content tagged as Primer

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How to Use Strategic Thinking to Navigate Consumer, Beverage, Food, and Flavor Trends

When: Tuesday, 07/17/2018 through Tuesday, 07/17/2018, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Where: McCormick Place - N426C

Food industry players must understand the issues influencing food, flavor, and beverage trends in order to successfully navigate them and uncover white space not yet explored. Influencers including consumer and health forces will be discussed as they pertain to the shaping of marketplace trends and how they impact the creation of new products and menu items. Participants will be able to better recognize and predict the opportunities and pathways for making food and beverage products and menu items successful in the marketplace. Equally important is the ability to recognize and adapt to upcoming changes in trend direction as the recovery unfolds and to differentiate between long and short-lived trends.

There is strong evidence that consumers are moving out of the economic crisis both emotionally and behaviorally. The food and flavors, consumer, and beverage patterns all note more extreme behaviors and activities; a sense of risk taking, playfulness, courage, and vulnerability. The swings in behavior and desire are simultaneously wider and more extreme in nature. It also paints a more complex landscape to have to navigate, but at the same time more freedom to focus in areas of interest or expertise for the industry.
Dietary Fibers: A Non-Invasive Path to Modulate Colonic Microbiome for Improved Health

When: Monday, 07/16/2018 through Monday, 07/16/2018, 07:45 AM - 08:45 AM

Where: McCormick Place - S405AB

For the last two decades research in the colonic microbiome area has received increased attention due to the numerous effects of this microbial community on human health. Even though there are many factors affecting the colonic microbiota composition such as genetics, geography, age, and diet, emerging data indicate that diet, especially dietary fibers, which escape the human digestion in the upper gastrointestinal tract, directly shapes the colonic microbiota. This is because the energy requirements of the members of this community are mainly fulfilled by these dietary components. Furthermore, it has been shown that different types of dietary fibers promote different microorganisms or microbial groups in the colon due, mainly due to the variations in the gene contents of the microbes that enable some while disadvantaging others, to ferment specific fibers. Therefore, there has been an increased interest in using dietary fibers to modulate colonic microbiota toward a healthy microbiome.

Dietary fibers are one the most abundant substances found in the earth. This is because carbohydrates (so dietary fibers) bear different structural features based on monosaccharide compositions, anomeric configurations, linkage types, branching densities, backbone lengths, and so on. Thus, there is a need for mechanistic understanding of the rules governing the dietary fiber and gut microbiota interactions in order to achieve a predicted manipulation of this ecosystem for improved health. In this symposium, colonic microbiota and their importance to human health will be introduced, and then the potentials of dietary fibers on modulating this microbial community will be extensively discussed by both microbiologists and carbohydrate specialists.
Rheology: A Bridge Between Food Structure and Texture

When: Monday, 07/16/2018 through Monday, 07/16/2018, 07:45 AM - 08:45 AM

Where: McCormick Place - S403AB

To take a fundamental approach to food product design, one must have a solid understanding of structure–function–texture relationships. Rheometry can be used to quantitatively measure foods’ mechanical properties. These properties are related to microstructural deformation and destruction as well as textural sensations. Thus, rheological behaviors can be used to understand how food structure affects its texture. While there is much research on structure–function, structure–texture, and function–texture, putting all three components together is less common. It is critical that all three components be put together for a more complete understanding of structure–function–texture relationships. Doing so allows a fundamental, rather than empirical, design of food products.
What Food Technologists May Not Know (and Should?) About the Sugar Industry

When: Monday, 07/16/2018 through Monday, 07/16/2018, 07:45 AM - 08:45 AM

Where: McCormick Place - S402AB

Sugar (sucrose), produced from cane or beet, is the gold standard for sweeteners and will continue to be so. Both cane and beet are processed to recover the naturally occurring sucrose, with no molecular transformation necessary. The physical and chemical properties of sucrose are well established, including those related to its role in baking and as an ingredient. The nutritional role of sucrose, and other caloric sweeteners, remains a controversial issue. The diversity of sugar products, especially from cane – refined, raw, organic, turbinado, panella, etc. – is not fully understood by sugar users and will be summarized.

