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Foods, flavours and future trends
The epidemic of obesity and the ways in which businesses, investors and health workers are addressing it will be just one of the hot topic sessions slated for the Institute of Food Technologists? annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 12-16.

Institute of Food Technologists
Las Vegas, Nevada
July 12-16
About 1,000 experts in the field will host more than 100 other educational sessions, ranging from advancements in food nanotechnology to terrorism safety measures to the challenges of supplying food for a space flight to Mars. The sessions will focus on one of three trend areas: health and wellness ingredients, ethnic flavours, and convenience and packaging. A team of analysts will also reveal current and emerging trends in the industry, discussing 50 recently launched trend-setting products in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Now in its 64th year, the IFT convention and food expo is the world?s largest technical meeting of its kind, hosting nearly 20,000 attendees and some 800 exhibiting companies.

Future shows are scheduled for New Orleans, Louisiana (2005); Orlando, Florida (2006); and Chicago, Illinois (2007).

Keynote Speaker
Joel A Barker, scholar and futurist, will be this year?s keynote speaker on Monday, July 12, at 6 p.m. at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel.

Known around the world as ?The Paradigm Man,? Barker was the first person to popularise the concept of paradigm shifts to explain profound change and the importance of vision to drive change within organisations.

His book, Future Edge, was listed as one of the most influential business books of 1992 by the prestigious Library Journal. His new book, Five Regions of the Future, co-written with Dr Scott Erickson, will be published in January 2005. In it, he addresses how clusters of technologies, which he calls ?Technecologies? because they organize themselves into technological ecosystems, will play a major role in shaping the long-term future of the planet.

A consultant for both for-profit and nonprofit organisations around the world, Barker?s current clients include the Centers for Disease Control and the Federal Institute.

Food Expo
It?s one thing to read about and even taste the latest items heading to grocery store shelves. It?s another to observe, in real time, the blending of food science and the culinary arts behind these innovations.

For the first time, this science-meets-culinary interaction will be offered at the IFT Food Expo, in cooperation with the Research Chefs Association, at the IFT/RCA New Product Development Pavilion. For three days, chefs from the retail and restaurant market segments will work side by side with food technologists to create new dishes.

The teams will feature new menu items daily, providing the product recipe and including an interactive discussion of development steps, its target consumer and the category of product. Products will be reviewed for overall innovation, requirements necessary for large-scale production and distribution, nutritional benefits and the likelihood of commercial acceptance.

Hot Topics
Expanding Margins, not Waistlines
Tuesday, July 13
The dramatic increase in obesity is the most serious public health issue of our time, and the food industry is under fire. As consumers become increasingly focused on weight loss, they will develop an appetite for effective and palatable solutions. This session will examine this challenge to food makers from the perspectives of Wall Street, the consumer and the marketplace.

Changing the Odds
Wednesday, July 14
?Changing the Odds? focuses on how the food industry is evolving and the macro factors that alter its competitive landscape. What key consumer trends are driving product innovation? Are consumers willing to pay for them?

When Mad Cow Comes Home
Thursday, July 15
The recent incidence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the US will test the resolve to protect the public and export markets. Speakers will present the science and background of the domestic and international issues related to mad cow disease. Attendees will learn the status of the situation and approaches employed to resolve this challenge.

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