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What a great week in New Orleans. I had the opportunity to participate at the IFT’s Annual Event and Food Expo “FEED YOUR FUTURE” which was held in the Crescent City last June 1-3.

During the first day of the meeting, I was invited to be the jury member for the "Graduate Student Oral Competitions" in the "Sensory and Consumer Science" session. It was very educative and I learned a lot while listening to the (highly qualified) students pitching their project results.  

Furthermore, I also contributed to the panel discussant in the workgroup “Division Innovation Lab” on what is critical in helping to advance for a career in the food sector across different topics and disciplines. We focused on which programs or contents can help young innovators to develop, implement and launch their product ideas.

The second day, I presented my latest work on College Dining Interventions including a Blend Beef-Mushroom Burger and I shared this project with Steve Solomon from The Mushroom Council. This Blend burger was developed by the council in partnership with chain restaurant chefs who are part of the Culinary Institute of America’s Healthy Menus Collaborative in 2011. The blended burger contains about 70% beef and 30% diced mushrooms. Generally, mushrooms increase the amount of B and D vitamins, selenium, potassium, and other minerals. The aim is to promote a more sustainable and healthy diet. Containing umami taste and allowing less sodium, this product provided a new way to partially substitute the red meat of the typical beef dishes.

Finally, the last day, I experienced the Food Expo, which gathered over 1,100 exhibiting companies from 78 countries, where the most innovative products are presented from food companies and explored the latest research trend and the ingredients of the future.

Over the three days at the IFT, I met and networked many colleagues very talented and creative in the field of food science of food. Without a doubt, the IFT19 in New Orleans was the best place to celebrate leaders and innovators who are promoting progress in the science of food. Now it’s already time to think about IFT20 in Chicago. Save the date: July 13-15 2020.