Food professionals from around the globe met in New Orleans for the Institute of Food Technologists' 2011 Annual Meeting & Food Expo. The annual event brings professionals involved in both the science and the business of food together with experts from industry, academia and government. Following is a recap of news from the event.

Plenty of news, product developments, new technology, press conferences and more were presented at the IFT 2011 Annual Meeting & Food Expo, June 11-13, produced by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Chicago.

For example, White House officials, along with those from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and IFT discussed the new public rollout of the My Plate initiative during a press conference. The new My Plate program will focus on simple messaging directed to consumers with the ultimate goal of helping them make healthy food choices.

A symposium during the event presented research indicating that despite rigorous testing and assurances from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that seafood and other food products imported from Japan are safe for consumption, three in four Americans in a recent study said they were not ready to purchase food from Japan.

There were also briefings and conference program tracks on topics such as sustainability, the German E. Coli outbreak, food safety and defense, probiotics, eliminating food waste, reducing sodium, weight control options for consumers, healthcare discussions with U.S. surgeon general Regina Benjamin, the annual meting Scientific Program organized around key industry focus areas and the core sciences that are the foundation of the food science discipline, among others. The track structure was designed to make it easy to select topics of greatest importance to food professionals.

More information on the IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo, go to