Meeting of the Minds

It’s almost time for a meeting of the minds. It’s almost IFT (Institute of Food Technologists) time.

The IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo is a place where top food science and technology professionals representing the most prominent organizations in the food sector, come together to learn about the most recent product, ingredient and technology developments and their potential impact on your business, as well as identify trends that will shape the industry, enhance your skills, augment your knowledge base and expand your professional network.

The expo, which is hosted by the Institute of Food Technologists, Chicago, takes place June 11-14 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

The IFT Expo is home to specialty pavilions designed to offer educational forums and presentations that focus on trends, tastings and the global marketplace.

For instance, the Asia Pac Pavilion will provide a comprehensive collection of new products, ingredients and vendors from the Asia Pacific region in one convenient location, whereas the Food Safety & Quality Pavilion will spotlight instrumentation, services, processing and packaging technologies, and features the latest insight on the global food industry issue.

The Healthy Food Ingredients Pavilion will showcase ways to meet the demands of health-conscious consumers and brings together the latest and greatest in nutraceutical, functional and organic products. Similarly, the Organic Food Ingredients Pavilion will highlight certified-organic products.

The Sustainability Pavilion will offer a collection of contractors providing services to assist food industry organizations in meeting the growing demand for sustainability in their operations. The forum will showcase the latest trends and best practices surrounding sustainability.

The Global New Products Pavilion, which is presented by Chicago-based Mintel, will spotlight new products and the latest trends in consumer packaged food and drink flavors, ingredients and claims. Stick around for Mintel’s tasting session.

Innova Market Insights, The Netherlands, will host a Taste the Trend Pavilion, where attendees can discover trends driving the food and beverage market, both today and in the future. This forum will include a series of presentation sessions and more than 200 international products, complete with opportunities for new beverage concepts/tastings, and feature a number of presentations focusing on key product development trends, with insights on packaging and technology, flavors and consumer trends.

In the keynote session, “Delivering Science: Changing the Image of Food Science in the Marketplace,” author and writer Michael Specter and a panel of food industry experts will discuss the dangers of not following food safety protocol, its effect on the food industry and how the industry can turn the tide to ensure a safe and abundant food supply.

Those in attendance can also take part in the technical field trips, which will transport visitors out of the classroom to showcase what real companies are currently doing within the food industry. Visit local area businesses such as Zapp’s Potato Chips, Gramercy, La., to gain an insider’s view into the ways in which food science and technology are being applied today.

While walking the show floor, attendees can also keep an eye out for what’s new by locating yellow “What’s New” stickers at select booths exhibiting new equipment, solutions and products.

For more information on IFT 2011, to register or to exhibit, go to