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Food for Thought
Institute of Food Technologists Returns to NOLA
Food science is a sweeping field. The term encompasses everything about food and all the decisions that go into the process of making food including the price, packaging, nutrition, methods of growth, sell-by dates, and color and tasteSaturday (June 21st) through Tuesday (June 24th) the World’s Largest Food Science Forum and Expo comes to New Orleans where bringing over 18,000 of the world’s top food science and technology professionals about the latest trends, technologies and ingredients in the field.
“Food Science started in the early 1900s, before we had food safety laws but we had food and safety concerns,” says Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) President Janet E Collins, RD, PhD.
The IFT was founded in 1939, and Food Science became popularized as a study in the 1940s. As hosts to the New Orleans Expo, the IFT is celebrating their 75th anniversary. In honor of this, the convention will have a special “innovation center” featuring the sessions led by food science visionaries who will discuss how food science and technology could impact our food supply for the next 25 years.
“Every year we see a variety of new technologies. There are all kinds of new equipment that are able to produce new shapes and colors, new flavors, lower fat, more vitamins and nutrition. There are also tasting opportunities with new flavors of Kiwis, Melons and more,” says Collins.
The Expo brings together thousands of Food Techies from over a hundred different countries representing different professionals from academia, government and industry.
The event is also a trendsetter in food. A lot of new products are being shown at the expo and Food Techies are known to get creative. “Tabasco was showcasing its products in a bunch of different ways, one of which was Tabasco on vanilla ice cream. This was a number of years ago before ice creams were even thinking of salted caramels, lavenders or cheesecake,” says Collins.
The organization will also be hosting a food drive to benefit second harvest food bank. Feeding Tomorrow, a foundation of IFT, will sponsor a 5K Fun Run and Walk and proceeds from that will go toward the scholarships of students pursuing food science degrees.
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