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.