content tagged as Product Development

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3D printing, a relatively new technology for producing novel foods, has caught the attention of a wide range of food professionals from culinary specialists to military feeding programs.
Speakers address the perception that food processing affects the healthfulness of foods.
FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) went into effect on September 19th, 2016. The law marks a major shift in food safety from a reactionary framework to one that is more prevention and compliance focused. This paradigm shift impacts not only new product and process development, but also renovation and productivity initiatives. Even food-preservation processes, historically deemed safe, receive higher scrutiny under new Regulatory framework. A case in point is acidified foods. Traditionally, foods formulated to pH below 4.6 were considered safe as the acidic environment was considered a barrier to pathogen growth. However, acidified foods are not exempted from 21 CFR 117. An expert panel of speakers will share insights and provide additional clarity on developing FSMA-compliant acidified foods.

As a collaborative session organized by Product Development Division and Quality Assurance Division, we have worked diligently to bring in speakers from industry and academia who are at the front lines of implementing FSMA: product developers, quality assurance, regulatory, consultants, food industry professionals, and academics.
Today, consumers are now paying more attention to labels than ever. Health-conscious consumers are looking for fewer calories and simple ingredient labels. One way of meeting these new consumer needs is through reducing sugar content while maintaining a similar sweet taste perception through the use of simple, natural, and non-nutritive sweeteners.

Sugar contributes not only to sweet taste but also to the flavor and texture of foods. Successful sugar reduction depends on a keen understanding of sensory perception of sweeteners and impact they have on food formulations.

This session will provide an overview of sensory techniques used to understand the fundamentals of sweet taste perception. These sensory techniques will be used to investigate the sweet taste perception of sweeteners, both individually and in blends. In addition, attendees will gain insight on how other sensory modalities (touch, sight, sound, and smell) of a food system can be used to achieve a sucrose-like sweet taste perception.

Because sweet taste perception cannot be uncoupled from the consumer experience, this session will also explore the symphonies and dissonances of what consumers see on the label and what they experience in the mouth and ultimately what they desire.
In this session, attendees will learn the critical role that science terminology and communications play in shaping public perception of agriculture and food products and ingredients. They will understand why it is important to create terminology that accurately describes new food and agriculture technologies, beginning with research funding channels and ending with clear public communication messages that explain the benefits and safety of these new technologies.
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.
The proposed symposium will discuss the latest advances in drying technologies for efficient manufacture of high-quality dried food products and ingredients. There is a growing interest in the development of new/novel drying concepts to meet the continually emerging challenges and new opportunities beyond the capabilities of the existing conventional drying technologies. A number of studies have explored and developed innovative technologies which take advantage of combining other physical phenomena (e.g. ultrasound, electromagnetic field, and pressure) to overcome the limitations of conventional technologies. The focus is on the development of new non-thermal drying concepts for a more cost-effective and efficient process and in improving the quality of food products through efficient and gentle processing. These include but are not limited to: (1) ultrasound-enhanced drying of food, (2) combined drying processes for better control of product quality, (3) combination of heat transfer modes for an energy-efficient drying process, and (4) novel application of ultrasound for on-line control of dehydration. These technologies will be discussed by internationally renowned experts from research organizations and academia, focusing on process design, optimization and modeling, energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the process, and impact on product quality attributes. The symposium is being organized by Dr Henry Sabarez (CSIRO); and Dr Kai Knoerzer (CSIRO).
The food industry is being challenged daily on various food safety and quality issues, which often happen unexpectedly and with high cost or risk associated. One common example is foreign materials (including foreign chemicals/microorganisms and foreign objects) or contaminations, which frequently surface both from food manufacturing and consumers. Other problems involving processing or quality (i.e. off color, off flavor, off odor, change of physical properties, sedimentation, loss of ingredient functionality, adulteration, etc.) could be easily perceived as a food safety issue by normal consumers. Therefore, it is vital for the food industry to address these issues before the product reaches the market. However, investigation of these problems and to find the root cause and solution involve not only time and effort, but also extensive scientific knowledge and advanced technologies.

Due to the limitation of resources and capabilities, analytical labs across the food industry often focus food-forensics investigations on specific areas, such as foreign material ID. The broad definition of food forensics covers most of the unexpected, unusual, and urgent safety and quality issues in food production. This symposium aims to bring scientists and experts from both the food industry and academia together to share learnings and experiences on food forensics. The invited presentations will focus on the development of new tools, methodologies, and investigation processes to solve forensic problems such as foreign materials/contaminations, off color, off odor, loss of functionality, etc. Discussions on food forensic investigation strategy and the application of criminology forensic science to food problems will also be covered. The session will benefit those who work in food production, food safety, quality control, and technical services, as well as regular food consumers.
When it comes to food labels, consumers are looking for clean labels and simple ingredients they can find in their kitchens. Synthetic preservatives and artificial flavors and colors are strictly prohibited in organic food production, and only a limited number of synthetic ingredients and processing aids are allowed. When a natural or organic alternative to an allowed synthetic material becomes commercially available, there is a process in place to remove the synthetic ingredient from the list of substances allowed in organic production. This process keeps the USDA Organic label strong in the eyes of the consumer, while creating abundant opportunities for innovative ingredient producers. In this session, hosted by the Organic Trade Association, participants will hear from a variety of experts, including a researcher/scientist, the chief flavorist at a leading organic flavorings house, a company that utilizes organic flavorings, and an entrepreneur whose company successfully petitioned for a use restriction on the allowance of silicone dioxide in organic products by demonstrating that his company’s ingredient was an effective organic alternative. Attendees will learn about several regulatory changes to the USDA organic regulations that are quickly approaching on the use of natural flavors, colors, carrageenan, and celery powder, and participants will gain an appreciation of the market opportunity available for food technologists who specialize in creating organic and natural alternatives. Attendees will also be provided with a step-by-step model for developing organic and natural ingredients for use in organic products.
There is a growing interest from consumers in plant-based proteins: according to market analysis, one in three consumers prefers plant proteins over animal proteins, and plant proteins experienced 61% growth from 2010 to 2014. This shift in market trends are largely driven due to vegan/vegetarian diets based on religious and moral beliefs, and/or concerns over issues associated with animal proteins, such as volatile price, allergens, sustainability, and overuse of hormone and antibiotics. While the consumers are switching their preferences to eat more plant proteins, they are not willing to compromise the sensorial qualities that meat, dairy, and egg proteins can offer. There are increasing efforts and breakthroughs in the academia and food industry to find broader sources of plant proteins and explore innovative processing methods and formulation approaches to utilize plant proteins in food applications. In this symposium, the first speaker, Prof. Michael Nickerson, will provide an overview on the current and emerging sources of plant proteins. He will also review the challenges and opportunities in processing methods/technologies for producing plant protein ingredients, and discuss their impact on protein functionality and nutritional quality. The second speaker, Prof. Lingyun Chen, will take a deep dive into the molecular structure and functional relationships of plant proteins. More specifically, she will use several plant proteins (e.g. lentil protein, etc.) as examples and share with us the research her groups conducted in understanding the impact of microstructure on the macroscopic properties (such as foaming, gelation, etc.) and the value-added applications of these features. The third speaker, Dr. Mehmet Tulbek, will take a formulation science approach and showcase the practical use of commercially available plant proteins (e.g. pulse proteins) in food products. Through a number of case studies, he will demonstrate the functionalities of the plant protein and the values it can bring to food manufacturers who are looking to replace egg and dairy proteins, fortify protein content, and reduce cost.