus animal-based protein, and the substantiation requirements and qualifying criteria for the various claim categories. Finally, litigation related to plant-based protein will be reviewed in an effort to elucidate the current challenges in marketing plant-based protein and how to minimize risk.

    Probiotics Paradise: Public Perception, Product, Proof
    This session will explore three pressing questions our developing market and technologies need to consider. Product marketers ask, 'What does the market look like today and where is it going?' whereas manufacturers and product developers ask 'How do food companies formulate products to keep the probiotics alive?' For consumers and manufacturers, the question is 'How can I be sure that what is on the label is in the package?' This symposium will address all three questions with examples of current best practices and leading-edge technologies.

    Understanding the Benefits of Resistant Starch Fibers and Low-FODMAP Ingredients to Improve Digestive Wellness
    In this session we will discuss the low-FODMAP diet and its emerging popularity as a first line of therapy for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a disorder which is becoming a global phenomenon and how the low-FODMAP certification will propel product development and innovation, expanding the potential of this diet from niche to mainstream markets.

    What’s in a Name? The Rules and Regulations Surrounding Labeling Foods
    In the news today, we hear about such products as lab-based meat and dairy, plant-based burgers that bleed, insect pasta, algae, super mushrooms, and a host of dairy products that are made from non-traditional sources. Consumers are pressuring the industry to deliver 'transparent' labels, and purposeful claims impacting their own human health. Truthful and non-misleading labels are important to the consumers and industry, but this has not come without some pushback on the language that is required for certain claims and product standards. Experts will discuss current technologies and how they fit into the current labeling regulatory scheme; current challenges to standards of identity; and the issues of how competitors may challenge your product and your labeling; and why the public perception may be both your friend and your enemy.

  • IFTNEXT On-demand Sessions

    Developing Countries: Food Science in Action...or Inaction?
    Humanitarian Food Science and Technology (HFST) is an exciting up-and-coming specialization in the field of food science. HFST seeks to apply food science to international development (aid work) to enhance global food security. Traditionally the focus has been on agriculture and nutrition, both in the form of external aid. While aid is critical in emergency and other specific situations, it is not a sustainable long-term solution. HFST takes a different approach by utilizing and developing local resources to enrich, enable and empower communities. This is the real world of food science in international development.  

    UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 2): Zero Hunger Challenge
    According to the 'The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019' (FAO), the number of hungry people is still on the rise. However, nearly one third of all food produced for human consumption is lost before it reaches consumers. The global population is set to grow to 9 billion in 2050, with an additional 1 billion people in Africa, urbanization is set to increase to 78% in 2050. Food science and technology is at the core of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 that aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. About 2 billion people are affected by hidden hunger (micronutrient deficiency) and 821 million people affected by chronic hunger issues. On the other hand, food losses are an important issue when combating hunger, raising incomes and improving food security (FAO Global food losses and food waste). Not only do food losses impact food and nutrition security, especially for poor people, but also affect food quality and safety, economic development and the environment. This general lack of awareness of the junction between food science and sustainable development results in lack of innovation targeted to foods or food ingredients for humanitarian purposes, their safety or stability; and little attention is given to capacity development throughout value chain addition in the poorest sectors of the population. This panel discussion will bring thought leaders from industry, NGOs, the UN, and academia together to discuss partnerships to achieve the zero hunger target.