News | June 15, 1999

IFT Offers Pre-Annual Meeting Program

Product development, quality assurance and nutraceuticals will color the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) pre-Annual Meeting continuing education programs. A basic symposium and seven, two-day short courses will be held at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers on Fri. and Sat., July 23 and 24 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

The basic symposium, "A Spectrum of Natural Colors for the Year 2000," will inform food companies about using natural colors in products. Natural additives that can give products added value as a result of increased consumer demand for natural foods. The symposium will cover each colorant approved for use in the U.S. as well as colors used overseas that have potential for U.S. approval.

"Emerging Processing Technologies: Criteria for Success," will cover the basic concepts and applications of alternative food processing methods, such as pulsed electric fields, high pressure, ultraviolet light and ozone. New applications for older technologies, such as irradiation and aseptic processing, also will be discussed. Equipment for select technologies will be demonstrated at the National Center for Food Safety & Technology pilot plant in Chicago. An optional tour of Steris Isomedix Irradiation Facility in Libertyville, IL, featuring electron beam and gamma irradiation, will be available on Thurs., July 22 at 12:00 PM.

"Emulsifiers: Applied Chemistry and Applications," will provide an overview of the basic properties of emulsifiers, such as lecithin used in mayonnaise. Interactions between emulsifiers and food ingredients will be covered as well as specific applications of emulsifiers in dairy foods, baked goods, dressings and sauces, meat products, beverages, and confections.

Current software that may be useful to food product development will be explored in "New Software Tools for Product Applications." This will include all aspects of development—from conception and market research to formula development and final execution.

"'Healthy Foods' Ingredient and Technology Issues," will discuss "healthy food" ingredients, including nutrients, fortificants, fat- and sugar-substitutes, to create products that have optimal sensory quality and meet labeling and regulatory requirements.

"System Optimization to Assure Food Quality, Safety and Economy," will provide an overview of food microbiology to enhance the safety, freshness and proper handling of foods and ingredients. This course is designed for food processors, foodservice workers, and others involved in handling commercial food products.

Opportunities for using microwave technology in food processing and tools for designing microwavable products and packaging will be discussed in "Microwave Technology and Applications for the Food Industry." Microwave interactions with food, packaging and product design pros and cons, and microwave processing safety will be covered.

"Risk Assessment and Applications for the Food Industry" will address the microbiological hazards associated with manufacturing refrigerated foods, including the selection of ingredients, processing methods, packaging and atmosphere selection, and distribution conditions. Steps to control microbiological risks for a variety of refrigerated foods, including fresh product, entrees, and Meals-Ready-to-Eat, will be the pinnacle of the course. Practical examples of ways to develop refrigerated foods with minimal risks will be included.

To register or obtain more information, contact Luci Landberg, 312-782-8424 x177, or visit IFT's web site at