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Consumers globally are looking for novel ingredient solutions for sugar replacement with superior functional properties and possible added health benefits. Because of these emerging demands, food scientists around the world are working on developing and commercializing novel sweetener systems that can not only provide sugar reduction/replacement but also provide some sort of digestive/immune health and/or overall health benefits. This session will highlight the emerging sweeteners that are a result of these efforts.

The initial presentation of this symposium will provide an overview of rare sugars. Their general properties, applications, and potential health benefits will be discussed. Special emphasis will be on allulose, which has been gaining a lot of attention over the last few years as a sugar replacer. The second presentation will talk about various oligosaccharides, including their chemistry, functional properties, applications in foods, and health benefits. Fructooligosaccharides, galactooligosacchardies, and isomaltooligosacharides are among the ones to be focused on. The third presentation will discuss the newer natural high-potency sweeteners, including stevia and monk fruit. Novel synergistic mixtures of steviol glycosides and the emerging minor glycosides, rebaudiosides D and M, will be highlighted. It will touch base on other high potency sweeteners that are more remote from the market, such as monatin, phyllodulcin, brazzein, and a range of other sweet proteins as well. The fourth presentation will focus on different types of novel sweetener syrups derived from tapioca, rice, oat, and sorghum, with an emphasis on the differences to typical corn syrups. It will summarize some of the aspects that the product developers would need to understand and pay attention while using them in various applications.
This session will present the regulatory challenges posed by the nutrition and health agenda in Europe.
On July 29, 2016, President Obama signed into law an Act amending the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (Act), 7 U.S.C. § 1621 et seq., which provides for a national bioengineered food disclosure standard. Among other things, the Act requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a national disclosure standard for bioengineered foods, including a mandatory disclosure of foods that contain bioengineering. This new law represents the first nationwide bioengineering labeling program.

The bill directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to begin the process of deciding what exactly food manufacturers will be required to label. It will be up to USDA to define which ingredients count as “genetically modified ingredients” for the purposes of the law. The agency is supposed to complete this process within two years.

The law allows companies to choose from a few options: words on the package’s label; a 1-800 number that consumers can call to get information on the product’s genetically modified ingredients; or a quick response (QR) code that has to be scanned with a smartphone which will take the consumer to a website for GMO information.

Since the law has passed, many questions have been raised from industry stakeholders and consumers. When will the labeling law go into effect? What will producers and manufacturers have to label? Will highly refined products such as corn syrup or soybean oil that come from genetically-modified sources be exempted from the labeling? How will the law affect organic foods?

The objective of this symposium is to clarify some of these questions and to provide attendees with the USDA updates about this program.

This symposium is sponsored by the IFT Quality Assurance Division, the IFT Biotech Division, and the IFT Food Laws and Regulation Division.