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Sustainability Sessions


The sustainability 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 issues impacting the sustainability of our global food supply and our planet.

Featured Fireside Chat with Live Q&A

Breaking News: First Look at Nomenclature Research for Seafood Made from Fish Cells 
Tuesday, July 14 1:00 - 2:00 pm CST

As cell-based meat, poultry, and seafood products get closer to commercialization, creating consensus around a single common or usual name is becoming increasingly important to meet FDA and USDA labeling regulations. Consistent use of a single term by industry, advocates, and regulators would also help orient consumers to what will likely be a transformational food technology. In this presentation, we will discuss the findings of our recent study conducted with more than 3000 US adults, designed to test consumer perceptions of seven common or usual names and three controls, using images of realistic packages of three types of seafood that a consumer might encounter in a supermarket.

Presented by:
William K Hallman
Dr. William K. Hallman is Professor and Chair of the Department of Human Ecology at Rutgers University, and a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. He is an experimental psychologist with expertise in risk perception and risk and science communication, publishing widely on issues regarding food, health, technology, and the environment. Dr. Hallman is the former Chair of the US FDA’s Risk Communication Advisory Committee, and the former Director of Rutgers Food Policy Institute. He currently serves on several committees of the US National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, including the Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication, and co-authored the National Academies’ consensus report: Communicating Science Effectively – A Research Agenda. Dr. Hallman also co-authored the Risk Communication Applied to Food Safety Handbook, published jointly by the FAO and WHO, and is currently a participant in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) development of a food safety risk communication framework designed to facilitate international trade.

Lou Cooperhouse
Lou Cooperhouse is the CEO of BlueNalu, a leading food technology company developing seafood products directly from fish cells. Lou is recognized as a leading global authority in food business innovation and technology commercialization, with extensive leadership experiences throughout his 35-year career in the food industry. With his deep and diverse understanding of the food industry, Lou is sought after to speak on a variety of topics including food trends, disruptive technologies, and global best practices in business innovation and incubation. Lou has personally been responsible for leading corporate pioneering efforts that resulted in the commercialization of numerous new food technologies in the US marketplace, that include sous vide, high pressure processing, and modified atmosphere packaging.   He also led a team of food scientists and chefs that developed the first comprehensive line of gluten-free products worldwide, completed in the late 1990’s, as well as other product lines focused on disease management. In addition, Lou has considerable expertise in food safety and quality assurance systems, and has provided leadership at numerous FDA and USDA-inspected operations throughout his career, and has conducted third-party audits of dozens of food companies throughout the nation.  Lou received a MS in Food Science and BS in Microbiology, both from Rutgers University.

Full Session Program

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  • On-demand Sessions

    Bioactives From Zero Waste Processing of Foods
    This session is designed to address the most recent advances and creative strategies in the development of novel processing methods to maximizing the use of these discards to reach a zero waste outcome and the practical application of knowledge generated in the industry.

    Circular Bio-Economy Options for Agriculture: Meeting the Future Nutrient Demand
    This session will demonstrate the challenges in implementing circular bio-economy concepts in different areas of the world and how the challenges are managed to obtain positive outcomes. The discussion will also address how the value adding to underutilized agricultural materials or supply chain losses can be conducted while meeting the consumer demands for nutrient dense ingredients and foods. 

    Conversion of Food Wastes into Value Added Products
    This session will focus on biological conversion technologies needed to utilize food processing wastes for biofuel and value-added food/chemical production. The topics will cover biological processes of waste utilization, field residue management, and system engineering of process design.

    Getting the Needle Out of the Plant Food Haystack: Engineering Approaches for Extracting Value From Fruit, Vegetable, Grain, and Nut Co-Products
    In this session, experts from around the world will present the latest research on engineering approaches to develop new uses for the co-products of fruit, vegetable, grain, and nut products. The focus of the session will begin with a broad overview of the area and will then narrow to case studies of particular crops and products.

    Health, Safety, and Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities with Today’s Seafood Supply Chain
    During this session, four major challenges will be discussed: (1) the security and sustainability of aquatic food supply chain, (2) seafood nutrition, (3) seafood safety including seafood fraud, and (4) fish and shellfish allergies. A diverse group of presenters will share their research experiences and opinions and give a broad perspective to the proposed topics. Through those presentations and discussion, some useful solutions and potential opportunities will be elaborated.

    Indoor Growth of Produce: Safety, Sustainability, Health and Beyond
    In order to feed 9 billion people around the globe food production will need to be increased by 70% before 2050. However, with rapid urbanization the availability of agriculture land and irrigation water is continuously reducing. Alternative farming practices are essential to increase the food production. The hydroponics vegetable industry is well positioned for rapid growth in the United States and elsewhere. Microgreens are a crop that grows well in Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA). Alternative and indoor farming practices such as hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponic, microgreens etc. are the need of the day and are becoming more and more popular. Practical perspectives of indoor grown produce, their safety and sustainability aspects will be discussed at this session.

    Leveraging Food Value-Chain Sustainability: Food Loss Mitigation Through Innovative Circular Bioeconomy Concepts Harnessing Microalgae and Insect Biorefineries
    With a prospected world population of around 9.7 billion people by 2050, there will be a voracious demand for food, necessitating an increase in global food production by 50%. The core of this session is the mitigation of food-loss highlighting potentials of novel approaches relying on technological advances and innovative raw materials from microalgae and insects, focusing on CE creation. The session will also cover critical views of the suggested process innovations by holistic life cycle assessment (LCA), to evaluate the suggested solutions on a multi-parameter base and aid in unveiling critical points with optimization potential in terms of improved food value-chain sustainability and eco-efficiency.