However, the sugar industry is much more diverse and interesting than appreciated by most food technologists. The impact of the industry on migration (forced), politics, economics, international trade and literature is very wide and will be described in some detail. Sugar cane overshadows beet in this respect, though there are some interesting historical and literary aspects of the latter. Cane production and processing provides the economic and social backbone in many parts of the world, though this is changing and the industry modernizes and factories expand in capacity.

Other underappreciated aspects of the industry relate to its size and geographic diversity. World production of crystalline sucrose exceeds 150 million tons, arguably the highest for a crystalline organic chemical. Currently the industry is a mix of small, traditional processing operations and very large, automated factories processing more than 30,000 tons of cane per day, requiring a seasonal harvest of approximately 50,000 hectares. Energy and environmental issues become very significant at this scale, especially with the potential for cogeneration. Data on this aspect of the industry will be the third part of the presentation.
Low Energy Electron Beams: Effective and Environmentally Friendly Surface Decontamination for Food and Packaging

When: Monday, 07/16/2018 through Monday, 07/16/2018, 07:45 AM - 08:45 AM

Where: McCormick Place - S404A

Low-energy electron beam (LEEB) technology is a promising non-thermal food processing technology for microbial decontamination. This technology treats the target material with low energy electrons (≤300 keV), which provides an efficient surface decontamination with reduced energy consumption. Compared to other decontamination technologies, LEEB has several advantages. First, the technology is easy to operate, as it does not involve any chemicals, produce no wastewater, and does not contain radioactive material. Second, it is controllable and flexible as the lamps that provides the electrons can be turned off. Third, it is easy to be implemented in the existing processing line as it does not need heavy shielding due to the low penetration depth. Fourth, since the low-energy electrons interaction stays only on surface, the internal part of the target material remains unaltered. Therefore, the technology has minimal or no impact on quality. Moreover, due to its low energy input, LEEB produces more secondary electrons compared to high-energy electron beam and these secondary electrons can shadowlessly treat complex surfaces with high inactivation efficiency. In 2012, LEEB was introduced into the food industry as a sterilization method for packaging material. Nowadays, scientists and industry are actively looking for wider application fields of LEEB for decontamination of dry foods such as spices, seeds, etc.

In this session, two main aspects of LEEB will be discussed. First, the general knowledge and current development, such as how it works, how efficient the decontamination is, the influencing factors of its effectiveness, etc. Second, the advantages of LEEB compared to other microbial decontamination methods, and the possible implementation and application, including both the technical and legislative aspects.
Probabilistic Engineering Approaches to Food Safety, Quality, and Shelf-Life: A Primer on Applications to Moisture-Controlled, Thermally Processed, and Chilled/Frozen Foods

When: Monday, 07/16/2018 through Monday, 07/16/2018, 07:45 AM - 08:45 AM

Where: McCormick Place - S401D

All food manufacturers face great challenges when making decisions ensuring that quality and safety expectations are met for every item, all production lots, and up to the product expiration date. For example, low-acid food manufacturers use pasteurization and refrigeration, water activity reduction, or commercial sterilization to control or inactivate pathogenic bacterial spores. In each case, the alternative chosen should ensure product safety with high confidence. In terms of quality, market success requires meeting expectations when each product reaches its final consumer. Shelf-life estimation requires data on raw materials, processing factors, distribution conditions, and consumer product handling practices. Also necessary is a manufacturing policy on the percentage of products that must retain a desirable quality at the end of their shelf-life (varies significantly but 80% could be typical). Estimations supporting these decisions are inadequate or inappropriate if they are based on typical or extreme values, respectively. The Monte Carlo based approach covered in this primer will illustrate with practical examples the inclusion of data variability.

Safety, quality, and shelf-life estimation tools allowing the inclusion of multiple sources of variability, type of data needed, and the outputs generated will be demonstrated for dry, thermally-processed, and chilled/frozen foods. Attendees participation will be encouraged by asking them to select scenarios of their interest. Those bringing a laptop will receive a PC Excel 2016 spreadsheet to explore multiple scenarios and share findings with the group. The exploration will focus on the effect on the shelf-life of dry fruits of changes in net weight, initial moisture content, storage RH, and the percentage of products meeting the quality target.

The material selected by the speakers for this 60-minute primer (including introduction and closing comments by the session organizers) has been peer-reviewed, presented in seminars in the US, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, taught in graduate/undergraduate courses, and used in 2-day workshops for food industry professionals.