2014 International Nonthermal Processing Workshop and Short course

The Ohio State University Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Food Ag Env Sciences is hosting the 2014 International Nonthermal Processing Workshop and Short course  at Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center from October 21-24, 2014 with the theme “Nonthermal Processing Systems for Healthy and Sustainable Foods”.  This international annual workshop series is co-sponsored by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Nonthermal Processing Division, European Federation of Food Science and Technology (EFFoST) and the food industry.

What is Nonthermal Food Processing?

Increasing consumer awareness on the role foods play on health and wellness prompted consumer emphasis on microbiologically safe, minimally processed nutritious foods with minimal preservatives. Most of the foods we buy in the supermarket have been heat processed. While thermal processing of foods makes it microbiologically safe, prolonged thermal exposure destroys various nutrients and phytochemicals as well as sensorial characteristics of the food.  To meet consumer demand, the food industry is interested in the use of various innovative alternative (to heat)  lethal agents such as high pressure, electric field, ultra sound, and UV to kill the harmful pathogens and spoilage organisms commonly found in the food without impacting nutritional and sensory characteristics. As a result of coordinated worldwide research, US consumers enjoy pressure treated juices (from Starbucks), deli meat (Hormel, Kraft Food), seafood, salads, and variety of other value-added products. European consumers enjoy variety of juices preserved by pulsed electric field processing. Nonthermal technology products are also being commercialized worldwide including USA, Europe, Australia, Asia and South America.

What are the benefits of attending the event?

The international workshop and short course serves as a forum for food processors, equipment manufacturers, academic researchers, students and state and federal regulators who are interested in learning about the cutting-edge development in various nonthermal processing technologies. It is worth noting that OSU hosted one of the very first workshops in 2002. In addition, the workshop is also hosted by Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and USA (Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Illinois).

Workshop organizers are putting together an exciting slate of speakers who will share recent advances, future research and commercialization opportunities of different nonthermal-processing technologies including high pressure processing, pulsed electric field processing, UV, cold plasma, and food irradiation. Participants will also have an excellent opportunity to network with experts from industry, government and academia.  Of special interest are technical sessions that focus on the “pathway to commercialization” for selected emerging technologies where a pathway exists or is clearly identified. These sessions provide examples and case studies of how new and nonthermal processing technologies may be commercialized.

A one-day Nonthermal Processing Short Course is being organized prior to the workshop for new users of the nonthermal technologies.  An optional tour of Ohio Avure Technology facility is arranged on October 24.

Click HERE to Register!
Register on or before August 15 to take advantage of early bird discount!




Contact workshop organizer Prof. Bala Balasubramaniam at (614) 292-1732 or email balasubramaniam.1@osu.edu for more information about the workshop.


Healthy Catering Recommendations for Event Planners


Food is used to entice people to RSVP for events. While the idea of food at a meeting may help boost attendance rates, it is the types of offerings that that can be key predictors to how engaged your audience will be. Typically speaking, breakfast consists of coffee, juice, and some sort of dense carbohydrate food item to eat with our hands. Generally, we see white bread sandwiches and high-sugar, carbonated beverages at lunch events. Even evening socials will maintain an assortment of energy-dense offerings to compliment an adult beverage or two. Unfortunately, these are the foods making us lethargic and lowering attention spans.

The Food Innovation Center has had the privilege of hosting a number of events in which meals have been catered to its attendees. Through our mission statement and key initiatives, one can see that the promotion of healthy lifestyles, including healthy food choices and a better overall quality of life, are at the forefront of the FIC’s priorities. With the relationship between diet and health becoming overwhelmingly apparent, one in three Americans now plagued with obesity, and a strained healthcare system, we are committed to health by supporting healthy food and menu choices for your guests during your next event. Feeding a crowd has become an increasing burden now that nutritious and well balanced meals are in higher demand. Through these general guidelines, we will promote better overall health, reduce risk for chronic diseases, and assist those in need of meal planning.


Breakfast is the initial energy our body gets to start the day, so it is incredibly important to make it count. While pastries are great for our taste buds, they don’t offer much else. These high carbohydrate foods limit our ability to focus for long periods of time. When it comes to breakfast, protein must be a factor. The better the ratio of macronutrients (fats, proteins, and carbs) incorporated into a dish, the more stable your blood sugar and attentiveness will stay until lunch.

  • Yogurt Parfaits – Low-fat, high protein yogurt with fresh fruit and either a whole wheat breakfast cereal or granola. Use seasonal fruit for the highest nutrient density and add a serving of walnuts in for even more brain fuel. A standard caterer has the ability to create these in individual servings, giving your guests a balanced dish instead of a carb overload. Parfaits are also wonderful because they keep food lines moving as they are a one-stop-shop for the whole meal.
  • Breakfast Wraps – A serving of eggs/egg-whites, a serving of green pepper, onions, and tomatoes, a low fat breakfast meat wrapped up in a whole-wheat tortilla can be eaten with one hand just like a doughnut, but with the nutrient value again incorporating a much higher level of protein that your body needs as you “break the fast” you’re coming off from not eating overnight. (Need a vegan offering? Peanut butter and banana wraps with dried apricots and raisins will do the trick for you).

Lunch and Dinner

Lunch and dinner should be refreshers for us, so they are great meals to load up on vegetables and lean protein. Vegetables have a very high satiety, so they should be incorporated wherever possible.

  • Hot Meal – Grilled Chicken (or any lean meat), grilled or roasted vegetables (asparagus, green beans, or mushrooms work well), a garden salad and a side of brown rice is an offering that few will be willing to pass up and will keep them going if meetings are still on the agenda.
  • Cold Meal – Event planners tend to gravitate towards either sandwiches or salads for cold meals. Both can be great options or terrible options depending on how they are supplemented.

