The Importance of Organic Non-GMO Ingredients and Food Technologies

Upcoming IFT July 11 -14, 2015 McCormick Place South, Chicago

The upcoming Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Chicago is an important industry-wide event. Featuring raw materials for the dietary supplement and food industries, IFT is a great opportunity to meet and network with exhibitors and attendees from around the world. Offering scientific and applied education sessions and boasting an attendance of 23,000 food professionals, this year's show also features technical field trips, a pedometer challenge, student competitions and social events, as well as family activities and tours. Said to be the industry's largest collection of food ingredients exhibitors, food trends, innovative products and processing techniques as well as the place to meet equipment, processing, and packaging suppliers, the IFT Expo welcomes new attendees.

The Institute of Food Technologists was founded more than 70 years ago to "feed the minds that feed the world," while serving as an educational center for food technology, food science, public policy, and food regulations. With over 17,000 members from more than 95 countries, IFT has been committed to advancing the science of food since its founding in 1939. Current food safety concerns within the organic sector including legislative labeling initiatives, mandatory in- store GMO product labeling commitments, as well as the introduction of the genetically engineered Arctic Apple (which could become a major ingredient in baby foods, nutraceuticals, functional foods, and supplements) strongly suggest that now is the time for ingredients and processing manufacturers and innovators to make a fresh commitment to the highest standards in product purity. Growing numbers of surveyed consumers and manufacturers are ranking food purity, health, and environmental implications as well as sustainability and supply chain verification as a first priority when choosing ingredients, supplements, and food products. Processing techniques which avoid cross contamination i.e. do not mix conventional foods which may be high risk for GMOs and contaminants associated with non-organic agriculture, are vital and timely. This reflects the need to meet current consumer and manufacturer demand for healthy, environmentally safe foods, supplements, and ingredients. Sustainable business commitments within the industry also support pure and careful formulation choices. Certified organic and non-GMO formulation, verification, and labeling are important options for all exhibitors and a topic for further educational outreach.

This year will mark the 75th anniversary of the event. For more information contact

Simi Summer, Ph.D. is an organic advocate, independent researcher, educator, and freelance writer. She is a strong proponent of organic consumer education and informed consumer choices.

Posted 7/6/2015