    Leveraging Protein Waste with Novel Products, Processing, and Packaging Solutions
    This session will cover multiple ways to preserve, efficiently process and return proteins in the food system. Five internationally renowned experts will present on advances for protein loss reduction along the supply chain; concepts for returning valuable proteins to supply chains; achievements in processing of protein side-streams; and upcycling and valorization of low-value nitrogen sources back into the food system.

    Perceptions, Facts, and Technology: How They Influence the Alternative Protein Marketplace
    Consumers, their food preferences, and their view of ingredients and their attributes are critical in navigating this complex space and arriving at a successful product launch and maintaining a robust new product pipeline. The speakers in this session will share their expertise on how the alternative protein market can impact on environment and nutritional profiles, as well as their acceptance overall around the globe and how this information can be leveraged by the food industry.

    Plant-Based Eating Patterns vs Plant-Based Foods: Why Distinguishing Between the Two Is Vital for Industry, Research, and Consumers
    If plant-based is the future, the food sector needs to figure out what that means. In this session, a panel of academics and food industry professionals will address the distinctions between 'plant-based' eating patterns, protein sources, and beverages from food science, nutrition science, and consumer trends perspectives to give attendees a broad understanding of what 'plant-based' means to different sectors of the food system.

    Protein Production, Consumption and Sustainability: Consumer, Academic and Industry Insights
    The way consumers are buying and consuming their protein from both plant-based and animal resources is quickly evolving. While the industry looks to meet consumer demand for more protein sources, there is also the call for more sustainable food production practices. In this session, we will explore consumer data about perceptions on environmentally sustainable and healthy diets, take a closer look at food production matching up with consumer demand both with a plant-based and animal protein lens and will also take a holistic look at the environmental impacts of protein production now, and in the future.

    Single Use Plastic Packaging for Food and Beverages: Challenges and Opportunities to Achieve Sustainability
    This session will provide insight on the value chain of recycling single use plastic packaging, including topics on use of recycled plastic material for food packaging, design of packaging to ease recyclability, and efforts to expand and promote plastic recycling industry through improvements to supply, demand, and quality.

    Sustainability Assessment in Food Systems: Life Cycle Analysis Principles, Critical Tools, and Recent Advances
    This session will present the historical context, implementation strategies for varying levels within the value chain, recent data analytics and instrumental analysis, production, processing, and formulation of various food groups.

    Sustainable Vegetable Supply: From Farm to Table
    In this session we will cover the modern technologies and innovation used in the value chain of vegetable production to maintain a sufficient supply for global population. The presentation will include topics of plant breeding, horticulture, postharvest, and vegetable flavor and nutritional quality.

    Swimming Toward a Better Future: The Current Landscape of Plant-Based and Cultivated Seafood Innovation
    Seafood is generally recognized as a healthy protein source and is a dietary staple in many parts of the world. However, both commercial fishing and aquaculture have environmental and animal welfare challenges. These concerns necessitate a change in how we produce seafood. Scientists in academia and industry are investigating new approaches such as plant-based and cultivated seafood. In this panel, we will hear from leaders in cultivated seafood as well as in industrial food service and sustainable aquaculture. 

    The Future of Food Packaging: Perspectives on Regulations and Economic Feasibility to Meet Sustainability Goals
    This panel discussion will provide the audience with insights on the impact of recent packaging waste legislation on the food industry. Topics of discussion will include the global legislation landscape to promote packaging sustainability, extended producer responsibility and its impact on product costs, design of products for reuse, recyclability, and materials reduction to ease incorporation into the recycling industry, and corporate sustainability goals. The panel will include experts in global packaging, packaging waste, and packaging recycling.

  • IFTNEXT On-demand Sessions

    Designed to Disappear: The Future of Sustainable Food and Beverage Packaging  
    How to deliver single serving and on-the-go convenience consumers crave without creating a pile of packaging? Biomimetics may hold the answer. How does nature do single serving? With biodegradable or edible wrappers. Bananas, oranges, nuts, all these foods come prepackaged in protected single servings for our convenience. Due to the film's water-solubility, it's an ideal packaging substrate for products consumers add to liquids. Beverage powders, oatmeal packets, instant coffee, and flavor additives are just some examples of this application. PVOH has the capability to synergize the conflicting trends of convenience and sustainability in the food and beverage industries.  

    Stronger Together: Farmers and Food Companies in the Face of Climate Change  
    Panelists will discuss revenue growth opportunities that stem from collaborating with farmers - as well as the AgTech innovations, such as supply chain traceability and carbon sequestration, being adopted by today's farmers.  

    Turning ‘Greenness’ Into Green: Strategies That Support Environmental Sustainability and Market Success
    During this interactive presentation, numerous evidence-based strategies to promote environmentally sustainable products will be discussed as well as specific examples from ongoing research on acceptance of aquaponic products.

    Upcycling: A Return to Basics  
    This session takes a food-technology centered approach to address the issues surrounding food waste and nutrition. It touches on several relevant and trending concepts including, higher nutrient density, high protein foods, plant-based foods, and phytochemical recovery. Addressing these topics in any meaningful way requires the cooperative collaboration of a variety of stakeholders.