On November 20, Hostess announced that mediation with its bakers union had failed and that the 82-year-old company would proceed with liquidation plans. The good news is that the company’s iconic brands, such as Twinkies and HoHos, may not be gone for good. There may be multiple buyers of the individual product brands under the Hostess umbrella or there may be a single buyer who acquires them all. But rest assured, they will be sold because they have real market value. Estimates are that the combined sale of Hostess could be worth over $2 billion.
The title of a recent article in Food Technology (December 2011, pp. 32–37) on “Cleaning up Processed Foods” should trigger negative reactions for any food science and technology professional. Although the title may be an attempt at being provocative, the implications of this title for an article published in Food Technology are very serious. In a societal environment with the image of processed foods being questioned almost daily, communications from IFT should contribute to a better understanding of food processing. Keep Reading
On March 28 and 29, IFT will be holding its annual Wellness conference in Rosemont, Ill., offering attendees unbiased perspectives, news about emerging trends, and information on how other organizations within the food industry are penetrating the health and wellness sector. Recently, Kelly Hensel, Digital Media Editor at IFT, spoke with Linda Eatherton, Partner and Director of Global Food & Nutrition Practice at Ketchum, who will speaking at the conference’s closing session about what consumers around the world will want from food companies in 2020. Linda joined Ketchum in 2001 to lead the firm’s worldwide Food & Nutrition Practice. Prior to that, she served as the Vice President of Public and Industry Communications for Dairy Management Inc.
On the food front, Americans may be finally accepting that we are what we eat and start walking the walk. Even our new taste for Nordic cuisine is fueled, perhaps, by images of the lean, robust, and outdoorsy. But what other things are trending on the food front for 2012–13? Keep Reading
Part 2 of the audio interview between Kelly Hensel, Digital Media Editor at IFT, and John Floros, Head of the Department of Food Science at Pennsylvania State. In this segment John explains the challenges we face to feed a population which is expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050. In addition, he addresses consumers’ negative perceptions of processed foods, and finally, he shares some tools that he believes are currently being underutilized that may help improve our efforts to feed a growing population. John has worked in the food processing industry, was on the faculty at Purdue University, and since 2000 he has been leading the . He is widely published, is currently a Member of the Science Board for the Food & Drug Administration, and a Fellow and Past President of IFT.
On October 16, the world will celebrate World Food Day, which is designed to increase awareness and motivate year-around action to alleviate hunger. In 2010, IFT published a Scientific Review discussing the importance of food science and technology in feeding a growing population. Recently, Kelly Hensel, Digital Media Editor at IFT, spoke with one of the main authors of the review, John Floros, to discuss this important global issue. John has worked in the food processing industry, was on the faculty at Purdue University, and since 2000 he has been leading the Department of Food Science at Pennsylvania State University. He is widely published, is currently a Member of the Science Board for the Food & Drug Administration, and a Fellow and Past President of IFT.
*Update: As of Aug. 1, 2012, Floros is Dean of College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension at Kansas State University
While it has recently been reported that enrollment is up in food science departments across the United States, it is also a fact that budget cuts are seriously affecting the food science programs at universities. The funding bases to support research are decreasing from all of the traditional sources. Why is this important to IFT members and food science/technology professionals? It is important because the entire base for educating the next generation of Food Science B.S. entry-level employees is tied to universities being successful in recruiting and retaining faculty who will be teaching and mentoring these students. In order to retain faculty at universities, success in garnering external funding is critical to promotion. Without receipt of research funding, our assistant professors will not be promoted and new Ph.D. and postdoctorals will be discouraged in following the academic career pathway. Keep Reading
We all like to eat out. Nearly half of all food dollars go to food prepared outside the home. From fine dining to fast food to takeout, we spend a lot of money eating out. Americans’ prodigious restaurant habit has fattened the coffers of dining establishments in addition to our waistlines. Some people see a connection between the two trends. They believe that displaying the calories of each menu item will convince us to pick the leaner foods. Keep Reading
Food Technology’s Senior Editor and ingredients guru, Don Pszczola has published a list of the Top 10 Stories of 2010 in the Community section of ift.org. As an IFT member (login required) you can access his complete list in his blog—IngredienTalk. Here, Don shares with you an excerpt of the list. These are based solely on his opinions and observations as a food writer. The list appears in order of significance, once again the choices based on Don’s own views. Do you agree with Don’s top 5? What other stories from 2010 had an impact on your career?
Without further wait, (and with a flourish of drums), here is the top 5 from the list. Keep Reading
Fitch Ratings expects that the rating outlook for the U.S. Packaged Foods sector will remain stable in 2011, despite the challenges of rising input costs, aggressive competition, and value-conscious consumers. Although the U.S. economy has shown signs of recovery, it has been a slow process that has been hampered by weak labor and housing markets. These factors have prompted consumers to remain cautious regarding spending and seek out the best deals when making food purchase decisions. Keep Reading