Each year when I arrive in Anaheim for Expo West and SupplyExpo, I spend a few minutes in the convention center when it's empty and quiet. I try to get there before the crates have arrived, the forklifts begin to buzz around and the cherry pickers position the banners high in the rafters. As the days progress it is a wonder to see the creative achievements that rise up from the empty floor and fill the space with marketing themes, new products and new takes on established products. And just like when the circus comes to town, it isn't a circus without all the people — the movers, shakers, watchers and even a few fakers that make this industry such an interesting place to work.
As I write this, it's the fakers that have me concerned. At press time, the proposed Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 was a mere three days old. I spent a better part of a day and evening trying to get my arms around what this means for the industry. By the time you read this, we will all have a better understanding of whether DSHEA is due for an overhaul, whether the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act will indeed change, and how everybody feels about it.
I do hope that the industry will take a deep breath and realise that it may be up to the industry itself to help FDA flush out the fakers from the true movers and shakers. As unfair as it may seem, the legitimate side of the industry will be inconvenienced for a time but in the end FDA will have to accept the fact that they've had numerous chances to regulate the industry with more than enough co-operation from within. And that the legitimate side of the industry cannot be blamed for criminal activity whether it is unlawful corporations or illegal personal behaviour.
Stepping down from my soapbox, I would like to introduce you to a new member of our team. Hank Schultz is the new managing editor of Functional Ingredients magazine. If you see him at the show, please welcome him to the industry or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this issue, don't miss science editor Todd Runestad's piece on alternative sweeteners. (The sweet story is a trend that is unlikely to cool off in the coming year). John Brodie's story on low-sodium baking addresses another growing category of better4you ingredients and the demand for low-sodium foods. Lastly, in this processed, pulverised food world, it's important to remember that more often than not, consumers want food made from ingredients they recognise. Author Kantha Shelke reminded me of that with this quote for our cover story, "Even with new technology, there is always room for the wholesome, not-too-fabricated derivatives. At times, there is nothing better than downright plain food science with a healthy dose of ingenuity and respect for the nutritional value of foods that will leave the concentrates and isolates in the dust."
See you in Anaheim,