    • Sandwiches – Whole-wheat bread or tortillas are a must. They contain the dietary fiber that we need. Providing low-fat cheese like mozzarella and the condiments on the side help keep the empty calories away from our meals. As I said earlier, we need to fit vegetables in anywhere we can, so toppings such as tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles should not be overlooked.
    • Salads – A mixture of vegetables can never be bad for you. However, the added ingredients such as high-fat cheese, full fat dressings, croutons and meat can increase the calories of your salad to sneaky high levels. Avoid the fat when possible.


Meet the Student

BillyBrownBilly Brown is a third year pursuing a degree Human Nutrition and Dietetics and works as a communications intern for the Food Innovation Center. Billy is avidly involved in the Ohio Union Activities Board and his fraternity, Chi Phi. Billy has an interest in pursuing a number of different avenues with his major including: PR and Marketing, Food Policy, Sports Dietetics, or NGOs.

Five Hottest Food Trends at Expo West

Expo West

Natural Products Expo West 2014 was an incredible show of natural, organic, and healthy food and beverage manufacturing, ingredients, and in many ways – the future of the food industry, given that healthier food has moved from trend to societal shift.  The natural, organic and healthy products food industry is growing nearly three times higher than the food industry average, per Penton. I had the privilege of attending with 67,000 of my closest friends and 2,600 exhibitors. Expo West was an enlightening window to emerging food industry trends.

1. Gluten-free continues to expGlutenlode, up 20% versus last year, driven by perceived health benefits and better diagnosing of celiac disease. New brands, new food categories, and improved organoleptics were virtually everywhere. Per NPD, 30% of consumers want to reduce the amount of gluten they are eating, and gluten-free foods’ household penetration has leaped to 11%, more than doubling since 2010, per Nielsen.  The tidal wave is projected to continue as the foodservice sector (restaurants and institutions) catches up with consumer demand at retail. Even Pillsbury has jumped into the space with gluten-free dough (et tu, Doughboy?) as has Columbus’ Donato’s with its gluten-free Donato’s and Sonoma Flatbreads brands. Gluten-free is projected to grow by 22% annually through 2016, per Mintel.

nongmo2. Non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) verified food offerings have tripled since last year, in response to growing consumer demand, as well as organic manufacturers’ efforts. Regardless of where you stand on the contentious GMO discussion, consumers are responding. 93% of Americans said that foods that have been genetically modified or engineered should be identified, per a recent New York Times poll and non-GMO has recently surpassed ‘organic’ among consumers’ desired food claims. Whole Foods’ requirement of GMO labeling on all products in U.S. and Canada by 2018, will also drive non-GMO consumer awareness. Promising, except only 11% of consumers say they are willing to pay more.     

Non-GMO food and beverages are projected to grow at a 13% compound annual growth rate for the next few years and account for 30% of retail sales by 2017, even without mandatory labeling, per Packaged Facts. General Mills, Smart Balance, Ben and Jerry’s, Chipotle, and Kashi have all taken proactive stances on GMOs by either eliminating them or pushing for increased labeling. To help manufacturers and consumers with product and ingredient sourcing, the verification body, the Non-GMO Project has established a centralized database. Buckeye brag:  Marzetti launched Mamma Bella GMO free garlic breads, led by Fisher alum Adam Koenigsberg.

popcorn3. Proteins, Popcorn, Chia and Kale were prevalent in multiple categories. New protein-rich or enhanced products targeted to consumers who are reducing or eliminating red (or all) meat from their diets included yogurts (whey and soy proteins), snack bars (almond and pea protein isolate), and pancakes (oats, quinoa, and whey). Popcorn, with its better-for-you consumer perception, was featured by over 25 companies in every mainstream and exotic flavor. Most intriguing were Popcorn Indiana’s fit brand, positioned as a low-calorie option, and chip’ins, a popcorn-based extruded snack chip. Chia continues to be a hot omega-3 rich and filling superfood in many bars, yogurts, drinks, as well as seeds alone. And kale, which has grown four-fold since 2008, is the hot supergreen in raw snacks, chips, sauces, dressings, and disturbingly: macaroons.

money plate4. More Funding, Investments and Acquisitions – The health and wellness segment’s rapid growth is attracting interest and investment from multiple sources. Major food companies are penetrating the segment via acquisition and joint ventures, such as Coca-Cola (Zico and Honest Tea). Heinz (Hain Celestial), and Campbell Soup (Plum Organics), and the sector has become a darling of private equity leaders such as Sherbrooke Capital (Food Should Taste Good) and Alliance Consumer Growth (EVOL brand). There is also an explosion of funding available for smaller companies through food incubators and crowd-funding platforms, with over 25 new food and agriculture funding sources launched last year. This foretells both continued growth among increasingly well-capitalized companies, as well as improved product quality and rate of innovation.

Ohio Buckeye5. Ohio was well represented by many of our friends at 19 companies. In addition to the aforementioned Marzetti and Donato’s, Almondina, Avitae, Bunker Hill Cheese (Heini’s), Eurochoc Americas Corp., Fit Organic, Fremont Authentic Brands, Garden of Flavor, Gaslamp Popcorn (Rudolph Foods), Graeter’s, Herbal Science, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, 1-2-3 Gluten Free, R.A.W. Real and Wonderful, Swurves, Trophy Nut, Unistraw, and Wyandot  Snacks exhibited, all of whom we expect are gearing up for the surge in new business… and hiring talented Buckeyes.

Meet the Expert


Tammy Katz is an Adjunct Professor of Brand Management at the Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, and Chief Executive Officer of Katz Marketing Solutions, a marketing and brand management consulting firm.  She is particularly interested in brand management, marketing strategy, commercialization, corporate outreach, and consumer-driven innovation.