As in years past, the Almond Board of California (ABC) had a significant presence at this year’s Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) annual Meeting and Food Expo, held in Chicago in July. ABC sponsored two scientific sessions, an Almond Board networking reception, two annual banquets for Chinese food scientists, and a booth fully redesigned to include a station for one-on-one solution sessions, including private discussions, and demos by research chef John Csukor.
The first scientific session, “Re-examining the Energy Value of Food,” featured several ABC-sponsored speakers. Dr. Richard Mattes, Purdue University, discussed how food form affects caloric availability; Dr. David Baer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, presented data on the energy value of almonds; and Dr. Malden Nesheim, Cornell University, discussed the Atwater factors (the mathematical factors currently used to calculate calories in carbohydrates, fats and proteins on food labels) and how this system may need to be reevaluated for certain foods.
The second scientific session was entitled “Consumers, Products, Aspirations: The Diane Toops Legacy. It’s Not What’s on the Label, but What’s Inside that Matters Most.” This session featured Dr. Roberta Re (nutrition research manager with Leatherhead Food Research), who presented findings of the Leatherhead almond snacking/satiety study; Dr. Kantha Shelke, who discussed ways to develop products that contribute to satiety while appealing to consumers’ tastebuds; and Dr. Richard Mattes, who discussed how food form impacts satiety.
All in all, ABC brought an excellent pairing of nutrition science and culinary innovation to the table at IFT. Plans will soon be in the works for a repeat performance at IFT 2014 in New Orleans.