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Nearly 15 million people are affected by food allergies in the United States alone, and current global trends show that this number of individuals is increasing, particularly in developed countries. A committee of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was charged with examining critical issues related to food allergy, including the prevalence and severity of food allergies and its impact on affected individuals, families, and communities; and current understanding of food allergies as a disease, and in diagnostics, treatments, prevention, and public policy. This consensus study engaged a broad array of stakeholders, including government agencies, organizations, academic institutions, industries, policy makers, and patient organization groups in addition to bringing together leading investigators from relevant fields, clinicians, and parents to engage in review of the issues surrounding food allergies. This symposium highlights the committee’s framework for future directions in several key areas: recommending steps to increase public awareness of food allergies; promoting research on both disease causation and management; and informing preventive approaches to FA; and identifying research gaps and making recommendations to fill them. The symposium also includes perspectives from various stakeholders about managing food allergies, including progress up to now and future plans.
Innovations in the food industry require almost always differentiation from the competitive products and should show a clear element of consumer perceived novelty. The symposium will show food innovations applied in the market based on food science. The presenters will  illustrate on how to analyze consumer needs and translate them into required product characteristics. Food science was the key to analyze the products and to understand these properties in order to identify technological improvements. Based on this understanding food technology was used to come up with either new processes or process improvement which were targeted on the consumer perceived differences. 
Cold plasma has been used in the food industry since the 19th century for disinfecting water based on the generation of ozone. In recent years, the interest in cold plasma processing as an emerging non-thermal technology in food production has increased. Plasma is defined as an (at least partially) ionized gas and is sometimes called the fourth state of matter. Depending on the system configuration and the feed gas used, plasma consists primarily of different reactive components such as ions, free electrons, photons, and atoms. Due to the wide variety of cold plasma systems, cold plasma can be applied at different points along the food chain; for production, modification, and preservation, as well as in packaging of plant- and animal-originated food.

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.
With current changes to the food label underway and anticipated changes under discussion, notably the definitions of “healthy” and “natural,” food scientists are a critical part of both the process and the discussion. Not only are they integral to what these changes mean to food composition as it relates to taste, performance, and shelf life, but they are essential in communications to health professionals, consumers, and policy makers that assist in navigating the label and defining the purpose and function of ingredients on the label. The current level of conversation around “clean” labels, skepticism about food ingredients and how foods are processed, as well as calls from multiple constituencies for sustainable products necessitates heightened understanding of how the food on our grocery shelves is made and the decisions food manufacturers must make in order to meet consumer demand for healthful, high-quality, and safe foods at affordable prices. This session connects food science fundamentals with labeling changes and the current food and nutrition landscape to identify and communications challenges and opportunities for food scientists and technologists.

This session is supported by Phi Tau Sigma.
If a new technology is introduced, the proponents will claim to revolutionize the food production and/or to provide more nutritious food. Whereas critics may raise concerns that the technology poses great risks to human health and the environment. However, the industry races ahead bringing applications to market and government agencies have difficulty regulating this novel technology or ingredient. This sounds familiar, but the new technology is not genetic engineering, but nanotechnology, a new food ingredient or product claim. In relation to nanotechnology many concerns have been identified that also characterize public concerns about GM (genetically modified) food including a lack of transparency. This lack of transparency is also often criticized by consumers and especially by consumer advice centers when it comes to clean product labelling. Moreover, based on current surveys only 34% of consumers agree that food companies are transparent about how food is produced, what kind of ingredients are used, and how this is communicated on the package. This session is hence designed to address the aforementioned issues, to present potential solutions, and also to inform the industry and consumer about related and recent regulation in these areas.

The symposium includes the following focus topics: (i) nanomaterials in the food sector; (ii) the challenge of positioning a naturally derived ingredient in today’s regulatory landscape; and (iii) integrated food production as tool for consumer transparency.

The symposium is being organized and moderated by Myriam Loeffler (Chair International Division; University of Hohenheim; Stuttgart, Germany) and Dr. Kai Reineke (Member at Large International Division; GNT, Germany)