Institute of Food Technologists Cites Opportunities and Challenges for Dietary Guidelines Implementation

Jan 31, 2011, 13:40 ET from Institute of Food Technologists

February 11 Webcast to Address Impact on Consumers and Industry

CHICAGO, Jan. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) today announced its support for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) as a landmark opportunity to ensure that Americans focus on healthier food choices and increased physical activity.

"The new Dietary Guidelines set high standards that will require a concerted effort among numerous scientific disciplines to gradually change consumer behavior," said Roger Clemens, DrPh, IFT President Elect and a member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. "In addition, it is extremely important that we ensure that the current food system, from farm to fork, has the capacity to meet future needs and that the food industry continues its efforts to develop healthier food choices that appeal to consumers." Dr. Clemens will discuss these implications in further detail on an IFT webcast on February 11, 2011. More information is at the end of this press release.

The Guidelines focus on reducing overall caloric intake, eating more nutrient-dense foods and increasing physical activity to help reduce the incidence and prevalence of obesity in the U.S. population.  Specifically, the Guidelines call for Americans to include more plant-based options in their total dietary pattern, such as vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds. In addition, the DGAs encourage increased intake of seafood and fat-free and low-fat dairy products and only moderate consumption of lean meats, poultry and eggs. The DGAs also call for a significant reduction of the intake of foods containing added sugars, solid fats, refined grains, and sodium. These recommendations provide both challenges and opportunities for food scientists and technologists to modify the current food supply to meet the 2010 DGAs with new formulation strategies, including the following:

Lower the maximum daily consumption of sodium to less than 2,300 mg; and further reduce to 1,500 mg for at-risk populations

Food manufacturers must balance the multiple functions of sodium in food beyond taste, such as its effects on flavor, texture, food safety, preservation and nutritional qualities of a product. Many food companies have made noteworthy progress in reformulating products and developing new products that are low in sodium, yet additional research and development efforts are critical to meet both the 2010 DGAs and consumer needs and preferences.

Reduce calories from added sugars and saturated fats

Sugars, fats and oils also contribute significant functionality to food products. Fats are carriers for certain nutrients, such as fat-soluble vitamins and important fatty acids. Fats also provide stability, moisture and texture to food products. Similarly, sugars are used in food products to provide volume, moisture, texture and color and without these important attributes, products may be less desirable to consumers. The food industry has made important strides in reducing saturated fatty acids in foods, and reducing or eliminating manufactured trans fatty acids as well as increasing heart- and brain-healthy fatty acids. Although vegetable oils developed to decrease saturated fatty acid content and chemical hydrogenation are better able to meet dietary guidance, challenges exist for increased reductions in saturated and trans fats that still must be considered. The commitment to such reductions again presents an opportunity for food science and technology research and development to successfully reformulate food products that contribute to the public health goals reflected in the Guidelines.

Product reformulation is just one aspect of helping Americans eat healthier. IFT, along with the American Dietetic Association (ADA), International Food Information Council (IFIC), and International Life Sciences Institute of North America (ILSI NA) held roundtables with food scientists and dietitians in October 2010 to discuss implementation of the DGAs. An overarching theme from the roundtables was the need for "practicality."  In order for the Guidelines to make an effective long-term public health impact, the goals must be practical and achievable while recognizing the technological limitations of our food system.  Participants also concluded that there is a critical need for a coordinated strategic plan-- with the active involvement of all sectors, including industry, academia, public health officials and government--to assist with implementation of dietary guidance. The summary of the roundtable discussions was published in the January issue of Journal of Food Science in the article "Food Science Challenge: Translating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to Bring About Real Behavior Change."

IFT WEBCAST: Implications of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

February 11, 2011, 12:00 – 1:30 pm Central

This webcast will discuss the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and provide an industry perspective on developing food-based solutions that increase consumers' understanding and adoption of the current dietary guidance. 

Presentations include:

  • Highlights of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Dr. Roger Clemens—IFT President Elect and Chief Scientific Officer, E.T. Horn Company
  • Dietary Guidelines-Influenced Food Processing Innovations, Dr. Richard Black—VP of Global Nutrition, Kraft Foods Inc.
  • Challenges and Opportunities for Increasing Consumer Demand for Healthier Foods, Darren Seifer—Food and Beverage Industry Analyst, The NPD Group Inc.

About IFT

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a nonprofit scientific society. Our individual members are professionals engaged in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government. IFT's mission is to advance the science of food, and our long-range vision is to ensure a safe and abundant food supply, contributing to healthier people everywhere. 

For more than 70 years, the IFT has been unlocking the potential of the food science community by creating a dynamic global forum where members from more than 100 countries can share, learn, and grow. We champion the use of sound science across the food value chain through the exchange of knowledge, by providing education, and by furthering the advancement of the profession. IFT has offices in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.

Roger Clemens, PhD

SOURCE Institute of Food Technologists