SCIFTS Dinner Meeting – October 2013

The monthly SCIFTs dinner was held on October 16, which coincided with World Food Day.

We heard from two keynote speakers, E.N.  Anderson, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology,  Emeritus at University of California, Riverside and Mark A. Lowry, Director, Orange County Food Bank.  Dr. Anderson spoke about global hunger issues and his work with families in the Yucatán, within isolated areas which sometimes do not have roads.

Currently there are 1 billion people hungry in the world. As an average, it takes two thirds of an acre of cultivated land to feed a person per year. However, we have been losing cultivated land to urbanization and bad land use around the world. China has lost ¼ of its cultivated land in the last 40 years.

Worldwide he emphasized the challenge to fight folic acid deficiency in pregnant women.  Iron deficiency is also an issue.  He showed the differences between the terms hunger, malnutrition and famine.

Dr. Anderson thinks that GMOs have not increased crop yields as much as though, although it has reduced the use of pesticides. Products made with GMOs have been in the market for approximately 15 years. He has not heard of any case in which a person has been adversely affected by GMOs. He referred to the irony of the European market being opposed to GMOs but on the other hand using irradiation. In his opinion, both technologies should be allowed.

During the second part of the evening, Mark Lowry spoke about the challenges and opportunities that exist to help qualified people, obtain food. During his tenure at the Orange County Food Bank the amount of food distributed has grown from 2,000,000 pounds per year to 21,000,000 pounds per year.

One of the perceptions they often face is how can an area like Orange County, which is listed among the 10 most expensive in the country to own a home, have a hunger problem. Mark was recently in Washington DC and was listening in on the budget debates. Many members of Congress were shocked that the food stamp program had increased its cost from $40 billion to $80 billion per year. They were looking at reducing the food stamp program budget. What they had not looked at, was that many more families where being fed now, since the economic downturn. He stated that even a 1% reduction in the budget, could mean that the Orange County Food Bank would have to distribute food to twice as many people, to make up for the difference.

The food bank is also involved in promoting community farming and education.  Mark emphasized that all of us can help. The food bank always welcomes volunteers, food and money donations.

Grande Bravo: A tool to help reduce fat and calories while maintaining texture and flavor

One of the functional ingredient tools in the SPI Group tool box is a functional whey protein called Bravo, manufactured by Grande Custom Ingredients. Bravo has unique cold water binding properties that can improve texture and creaminess in a wide range of applications.

For example, we have helped customer use Bravo to:

• Improve the mouthfeel and creaminess of a cream soup
• Improve the creamy texture of the cheese sauce in a frozen entree
• Add viscosity and enhance lubricity of a ranch dressing

Because texture plays such an important role in consumer reaction to food products, achieving the right texture is critical when creating formulations for new products or lower fat or lower cost versions of well-known foods such as cheesecake or macaroni and cheese.

Bravo can be used to achieve desired texture in products ranging from baked goods and desserts to sauces and dressings to processed meats. In addition, Bravo can:

• Reduce fat and calories
• Reduce cost/replace ingredients without adversely affecting taste or texture
• Improve yield

Be sure to check out this video that  highlights the functional properties of Bravo.

Central Valley IFT meeting at Hilmar

We had a tremendous turnout for the joint NCIFT and CVIFT event at the new Hilmar Innovation Center!

Hilmar Innovation Center

We were honored to be one of the first groups to tour the brand new Hilmar Innovation Center. The tour was well received and showed the local food industry’s interest and appreciation for Hilmar’s contributions. The new center was built to meet new environmental and energy efficient standards and house both the Hilmar Ingredient and Cheese application laboratories; in support of customers and markets for Hilmar’s products. The Hilmar tour guides included Denise Skidmore, Gwen Bargetzi,Grace Harris, Jennifer Sutton and John Glaser.

Before the meeting, there was a mini suppliers expo.The exhibitors included SPI Group, Batory and IEH Laboratories, plus Ogawa, Mitsubishi, David Michael,Horn and Ful-Flav-R Foods. Eric Le Barbe provided the social hour and dinner wine on behalf of his company,EJ Gallo and it was very much appreciated.  The tours,social hour, vendor exhibits and dinner went flawlessly.

Susan England,Interim Chair of CVIFT Subsection invited everyone to her upcoming November 12th dinner event in Stockton with a speaker on from the Olive Board and Scott Nichols invited players to come to the October 10th SJVIFT Scholarship Golf Outing. Erin Evers told the group about her success with getting the New Professionals subgroup going in the Bay Area with a slideshow presentation and plans to have an event in the Valley next year. Marty Potnick,NCIFT Chair elect announced the new NCIFT officers for 2013-14 and expressed that the people involvement and creating value for IFT and NCIFT members were of utmost importance.  Russ Nishikawa thanked our Hilmar hosts, Eric and Gallo, and the attendees.